Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Pet & Your Plumbing System

May 1, 2024 | Pets, Blockage, Clog, Drain, Drain Screen, Maintenance, Pet Safety, Plumbing Safety, Plumbing System, Preventative Care

Celebrate National Pet Month with us! Naturally, our pets are integral members of our families. If you are a pet owner, you are likely well aware that pets can require considerable care. Even pets that require minimal maintenance demand a certain level of home upkeep. Furthermore, one often overlooked aspect of pet ownership is their potential impact on our plumbing systems. Join your trusted Five Star Columbus Plumbing professionals as we get into the specifics of pet and plumbing safety! 

Consider Pet Grooming   

Ensuring your pets are well-groomed is crucial for maintaining cleanliness in your home and safeguarding against pests such as ticks and fleas. Nevertheless, grooming your pets comes with its own set of challenges, particularly for your plumbing system. Here are some tips to lessen the impact on your plumbing system. 

Baths: Giving your pet a bath at home not only effectively controls odors but also ensures their coat remains healthy. But doing it yourself can come with its own plumbing mishaps due to fur and potential clogs in the tub.  

  1. Installation of a hand-held showerhead can help make for a more seamless pet bathing experience. So, if you don’t have one already, consider having one installed. 
  1. Utilize a drain screen over your bathtub or shower drain to efficiently capture the washed-off fur and prevent drain blockages.  

Fur Brushing: Regular brushing of your pet is essential for mitigating shedding and reducing the accumulation of hair throughout your home, notably in your plumbing system.  

  1. Using the appropriate brush for your pet’s specific hair type will help ease this process. Moreover, for optimal results and to minimize indoor hair dispersal, if you can, aim to perform grooming activities outdoors when possible. 
  1. For those with long-haired pets, we recommend incorporating a bi-weekly brushing regimen. This not only contributes to the health of your pet’s cur coat but also alleviates any unnecessary stress to your plumbing system during bath time. 

Consider Pet Food & Pet Waste Disposal   

Pet Food: One thing to note is that washing dry pet food (kibble) down your kitchen sink using the garbage disposal is definitely NOT recommended. This is because dry pet food swells when it gets wet, which will potentially lead to severe clogs in your plumbing system. On top of that, when the wet food eventually dries, it hardens, exacerbating the blockage issue even more. The most effective solution is to simply discard unused pet food in your trash bin to avoid these complications.  

Cat Litter: Dealing with pet waste is an inevitable aspect of pet ownership, yet the method of disposal can significantly affect your home’s plumbing system. Believe it or not, one common misconception is that it’s okay to flush kitty litter down the toilet. However, this practice is ill-advised. Most kitty litter is not designed to dissolve in water, which can lead to severe blockages in your plumbing system. 

Although there is some kitty litter that is marketed as “flushable,” it’s wise to avoid flushing cat litter altogether to safeguard your plumbing system’s health. While “flushable cat litter” is stated to be biodegradable, such litter decomposes very slowly. This means that it can lead to a gradual buildup of clogs, with the undissolved clumps of used litter accumulating in your system. The potential harm to your plumbing—not to mention the risk of incurring messy and costly repairs—far outweighs the convenience—and we just don’t think it’s worth it. 

Consider Pet Safety Tips   

Digging: Be cautious with pets who have a penchant for digging. We know—dogs will be dogs, and we’re here for it! But as a homeowner, it’s still wise to keep an eye out on your adventurous pup as they might dig too close to your home’s foundation or close to buried pipelines. Of course, we want to help you protect the integrity of your plumbing system, but this tip is two-fold as it also protects the safety of your pet.  

Toilet Water: If you have a particularly thirsty pet, you might know the pain of constantly finding your beloved furry family member drinking straight out of your toilet bowl. Keep in mind that although this may seem harmless (albeit a bit gross), this can be a major health hazard to your pet. Products such as toilet tabs, toilet bowl stamps, rim hangers, and chemical cleaners are formulated to ensure the cleanliness and freshness of your toilet, yet they contain harsh chemicals that absolutely pose a threat to your pet’s health. To safeguard your pet’s well-being, it is advisable to keep the toilet lid closed when not in use and to consider the installation of a child-proof lock for persistent pets. 

It’s important to ensure the well-being of furry family members as well as our plumbing system. With the right tips, a little preventative maintenance and proper upkeep you can achieve both. For additional tips on maintaining your home and plumbing system, we invite you to explore our comprehensive collection of blog posts! Should you have further inquiries or wish to arrange a consultation for a specific plumbing concern, our team of experts stands happy and ready to assist you. 

You can call Five Star Columbus Plumbing today at (614) 401-8086 or schedule an appointment online by clicking here