In the wake of the recent news stories highlighting the dangers of the blue-green algae to both people and pets alike, it’s best to arm yourself with the facts.
Blue-green algae is actually a naturally occurring group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria. However, the bacteria is more commonly referred to as blue-green algae due to its algae-like appearance.
Blue-green algae is generally present in stagnant bodies of fresh water, such as ponds and lakes. Algal blooms occur more frequently during extended periods of high heat and low rain fall (usually at the end of summer and sometimes through the beginning of fall). The blooms are often intensified by agriculture run-off, which increases the amount of nutrients present in the water.
Due to the tendency to colonize in warm and stagnant fresh water, it is unlikely that blue-green algae would be present on flowing rivers. However, as always, be aware of the warning signs and the river conditions before you or your pup jump in.
There are some simple precautions you can take to make sure you and your canine friend are swimming safely. Check out this article for some easy tips.