Blue Green Algae a Concern?

I am located in Iowa, and have found one of the only ways to get my goldens good exercise this time of year is to be around water constantly, or else they get too warm.
I've been reading more and more about Blue Green Algae and how it can basically kill dogs within minutes if exposed.

How do you all avoid this? It doesn't sound like there's an easy "eye test" or anything like that to confirm it doesn't exist. Most ponds around here have some sort of algae from now until fall, is it best just to avoid these ponds altogether? I certainly don't want to put my dogs in harms way, but I would really have to re-think my summer exercise/training if I basically need to avoid any water with algae..
 

Munster927

Active member
I try and do a visual check and if a body of water looks really nasty, then I pass. Usually (not always) the water will be a blue green color (hence the name). If you can, moving water or larger lakes usually are best. Your neighborhood run off ponds usually are main culprits of blue green algae.

I try not to get to paranoid about it. Same with other unseen things in the dog world, snakes and other critters that can cause harm that we can't see or know is there. You'll go crazy and never get out with them if we tried to avoid every danger. Just be smart about it.
 
I try and look for ponds and lakes that have life in them in the form of fish, frogs, or turtles.
Not sure if that is a good theory though,
sort of a redneck litmus test.
 
It seems like there's very few resources and a lot of unknowns that make it overwhelming to think about. The danger of something like this scares me a heck of a lot more than things in my control that I can see (like dog getting hit by a car, heat exhaustion, etc.).

Also, how in the heck are you supposed to exercise your dogs in 80+ degree heat without having them in or around water almost constantly? My dogs can hunt all day when it's -10 or 40 degrees, but in the heat of summer they are done quick.
 

remy3424

Active member
My GSP has never been a fan of water, so no worry about the algae for me. You are likely right to have concerns. It maybe not right, but I have never pushed my dog with exercise outside of season. I never run my dog in "cover" outside of season, I just don't need the birds messed with. I have a large lot and he used to blast around the yard...getting too old for much of that now.
 
Remy - Agreed with not messing with the birds much in the offseason. I do have the luxury of a nice slough across from my house that is very much so good pheasant habitat but just doesn't hold birds. The dogs enjoy just running through there, chasing ducks, or hunting for muskrats in the water, etc., and I don't have to worry about disrupting any nesting pheasants.

My older golden retriever is about 6 and puts on a decent amount of weight if not actively exercised (she'll just lay around and sleep all day without any incidental exercise if not). I've also found my 4.5 month old puppy to be much more well-behaved when tired, particularly with me working from home. I also think its important to get the young dogs used to running through some thick stuff similar to what we will see in the fall, and even getting used to doing things like crossing cricks, etc., so come this fall I don't have to deal with any issues when hunting.
 
Here in WI, the dnr has set aside some areas for year round dog training. Nice for keeping the dog conditioned. Also have a couple local areas with water that are dog friendly. Get out early in the day before the heat!
 
I agree about off season conditioning- I keep my dogs conditioned all year long. I don’t agree with running/exposing them to wild birds this time of year. Especially when they are sitting on eggs or have little ones.
 
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