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Here’s what your pets think of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

By on August 13, 2017

It seems very strange, this trying to inhabit the mind of a dog in preparation for an extraordinary cosmic event, but it’s not surprising. We often wonder how our animals will respond to new situations.

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be occurring for us earthlings. It’s the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will travel coast-to-coast, visible in parts of 14 different United States. Cool fact: estimations have come from experts on the eclipse saying the best place in the country to view the eclipse is right here in Nebraska. Around 1 p.m., the best view of the total solar eclipse will be accessible from southeastern parts of the state, especially Gage County and places like Beatrice, NE.

Hotels in the area booked up. Traffic on the 21st is set to be a nightmare. It’s a big deal for us humans. After all, once in 99 years, though only a blink of the eye in truth, is a rare occurrence for us. Our reactions will be of wonder. When the sun is covered though, we’ll know the reason why. When we think about tomorrow, we’ll know the sun will be back in full view. These things are a given for us reasonable humans. Animals, however, might be effected a little differently.

Again, it’s a bit weird to wonder how Fluffy and Fido will react to the skies changing for a few hours, but that’s what we do here. The following things may happen to your pets or they may not. Whatever the case, let’s explore.

1. Cats and dogs may not notice the solar eclipse much, if at all. Yes, the sun will be blocked out for a bit, but what does that matter to your pooch? He could sleep through the whole thing. Or maybe your kitty peers up to the heavens to ponder the event. After, she’ll likely clean herself or have a snack, only to fall asleep as that seems more important.

2. Pets may still become fearful during the eclipse. We’ll call this the Chicken Little option. It’s possible that your pet will believe the ends of days is here. Likely? No, but there’s a lot about this crazy thing called life we don’t know. Should your animal get spooked, accommodate accordingly. Kennels are often safe places, so load it up with things your pup likes. If your animal is the kind that’s effected by storms or fireworks, act as if that’s happening, doing whatever it takes to provide comfort. Tell your pet that the world is not ending and this is a simple cosmic coincidence. If your pet needs an explanation, click here.

3. All joking aside, there’s one thing that can make the world seem like it’s coming to the end for animals- “eclipse blindness.” Pets (and humans) can suffer eclipse blindness from looking at a solar eclipse. Retinas can actually burn as a result of looking directly into it. Humans should plan on wearing standard ISO glasses if they wish to look at the sun during the eclipse. It’s a good idea to leave your pets out of it by keeping them inside and not risking damage to eyes. While the idea of total blindness as a result of looking into an eclipse are overstated, retinal damage is real. Be mindful.

 

Have fun experiencing this likely once-in-a-lifetime event. Enjoy it with friends and family. The best idea is to let your animals rest inside between mid-morning and early afternoon hours here in Nebraska.

 

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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