How to keep pets safe during April 8 solar eclipse

Expert advice to keep your pets safe and stress-free during the celestial event.

Video byEvan Wyno
April 2, 2024, 5:45 PM

Ahead of the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, pet owners are seeking advice on how to best protect their animal companions during this rare celestial event.

Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, answered some top questions for "Good Morning America," including if pets can be harmed by looking at the eclipse and how to keep pets safe.

Is the eclipse dangerous for pets?

The eclipse promises to be stunning spectacle for humans, especially for those in the path of totality who will experience the full eclipse. However, the event may potentially stress or confuse pets, according to the American Kennel Club.

Klein suggests pet owners "do things as you can to keep everything as routine as possible, because dogs and cats rely very much on routine."

PHOTO: Stock Photo
Stock Photo
Adobe Stock

Pets, particularly dogs and cats, are unlikely to look directly at the sun due to their instincts, which minimizes the risk of eye damage, according to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

According to Klein and the AKC, most dogs "only look up toward sky if something flies overhead or catches their attention."

"In nature, we never see animals staring at the sun," Klein told "GMA." "As a veterinarian, when I have to look into eyes to look at their retina, dogs or cats don't like that. Nature is very smart if you let them be natural and not force them to do something that is not normal for them."

Should pets be inside during eclipse?

Keeping pets indoors, away from the excitement and unusual activity surrounding eclipse events, can prevent anxiety. This is particularly important as the events might unsettle pets more than the eclipse itself.

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Will the eclipse stress out my pet?

The American Kennel Club advises that the primary concern for pets during an eclipse is not the eclipse itself, but potential stress caused by changes in their environment or the reactions of their owners.

Klein suggests that if your pets are by themselves during the celestial occurrence to "turn on lights before you leave, have a television going and to keep everything as consistent as possible." Observing pets for any signs of distress, such as hiding or whining, and creating a soothing environment for them are recommended measures.

Keeping pets in familiar surroundings can help prevent anxiety, the AKC states.

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