It's summertime, which means trips to the lake and taking Fido to enjoy the water.

However recently, stories have been released about dogs becoming ill or even passing away due to contact with blue-green algae, the blooms of which are often found in freshwater lakes.

According to the New York Times, "Algal blooms tend to thrive in high temperatures and after heavy rains carry fertilizer runoff and sewage into waterways." Sewage? Yeah, get your pup out of there.

A couple of days ago, another story made headlines: one about a North Carolina woman who took her three dogs to a local pond, and hours later, they all passed away due to contact with toxic algae. CNN reports that exposure to blue-green algae can lead to death in dogs within 15 minutes of exposure, but how do we know which waters are safe and which aren't?

The Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association says "when in doubt, stay out"...so, avoid contact when there is "a surface skim of algae concentrated near shore".

With the weather getting hotter, blue-green algae blooms are more common, but we want to keep your pets and family safe from the toxins this year. Click on this document to learn more about Colorado's concentration, or maybe this year, just turn on the sprinklers for your pup instead.