Science & Tech

Will pets be affected by the solar eclipse?

Will pets be affected by the solar eclipse?
Solar eclipse 2024: What you need to know
Fox - 5 Atlanta / VideoElephant

Pet owners may be wondering if their beloved animals will be affected at all by the 2024 solar eclipse that's sweeping across North America.

Around 32 million people live in the 'path of totality' according to NASA, which is the area where the moon will fully block out the sun, with a further 150 million reported to be living near it and 99 per cent of people living in the country able to see a partial or total eclipse from where they live.

It starts on April 8 over land in Mexico before going through Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Buffalo and through the north-west corner of Canada - with millions expected to flock to its path, it could cause chaos in some states with motorists urged to take care.

Vets in America are reported to have had a lot of questions asking if their pet will be affected during the eclipse.

While the effect of the eclipse is not expected to have a massive impact on animals, there could be some changes in behaviour.

NASA set to launch rockets into the solar eclipse path iStockphoto by Getty Images

Dr Katie Krebs, a vet and professor at University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, told CBS News: "Most animals will be overall unaffected by the eclipse but pet owners may notice brief periods of confusion, and dogs and cats may exhibit fear and confusion."

As the sky darkens, some pets may start their night-time routine early and pets could hide, howl, pace or pant during the eclipse, according to Dr Krebs.

That's because animals, some more than others, that depend on the light-dark cycle could be more affected by the darkening of the skies, such as birds.

Dr Jerry Klein, American Kennel Club Chief Veterinary Officer, said to CBS News that dogs and cats do not need special eclipse glasses.

With eclipses being such rare events, there isn't the biggest amount of information on how they affect animals but some researchers are hoping to study behaviour in certain animals as it happens this time around.

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