At the end of a long day, few things are more soothing and smile-inducing than a video of a pile of kittens frolicking or baby goats playing with each other in an idyllic farmyard. Add in some snuggly alpacas, fluffy baby chicks, majestic birds and a few adorable little lizards and frogs, and, voila, feel the calm descend.
But these videos aren’t just cute: studies show that interactions with animals, even virtually, can have a real effect on both the mind and body. Eighty per cent of Canadians, surveyed online by TELUS in January 2023, are more likely to feel happiness after consuming animal content online.
“As pets, animals provide us with unconditional love, joy and opportunities to help deal with our own emotions,” explains Dr. Aubrey Fine, a psychologist who specializes in human-animal interactions, and professor emeritus at California State Polytechnic University.
“When we’re having difficult days, sometimes we don’t want to talk to anyone. But when sitting next to an animal, with the petting, the touching and looking into its eyes, your oxytocin rises.”
Featuring the iconic critters that have long delighted us in TELUS’s advertising campaigns, the playlist is designed to create the same calming effect as beloved fireplace channels or the fish tank in your dentist’s office — only much cuter.
Even if you don’t have pets, studies show that spending time with animals can positively affect blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety — and those perks can also come from watching animal videos. TELUS conducted an online survey, in which 63 per cent of Canadians said videos like TELUS’s Critter Comforts playlist content improved their mood, making them feel happy, relaxed, and joyful.
“The joyful experience of seeing a dog slide down the snow or a mom and a puppy snuggling can help bring down our blood pressure and our sense of stress,” says Fine.
Critters creating change
The Critter Comforts playlist is designed to soothe Canadian humans, but TELUS built in a donation incentive to ensure the animals in our communities are also taken care of.
In keeping with TELUS’s commitment to driving meaningful social change, the company is giving $1 from each YouTube view of the Critter Comforts playlist, up to $100,000, to charities supporting animal wellbeing. The donation will be distributed through the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation to organizations supporting service animals, wildlife rehabilitation and animal therapy nationwide.
Since 2005, TELUS has donated nearly $2 million to Canadian charities supporting this important cause, including Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), Hope for Wildlife, and Canine Opportunity, and People Empowerment (C.O.P.E).
This is just the beginning of the Critter Comforts program. TELUS plans to upload more videos to the playlist throughout the year so that critter fans can get fresh hits of happiness.
“My life is so much richer with the diversity of beings I have in it,” Fine says. “Some folks may not be comfortable with animals in their homes, but there are lots of ways to celebrate having animals in your life.”
TELUS Critter Comforts video playlist is now available on YouTube and Optik TV, on channel 147 for TELUS customers in B.C. and Alberta and channel 492 in Quebec. To learn more about TELUS’s commitment to social purpose and giving back visit telus.com/socialimpact.