Paws in the City: How to keep your pets cool? Pasadena Humane has some hot tips


Dobro (A508111) is a fun 5-year-old dog! He is mostly calm and relaxed but still loves to show off his puppy side in our play yard! He likes to run from person to person to get attention (and treats), then bounces off to find another friend. Dobro walks well on leash and appears to be housebroken. He has started to learn his commands, and with the right motivation (a tasty treat), he will soon be a star. To learn more about adopting Dobro or one of our many pets available for adoption, go to

While August is typically Pasadena’s hottest month, September is not far behind. September highs can top 100 degrees, and we can see days in the 90s well into October. So, if you thought we were almost done with the heat, think again.

As much as we humans are looking forward to some relief from one of the hottest summers on record, our pets need it, too.

This particularly hot summer has been challenging for my dog Sueshi. She’s been avoiding long walks, preferring the AC to the outdoors.

Tha’s why we’re looking forward to the launch of our new dog training workshop at Pasadena Humane called “Fun Out of the Sun.” Pups and their parents will learn entertaining indoor games including tricks and beginning scent work.

Indoor training is one of many great ways to keep cool while bonding with your pets. Here are some more tips to help dogs and cats beat the heat:


Early Morning Walks: The best time to take your dog out for a stroll is before the heat of the day. If the ground feels too hot to your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. Dogs can get dangerous burns on their paw pads and suffer from heat stroke.

Frozen Treats: Give your pup a freezer snack. Try homemade peanut butter berry banana treats or opt for packaged doggie ice cream. At our shelter, volunteers hand out “pupsicles” made of frozen water, kibble and high-value treats like hot dogs or jerky.

Go on a Sniffari: Sniffing for 10-15 minutes will entertain and tire out most dogs as if they had been on an hour-long walk. You can use boxes, snuffle mats, egg cartons or rolled-up towels. Place them around your home and let your dog discover kibble, treats or even novel scents like catnip or chamomile.


Chill Out: If you are without AC on a hot day, try setting up a cool zone in a shaded area of your home. Use fans, cooling mats or even put down a damp towel or tee shirt to help your cat stay comfortable. Move their food and water close by.

Play Time: Your kitty still needs exercise, even when it’s hot. Just schedule play during the cooler times of the day, like morning and evening. You can even try freezing catnip toys. This helps preserve the freshness of catnip while also providing enrichment for your cat.

Hydration Stations: Provide plenty of water bowls around your home to ensure your cat always has easy access to water. To encourage drinking, experiment with different types of bowls or consider running water like a cat fountain. Try adding an ice cube to their water for something new and cool!

If you think it’s too hot to adopt a pet, think again! Summer is the busiest time of year for animal shelters in our area and across the country.

This summer, we installed a giant tarp over the play yard to help the hundreds of dogs and volunteers at Pasadena Humane enjoy some shaded outdoor time. Plastic pools for splashing are a big hit with the pups. Still, the shelter is no substitute for a home.

Please consider helping a shelter dog or cat by adopting. You can view the many pets available for adoption at

This Saturday, Aug. 19, stop by our “Clear the Shelters” free adoption event with NBC4 and Subaru. The adoption fee for all available pets will be waived from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Adopted pets will be spayed/neutered, microchipped and up to date on vaccines. You will spend some time outdoors at this event, so please plan accordingly for the heat.


Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on August 18, 2023.