By Anita Ginsburg
Pets are a wonderful addition to any home, but if you aren’t careful, they can also be the source of some expensive plumbing repairs. Keep these tips in mind to prevent your cat or dog from damaging your home’s pipes:
Keep Pet Hair Out of the Drains
Your furry friend will need a bath from time to time. However, it’s best to do this outside whenever possible. Besides preventing your bathroom from becoming a mess, this also keeps pet hair out of the drains. Shedding fur can quickly clog your plumbing. If your pet spends a lot of time outside, there may be a lot of dirt or mud on them. This muck can mix with the pet hair and create a tough clog.
Don’t Flush Cat Litter
Some cat litter claims to be safe to flush down the toilet. The truth is that any kind of cat litter is better disposed of in the garbage. Flushing cat litter can create a blockage that is almost as hard as concrete.
Cover Exposed Pipes
Cats and dogs are curious creatures, especially when they’re young. They may chew on things just to see what they are, and that includes any exposed plumbing in and around your house. Cover up exposed plumbing to keep your curious pets from biting into it. Chewing on pipes could cause costly plumbing repairs, water damage and possible pet injuries.
Be Aware of Outside Plumbing
Some dogs love to dig. If your dog is an active digger, monitor where they dig in your yard. Some pipes leading to your home may not be buried as deep as you think. It’s possible for your dog to dig down to underground plumbing. If they reach the buried pipes in your yard, they could cause some serious damage.
Consider having a plumbing professional come and mark where your lines are located if your dog digs a lot. If you can, fence those areas off so that your dog can’t reach them.
Provide Plenty of Water
Make sure your pets have plenty of water. If their water bowl is empty, they may go looking for another place to drink. Many pets end up drinking out of the toilet. You’ll want to avoid that because the products used to clean the toilet could be toxic for them.
If they can’t get water from their bowl or the toilet, they may try to get it from where they can smell or sense water, and that could lead them back to chewing on your pipes. Make sure their water bowls stay full to avoid those problems.
Your pet could potentially cause serious damage to your pipes—or to themselves. Avoid these plumbing problems and protect your pets with a few simple preventive measures!
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colorado. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. If your pet damages your home’s pipes or causes a clog, she recommends talking to a plumbing professional for help as soon as possible. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.