According to the ASPCA, 44 percent of all households in the US own a dog and more than one-third have a cat. If you're one of the many pet owners, you know the complete joy that a furry friend can bring to your family. But along with the love and companionship come a few challenges. Keeping your home safe and mess-free when you have pets isn't always easy. Even so, it is completely doable.
Plumbing and pets don't mix. Whether it's the fur, the litter, or safety issues, understanding the connection between your home's plumbing system and your dogs or cats is absolutely important for every pet owner. Take a look at how your pet can affect the plumbing and how your home's plumbing can impact your pet.
An afternoon of muddy outdoor play leaves your dog in serious need of a bath. Putting your pup in the bathtub or bathing them in your laundry room sink are both easy options. Even though the tub or sink may fit your pup perfectly, they aren't made to handle the heavy hair that comes off your canine companion.
Between the falling fur, dirt, and debris that your dog sheds during their bath, you're likely looking at a major clog either right now or down the road. Bath after bath will only add to the backup potential, leaving more fur and debris in the drain.
Instead of bathing your pet in your bathtub or sink, purchase a separate movable tub to use. Take the tub outdoors or pick a room that can get wet. Fill the tub with water, bathe your pet, and dump the dirty waste outside. Never use a drain (such as your shower, sink, or toilet) to empty the tub. This gets you the same result that cleaning your dog in the plumbing fixture would.
If you absolutely have to use your home's bathtub or sink to bathe your pup, insert a hair strainer on top of the drain. This can catch the fur and debris before it gets into your pipes.
Hot Water Safety
You wouldn't let your child play near or in your home's hot water. The same safety idea should apply to your pet. A curious cat or a dog looking for an adventure could chew, lick, or even accidentally turn on a hot water pipe or faucet. This could result in a serious burn, depending on the water temperature.
While supervision is an easy way to keep your pet away from plumbing dangers, you can also reduce burn risks by turning down the setting on the hot water heater. Water heaters don't have a static temperature that you can't change. Lower the temperature to 125 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Some cat litter is specifically labeled as flushable. But does that really mean that you can flush it? If you don't see a claim that you can flush the litter, never put it in the toilet. It may clump and cause clogs. When it comes to so-called flushable litter, take extreme caution. This litter may still stick together, causing clumps that clog the drain, get into the sewer, or result in major plumbing problems.
It's best to toss the litter into the trash. Bagging it up is the preferable method of disposal. Never put cat litter down the sink or bathtub drain. Again, this will cause clumps that can expand and clog your pipes.
Some pet parents choose to toilet train their cats. This type of pet potty shouldn't cause any major problems - as long as you avoid adding litter to your bathroom's plumbing fixtures.
Do you have pet-related plumbing problems? Contact Rockdale Plumbing & Drain, Inc., for more information.