Millions of people are expected to be waiting for the Solar Eclipse that will be appreciated this December 14 at 13:02 hrs. mainland Chile. And animals will also be affected in one way or another, either as a result of the natural phenomenon or by our actions. For this reason, the Veterinary Medical College (Colmevet) gives some tips to enjoy the phenomenon without generating problems in the fauna and with our pets.
«Throughout history solar eclipses have been a source of curiosity and research associated with the changes we can observe on our planet and the different beings that make up it, the impacts or behavioral changes of wildlife in these events are not entirely studied, in general species tend to behave as if it were night , only abruptly at the end of the eclipse begin as if it were a new day. This can be very stressful in the behavior of animals during this day,» says Diego Peñaloza, Colmevet spokesman and wildlife expert.
In this sense, some of the findings could include the change of arthropod activities such as spider disarmament of cobwebs, at the beginning of the eclipse, and an assembly of their network already at the end of the event as a species. Also, animals with active nocturnal behaviors such as bats will come out of their burrows to look for food, which transforms into a rapid post-eclipse return. Similar situation could occur with amphibians, which mostly have nocturnal habits, so it would not be strange to start hearing them vocalize unlike birds that would tend to prepare for sleep, these mentioned behaviors would cease at the end of the eclipse which would create confusion that it was dawning again.
Behaviors could also be seen in grazing animals, seeing that the light begins to dim, they could set out on their way to shelter in a safe place, but as they begin the journey and, once the sun shines brightly again, they will set aside their path and re-forage normally.
What about pets?
Veterinary doctors agree that the effects on our pets will be given rather by our actions and not by the few minutes that the phenomenon lasts. In this way, Paula Ramírez-Huenchullan, director of the Regional Council of La Araucanía de Colmevet, an area where the eclipse will be observed 100%, recommends taking care with the transfer of pets, which can generally increase stress.
«Guardians should be calm about the eclipse, it should not cause problems for their pets in the physiological or behavioral, so our recommendation for those who move to the Araucanía, is rather to maintain responsible tenure, because reaching an unknown place can lead to stress. The reason, do not subject them to crowds, have them registered in the pet register with their microchip, wear a leash and bring them their usual food. In addition, to remember the measures of pandemic sanitary, maintaining social distance and washing hands and legs of our pets if we have walks,» says Ramírez-Huenchullan.
As Viviana Valenzuela, director of the Responsible Pet Tenure Commission of the Veterinary Medical College, complements, «If we notice that our animals look really uncomfortable at this event, with greater anxiety, vocalization or excess barking, hyperactivity or nervousness, we must avoid walks at that time, put special music for dogs and cats, there are lists available in pet tunes, offer them products for veterinary use to soothe them as , for example, scientific aromatherapy spray or diffusers with lavender as a natural anxiolytic, can also be offered palpable snacks in addition to caresses and massages and, in case of any doubt consult with your veterinary doctor», he points out.
On effects on the vision of our pets, Valenzuela recalls that «dogs and cats generally have an aversion to the bright light emitted by the sun, it causes them a disconfort which is enough to nullify the curiosity they might have to look at it directly. However, in the face of unexpected action, remember that the damage to the eyesight is the same as in people, so, to avoid consequences, it is advisable to leave them at home in a calm place and not walk them during the eclipse.»
Tips for the eclipse
Your pet shouldn’t react with fear or particularly change their behavior.
Changes could be observed in species that condition their activity day or night. For example, birds, bats, insects. But because it’s a short-lived event, they should be fleeting and subtle.
Don’t encourage your pet to observe the eclipse, its eyes can be damaged just like yours.
Avoid going to crowded areas with your pets to witness the eclipse. Doing so could make them nervous.
If you think your dog or cat may get nervous, then be sure to leave it under supervision or offer it a safe area where it feels well guarded.
Don’t forget that being a responsible tutor is ensuring your pet’s physical and emotional well-being.
In the face of any questions consult with your veterinary doctor and remember that we are in pandemic, so we must maintain the health measures of social distance, washing your pet’s legs after a walk. And in your case, besides, I use a mask.