NewsNationalScripps News


Is it safe for dogs to be outside during a solar eclipse?

Here's what dog parents should know about keeping their pups safe from Monday's solar eclipse impacting millions of Americans.
Is it safe for dogs to be outside during a solar eclipse?
Posted at 10:31 AM, Apr 08, 2024

Millions of Americans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse on Monday.

Even those not in the path of totality may still witness a partial eclipse.

As people grab protective eyewear for the solar event, you may be wondering how safe the eclipse is for your dog.

Because it is not natural for dogs to look up or stare at the sun, veterinarians are not too concerned about them looking at the eclipse, according to the American Kennel Club. 

“They know enough not to,” said Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer for the AKC, in a blog post

“That’s why they’re smarter than people,” he joked.

As for eyewear for your pooch, Klein suggested leaving that to the humans.

“Don’t make your dog look at the sun, even with glasses,” he said. “Your dog naturally doesn’t want to look up, and you shouldn’t force him to.”

For those nervous their pets could catch a glimpse, the best way to ensure complete safety is by walking your dog prior to the eclipse and keeping them indoors during its duration, said ASPCA Pet Health Insurance in a blog post. Windows should also be covered. 

Dog owners should be more worried about the festivities surrounding the eclipse than the event itself. 

“This is a big occasion. We’re going to turn this natural event into an unnatural event. There’s going to be traveling involved, crowds, parties, fireworks and other such things. It’s those things that are most likely to cause problems for your dog,” Klein said.

The eclipse may cause behavioral changes in animals, but there is not much research yet on its impact on dogs. It is more common for livestock and wildlife, which are attuned to the sun, to react to the eclipse, according to AKC. 

NASA has asked for the public’s help reporting animal behaviors during the eclipse via its Eclipse Soundscapes Project.

Trending stories at