Pet Care Blog

Protecting Your Pets From Toxic Algae

Woody Mawhinney
CEO & Co-Founder - Pawlicy Advisor
A dog concerned about toxic algae.

In these dog days of summer, many people take their pets with them on outdoor adventures. But, pet owners need to be aware of a danger that can threaten their dogs’ lives: toxic algae blooms. A deadly species of algae is believed to have caused the recent deaths of several dogs across the United States. Several cases were reported at Texas, North Carolina, and Massachusetts lakes.

Blue-green algae is on the rise in freshwater and saltwater ponds, rivers, and lakes, especially in warm and humid climates. If you notice that the water looks cloudier, it may be contaminated, so do not let your pets drink or swim in it. Blue-green algae emits a noticeable smell. Areas near the water may also contain algae in the soil.

Even a small exposure can cause harm due to two toxins within the algae called microcystins and anatoxins, which the Centers for Disease Control named as “among the most powerful natural poisons known.” These toxins are not visible.

Signs of algae poisoning appear within an hour and can include confusion, lethargy, discoloration, tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing, according to Pets WebMD. Damage to the liver and metabolic system is also possible, and the most likely cause of death by algae poisoning. Cases have been documented in all animals, but dogs are affected most severely.

Before taking your pets to outdoor sites, check for any environmental advisories from your local Parks and Recreation department. If you have standing water in your yard, try to keep your pets away from it.

Symptoms can appear within minutes to hours. If your pet does become ill, or if you suspect any algae exposure, take action quickly. Rinse your dog off first. Consult with both a veterinarian and an animal poison control specialist immediately, so they can begin pumping toxins out of their body and treating any affected organs. Pet insurance plans with accident-illness coverage or veterinary discount programs will ensure that you get the right care, and lessen the cost of treatment when unexpected issues arise.

Do you want to find the best pet insurance?

Let's analyze your pet's breed, age, and location to find the right coverage and the best savings. Ready?

Analyze My Pet

About Pawlicy Advisor

The pet insurance marketplace endorsed by veterinarians, at Pawlicy Advisor we make buying the best pet insurance easier. By comparing personalized coverage and pricing differences we can save you a ton of money, up to 83% in some instances!

Pawlicy Advisor helping a pet parent and their dog find a great deal on insurance

Instantly Compare Pet Insurance Plans

Get Quotes


How Pet Insurance Works

How To Compare Plans

Determine If Pet Insurance Is Worth It

Determine If Wellness Plans Are Worth It

Vet Visit Costs

New Puppy Checklist

Comparison Charts

ASPCA vs. Pets Best

Pets Best vs. Embrace

Embrace vs. Pumpkin

Pumpkin vs. MetLife

More Comparison Charts

Find Your State

New Jersey





New York



More States

Dog Insurance

German Shepherd




English Bulldog

French Bulldog

Great Dane





More Breeds

Woody Mawhinney and his dog Wrigley

Woody Mawhinney
CEO & Co-Founder - Pawlicy Advisor

Woody Mawhinney, CEO and Co-Founder of Pawlicy Advisor, was relieved when his pet insurance covered his Shar Pei’s monthly prescription costs. However, many veterinarians and pet parents in his community shared with him the difficulties they faced when evaluating options. As a licensed insurance producer nationally, he launched Pawlicy Advisor as the first U.S. pet insurance marketplace actively endorsed by veterinarians, aiming to improve the pet insurance experience by providing objective analysis, more thorough comparison, and a streamlined educational experience.

More you might like

vet removing a dog lipoma
3 minute read
How Much Does it Cost to Remove a Lipoma in Dogs?
woman holding dog with unique pet name
1 minute read
Most Unique Pet Names in 2024
anxious dog shredding paper
6 minute read
Does Pet Insurance Cover Anxiety Treatment in Dogs?
anxious dog making a mess
7 minute read
Separation Anxiety in Dogs: A Pet Owner's Guide
taylor swift holding cat
4 minute read
Top 10 Taylor Swift-Themed Pet Names
couple on a picnic with dog
2 minute read
Love Unleashed: Pawlicy Studies Pets' Influence on Dating
puppy looking at a bowl of food
10 minute read
How Much To Feed A Puppy: Chart By Weight & Age
veterinarian examining ear of rottweiler at the vet
6 minute read
Preparing For Aggressive Dogs At The Vet: 7 Key Tips
beagle dog next to potty pad
5 minute read
How to Potty Train an Older Dog
old dog at vet
7 minute read
The Importance Of Regular Vet Visits For Senior Pets
4 minute read
6 Things Doctors Say To Do At Your Next Vet Appointment
cat with allergies
8 minute read
Allergies In Cats: Causes & Treatments
obese cat on stairs
8 minute read
Obesity In Cats
sick dog with bloat at the vet
12 minute read
How To Prevent Bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus) In Dogs
siamese cat on bed
5 minute read
Siamese Cat Care Guide & Breed Overview
brushing main coon cat teeth
6 minute read
How To Brush Your Cat's Teeth: 7-Step Guide
sphynx cat
8 minute read
Sphynx Cat Care Guide & Breed Overview
dog with barkuterie board
6 minute read
How To Make A Barkuterie Board For Dogs
vet examines dog tooth abscess
9 minute read
Dog Tooth Abscess: Signs & Treatment Costs
cat blood sugar levels
5 minute read
Diabetes In Pets: Biggest Risk Factors To Know
woman giving flea treatment to dog
9 minute read
How To Get Rid of Fleas On Dogs ASAP
cat with stomatitis looking at camera
7 minute read
Stomatitis In Cats: Treatment & Costs
vet brushing cats teeth
13 minute read
Cat Dental Care Tips For Pet Owners
cat with feline panleukopenia virus
7 minute read
Feline Panleukopenia Virus (Distemper): Symptoms & Risk Factors
vet inspecting dog with gum disease
10 minute read
Periodontal Disease In Dogs: Stages, Symptoms & Treatment Costs
vet performing dental cleaning on cat
7 minute read
How Much Does A Cat Dental Cleaning Cost?
cat smiling displaying teeth
5 minute read
5 Interesting Facts About Cat Teeth You Should Know
A header image for a blog about fictional dog popularity
3 minute read
The Top Trending Fictional Dog in Every U.S. State
cat throwing up food
11 minute read
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up And What Can I Do To Help?
hero image of a Boxer dog squnting his eyes without pet insurance
12 minute read
Allergies In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Costs
a hero image of a blog about why puppies throw up
8 minute read
Here's Why Your Puppy Is Throwing Up & What To Do Next
A header image for a blog about the best cities to date with your dog
8 minute read
The Best U.S. Cities to Date With Your Dog
person giving a dog probiotics
5 minute read
Probiotics for Dogs: Best Probiotics to Improve Digestion
urinary blockage in cats
6 minute read
Urinary Blockage In Cats: Signs, Treatment Costs & Prevention
cat behaviors
9 minute read
13 Bizarre Cat Behaviors You Never Understood Until Now
fading kitten syndrome
5 minute read
Fading Kitten Syndrome: What It Is, Why It Happens & What To Do
kitten training mistakes
6 minute read
7 Common Mistakes You Can Make When Training A Kitten
young kitten
4 minute read
How To Tell How Old A Kitten Is (And Why It Matters)
adopting a cat
5 minute read
7 Things You Need To Know Before Getting A New Kitten
sneezing kitten
7 minute read
Why Is My Kitten Sneezing & What Can I Do? Ask A Vet
can cats get colds
4 minute read
Can Cats Get Colds? Here's Everything You Need To Know
gingivitis in cats
8 minute read
Gingivitis In Cats: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Cost
how to treat kitten fleas
6 minute read
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Kittens
kitten parasites
8 minute read
Common Parasites In Kittens & Cats
how to deworm cats
6 minute read
Kitten Deworming Schedule: When, Why & How To Deworm Cats
why is my cat meowing so much
10 minute read
Why Your Cat Is Meowing So Much & What You Can Do About It
how to take care of a kitten
16 minute read
How To Take Care Of A Kitten
new kitten checklist
7 minute read
New Kitten Checklist: What To Buy For Kittens In 2022
cost to spay a cat
4 minute read
How Much Does It Cost To Spay A Cat? Everything You Need To Know
how to socialize a kitten
7 minute read
How To Socialize A Kitten
Back to Blog
A family with pets that are insured by Pawlicy Advisor
Pawlicy Advisor is the leading independent marketplace for finding the best coverage for your pet at the lowest rate.
Join 2,438,795+ insured dogs and cats across the US.
Get a Quote
Our pet insurance partners
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Logo
Pets Best Pet Insurance Logo
Embrace Pet Insurance Logo
Pumpkin Pet Insurance Logo
MetLife Pet Insurance Logo
Prudent Pet Insurance Logo