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Local Veterinarian Reminds Pet Owners to be Mindful This Summer

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With the weather heating up veterinarians are reminding pet owners how to keep their furry friends healthy this summer.

People in Traverse City were walking their dogs through downtown on a hot Tuesday afternoon. They say they take breaks, bring water and cool off in the bay, but Veterinarian Craig Brakeman says even that may not be enough.


“Even if they’re playing down by the lake and everything and they got the cool water from the lake. They can still get overheated because they can’t sweat,” Brakeman explains.

Brakeman is the owner of the Cherry Capital Pet Hospital in Grawn. A vet for 38 years, he says people need to be mindful of their pets this summer.

“The normal temperature for a dog is around 101, 102. And the one we saw today came in at 107.5. It doesn’t take long to get that high that fast. Especially in certain breeds,” Brakeman says. “If you’ve got a dog with a crushed-in face. A bulldog, a boxer, Boston Terrier, any of those dogs. They can’t breath as it is, then you put them out in this heat and they don’t have anyway to get rid of that. They’ll over heat fast.”

It was 85-degrees Tuesday afternoon in Traverse City, making the asphalt right around 135-degrees.

“It’s so hot it’s so humid. It’s just not worth it. Their little feet — it’s not going to take long for them to burn,” Brakeman states.

He says dog owners should walk their dogs while the sun is low. He says pet owners should make sure they have access to shade, water, and if they’re breathing heavily, put them in front of a fan to cool down.

“I tell people to put cool water on them, not cold water. If you put ice cold water on them then the blood vessels will contract. So, you’re not getting the blood flowing as well, and you’re not going to cool as well,” Brakeman explains. “The pets are there for us to love, but we’ve got to be smart about it and especially this time of the year.”

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