This is the time of year that we start to see blue-green algae begin to bloom and start floating around area lakes and ponds. It's this same floating material that is toxic to dogs, and if they ingest any it could mean the worst-case scenario for your four-legged friend.


WARNING!! Do not let your dogs or other animals drink water out of Fountain Lake, especially near Katherine Island. This type of algae Is deadly to your pets!

Posted by Mary Volkman on Tuesday, June 22, 2021


A post created by a friend of mine shows plumes of the algae beginning to show up on Fountain Lake in Albert Lea. Spotting the algae in one lake doesn't mean that other nearby lakes have the same problem, but seeing photos like the ones shared by Mary Volkman, brings it to the forefront of your thoughts as you look for ways to keep you and your pets cool when we get hot weather like what is expected today and the rest of the week.

So what are blue-green algae? According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, it isn't an algae at all but a "bacteria called cyanobacteria." The PCA also adds on their website for dog owners that:

"Pets, especially dogs, are susceptible to harmful algae because they are relatively small and tend to swallow more water while swimming and playing (e.g., retrieving a ball from the water). Dogs may ingest algae if they lick their coats after leaving the water."

Some ways to keep your pet safe this summer in Minnesota are:

  • Don't let them swim or drink where there are noticeable algae in the water or scum on the shore.
  • If they swam in water that could have harmful algae, rinse them off with fresh water immediately. Don't let them lick their fur.

While the blue-green algae blooms can't be stopped they can be made smaller by us doing our part and cutting back on fertilizer and making sure we aren't leaving grass clippings in the street to be washed into our area lakes and ponds.

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