Pets are man’s best friend. In fact, according to research by the American Pet Product Association, about 68% of American households have a family member of the four-legged variety.
That’s why it’s necessary to pet-proof your home, and also your plumbing system. It doesn’t matter how lovely your pets are, if they’re left on their own, they can ruin furniture, mess up the living room, or damage your plumbing pipes.
My neighbor’s dog is a good example of a pet that likes to play with the faucets and other plumbing systems in the bathroom. You can’t begin to imagine how far these pets can do when they’re playing.
To them, they’re having fun but you’d end up spending unnecessary money on plumbing repairs. No, I’m not suggesting you harm your pet (don’t do that), but you should be prepared to put them in their place.
So let’s talk about the best ways to pet-proof your plumbing system and keep it safe:
1. Cover Pipes
Pets love to chew everything including exposed pipes. If your animal friend makes this a habit of biting through your exposed pipes, it could lead to a damage in the furnishings and home finishes like your flooring, walls, or even the facilities used to install the plumbing.
If the pipe in question is installed is an exterior one that conveys water throughout the home, then it could damage important facilities.
Consequently, the pet could incur an injury from chewing the pipe. To prevent spending money taking your pet to the vet and even repair work, cover up all the exposed pipes and wires in and around your home.
2. Use Drain Stoppers
We often give our pets a bath. It’s a good measure to keep them healthy. However, you have to cover the drain with a drain stopper or strainer (as it’s often called).
Dogs, for examples, have coarse and thick hair that sheds a lot.
The hair can shed while you’re bathing a dog and if you fail to use a drain stopper to protect your drain, then you should be ready to hire a plumber soon. Don’t clean your pet without a strainer, it’s recommended by professional plumbers.
3. Keep the Lid on the Toilet Closed
If you’re a pet owner, you know it’s common for your pet to want to drink from the toilet bowl. This is a bad habit that any pet can adopt and it’s unhealthy for you as well since you’ll be spending time with your pet.
Why is this dangerous?
Well, there’s a residue from toilet cleaners which are harmful. Also, the residue from bleaches can cause severe health disorders.
If the pet falls into the toilet, it could shed its fur and this can lead to clogging of your drains if you don’t stop it.
4. Don’t Flush the Cat Litter
Don’t be deceived by those cat litter commercials that claim they’re flushable. Instead of risking it and getting your toilet clogged, don’t flush it.
When the cat litter builds up over time, it can clog or gum up the plumbing system. To safeguard your pipes and entire system from being affected by this, it’s advisable to only flush toilet paper and waste.
Trust me, most of those pet products are not as flush-friendly as you see on TV and billboards.
5. Prevent Dogs from Digging
Dogs can be tricky and reliable at times. When properly trained, a dog knows what to do to make the owner happy. But it’s not always the case. Hence, do all you can to stop your dog(s) from digging.
When a dog digs, it can ruin the look and layout of your yard and also affect your pipes and other plumbing lines. There are homes where their sewer and water lines are just 18 inches beneath the ground.
Consequently, a little digging from your powerful and lovely dog could expose the pipes and reach the sewer pipes and damage it.
Serious plumbing problems usually occur when the sewer pipes are broken and everywhere is messed up.
At that time, a reasonable dog will run away while you face the consequences of not watching over your dog. You have to spend money to repair it.
6. Install Pressure-Balancing Valves
One of the important steps you can take to pet-proof your plumbing system is the installation of pressure-balancing valves. These Pressure balancing values for showerheads and faucets can simplify the process of bathing your pets and make it fun at the same time.
When there’s a water pressure issue, it usually affects the water temperatures in the shower each time someone flushes the toilet or runs the faucet in the kitchen or interconnected plumbing lines.
As a result of this sudden change in temperature, the water from the shower head could get really cold or hot simultaneously which is unhealthy for your pet and dangerous as well.
An expert plumber can solve this issue by simply installing pressure balancing valves. Once installed, when you’re cleaning your pet, there’s no risk and your four-legged friend will be wagging its tail in appreciation.
7. Outside Rinses
Most pets especially dogs usually get dirty rolling in the mud and whatever environment or element they perceive is conducive to their furry nature. A good way to pet-proof your plumbing system is by rinsing your dog outside. [source]
It’s not recommended to wash your dirty dog in your bathtub or bathroom floor because he or she will shed a lot of muddy, matted fur.
In the end, this fur will clamp and clogged in your drains, potentially preventing dirty water from passing through. You can prevent clogs when you bath your dog in different stages.
Start by rinsing the dog outside. This will eliminate most of the dirt and toughest clumps from their body. Next, you can use the bathroom to give your furry family member a proper bath.
If you have enough time and you’re not rushing off to work yet, allow your dog to dry first to reduce the amount of after bath cleaning you’d have to do in your house if you let your dripping pet walk through it inside your house to the bathroom.
8. Keep Plenty of Water Out
When pets are thirsty they can drink out of the toilet or any stagnant water they find. Why not protect your pet by making sure they have clean water to drink outside. When you ensure that, then you can keep them out of the toilet water.
As a rule of thumb, endeavor to top off your pet’s water bowl several times per day or at least twice.[source]
There should be a provision for a non-toilet drinking water for your pet and they’ll appreciate it.
9. Protect Your Pets from Cleaning Chemicals
There are times when pets get into your bathroom and get involved with cleaning supplies. This could cause serious health issues for your pet. You should place your bathroom cleaners out of reach (i.e., either up or behind locked cabinet door).
Don’t place your chemical drain cleaners on the floor or anywhere the pet can reach.
Remember that chemical cleaners are poisonous to pets, they can also damage your pets if they’re used in large quantities.
Above all, make sure you use pet-safe cleaners to keep your dog alive. [source]
10. Use Perfume to Keep Dogs Off Plumbing Lines
If your dogs continually distort your plumbing lines and wires, shedding hair all over the place and not making you happy, the simple solution is that doesn’t require an expensive dog therapist is this:
Use strong perfume or mixture of essential oils on and around the environment.
When your pet approaches the lines or the environment, as strong flowery smells are not friendly to dogs, they’ll not be comfortable.
These smells tend to be overpowering and unpleasant to dogs; causing them to sneeze. Try out several scents and oils to easily determine the one your dog dislikes the most.
Inasmuch as your dog is lovely and you wouldn’t want to harm him or her, there’s nothing stopping you from protecting your plumbing system from damage.
Because in the end, you’ll waste money hiring a plumber to fix the mess caused by your furry friend.
You should only hire a plumber if, at the end of the day, you were not able to fix the plumbing issue by yourself.