Protect Pets from Harmful Algal Blooms

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Harmful algal blooms can make people and animals sick

green algae

During warm weather, tiny plant-like organisms — algae and cyanobacteria — are more likely to grow out of control in rivers, lakes, and oceans. These overgrowths, or “blooms,” sometimes look like foam, scum, mats, or paint on the surface and can look or smell bad. They can even make the water appear different colors, including green, red, brown, or blue. Some of these blooms are called harmful algal blooms because they contain toxins or become very dense. Harmful algal blooms can make people and animals sick or be harmful to the environment.

When in doubt, stay out!

  • Pets can get very sick and die within hours after swallowing toxins made by harmful algal blooms in bodies of water like lakes and rivers.
  • Do not let your pets drink, play, or swim in water that has signs of a harmful algal bloom, such as discolored or scummy water.
  • Keep pets from eating dead animals and mats of algae.

If your pet drinks or goes in water with an algal bloom:

When in doubt, keep pets out banner
  • Immediately wash them off with tap water after swimming so they don’t lick algae off their fur.
  • Call a veterinarian if your pet seems sick and tell them about the algae.