Suffolk County SPCA: How Does A Solar Eclipse Affect Animals?

Pets and other non-wild animals might have a relatively mild reaction.

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Photo by: pikabum

Long Island, NY - August 18, 2017 - On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will move across the United States. In New York is should begin at 1:23 pm and end at 4:00 pm with maximum viewing at 2:44 pm. New York will not experience a full blackout. 
How should this affect our furry friend? Pets and other non-wild animals might have a relatively mild reaction. Since the eclipse is silent, there is no noise that typically might scare pets like fireworks or thunder during a storm. The temperature will drop suddenly by about 10 degrees and usually birds stop chirping and calling which makes things eerie. 
Pets and animals often react as if it's about to be a heavy rain storm. So if your dog reacts to storms, they will be getting visual cues but no barometric pressure or precipitation and so might get anxious in anticipation. Also shadows get much sharper and come at different angles. So if your dog is a watcher, they might get a little suspicious about what they are seeing. We suggest keeping pets leashed during the eclipse just to be safe.
Normally dogs and cats don't try to look at the sun so there should be no concern that they will do so during the eclipse. The disruption is brief so our pets will return to their normal schedules quickly.
The Suffolk County SPCA is a private, nonprofit, charitable organization and the voice for animals in Suffolk County.  We do not receive taxpayer or public funding and we must rely on the support and generosity of donors to exist. Please help us to provide a better life for pets and other animals in Suffolk County. 
Donations can be mailed to: Suffolk County SPCA, P.O. Box 6100, Hauppauge, NY 11788-0099 or by logging onto our website