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Animal Behavior Changes During Eclipse

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If you have plans to view the great total eclipse on August 21st, maybe take a moment to see how the animals around you are reacting--it will be different--and have a plan for your own pets safety.

Vicky McGrath, owner of All Creatures Animal Hospital in Bowling Green, says while its unlikely to see much change in your dog or cats behavior, aside from maybe taking a nap as the sky begins to darken, or waking up to run off their energy as some pets typically do at bedtime--it's the outdoor pets, livestock, and wildlife where you will see some unique changes.

"Birds will stop signing, if it lasts long enough then maybe the crickets [will start chirping]--the nighttime noises will start--the frogs, the tree frogs will start making their noises and sometimes bats will start flying around because they think it's nighttime. Livestock may go and lay down or cattle may act a little differently, but then when the sun comes back out generally everything goes back to normal, but there could be a time when they're a little confused for a few hours."

While it may be fun to view the instincts of the animal kingdom around us kick in, she says to keep an eye on where your outdoor pets are at all times or put them indoors for a moment. 

Looking at a partial eclipse without special protective eclipse glasses can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, and that goes for your pets as well.

McGrath says, "animals don't usually sit and sun gaze anyway, but I have heard that maybe dogs--because of people--they'll look to where people are looking and if everyone is looking up, maybe the dog will look up. So, just try to avoid things like that."

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