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Solar Eclipse and Pets

So cute, but pets will be looking at you, not at the eclipse!
Walter X
So cute, but pets will be looking at you, not at the eclipse!

The solar eclipse is big news right now.  An eclipse happens when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, blocking out the sun’s light for a time.  On the projected path from Texas to New England, folks on the ground will experience a period of several minutes when the sun is totally blocked by the moon.  Thousands of people say they will travel to an area where they can experience this rare occurrence.  Even folks not in the direct path of the total solar eclipse will still be able to see a partial eclipse.

     In preparation for this celestial event, some are making travel plans with no idea where they might stay!  Sales of special “eclipse glasses” are extremely high, as they allow you to look at the sun without causing eye damage.

     So what effect does this have for our furry friends?  The truth is that a solar eclipse itself usually does not affect animals much.  They don’t tend to look at the sun anyway, so as long as you don’t encourage them to look up during the eclipse they will be fine – even though you can buy eclipse glasses for your pet.

     The greatest danger to pets during the eclipse will be on the ground.  It is projected that tens of thousands of people will be flocking to areas to experience the total eclipse.  With so many people and so many vehicles, officials are concerned about a recurrence of issues that happened during the last eclipse, with huge traffic jams that clogged the roads and blocked traffic for hours.  That means your pet may be stuck in the vehicle with you much longer than expected, so make sure you have plenty of water and food for your buddy, and a good collar or harness and a leash. 

     When trying to keep your pet from becoming frightened by excited people or huge crowds of strangers, consider this - the safest place for your pet during the eclipse is indoors or at home, with you.  After all, you are always the bright spot for your furry buddy, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.