Toxic algae poses a serious threat to pet health.As summer sets in, many of you may be planning to take your dogs with you on vacation. However, if your vacation plans involve a visit to Texas’ waterways, you will want to bone up on the possible threat of toxic algae and how it can impact your pet’s health.

Understanding toxic algae is essential to pets and people safely co-existing with these primitive lifeforms, and Northpark Animal Hospital is here to help you do so.  

What Are the Odds?

Toxic algae has been harming humans and their animals for a long time. In fact, the first documentation of this occurrence was in Australia in 1878. When conditions are just right, algae can grow out of control, reaching toxic levels. While only about 200 of the thousands of species are toxic, it can be difficult to know which are dangerous until it is too late.

Protecting Your Pets from Toxic Algae

So, how can you protect your pets (and family) from toxic algae?

Being cognizant of its presence can go a long way towards coexisting peacefully with this amazing but sometimes-scary organism.

If you find yourself in an area prone to algae, please keep these pet safety pointers in mind:

  • Do not allow pets to swim in water where an algae infestation is present, unless you have checked with Texas Parks and Wildlife to ensure that the algae is non-toxic
  • Discourage pets from drinking out of puddles or other standing water, especially if algae is present, and be sure to bring plenty of fresh water along with you when outdoors
  • Remove algae from backyard ponds, if small enough to do so
  • Use fertilizer sparingly and responsibly
  • Fence off access to bodies of water where algae thrives
  • Call us immediately if you suspect your pet may have had exposure to an algae bloom
  • Report algae blooms when you see them

Your best course is to avoid places where algae exists when possible. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, and respecting her is often the best bet. Please contact us for more information about toxic algae.