Pet safety during the total solar eclipse

With the total solar eclipse just around the corner, a lot of pet owners are questioning whether their pets will be safe. From information I’ve gathered on the internet, the eclipse taking place on August 21 should be treated in much the same way as the July 4 holiday. Expect crowds, noise, high temperatures and traffic and take that into consideration before taking your cat or dog to a public event.

Solar eclipse map for August 21, 2017
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States occurred in 1979 but the last one to stretch from coast to coast happened in 1918.

People from Oregon to South Carolina have big plans for Monday. Visitors from all over the world will swarm every town and city in the direct path. Because of the excitement involved, pet owners are cautioned, not because their dog or cat may look up at the sun (they most likely won’t), but due to animals picking up on YOUR excitement and becoming anxious.

Pet expert Melanie Monteiro, the author of “The Safe-Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Pooch, Indoors and Out” offered some safety tips in an interview with

“I would recommend to pet owners that you keep your pets indoors if possible and keep them confined the same way as you would on the Fourth of July or other similar occasions. If you have the sort of pet that’s normally sensitive to shifts in the weather, they might be disturbed by just the whole vibe because the temperature will drop and the sky will get dark.”

Monteiro, who teaches pet first-aid classes is more concerned about animals being taken to crowded events, especially dogs. The temperature in Salem, Oregon at one end and Charleston, South Carolina at the other is expected to hit close to 90 degrees.  Their little paws on hot pavement will make for a very unenjoyable day. Unless you plan to hold your dog, please leave it at home.

It will be interesting to observe whether feral cats will come out early since there will be a few minutes of total darkness. Most ferals spend their day sleeping and come out to feed on a set schedule. The colony knows when the caregiver is due (yes, cats CAN tell what time it is) and the total solar eclipse may confuse them. Or they may sleep right through it.

For those of you in the path of the eclipse, do your homework on the internet as to what viewing glasses are safe since so many have been recalled and plan your day as to the best viewing spot. Personally, I’ll be in my front yard away from the crowds.


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