Can Your Pet Go Blind from the Solar Eclipse?

Live Science:  By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer

If you have plans to watch the total solar eclipse that will cross the United States on Aug. 21, you likely have a long checklist of things to do. For example, you’ll want to buy special protective eyewear and plan a way to beat traffic as hordes of people travel toward the path of totality.

But should that checklist include securing protective glasses for your pets?

Animals will probably be fine, as they don’t tend to look directly at the sun. But it doesn’t hurt to be safe and protect cats, dogs and other pets during the eclipse, according to astronomy experts. [Video: How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer]

During the Great American Total Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, the moon will pass between Earth and the sun, casting its lunar shadow across a path that extends from Oregon to South Carolina. As the moon’s shadow begins to block the sun’s light, parts of the sun’s fiery disk will continue to be visible, and can literally burn any eyes — human or otherwise — directed at it.

This condition, commonly known as eclipse blindness, happens when the sun’s powerful rays burn sensitive photoreceptor cells in the retina. “I have seen instances where the patient has eventually shown up with crescents burned into the back of the eye, and you can almost tell exactly when they looked,” Ralph Chou, professor emeritus at the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told, a sister site of Live Science.

Eclipse watchers can remove their protective eyewear only when the sun is completely hidden by the moon. For that to happen, skywatchers must be in the 70-mile-wide (112 kilometers) path of totality, and even then, totality lasts only up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds depending on the location, according to NASA.


Total Solar Eclipse to Shadow Parts of Missouri

For nearly 13 minutes on Mon., Aug. 21, 2017, Missourians in a 70-mile swath stretching catty-corner from St. Joseph in the Northeast to Cape Girardeau in the Southeast will witness the totality of the moon obscuring the sun, otherwise referred to as a total solar eclipse. Totality will last anywhere from a few seconds to 2:39 depending upon a viewer’s specific location. During that time, darkness will fall, temperatures may drop 10-15 degrees, breezes may vanish, insects will come out, stars and planets will be visible, and if one lives on a farm, the animals may head toward the barn.

When looking at the sun, safety is important.  Here’s a list of eye safety suggestions from the American Astronomical Society for viewing a solar eclipse.

This will be the first total solar eclipse to touch the United State since 1991 when one occurred in Hawaii, and the first coast-to-coast across the southern U.S. since 1918. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in the greater St. Louis area was 1442. St. Louisans can expect the next one in 2505.

Eclipse-chasers from around the world are expected to converge in St. Louis and the areas beyond as about half of both Kansas City and St. Louis lie within the patch of totality. Consider that more than 43 million people live in large metro areas outside of the totality path where St. Louis is the closest large city, making St. Louis a main destination. Hotel rooms will be at a premium during the period and travelers are encouraged to book their accommodations and travel plans in advance to ensure the best possible experience.

Viewers in St. Louis are recommended to head to parks south and southwest of the city. One notable fact is that Jefferson City is one of only four U.S. state capitals located in the totality path. The others include Salem, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; and Columbia, South Carolina.

Search for Lost Pets in the St. Louis Area

STL Lost Pets, is a collaboration of the Animal Protective Association (APA), St. Louis City Animal Care and Control, St. Louis County Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society of Missouri.
90% of lost, stray and unwanted pets in the St. Louis area end up at one of our four agencies, so if your pet is missing, there is a very good chance they could be at one of our shelters.

We hope you never lose your pet, but if you do, please visit, a collaboration of the Humane Society of Missouri, Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA), St. Louis County Animal Care and Control, and St. Louis City Animal Care and Control.

Browse the database of stray and found pets, report a missing pet and find helpful tips for bringing your lost dog or cat home.

You can also check the STL Lost Pets Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @stllostpets to maximize your search. Good luck!

Americans are pet obsessed, spending over $69 billion a year

By Jade Scipioni  Industries FOXBusinessOpens a New Window.
Dipper (Matt Libassi)

Americans’ pet addiction has been skyrocketing by the billions for nearly two decades, with early estimates saying U.S. spending statistics on pet food, gear, and vet visits could reach over $69 billion this year, according the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

And a majority of the cash—around $28.3 billion (according to 2016 numbers)— is going straight to the pet food industry. But pet owners aren’t just looking to buy any ole pet food either.

According to new research from GlobalData last month, half of all pet owners are opting for more “clean eating” options, forcing many companies to scurry to produce more and more premium food options.

Last month, supermodel Christie Brinkley told FOX Business that Nestle, who owns about 10% of the pet food market share with its Purina food brand, approached her to be a spokesperson for its new dog and cat food line formulated to help aging animals.


Marine dog with cancer gets tear-filled hero’s farewell

By Associated Press:   July 27, 2017

Hundreds of people in Michigan came together to say a tear-filled final goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.

Cena the 10-year-old black lab received a hero’s farewell Wednesday before being euthanized at the USS LST 393, a museum ship in Muskegon, and carried off in a flag-draped coffin.

Cena, who was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014. The celebration for Cena was organized by his owner, Lance Cpl. Jeff Young, who was paired with the dog in 2009 and 2010 while on a combat tour in Afghanistan and who adopted him in 2014. Cena then became DeYoung’s service dog to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

“My whole adult life I’ve had Cena,” DeYoung said. “When I was 19 overseas learning how to be responsible, I had Cena. And now I’m 27 and I’m having to say goodbye to one of the biggest pieces of my life.”

Why Dogs Shed and What to Do About It

By CarolineGolon on May. 18, 2017

Infographics By:

As pet parents know, a home with a dog is a home full of fur. It’s on every carpet or rug, in every corner, all over your clothes and maybe even in your morning coffee. While a house full of fur is a fair exchange for the loyalty and unconditional love provided by our favorite canine companions, dog shedding can become overwhelming if left unchecked. Here’s all you need to know about shedding, how to keep that fur tamed, and how to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Why Do Dogs Shed?
Dogs shed for an important reason: to get rid of old, dead fur to make room for new growth, according to This happens year-round, but some breeds shed heavily twice a year in what’s called “blowing their coat.” This typically occurs in the spring, when many dogs shed their winter coat to make way for a lighter summer coat, and again in the fall when dogs get rid of that lighter coat in favor of warmer, denser fur. And dogs that are mostly indoor dogs tend to shed more evenly throughout the year as their coat density tends to be more uniform.

Before you blame the furry tumbleweeds in your house solely on your dog, know this: Humans shed between 50 and 100 hairs every day. And we shed hair for the same reason—to get rid of old hair and make way for the new.

Not All Breeds Shed the Same
There are some dog breeds that shed more than others. Shedding is most apparent in double-coated breeds. They have a long protective overcoat as well as an insulating undercoat.


Dr. Ruth’s Top 5 Tips for a Pet Safe 4th of July

Posts by: Dr. Ruth MacPete, DVM

Dr. Ruth MacPete has some tips to help you keep your pet safe and happy this 4th of July. Every year hundreds of pets throughout the country are lost or injured during 4th of July Celebrations. Here are a few tips you can follow to help keep them safe:

1. Food hazards on the fourth of July
The 4th of July is known for apple pie and BBQ’s, but even delicious holiday food can be hazardous for your pets. Keep your pets away from hot BBQ grills that can easily burn them, especially if they are tempted by what’s cooking on the grill. Animals should never have access to chocolate or alcohol. Bones, except for those specially treated and intended for canine consumption, should also be avoided. Poultry bones can splinter and get lodged in the gastrointestinal tract. Ham and beef bones can break teeth or cause intestinal obstructions. Though tempting, and always appealing to dogs, you should avoid giving your pet leftovers. Not only can this lead to obesity and encourage the annoying habit of begging, it can cause a pancreatitis attack. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas usually caused by fatty foods. It is a serious condition that can be fatal if untreated.

2. Keep your pets indoors for the 4th of July
Though most of us consider fireworks to be the highlight of the evening, many pets are terrified of them. The bright lights and loud noises can unnerve pets and frightened animals will often escape in order to get away. Runaway pets can become lost or get hit by a car. To keep your pets safe and stress-free during a fireworks display, be sure to keep them indoors, preferably in a secure and comfortable room. Give your pet his favorite toy or a new chew toy to keep him distracted. Turning on the TV or radio can also help drown out loud and scary noises outside.

3. Talk to your veterinarian about medications
If you have a pet that becomes very stressed or agitated by fireworks, despite your best efforts, speak with your veterinarian about medications that may help. There are a number of medications available to help decrease anxiety and relax your pet. Your veterinarian will determine which medication is appropriate. You can also try an over-the-counter product such as DAP® or Feliway® to help decrease stress in your dog or cat, respectively.

2017 Summer Reading List for Dog Lovers

Summer is here, and we’re back with our annual tradition – the DogWatch Summer Reading List for Dog Lovers! This year’s round up features sled dogs, mysterious strays, desert companions, powerful noses, and more canine-friendly topics. Pick up one of these 10 great titles, or check out our previous DogWatch Summer Reading Lists, and enjoy a relaxing summer read in your favorite spot with your favorite four-legged friend by your side! (PS – Cat Lovers, we’ve got you covered, too!)

Canine Fiction


3 Misconceptions About Dog Body Language

Dogs are masters of reading our body language, but how well can you read your dog’s cues? While observing a dog’s behavior, some signals are confusing and might not mean what we think. Have you ever heard any of the following statements about dog body language?

1. “He’s friendly because he’s wagging his tail.”

Dogs wag their tails for a number of reasons. If their body is very loose or wiggly and they’re wagging their tail sideways or in circles, that’s probably a good sign that they’re friendly. An alert, dominant or aggressive dog may still wag their tail, but generally their body and the base of their tail is stiff or tense. A lowered tail that’s wagging back and forth quickly is usually a sign of a submissive dog.

2. “When a dog raises his hair, it means he’s aggressive.”

When you see a dog’s hackles, it doesn’t always mean the dog could become aggressive. If the hair on their back is raised between the shoulders and tail, the dog could be alert, excited or fearful. When the hackles are around the shoulder and extending up the back of the neck, it’s usually related to dominance or aggression. Haley raises her hackles along her back and tail area when she’s excited about meeting or playing with a new dog. Her tail will also become bristly when she’s on alert.

3. “A yawning dog is a tired dog.”

Dogs may yawn when they’re tired but sometimes they yawn when they’re stressed or when they’re trying to calm another dog. Yawning is just one of the many calming signals used by dogs in various situations.

6 Simple Tips for Exercising Your Senior Dog

Dog Checkups & Preventive Care

Once upon a time, you probably had a puppy that was as self-motivated as any human three year old— happily running in circles for no particular reason at all. And maybe at some point, as your dog aged, you were secretly (or maybe not so secretly) happy to see a bit of a decrease in his energy level. But now he’s an older dog, and you realize that he has really slowed down. To a point, that is perfectly natural.

Just like us, as our dogs enter into their senior years, they become more sedentary. Maybe they hear less and see less and just aren’t as stimulated to get up and move anymore. And maybe you think, “Well, my dog seems perfectly happy to just lie around and sleep. Why should I force him to exercise?”

The answer, of course, is that it is good for him. Just like it is good for you. Inactivity makes dogs more prone to obesity which puts them at increased risk of other serious, medical conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart disease

Unfortunately, your dog lives in the moment – that one where he is content to snooze in the sun. He’s not capable of seeing the bigger picture, but you are. That means it is your responsibility to get him up and moving.

I am not going to tell you what to do with your dog for exercise. I trust that you already know that dogs like to walk and to run and to play games like fetch and tug-of-war. And if you’ve known your dog since he was a puppy, you already know where his personal interests lie. Instead, I will give you tips about how to exercise your senior dog.