Is It Safe For Pets to Be Outside During the Eclipse?

On August 21st, 2017 a rare event is taking place. For the first time since 1918, a small strip of America across 14 states gets to experience a total solar eclipse. The sun will be completely blocked out by the moon, causing dark skies in the daytime.



While this is an exciting occurrence for many people, some dog parents are wondering if it will have an impact on their furry loved ones. Is it safe for them to be outside during the eclipse?


According to Live Science, the answer is yes, but with caution.

Eclipses can alter some animal’s behavior because they are tied to the circadian rhythms of light and dark. Dogs are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the dawn and dusk hours.

Studies show that darkness falling in the middle of the day during an eclipse can cause animals to be either a little anxious or  more lethargic than usual. However, animals don’t appear to be more aggressive or fearful than normal, so you don’t need to worry about the eclipse frightening your dog.

If you live in areas that are only experiencing a partial eclipse, this shouldn’t be an issue.

I had my own experience with this during a solar eclipse in Greece in August 11 with a 0,85 magnitude . Animals and birds were eerily silent from the time the light started to change until the sun came out again.

Like humans, if animals stare at the sun during an eclipse they can go blind. According to, this won’t be an issue because dogs and cats don’t ever stare at the sun. It’s not in their nature to do so. If you’re worried about it, though, human eclipse glasses work just as well on dogs as they do on people.

If you need to have your dog outside during the eclipse, it shouldn’t be a problem, but I always like to err on the side of caution. If you live in an area that is experiencing more than 80% of the sun being blocked, then the safest thing to do would be to keep your pet inside during the event. It gets pretty dark and the sun can still cause retinal damage.



Barbara Buck-Reconnective Healing Practitioner,  Phoenix, Arizona