Will the solar eclipse affect our furry friends?

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
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With around 180 million people living in or near the 2024 solar eclipse path of totality, many pet owners may be wondering how the eclipse may impact animal behaviors and how their pets might react.

Veterinarians said they’ve been fielding questions from some concerned pet owners about the eclipse’s impact on animals. Ultimately, there isn’t a clear answer for pet owners because eclipses happen so infrequently. Researchers do plan to watch animal reactions during the April eclipse to learn more about how it affects animals.

“There’s not a lot of scientific research done on this topic of animals and eclipses mostly because they don’t come often,” said American Kennel Club Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein. “And a lot of it’s just been anecdotal reports and just volunteering information.”

Though there isn’t a lot of information out there, veterinarians and animal researchers do have some idea how the eclipse will impact dogs, cats and more.

“Most animals will be overall unaffected by the eclipse, but pet owners may notice brief periods of confusion, and dogs and cats may exhibit fear and confusion,” said Dr. Katie Krebs, a veterinarian and professor at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Owners should not force pets to look at the sun, Klein said. Animals generally know not to stare at the sun themselves — they’ve learned that doing so can temporarily blind them, leaving them vulnerable.

“Dogs know that if something hurts them, they probably shouldn’t do it,” said Klein. “So left to their own devices, dogs are probably not going to stare at the sun.”

Pets may look up if they see the people around them are preoccupied with looking up at the sky, vets said.

Read more at CBSnews.com

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!