Local pet experts are divided Friday over whether animals should wear protective eye wear during Monday's solar eclipse.
The conversation began following a Facebook statement released by SOCKS (Save Our Cats and Kittens) answering the community's "many" questions about if protective eye wear in necessary for animals.
"In short, the answer is 'NO,'" SOCKS said in the statement.
In the Facebook post, SOCKS also attached a photo stating it's false that all animals should be kept inside and also false that animals can suffer the same retinal damage as humans, up to an including blindness.
Daniel Brown, Florida animal ophthalmologist, said, however, animals should be kept inside during the event and animals would receive retinal damage if they stared at the sun. He said, however, it's extremely unlikely any animal would look up at the eclipse.
"It's always better to be safe than sorry because we don't want them looking up at it," Brown said. "Honestly, animals aren't going to look up at it. They aren't worried about the eclipse."
Brown said his concern lies instead with how animals may react from seeing human excitement or the sudden light change.
"Some animals will react to the change of the eclipse, so it may increase their stress," he said. "Keep animals inside for safety. I'd hate for them to escape or get into trouble."
Veterinarian Jack Wagner said he believes there is no way to predict if an animal, especially a dog, would look up at the eclipse.
"I think if a lot of people are looking up, there's no way to tell where the dogs would look," he said. "Dogs tend to be really interested in what we're doing."
Wagner said he is in support of the animals wearing protective glasses if outside, but he suggests keeping them indoors.
"Eye wear would be nice, but it would be difficult to keep eye wear on the animal," Wagner said. "Try to keep them in a house or a shelter."
Brown and Wagner both urged horse owners to keep their animals stabled and away from the sun Monday.
Brown said horses are more at risk to react negatively to the light change.
"As far as safety for the eyes, I do agree horses should be watched closely and kept indoors," Brown said. "Horses in the field will be more at risk."