Do pets need protection during the solar eclipse?

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The solar eclipse on Monday is going to both exciting and also odd for many.

For two minutes and 40 seconds, the sky darkens during the middle of the day. That darkness could throw off humans and also animals.

As people rush to the store to buy last-minute eclipse glasses, some are asking, "do I need to protect my pet from eye damage?"

"Retinal damage in animals only occurs if they are actually directly looking at the sun, but most animals aren't going to look up," said Dr. Peter Morresey from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. "They are going to be looking down and grazing."

Vets say while it probably is not necessary, if pet owners are worried, they can simply bring their pet inside during the eclipse.

However, wildlife may be seen acting differently. Daytime birds may go to bed and nighttime birds may become more active. In addition, people could hear crickets, katydids, and cicadas calling during the eclipse. We are told spiders may even start to take down their webs.

"They are going to say, oh it must be time to go to bed or time to get up," said Michael Lorton, Parks and Recreation Superintendent. "The sun is really important in how they live their lives, so it should be pretty cool in the grand scheme of things."

Because a total solar eclipse is rare, there is little research available on how it impacts plants and animals.

The California Academy of Sciences spearheaded a project called "Life Responds" where eclipse watchers can document what they see. If you are interested in recording your observations, you can download the app "iNaturalist" and click on the "Life Responds" project.

READ MORE: Countdown to solar eclipse

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