Are Solar Eclipses Dangerous For Pets?

By Kayleigh Roberts

The countdown to a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse is on — it's set to cross the U.S. on Aug. 21, with some states getting the full view. But, as excited as we are, is this celestial event safe for our furry friends?

Funny dog
credit: Wavetop/iStock/GettyImages

The short answer: Probably yes — if only because your dog doesn't really care about the eclipse the way you do. But also maybe no, because it's going to be crowded and scary and, you know, your dog could still look up.

The longer answer: While we humans have been prepping to watch the eclipse and buying special sunglasses to protect our eyes while we do, our pets are not counting down and don't make a habit of looking directly into the sun anyway, People reports.

American staffordshire terrier dog wearing sunglasses
credit: Lunja/iStock/GettyImages

NASA weighs in

"On a normal day, your pets don't try to look at the sun, and therefore don't damage their eyes. And on this day, they're not going to do it, either," Angela Speck, director of astronomy and a professor of astrophysics at the University of Missouri, explained said at a recent NASA news conference.

That said, looking directly at the sun or a partial eclipse can be seriously dangerous and could even cause eclipse blindness, which means burned retinas which means NOTHING GOOD. If you plan to take your pet out for a walk during the eclipse, it's actually not a bad idea to buy a pair of protective glasses for him or her too, just to be safe.

Some experts disagree

Some experts recommend not taking your pet out at all during the eclipse, comparing the potential for crowds and frightening noises to Fourth of July — a notoriously hated holiday among pets. Even the National Parks Service recommends avoiding travel with pets during the eclipse.

Are you interested in learning more about what you're reading? Then scroll through this article about what it means when your pet doesn't remember you. Also, like us on Facebook and join our newsletter to learn more about your pet's behavior.