If you're a pet owner in New York, you should know that toxic algae has invaded several NYC parks. Dogs, in particular, are susceptible to the algae, and can collapse or die suddenly after swallowing the contaminated water or even licking it off their paws.

The Parks Department confirmed that the green-blue blooms of toxic algae, which contain cyanobacteria, have been found in lakes and ponds in three major parks in the city. That includes Turtle Pond and Harlem Meer in Central Park, The Lake in Central Park, the pond in Morningside Park, and the large pond of Prospect Park.

Many factors influence algae blooms, including high nutrients, stagnant water, high temperatures, and low oxygen. While small blooms have been found in NYC parks regularly in recent years, it's apparently worse this year because of climate change and the intensity of storms.

"Algae is a natural occurrence that blooms heavily in warm weather and sunlight. The chemistry of the water is high in phosphorous which encourages algae growth. It dissipates on its own when the chemistry balances," Megan Moriarty, a spokesperson from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, told Gothamist. "When enjoying fresh water features in city parks, it is important to try to avoid contact with any algae and keep pets on leashes and do not allow them to enter or drink from lakes and ponds unless in areas specifically designated for such activities."

City park officials will be checking suspicious algae growth for potential toxins at least every two weeks on Mondays.

You can see a map of all the locations the algae has been spotted so far in the state. Earlier this month, the Times reported that Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey was filled with cyanobacteria "in quantities never before recorded," driving swimmers and water skiiers away from the normally bustling lake.

When humans come in contact with the algae it can cause skin and eye irritation and asthma-like symptoms; if ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, seizures and breathing problems. You can get more information about how to treat exposure to the algae here.