The biggest mistake dog owners make on the 4th of July

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(KXAN) — There are two kinds of people. People who love 4th of July fireworks — and people who have dogs. Okay, there might be some overlap, but for a lot of dog owners, the prospect of comforting a frightened dog all night long takes some of the shine off the rockets’ red glare.

Dr. John Faught, Chief Medical Officer at Firehouse Animal Health Center in Westlake says the biggest mistake dog owners make is waiting until the fireworks start. He says if you give your dog medication, it’s best to do it an hour before the booming begins.

Dog soaks up the sun in Zilker Park. Photo by John Dabkovich

“We know that when pets are given medications after they’re wound up, they tend to have less effect,” says Faught.

Faught says it’s okay to give your dog over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl or melatonin, but he says those drugs only make your dog drowsy, they don’t treat the anxiety. Faught says he usually uses medication as a last resort.

Faught also recommends a trick used by parents to help babies sleep — using white noise to drown out the booms and bangs. You can tune a radio to static or download a white noise app for your phone.

If your dog likes to hide in the closet, Faught recommends putting their bed and some toys in there along with the radio.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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