A WARNING has been issued over the dangers of blue-green algae and pet owners are being urged to look out for signs of poisoning.
Dog owners are being warned about a substance similar to mash potato that can kill a pet in as little as 24 hours.
Experts at Kennel Store say blue-green algae has been discovered in the UK and they have offered advice on how to keep dogs safe.
A spokesperson said: "Dogs love cooling down in bodies of water like rivers and lakes, particularly on hotter days.
“But it can be hazardous for our dogs to go swimming in waters when bacteria such as blue-green algae is around."
Blooms have been sighted in Cumbria, London, Berkshire, Somerset and Northern Ireland.
Although not officially confirmed, it is believed a dog died from the toxic algae in August last year at Woodchester Park near Stroud.
The dog, a beloved Staffy, with no known health issues, died just 20 minutes after getting out of the water at the lake.
At the time a warning was issued by The National Trust, which owns the grounds, urging visitors to keep away from the water and for dog owners to keep their pets on leads.
A similar warning was repeated by Stroud District Council.
A National Trust spokesperson previously said: “Blue-green algae can appear in the lakes at Woodchester Park during the summer and is commonly found in inland water bodies around the UK.
“We have displayed signage around the affected lake to warn visitors about the algae.
“We’re asking visitors to keep away from the water and to keep dogs on lead.”
Blue-green algae is a term which describes a group of bacteria, called cyanobacteria.
Whilst algae is in the name, it isn’t actually algae but a collective term for the bacteria as it looks like algae when it is clumped together in waters.