Can your dog or cat go blind during the eclipse? Here’s what NASA says

Worried about your pets during the solar eclipse? Experts say there’s no need to outfit your dogs and cats with eclipse glasses.

“It’s no different than any other day,” said Angela Speck, co-chair of the National Solar Eclipse Task Force, in an Aug. 21 NASA media briefing. “On a normal day your pets don’t try to look at the sun and therefore don’t damage their eyes, so on this day they’re not going to do it either.”

The sun doesn’t become more dangerous on the day of the eclipse. Warnings are only being issued because people are more likely to want to look at the sun.

Rather than looking at the sun, many animals such as birds and cattle might start preparing for bedtime as the eclipse occurs, making them think it’s dusk.

Patrick Pirotte, optometrist at Child & Family Eyecare in Wichita, said that animal eyes are nearly identical to human eyes, but animals have basic reflexes that would make them never look directly at the sun.

Some people are still taking precautions, however. Indian Hills Animal Clinic plans to keep its daycare dogs inside during the eclipse.

Katherine Burgess: 316-268-6400, @KathsBurgess