MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Fourth of July is officially upon us, meaning fireworks are starting to sell and celebrations are kicking off. The first of the celebrations will start Friday and continue through the weekend.

It’s no secret that household pets get a little more anxious during this time of year and can get spooked by the loud booming of the fireworks. WKRG News 5 spoke with employees at the Mobile SPCA about what you can do and what not to do to keep your pets calm.

What to do to keep your pets calm

  • Go for a long walk before the fireworks start so your dog will be exhausted. This allows for their brain to get tired and they won’t be able to focus on the fireworks.
  • Make a lot of noise in your house. Turn the TV on, turn the air condition on, turn fans on, anything that makes noise will drown out the sound of the fireworks.
  • Distract your dog by getting him to do things like shake, sit, rollover, etc. This will help them to not focus on the fireworks.
  • Light a candle. Dogs are sensitive to smells so turning on a wax melter or lighting a candle can help the dog relax more.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. This can help your dog from running off and, if they do get outside, this will help you catch them easier.
  • Make sure your dog has a form of identification in case they get out.
  • Thundershirts can help your dog feel more secure.
  • All fences, gates and doggy doors should be closed and locked to help keep your pet inside.

What not to do to keep your pet calm

  • Don’t pick your dog up and hold them. This reinforces the idea that the noise is bad.
  • Don’t make them think they are terrified. This means don’t squeeze them and don’t hug them. This also reinforces the idea that they should be scared of the sounds.

The Mobile SPCA said on July 5th they always receive many calls about lost and runaway dogs because of the noise. If your dog is lost or you find a dog wandering the streets, the SPCA has a Facebook page that you can post on.