7 tips to prepare your dog for a solar eclipse
Solar eclipse! We’re all excited for what could be a once in a lifetime event. But as the eclipse is getting closer, many of us are realizing there is ‘the other side’ of an eclipse. Perhaps you have read the long list of don’ts when it comes to looking directly into the sun. Maybe, you went to buy solar eclipse glasses only to realize they are sold out pretty much everywhere.
And then there are our dogs. Most of us worry about our dogs and the natural question is: “Is a solar eclipse dangerous for dogs?” or “How can I protect my dog from eye damage during a solar eclipse?”
When the moon aligns with the sun and covers it, we want you to be in the moment, prepared and able to enjoy the darkness in the middle of a bright day.
Depending on your location, you may only experience a partial eclipse. If you’re wondering what to expect, see the solar eclipse map here.
Generally, the temperature tends to drop during the event. Also, solar eclipses are a relatively common occurrence around the world, but it is rare to be able to view them in the US and Canada.
Wild animals have been observed to behave strangely during the event because they normally are out during the light of the day and suddenly the light dims. Don’t be surprised if your chickens return to their coop, bees fly to their hives, spiders take down their webs and birds go strangely quiet.
When it comes to dogs and other domesticated animals, not much research is available. The general consensus is they don't tend to show as many signs of unusual behavior during an eclipse because they are much more connected to the rhythm of their humans.
However, here are 7 tips on how to prepare your dog for a solar eclipse:
1. If you notice your dog is behaving unusually, getting excited or looking fearful, he or she may be responding to your own excitement about the solar eclipse. Dogs are the barometer of our emotional state and often mirror our behavior.
2. You are most likely aware the solar eclipse can be damaging to eyes and vision. NASA warns people against looking directly into the sun without the certified protective sunglasses. When it comes to images, you must not take photos directly, except at the moment of a total solar eclipse in a relatively narrow band as outlined on the map.
3. If you are outside of the 100 percent solar eclipse band, use either certified eclipse glasses or pinhole boxes.
4. Never use the solar eclipse glasses in combination with binoculars because the concentrated sun rays may melt the glasses and damage your eyes.
5. It’s very important you don’t stare directly at the sun during the event. Our human curiosity can take over, however, our dog’s natural intelligence makes them not look directly at the sun.
6. If you plan on observing the solar eclipse, you may consider keeping your dog at home during the event. Although this is a special event for us, it may be busy and some dogs could react negatively to the crowds and excitement. Dogs don’t have the same interest in this type of natural phenomenon. If you decide to take your dog along, keep him/her in a shaded spot.
7. If your dog is extra sensitive to changes, like a solar eclipse and has a history of being anxious, I recommend using Bach's Rescue Remedy and putting on a Thundershirt if you own one. Shutting the blinds ahead of time will reduce the effect of sudden darkness and help diminish your dog’s anxiety.
Thank you for reading this article and caring about the well-being of your dog. If you are interested in learning more about how to keep your dog healthy and long living naturally, subscribe here to get a free 16 chapter Health and Longevity course for dogs.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM