On Monday, August 21, 2017, the US mainland will experience a total eclipse for the first time in decades.

Is there anything special I need to do to prepare my pets? Will they be anxious about the eclipse? What if I'm not at home during the eclipse?

  • 1
    As a side note, if you're not in an area that experiences totality you probably won't notice much at all, unless you are actually looking at the sun (through solar glasses, of course!). The sun is just so bright that even 99% partial eclipse is maybe a bit darker than usual, but nothing like a total solar eclipse. So your pets won't even know it's happening in those areas :)
    – user812786
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


The eclipse will not have any affect on your pet. However if they are able to look at it it could damage their eyes resulting in blindness. The best way to keep your pet safe is close your curtains or blinds so they can not see it.

A quick look through the literature indicates that most animals and birds react to a total solar eclipse much like they do to nighttime: for example, bees and ants return to their nests and daytime birds return to their roosts in preparation to sleep; nighttime birds become noisy and active; bats start flying and hunting; mosquitoes start biting; and dairy cattle stop grazing, since they prefer to eat during daylight. - How do animals react to total solar-eclipses (Forbes)


Animals do not look at the sun for extended periods of time - there are no mass blindness events that happens in the world from solar eclipses.

Is there anything special I need to do to prepare my pets?

Nope, the day can resume as per usual.

Will they be anxious about the eclipse?

No they will not.

What if I'm not at home during the eclipse?

They will be doing what they normally do when you're not around, having a snooze.

"On a normal day your pets don't try to look at the sun and therefore don't damage their eyes, so on this day they're not going to do it, either." - Angela Speck

Rob Warren, a spokesman for the University of California–Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, also told The Sacramento Bee that "our ophthalmologists don’t see much need for concern with animals during the eclipse," and that because animals don't look directly at the sun "on normal days," they're not expected to during an eclipse.

(source 1) (Source 2)


It would likely not have much of an effect on pets. Safest would be to keep them inside if possible, if you have a nervous pet. Since they don't tend to stare at the sun anyway they might just think it's dusk or an approaching storm, they also won't require special glasses.

Most of the typically scaring weather effects for animals tends to be accompanied with load noises or flashes - like a thunderstorm. Since an eclipse is silent this aspect is not there.

From LiveScience: How Solar Eclipse will affect animals

Animals will probably be fine, as they don't tend to look directly at the sun.

Some interesting reading on other observed effects can be found here on National Geographic: Animals react to solar eclipse

Anecdotal evidence suggests that orb-weaving spiders destroy their webs during an eclipse, so Johnson recommends finding a web to watch.

  • 1
    That first quote seems to relate specifically to looking at the sun as opposed to saying that the animals in general will be fine. The second one, whilst interesting, doesn't seem to be relevant to this question.
    – Henders
    Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 8:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.