Plumbing Hacks for Pet People II
Your pets are your world! And while our furry balls of fun bring endless joy to our lives, they can cause big problems for our homes — especially our plumbing. What parts of your plumbing are your pets putting at risk, and how can you prevent these problems? Find out below.
Bath Time Blues
You take pride in your pets, so you do your part to keep them looking (and smelling) good. But bathing them regularly can push your plumbing (and your patience) to its limits. Making a few small changes to your bath time routine can make this messy task much easier for you and your pet. Pets have more hair than people, and its fine texture can often slip through standard drain catchers. So invest in a drain catcher that is made especially for pet hair. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a hand sprayer to minimize water waste from spilling and splashing — especially if your pet tends to squirm. Test the temperature of your pet’s bath water by spraying the nozzle on your forearm until it runs lukewarm. And when weather permits, bathe them outside!
Did we mention that pets shed? Even short-haired dogs and cats can leave behind a lot of hair, which you’re sure to find when you go to wash their bed or favorite blanket. And throwing them into the washing machine is basically the same as draining their unstrained bath water — with a lot of fur going down the drain. If you notice accumulating hair on your pet’s bed or blanket, lint roll it before washing it. It takes a few extra minutes, but your pet (and your pipes) will thank you.
Puppies and kittens are curious creatures that often wander into small spaces they can’t get out of. Small animals are especially at risk for getting hurt or caught in drains, a frequently forgotten pet hazard. You can keep your pets safe and sound by simply covering all of the low-level drains in your home.
While it’s very tempting to flush cat litter down the toilet, the consequences usually outweigh the convenience. And despite what its label may claim, “flushable” cat litter is not safe for your plumbing. Due to its moisture-absorbing qualities, cat litter can expand by as much as 15 times its original volume while settles along the inside of your pipes, causing some serious clogs in the process! To prevent this problem, simply throw your cat litter into a trashcan when it’s time to be changed. And while we’re talking toilets, remember to keep your toilet lid closed! Thirsty pets often resort to drinking from the toilet when they’ve emptied their own drinking bowls, but may accidentally ingest residue that has been left behind from chemical cleaning products. Try to check your pet’s drinking bowl at least twice a day to keep them hydrated the right way.
Sewer Line Sabotage
Dogs love to dig! And if they start pawing around near your sewer lines, you could be coming home to a very smelly surprise. Sewer lines are sometimes installed as shallow as two feet below the surface of your lawn, so lay some chicken wire or a few large rocks under the mulch in your yard to discourage your dog from tunneling too deep. Keep in mind that dogs often dig out of boredom or anxiety, so make sure that your dog gets the chance to work off some energy with daily exercise. You can invest in a few fun toys such as plush puzzles or treat balls to keep them busy while you’re away. Or consider building a sandbox where they can dig all they want!
Indoor pipes also need protection from pets. Dogs and cats often chew to explore their surroundings, relieve frustration or develop their teeth. And where pipes are left exposed, they might see a new chew toy. To prevent your pets from sinking their teeth into your pipes, wrap them in a no-chew bandage, which carries a rough texture and bitter taste that turns dogs off. Or block your dog from reaching them with heavy furniture or appliances. Make sure your pet has a few toys that satisfy their need to chew. Wishbones, teething rings, or rope tugs are all great options for promoting positive chewing behavior.
If it’s already too late for any of these preventative tips, call ARS/Rescue Rooter at 1-800-277-9400 for plumbing service, installation and repair!