A picture of a cat in the bathtub with the words, "how to pet proof your plumbing

From the minute they join your family, pets become a huge part of your life. No matter what kind of pet you have, they are a constant source of amusement, companionship, and love. Oftentimes, they are also a huge source of extra messes, but almost every pet owner will agree they are well worth it. Still, there are ways to ensure your pet doesn’t make your life too messy. Here are some tips to ensure your plumbing is pet-proof and that your pets don’t give your pipes a beating.  

Make Sure to Close Toilet Lids

Dogs, and even some cats, enjoy taking a drink from the toilet bowl. Oftentimes, this is because they are attracted to the odd smells coming from the toilet, and cats in particular enjoy the running water when the toilet is flushed. To protect them from their curiosity, close your toilet lid after using it to protect them from chemicals that may be left behind from your toilet cleaners. This also protects your smaller pets from falling into the toilet. Additionally, always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh drinking water, as this will also help discourage them from drinking out of the toilet.

Never Flush Cat Litter Down the Toilet

Do not flush cat litter down the toilet. It is tempting to think that cat waste can be disposed of in the toilet given its similar nature, but this is far from the truth. Cat litter has a strong absorbent nature which allows it to absorb and clump together after your pet urinates in the box; this same characteristic makes it extremely hazardous for your drain. Instead, kitty litter should be properly disposed of in trash bags. The only things that should ever go down your toilet’s drain are toilet paper and your business.

Place Covers Over Floor Drains

To ensure the safety of smaller pets, such as hamsters and mice, you need to put covers on all of your floor drains. Smaller pets often try to hide or may fall into a floor drain, leading to injury or, in the worst cases, death if they cannot get out. Having smaller pets being able to access drains also increases the risk of your plumbing being dismantled and sustaining damage from the pet trying to desperately get out. This can result in costly vet bills, repairs to your plumbing, and, most importantly, compromising the safety of your pet. The best option is to cover your floor drains to prevent these undesirable outcomes.

bathroom bathtub faucet

Clean Drains After Baths

Some dogs have very thick coats which can create clogs in your drain. To minimize damage to your plumbing, your drains should be properly cleaned and have hair removed from them after you give your four-legged friend a bath. Failing to do so may lead to a stubborn clog that will eventually cause water to back up and even a foul odor. Another tip to prevent hair from clogging your pipes is to use a strainer or a stopper to keep the hair from entering the drain in the first place.

Cover Piping

If you have exposed piping, make sure you cover it or make it off-limits to pets. Curiosity can lead pets to bite or scratch the pipes as they try to get in and see what’s inside. If they think the pipes contain treats, they may be especially motivated and cause a lot of damage. To avoid this, always keep pipe covers on in areas where your pets may have access to the pipes. If this is not enough to contain your particularly stubborn and adventurous pet, there are also sprays that can be used to discourage your pet from getting near the area. 

Even though our pets may sometimes give us headaches from the problems they cause with their shenanigans, they are so cute that there’s nothing to do but solve the issue and then do your best to prevent it from happening again. If you’re dealing with a clog or other pet-related plumbing issue, the Bewley Plumbing team can help. We’ll make sure that your pipes survive whatever problems your pets may cause so that you can continue to have a happy and functional home with your animal family members, no matter what they get up to. To schedule an appointment or consultation, call us today!