Millions of Americans are expected to travel to the heart of the country, including Arkansas, to witness it. Total solar eclipse on April 8. While people are understandably fascinated by the upcoming celestial event, many pet owners are left wondering how their pets will react to such an event.
The answer isn’t as straightforward as one might think, according to Dr. Raphaela Lesch, an assistant professor of biology at UA Little Rock who studies how pets are affected.
“The answer will depend on how the animal is kept,” he said. “Most animals don’t panic or panic at the sudden darkness. Indoor pets like cats probably won’t respond to a solar eclipse because they’re used to many changes in their environment. Animals that have more experience with the outdoors They can experience a level of confusion. For example, dogs can get a little impatient and wander around trying to figure out whether they should trust their internal clock or look at things outside. have been.”
While some pets may show a level of confusion during the eclipse, Lash said it’s nothing to worry about. Pets can start their nighttime routines, walk around, or get treats or reassurance.
For pets like cats and dogs, you can always give them a treat or toy for the duration of the eclipse, Lesh said. “There will be very little time where it will be really dark. As long as we stay calm, the animals will stay calm.”
For pet parents who are concerned about leaving their pets unattended during the eclipse, Lash said it shouldn’t be a problem for well-adjusted animals, but caution is advised for these pets. Advice given to those having separation anxiety.
“If they’re used to being alone, I wouldn’t worry about it,” Lesh said. “They might wake up and feel something is going on, but I wouldn’t worry about them having any major concerns about the eclipse, unless you have an animal that’s been around before. have separation anxiety. In this situation, you should consider staying with your pet, so you don’t have a situation where the pet is scared, adding another level of confusion. Usually But, being home alone during an eclipse shouldn’t be a problem for well-adjusted animals.
For animal lovers in general, Lash said people can expect animals that are active at dusk and dawn — such as raccoons, foxes and opossums — to be seen during the eclipse. When they are not usually out in the afternoon.
If you live in the countryside, it will be interesting to see what animals come out of the forest during the solar eclipse, Lesh said. “Animals that have changed their routines to avoid contact with humans don’t usually come out during the day, but they can poke their heads out of their hiding holes during eclipses. “
Leash’s advice to pet parents is simply to sit with your pet during the eclipse and enjoy the show.
“I would say just enjoy it,” he said. “Take time to observe your animals. If they show any changes in their behavior, they are basically confused. Enjoy observing what they do during the different phases of the eclipse. “
Lesh said observing the whimsical behavior of chickens can add an enjoyable layer to the unpredictability of a cosmic event.
“If we think about chickens, they have a much stronger response to the dark/light cycle than other animals, and we might expect them to have a stronger response to the sudden disappearance of daylight. Will get it,” he said. “If one has a flock of pet chickens, it will be especially fun to sit and see what they are doing during the eclipse.”