2017 Eclipse: Scientists Warn Pet Owners To Keep Them Inside During The Phenomenon

It’s been buzzing around the Internet that a total solar eclipse will occur on August 21, which is fabulous news for astronomy geeks all over the world. However, humans have been warned that looking at the sun without proper eye protection can bring on serious and irreversible damage to their retinas. The damage, dubbed “eclipse blindness,” can happen without warning and humans don’t really feel any pain while it’s happening. So, you can effectively be burning cells in your eyes that will never be replaced without actually feeling anything at all.

This danger, scientists warn, can actually extend to your pets. While it is unlikely that your dog will be observing the solar eclipse like a human or be unduly fascinated with the change in the sky, there is still a risk that he or she might look into the eclipse and face the same issue as human beings. Because pets don’t understand the risk it poses and will clearly not be looking at it with safety apparatuses, it is best to keep your best friend indoors so that he or she doesn’t suffer from eclipse blindness, which as in humans, can lead to long-term damage to your favorite buddy’s eyesight.

Some scientists, however, state that this is a bit reactionary, as dogs typically don’t look directly into the sun on a normal day seeing as they have no concept of what it is, and therefore the risk is minimal. However, others warn that as we have no control over where they look, it isn’t necessarily over the top to ensure that they don’t accidentally damage their eyes.

If you want to take your dog on a walk during the eclipse, or want to ensure that he or she doesn’t miss out on the fun, you can always place protective eyewear on your best friend if he or she will tolerate wearing it. If your dog’s temperament won’t allow him or her to put on a pair of protective goggles, then it is probably best to leave him or her at home with the blinds closed during the eclipse.

It has also been recommended not to travel with your pets during the eclipse.

[Featured Image by Ross Gilmore/Stringer/Getty Images]