Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, is toxic to people and pets and should be avoided. Before swimming, always take an overall look at water conditions. Conditions can change quickly, and posted signs may not always reflect real-time water quality.
Blue-green algae can appear blue-green, reddish-purple, or brown, and cause the water to be murky. View photos of blue-green algae.
When environmental conditions are just right, blue-green algae can grow very quickly in number. Most species are buoyant and will float to the surface, where they form scum layers or floating mats.
Dogs that come into contact with algal blooms can get sick and sometimes die because their bodies are smaller and they tend to swallow a lot of water.
If your dog has been in the water near an algae bloom, call your vet if they seem ill afterwards.
There are no quick or easy remedies for the control of blue-green algae once they appear in a lake or pond. Reducing the amount of nutrients that wash into our lakes and ponds will eventually reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms, but it may take a long time and a lot of community involvement to effectively change the nutrient concentrations in a water body.
You can help reduce nutrient concentrations by promoting the following practices: