Anyone who’s ever raised a puppy or kitten can attest that, despite their miniature size and innocent demeanor, pets can be surprisingly destructive. They can tear pillows to shreds, chew shoes apart, and stain carpets forever. But, regardless of their behavior, we love them anyway.
Nevertheless, pet owners should make an effort to pet-proof their plumbing, for the sake of their wallet and their furry friends’ safety.
Use Drain Stoppers
Pets, big fluffy dogs, in particular, shed a lot of fur. When owners bathe their pets, all that loose fur goes down the drain, potentially causing a clog. Using a drain stopper, blocker, or guard to prevent hair from funneling down the shower drain during bath time is a great way to protect pipes. Additionally, brushing pets before placing them in the bathtub reduces the amount of loose fur and dirt that could potentially clog the drain.
Don’t Flush Kitty Litter
Never dispose of cat litter by flushing it; instead, scoop into a trash bag and throw it away. Many cat litter brands claim to be flushable, but doing so will only result in a clogged toilet — not to mention expose owners to the harmful toxoplasma parasites that may reside in cat waste.
Close Toilet Lids
Many pets have a (slightly disconcerting) vice for quenching their thirst with toilet water, rather than with clean water from the bowl you paid to have emblazoned with their name. While this peculiar behavior can be fun to see depicted in movies, drinking toilet water can actually be harmful to a pet’s health — exposing them to all manner of bacteria and parasites. For this reason, it’s best to finally take your mother’s advice and remember to close the toilet’s lid after each use.
Keep An Eye On Where They Dig
There are a plethora of dog breeds who love to dig. Unfortunately, our overly-zealous little archaeologists may occasionally excavate something we’d rather keep buried — pipes. Uncovered outdoor pipes have an increased risk of bursting, as they’re exposed to the elements and harsh weather conditions. Burst pipes can be a difficult and expensive problem to fix — so, if possible, try to train dogs not to dig in the yard. At the very least, keep a watchful eye on where fido’s doing his digging.
Cover Floor Drains
Pets such as hamsters, mice, kittens, and puppies are just tiny enough to fall through open drains. This can lead to damaged pipes and, worse yet, injury to pets. Protect your pets as well as the home’s pipes by covering any open floor drains.
Conceal Exposed Piping
Pets will chew just about anything they can get their mouth around, including exposed pipes around the house, such as those below sinks. Not only is it bad for their teeth, but if a pet manages to puncture an old pipe and spring a leak, it could cause water damage. If you’ve got a pet that likes to chew on pipes, use a childproof cabinet lock to prevent them from accessing the area underneath the sink.