PERHAM, MINN. — In November, NutriSource announced it has expanded its PawPrints Therapy Dog Program at Boston Children’s Hospital through a five-year financial commitment. PawPrints is an animal-assisted activity program featuring more than 20 dogs owned by hospital volunteers, through which patients can benefit from social interaction and “a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine,” NutriSource stated.

“Nothing is more important than the health of our children,” said Chase Rasmussen, president of KLN Family Brands, the parent company of NutriSource. “We know a wet nose and wagging tail can lift spirits. The child of one of our employees recently underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. The exceptional care provided by the medical team and comforting visits by therapy dogs inspired us to support PawPrints so that other families undergoing a stressful time have the same positive experience.”

Dogs participating in NutriSource’s PawPrints program visit inpatient and outpatient units, the emergency department, and other areas of Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as some of its satellite sites.

According to NutriSource, studies have shown that interactions between therapy dogs and hospital patients can reduce blood pressure, encourage physical stimulation, support pain management, and serve as a morale boost to assist with coping and recovery.

“For children in the hospital, spending time with the PawPrints dogs is often the brightest time of day,” said Miranda Day, director of family and volunteer services at Boston Children’s Hospital. “These furry friends comfort our patients in good times and in challenging moments. We are grateful for the support from NutriSource for our PawPrints program here at Boston Children’s!”

NutriSource will provide significant financial support, as well as food and treat donations for the therapy dogs, as part of its five-year financial commitment to support Boston Children’s Hospital.

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