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The eclipse and your animals – things to know before Monday!

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Q: Are my pets and animals’ eyes at risk during Monday’s total solar eclipse?

A: The simple answer is no. Unlike humans, animals aren’t overly fascinated with the phenomenon of the eclipse and won’t be inclined to stare at the sun for the sake of watching the eclipse. They instinctually don’t look at the sun because it hurts their eyes!

Q: Does the sun do damage to animals’ eyes in the same way as in humans?

A: The sun, on a daily basis actually may/does cause harm to animal eyes - UV exposure may cause or worsen diseases on the surface of the eye including some cancers and inflammatory conditions and or cause cataracts.  Additionally, again, just like in humans, if an animal were to look directly at the sun repeatedly or for a long time, the retina could be damaged from intense visible light. 

Q: Will my animals notice what’s going on and look up at the sun?

A: It is highly unlikely that the transient darkness/night of the eclipse will cause them to look up at the sky, and possibly the sun, when it is not completely eclipsed. 

Q: Is there anything I should do to protect my pets during Monday’s eclipse?

A: There is not anything special that must be done. If you remain concerned that they may accidentally look at the sun, we recommend pets be kept inside during the eclipse to minimize risk and concern.