Posted by Mary
First, for some background information, NASA says the “solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and blocks all or part of the sun for about three hours.” Being in Minnesota, we’ll see a little of it, but since we’re not on the path we’ll get a minimal show. Still, being a curious pet parent, I think we should all educate ourselves on how the solar eclipse affects your pets.
One of the great things I learned while researching the topic, is that dog and cats don’t instinctively look into the sun, so there’s not much to worry about on their end. But if you are traveling to see it and bringing your pet with you, you might want to get them a pair of special solar eclipse glasses. (These are the same retina-protecting glasses that humans are recommended to wear.)
While looking into the sun isn’t a problem for most dogs or cats, they will sense something is going on. Edwin Guinean, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University told PetMD, “inside of the total eclipse path the sky darkens significantly and the ambient temperature can drop 10 degrees fahrenheit, so animals and pets could easily sense this.” Still, he points out, “that shouldn’t have much effect on pets or their behavior overall. The only way your pets may become startled by the eclipse, is because of your reaction.”
His sentiment is also echoed by veterinarians, who say don’t expect your pets to go crazy unless you do. They say many humans will squeal with excitement when it happens and that can easily freak out their pets.
To make sure your pet doesn’t get spooked or look at the sun, Guinan suggests pet parents leave their cats and dogs indoors at least 30 minutes before, and after, the total eclipse occurs. While that’s great advice, I think your best bet is to take plenty of precautions and just leave your four-legged critters at home for their own “Whisker Fabulous” fun. See the astrological phenomenon in all its glory, without the stress of worrying about your pet.