Did your dog recently develop serious health issues? These issues may have come after frolicking or swimming in algae-filled water. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is becoming more prevalent in recent years. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are appearing in lakes, rivers, and ponds all throughout the state of Florida. Avoiding them is the best way to keep your dog safe from their harmful effects.
Here are 5 handy tips to help keep your dog safe from toxic algae:
Learn How to Recognize Algae Before You Enter the Water
One of the best ways to keep your dog safe from the harmful effects of algae is to recognize what algae-infested waters look like. Harmful algae blooms can manifest themselves in a number of colors, shapes, and patterns.
These can include streaks that look like parallel lines or clumps that look like dots. Other types may resemble blue, green or white paint spills. Occasionally, the water may turn neon or pea soup green. If the water in front of you looks soupy or oily, or if you see a layer of scum forming on the surface, keep your pets and family members well away from it.
Make Sure You Dispose Properly of Organic Materials
If you live near a lake, pond, or river, you need to make sure that you are getting rid of organic materials in a safe fashion. For example, if you have leaves, grass, pine cones, or other materials left over after yard work, it's a good idea to bag them up and remove them a safe distance from the lake.
Bagging and properly disposing of organic material will keep it from getting swept into nearby waterways. This will keep them from causing the spread of toxic algae that could cause great harm to your pets and family members.
Let a Natural Buffer Grow Up Between Your Property and Water
If you happen to live by the side of a pond, lake, or river, you can allow one natural step to take place without much cultivation. You can let nature establish a buffer between your property and the water. All you need to do is simply let nature take its course by allowing a small buffer zone of vegetation to grow up at the water's edge. This will be a great place for kids and dogs to play in.
If the vegetation is native and flowering, all the better. You can allow it to grow to about 18 inches and roughly three to five feet from the edge of the water. This natural buffer will act as a collecting point for pet waste, sediment, and other organic materials. It will keep them from flowing into the water and causing the growth of harmful algae. The less harmful algae, the safer your dog and kids will be.
Aerate the Water Around You to Keep it Free of Algae
You can't aerate an entire river or large lake. However, you can take a few steps to keep the portion of the water nearest to your property free from harmful algae buildup. You can buy floating fountains or submersed diffused aerators to accomplish this task.
These products are available to buy from the web or from nearby suppliers. They don't cost a great deal and are very easy to install and make use of. Once installed, you'll have safe, algae-free water for your kids and pets to enjoy.
Make Sure to Do a Water Quality Test When Necessary
One of the best things that you can do to keep your pets and family safe from harmful algae is to perform a periodic water quality test. Taking regular water quality tests will enable you to determine whether or not your pond, lake, or river is safe to swim in. Best of all, you'll be able to spot oncoming problems long before they have a chance to get completely out of hand.
This is not a task that only a qualified scientist can perform on your behalf. You can do a quick search on the web in order to buy a water quality testing kit for a reasonable fee. These kits come with handy instructions that are easy to follow. For a small sum, you can make the water around you much safer for your pets and family to enjoy.
Contact Crosscreek Environmental for More Info
Crosscreek Environmental is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of lakes, ponds, and natural wetlands in the state of Florida. Our mission is to provide practical and actionable solutions on a wide variety of environmental issues, including erosion control, shoreline maintenance, lake and pond management, and many more. Contact us at Crosscreek Environmental for more expert tips on how to keep your dog and family safe in Florida's waterways.