Common Water Hazards to be Aware of to Keep a Pooch Safe

Drinking from Lake

Here are some water hazards you want to watch for. Our dogs may feel they are safe but we, as their parents, should know better! Take a look:

Microbial Soup
One water-borne risk is from Giardia, a microscopic protozoal parasite that infects the intestines when a dog ingests cysts (infectious offspring) shed in another animal’s feces.

The best way to help prevent giardiasis is to ensure that your dog doesn’t drink potentially contaminated water, such as that from streams or other water sources where animals may have pooped. If you’re hiking or camping, carry fresh water for him, or filter or boil water before giving it to him. And just so you know, humans can also get Giardia, but they rarely get it from dogs.

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is a toxic bacterial stew that can cause upper respiratory problems, affect the liver and neurological system, or even kill your dog if he drinks it. Found on lakes with poor water quality, the blue-green algal blooms can resemble green paint, pea soup, or thick blue or green foam. The water may stink or look scummy. Dogs can ingest the bacteria when they drink lake water or lick themselves after swimming in contaminated water. Keep your dog out of the water if you suspect a harmful algal bloom (HAB) and rinse him thoroughly with fresh water if he hops in before you realize there’s a problem.

Cyanobacteria are most common in mid to late summer, when water temperatures are likely to be high, but they can also occur in relatively cool water, too. Some cyanobacterial toxins can remain in water for days or weeks after the algal bloom disappears, so limit your dog’s lake outings for a while if you know a bloom has occurred.

Did you ever read the book, “Marley” or see the movie? There is a scene when the dog runs into the ocean, drinks far too much salt water, and – well – gets a bad case of vomiting and diarrhea. While that is not normally something we find funny in our own dogs, it was humorous in the movie – and true to life!

We need to keep our dogs away from waters that are potentially dangerous and, in doing that, make sure you know where to find fresh water or keep that ever-present water bottle handy for your thirsty doggie!

For more information be sure to check with Care 2!

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