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Pet owners issued warning over cats and dogs ahead of the solar eclipse today

Pet owners issued warning over cats and dogs ahead of the solar eclipse today

Anyone with a four-legged friend has been given some important advice

Solar eclipses are an exciting time for people all over the globe to gather round and star-gaze to catch the astronomical phenomenon.

Today (8 April), the total solar eclipse - which sees the sun being completely blocked by the moon - is set to span from Mexico to the very eastern tip of Canada.

A solar eclipse is taking place today (8 April).
Matt Anderson Photography / Getty Images

Now, while it may be less dramatic across the pond, in the UK a partial eclipse will be visible in some parts of the country.

Ahead of the big event today, pet owners have been issued with an urgent warning over cats and dogs.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking some or all of the Sun's rays from reaching the Earth.

The rare cosmic event requires the Sun, the Moon and the Earth to be in just the right alignment for the Moon to cast a shadow on our planet.

And, when this happens, the Moon can cast two types of shadows; a partial solar eclipse, which covers only part of the Sun and the more dramatic total solar eclipse.

Pet owners have been issued with a warning ahead of the astronomical event.
Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

However, anyone with a four-legged friend should be mindful of their furry critters today with experts sharing some advice on how an eclipse may impact them.

Dr Katie Krebs, veterinarian and professor at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said: "Most animals will be overall unaffected by the eclipse, but pet owners may notice brief periods of confusion, and dogs and cats may exhibit fear and confusion."

The expert also added that pets may hide, howl, pace or pant during the eclipse and as the sky gets darker while some might start getting into their night-time routine early.

Some may also starting exhibiting some signs of anxiety - kind of like how they may get when there are fireworks or a thunderstorm.

However, you needn't fret too much as it's said that the average indoor dog or cat is likely not to be affected.

Plus, you also don't need to worry about your cat or dog damaging their eyes by looking up at the sun during the eclipse as Erica Cartmill, a professor of anthropology, animal behaviour and cognitive science at Indiana University, told People they’re not likely to be that interested in it.

Apparently, your pets won't be that interested in staring up at the sun.
Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images

She explained: "I think our companion animals are more interested in us, especially dogs, than anything else."

American Kennel Club Chief Veterinary Officer Jerry Klein also told CBS: "Dogs know that if something hurts them, they probably shouldn't do it. So left to their own devices, dogs are probably not going to stare at the sun."

In the States, the total eclipse will begin at 1.40pm CDT in Texas before making its way through to to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and finally Maine, ending at 3.34pm EDT there.

But, if you're hoping to catch the partial eclipse in the UK, the best viewing time will be between 7.52pm and 8.51pm, with it set to be visible in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

Featured Image Credit: Baac3nes/Getty Images/ROB KERR/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: UK News, News, Animals, Dog, Space, Science, Cats, Advice