Safety Issues


Do you have Children? Do you have a new dog or pup? This video is very helpful to making it safe and fun for both.  

WARNING: Keep medications off the counter!

We know Airedales are sneaky and clever and they tend to be counter surfers.  Even when we don't perceive a problem they can create one.  Above is a picture of the damage my 5-year old Bronson has done.  This basket has sat on my counter for years.  It contains both dogs' medications.  I was out of town and he must have gotten mad so he got in major trouble.  He consumed major doses of anti inflammatory and several others.  As a result has been in the hospital 5 days so far.  His liver has been effected, we just hope he can recover.   His liver enzymes are suppose to be around 100, his are over 6,000.  No one has ever seen them that high.  Leave it to an Airedale to get that bad and survive.  He has shown the true Airedale spirit and is not only alive but lively.  People look at him and think he is fine.  How an Airedale can fool even the best of them.

Please, do another check of your home and Airedale proof your house, even if your boy or girl has never gotten in trouble before.  For Airedales, there is always a first.

Give your dales a hug and a kiss and be glad for every wonderful day they give you.

Mary Wright

UPDATE:  This was written two weeks ago and Bronson is slowly recovering.  At last report, his liver enzymes were 1,300.  Bronson was lucky.

Keeping Your New Rescue Safe

Over the holidays we heard a few horror stories about Airedale escapes that prompted us to write this article of suggestions.  These suggestions can apply to anyone who brings a new dog into their family, but they are especially helpful for anyone adopting our rescues.

Please remember that even though you and your new rescue might seem to be madly in love with each other, your rescue is not yet familiar with their new home and may not feel like this is their new home for some time yet.  You need to be especially alert and take precautions so as not to give your new rescue the chance to bolt.  Nothing would be more horrifying than to see your new friend escape only to run into the road and be hit by a car.

Your placement contract most likely has wording such as "you must keep your rescue Airedale on a leash at all times when not in the confines of a fenced yard."  We say this for a reason.  Airedales have a high prey drive and even though they seem trustworthy, they might not listen if something tempting crosses their path.  Also, you are adopting an Airedale that may or may not have come with some baggage.  We don't want to see your heart broken because your new friend gets spooked and is lost or even would break our hearts as well.

Here are the suggestions.

  • If you are taking your dog from the house to the car or from the car to the house, plan on having your dog on a leash.  Do not try to hold an Airedale by the collar to accomplish this.  If an Airedale is spooked or sees something interesting like a squirrel, you most likely will not be able to keep them from bolting.
  • Along these same lines, once you get your Airedale into the car, tie the leash to something such as a tie down or one of the hand holds.  This is especially true of a new Airedale.  He or she is not yet familiar with you or you with them and they could bolt out a door when you open it.  For additional safety reasons, if you attach the leash in such a manner that the dog cannot crawl into the front seat or try to get into your lap, they will not become a hazard while driving.
  • Post a sign on the doors at your house for the first month or so for several reasons.  Family and friends that come over may not be aware that you have a new dog and just casually open the door allowing a dog to bolt out to chase after a cat or squirrel...or just bolt because they are spooked.  The sign serves as a reminder to visitors (and other family members) to be careful around the door.  Click here for a pdf file of a sign you can use.  For those involved in rescue, please consider giving this sign to your new adopters.  It just might save your rescue's life!
  • Make extra sure that your new rescue's collar is properly adjusted and that they have not only your tag attached, but the rescue tag as well.  You might even consider using a choke chain during a walk or an outing that is removed when you get back home.  This would prevent your new rescue from backing out of their collar.  Remember, if they back out of their collar, that usually means they have no tags to help reunite them with you.

Take a little extra time to be safe...and you should avoid any potential problems.

This circulated through various e-mail lists last week.  While many of us know about most of these potentially dangerous foods for pets, this is a good refresher.  If you were not aware, please take the time to read.

Toxic and Dangerous Foods for Pets

By Elizabeth Mason Woods for WebVet

Pets and poison is a growing concern among pet owners.  Household poisons are not the only thing that can harm your pets.  Many common household foods and drugs can also be toxic to your pets.  The following are foods that can be toxic or poisonous to your pets.

Avocados contain a toxin known as persin.  Persin is found in various parts of the avocado and avocado trees (eg, leaves, rind, etc).  This toxin is known mostly to cause vomiting and diarrhea.  Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.

Not just beer…all alcohol.  Depending on how much alcohol your animal ingests, it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, difficulty breathing, coma, and possible death.

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that is toxic to pets.  If enough is ingested, your animal can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine; the ASPCA advises dog owners to avoid using this fertilizer around unsupervised dogs, and dogs with indiscriminate eating habits since it can be toxic if ingested.

Chocolate is the most common candy that is toxic to pets, especially to dogs, cats and ferrets.  Any candy containing the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets.

Caffeine is generally highly toxic to pets, having negative effects on both the cardiac and nervous systems.  Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and possible death.

Grapes and raisins
An unknown toxin in grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and ultimately lead to death.  Symptoms of this poisoning can include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat.

An unknown toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems of your pet.  Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness.   Particularly avoid Macadamia nuts.

Onions, along with garlic and chives, are all part of the same species of plant—the Allium species.  Allium species plants contain sulfur compounds that can cause stomach irritation and possibly result in damage to red blood cells causing anemia. This is referred to as Allium poisoning.

Some human medicines
While some human medications are prescribed for pets by veterinarians, others can be highly toxic and fatal.  Acetaminophen, which is contained in Tylenol and other similar products, for example, can be fatal to cats.  Always consult with your veterinarian before giving human medication to a pet.

Xylitol (artificial sugar)
Xylitol is a sweetener used in many products including mouthwash, chewing gum, toothpaste, and various foods.  Because it is toxic to pets, products containing xylitol should not be given to your dog or cat.

Lilly Plants
All portions of the lilly plant are poisonous to cats when ingested.  Just a nibble of the leaf, petal or stem can cause irreversible kidney failure despite extensive medical treatment.

Other foods that can be toxic to your pet:

  • Apple Seeds
  • Chives (see "onions," above)
  • Fruit pits, especially those of apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries
  • Garlic (see "onions" above)
  • Moldy foods
  • Mustard seeds
  • Potato leaves and stems
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea
  • Tomato leaves and stems

Toxic Household Items

  • Antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri
  • PolyUrethane glue
  • Pennies
  • Pine-oil cleaners
For more information and additional links, visit

Because of National Airedale Rescue's involvement with lost and found Airedales, we sometimes hear things that are worthwhile passing on.

In regards to retractable leashes, earlier this year on the 4th of July, we reported an Airedale as lost when he bolted during fireworks, pulling the retractable leash completely out of the owner's hand. Fortunately the dog was found several days later but the retractable leash was wrapped around the dog and it was severely dehydrated. Had the dog not been found when it was, it may not have survived. We all feared that the dog would become tangled in something and die.

During a discussion of this lost dog, another rescue person added this comment:

"Several years ago, a neighbor got a new dog from a shelter….he weighed about 10 pounds. They had him on a retractable leash and were proudly showing him off to me, at which point the little dog went round and round my leg at the ankle and cut my ankle to bits! Several really deep cuts that took weeks to heal. I was lucky I didn’t get an infection from those deep cuts...almost down to the tendon that is just above your heel.

What most people also don’t realize with those leads is that there is NO control over the dog at all.  If you tried to wrap your hand around the lead like we do with the leather (or even the wider nylon), you would cut your hand to ribbons."

While retractable leashes may have their place, we encourage you to make an informed decision prior to using one for your Airedale.  Below are a couple of Web pages with additional information.

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Airedale Information

The ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee maintains and updates a network of contacts across the country to aid in the re-homing of purebred Airedale Terriers who are lost or abandoned. These contacts are volunteers located in several states, as well as Canada, working to help Airedales in need, adopting them to permanent loving homes.