Cats, dogs and other animals should not need any kind of special eye-wear or protections during the eclipse, and probably won’t find it anywhere near as interesting as their human counterparts, experts say.
“What we’ve been reading is that they probably won’t react too much to it,” said Bobbi Yeo, CEO of PAWS Humane. “I actually experienced a total eclipse in Montana in 1979, and I don’t recall my pet reacting very much to it at all.”
Yeo said it’s possible that animals might become slightly confused at the change in light, and will assume the day is almost over.
“They will react like they do at twilight, when they’ll come inside from playing and take a nap and go to sleep,” she said.
Taking your pet outside to watch the eclipse does pose the same danger to eyesight as humans. But Yeo said not to worry, because if pets aren’t looking at the sun during a normal day, they probably won’t do it during the eclipse.
“People will want to be sure that their animals don’t look at the sun during that period, but I don’t anticipate that many cats or dogs would be inclined to,” she said.
Angela Speck, director of astronomy at the University of Missouri, said the same at a recent news conference with NASA. "On a normal day, your pets don't try to look at the sun, and therefore don't damage their eyes,” she said.
Edward Guinan, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Villanova University, told PetMD that he does “ not expect unusual behavior — like pets going crazy — unless their owners get real excited during totality. This human behavior could disturb their pets."
Yeo said the absolute safest thing to do is leave your pets inside and keep the blinds shut during the eclipse. They won’t notice the change in light and will treat the day just like any other.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE