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Plumbing Hacks for Pet People

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Pets and plumbing don't always mix. Here are a few tips to protect both!

Bath time tips

Human hair has nothing on animal hair when it comes to clogging drains. It may be shorter, but the sheer quantity of it may be more than your plumbing can handle. When possible, it's best to try to avoid bathing furry friends in your sink or tub. If that's not an option, try these tips for minimizing the risk of clogs:

  • Brush your pet thoroughly before bathing. This will pick up a lot of loose and already-shed fur that could otherwise end up in your pipes.

  • Pre-rinse especially muddy animals. If your dog has been digging, his fur could be carrying some substantial grit that doesn't belong in your plumbing.

  • Use a cover on your drain that's made for catching pet hair. Your regular drain strainer may not be sufficient, since pet fur may be finer than human hair.

  • Install a hand sprayer, if you don't already have one. Better control of the water = a faster, better bath = less water waste.

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The scoop on poop

While flushable cat litter and dog waste bags may sound like an attractive convenience, they might not be the best choice for your toilet plumbing. Oversized clumps, over-filled bags, low-flow flushes, septic systems, pre-existing plumbing faults—the various combinations could potentially factor into a messy situation. Why risk it?

Hopefully it goes without saying that you should never flush substrate from small animal habitats or newspaper from birdcages!

Chewing hazards

You never know what may strike a pet’s fancy when it comes to nervous or boredom-based chewing. Walls, door frames, shoes, carpet—they’re all common targets, so don't imagine for a moment that your sprinklers, hoses, refrigerator water lines and washing machine tubing are exempt. Make sure they are safely tucked away, and if you find evidence of damage, try spraying with bitter apple. If you still can't keep your pets from chewing, you may need to restrict them from that part of the house or yard.

Found these tips too late? Call ARS®/Rescue Rooter® at 1-800-277-9400 for plumbing service, installation and repair!

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