How will your pets react to the eclipse?

DENVER -- One of the things that could be fun to watch during the solar eclipse is how your pets react when the moon blocks the sun late Monday morning.

The animal experts at Colorado State University point out that darkness cues certain routines for pets.

Your pet's response to the totality phase of the event could be nothing more than heading to bed, or where ever they sleep at night. But if your pet is nervous or fearful when things like storms hit, the following tips from the folks at CSU might help for the total eclipse.

  • Leave the animal indoors with curtains or blinds closed and a light on. Your pet will barely notice anything happened.
  • Leave your pet at home if you're planning on heading out for the best view.
  • Keep dogs on a leash if you do take them outside with you. The change in the environment, even though it'll be brief, could cause your pet to behave in unexpected ways.
  • Don't encourage pets to face skyward. Animals don't usually gaze at the sky on normal days. But dogs will following pointing and the direction humans gaze. Pets would need eye protection just like ours to safely look at the sun. It would be better to bring or toy or something else to distract them and keep them looking down for those few minutes of totality.
  • Cover bird cages. They're especially sensitive to light cues and they could turn loud when sudden darkness and sudden light happens.

Peggy Pennington watches the annular eclipse with her dogs Sasha (R) and Foxy Lady (L), in Kanarraville, Utah May 20 2012. Photo credit ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages

Share your animal observations from the eclipse

It has been decades since the last total eclipse, and scientists hope to learn and record much more about how pets and wild animals behave during this event.

If you encounter wildlife during the eclipse, you can take part in a citizen science project at iNaturalist.org, or by downloading the iNaturalist app on iTunes or Google Play on your phone.

Ring-tailed lemurs look on as children view a solar eclipse at the Japan Monkey Center in Inuyama city in Aichi prefecture, central Japan on May 21, 2012. Photo credit JIJI PRESS/AFP/GettyImages