For a little while on August 21st, 2017, the United States went dark. A total solar eclipse is a very rare, historic event, typically occurring in any given place only once every 360-410 years. This most recent one stretched from coast to coast. Interesting, right? Research suggests humans won’t be the only ones reacting to the fascinating events transpiring in the sky. So wherever you are in the world (whether under a total or partial eclipse), observe your animals. You might just notice some change!
Fun Facts about Animals and Solar Eclipses
- Nocturnal animals will show signs of confusion
- Bugs have been shown to get active preparing for the night
- Frogs begin singing their bedtime chirps
- Crickets will sing and then become mute
- Birds will nestle down, silencing their daytime tunes
- Dogs may bark in confusion, become frightened, or might even settle in for the night
- Cats… well, cats will sleep
- Orb spiders will take down their webs to prepare for new ones as the change transpires
The day will momentarily turn to night. In the animal world, that’s what they will prepare for as the sky darkens and temperatures decrease.
Solar Eclipse Safety for Animals
Overall, the solar eclipse shouldn’t have any long-lasting effects on your animal’s health. A study conducted by the University of California states, “while the eclipse can temporarily affect animal behavior, it is highly unlikely that it will impact their internal clock or long-term behavior.” Research suggests animals are less likely to stare up at the sun than humans, minimizing the risk of potential eye damage. However, the sun’s rays still pose an extreme threat. If concerned about your animal’s welfare, direct your pet to avoid directly staring at the eclipse or keep them indoors. In fact, most news outlets are reporting the best course of action is leaving your pet indoors.
Multiple studies conclude that dogs, cats, and other common household pets are less likely to be affected than wildlife; however, they still may show signs of fearfulness. If your animal shows signs of fear or distress, make them feel comfortable and relaxed.
Make sure your pet is prepared for other upcoming events by reading more posts on our blog, including Halloween Dangers for Pets.
Last Updated on August 26, 2020 by Rachel Champion