It's been nearly 100 years since the last total solar eclipse was visible in North America. What does that mean for our pets?
With a total solar eclipse scheduled to arch its way across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, many people are feeling the excitement and can't wait to witness the astronomical spectacle for themselves. Knowing what to expect, a total eclipse into darkness in the middle of the morning or afternoon may be marvelous, but what might happen to the animals around us that don't understand what is happening?
According to a recent report by Mother Nature Network, different animals may react in different ways. Many diurnal wild animals may retire for the evening if they don't see the sun in the middle of the day, as if the clock fast forwarded to the hour in which they usually retire. Songbirds may cease singing, bees may withdraw to their hives, and squirrels might just stay in their burrows, assuming the event lasts longer than a few seconds. Should they go through their entire night-time routine, they will reappear once the eclipse has passed, "starting" their day anew, despite only minutes passing.
Pets and other domesticated animals, however, will most likely have a mild reaction to the event, if any at all, as their schedules are so heavily influenced by ours. Some pets, such as dogs if they are outside, may become slightly confused or disoriented, but as the totality isn't associated with loud, unpredictable noises, fear will likely not be an issue.
Just be sure that your furry friend doesn't look directly into the sun. Cats most likely won't take visual cues from their owners that would lead their gaze upward, but some dogs might, so be sure no noses go up in the air.
Farm animals and other outdoor-dwellers, such as zoo animals, tend to react as if anticipating a large storm, as conditions tend to mimic those moments before a sudden change in weather. Either way, the moment of totality should pass within a matter of minutes, and all will be normal again.
Will you be with your pets during the eclipse? Tell us in the comments below.
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