Every dog owner loves to see their pet’s swim. However, if you find your dog swimming in a pond or lake that looks green or has an unusual odor, you may need to quickly pull them out of there. This is because around this time of year, there is cyanobacteria growth in ponds. These can be toxic to both humans and animals.
The toxins are not as dangerous when you just come into contact with them, but if your puppy ingests them, swallows some water or even licks their fur after exiting the pond they could be in trouble.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these bacteria tend to grow in warm and slow-moving water. Therefore, it is unlikely you will find it growing in a river. They are also more likely to occur in areas where there are nutrient sources around them, these can include farms and even septic tank overflows.
Outside of cyanobacterial blooms, many ponds might also have growths in dinoflagellates and diatoms which can also be toxic.
Checking to see if the water is toxic is not as easy as you might have hoped. Green-looking water, foam scum, algae, and an unnatural odour can all be common signs of toxic blooms. This is why if you find any of those to be true about the ponds you are visiting it would be best to keep your dog from swimming in them.
If your dog has swum in a potentially toxic pond or lake already then try to take them in for an emergency vet visit to make sure that all is okay.