People have been buzzing about the solar eclipse that is happening on Monday, August 21, 2017. It’s said to be the first solar eclipse to stretch from coast to coast in the United States in 99 years! As with other eclipses, people are warned not to look directly at it, as the sun can severely damage your eyes. Instead, people are urged to wear protective glasses…and that goes for your pets as well!
- Keep pets indoors during the eclipse to avoid exposure. While most pets do not look at the sun on any other day, they likely won’t look at the sun during an eclipse.
- Be aware of people gathering in large crowds and celebrating with fireworks and loud music. Just like on July 4th, you’ll want to make sure your pet is comfortable and safe. If your pet is outdoors, be sure it is secure, wearing a collar with tag and leashed.
- Additionally, consider putting glasses on your pet to ensure they do not view the sun. It may sound silly, but your pet’s eyes are just as susceptible as human eyes for “eclipse blindness.”
- Outdoor and wild animals may be more affected by the darkness. Nocturnal animals may become more active during this time – and some could pose a risk to your pet.
Eclipses and Animal Research
According to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, because eclipses are rare, there isn’t much data documenting animal and plant behavior during them. They created a project called “Life Responds” that relies on everyday citizens like you and me to report both animal and plant behavior through an app called iNaturalist which is available on both Apple and Android platforms. You can also join in on an eclipse event listed on the iNaturalist website.
Note: Do not ever force your pet or any other animal to look at an eclipse or do anything dangerous. The intent of this app is to capture natural animal behavior without human intervention. If you notice nocturnal animals becoming active, or diurnal animals getting quiet, you can document those instances in the app.
Are you planning to watch the eclipse?