July is typically the beginning of the warmer summer weather in southern Idaho, and with current forecasts calling for increased temperatures in the coming days, many of you will be heading to area lakes and ponds soon to float, fish and swim. It's also the time of year people need to be careful to watch shorelines for toxic buildup that can pose huge heath risks, particularly for dogs.

Now that we are a week into the month of July, we can expect the summer heat to intensify over the next several weeks. The average temperature for July in Twin Falls is about 90 degrees. It's a big month for travel, as many begin researching and planning trips that involve spending time in the water.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has plenty of information on toxic algae blooms that begin to form this time of year. Several blooms were reported throughout the southern region of Idaho in 2019, including confirmed bacteria buildup in the Magic Reservoir in early August of last year. Idaho public health officials positively identified blooms in the waters of Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and Hells Canyon Reservoir in the summer of 2019 as well.

These blooms are easy to identify, as they resemble greenish-blue paint splotches that sit atop the water and are usually found on the shore. If accidentally ingested, the blooms can be life threatening to pets and cause short-term digestive issues in humans.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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