Here are our 5 top plumbing tips for pet owners:

For most pet owners, our little furry friends are treated like another member of the family. We love them and they love us back, but they don’t always do as they’re told. We love their playfulness and curiosity, but there are some areas we need them to stay away from.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get our pets to do what we want. So we have to do what we can to ensure they don’t create plumbing problems in and around the home.

1. Keep pet hair and fur out of the drains

If you wash your dog in the bath or shower, put a drain cover or drain strainer over the drain to prevent hair from going down the drain. Dogs lose more hair than you might think when they’re being washed. This is particularly true if you have a squirmer. 

You may not notice how much hair goes down the drain, but it can badly clog your drains and pipes. It’s easy to prevent with an inexpensive drain strainer available from your local hardware store.

It may also help to give your dog a good brush before you bathe them. This will also help remove any grass or dirt that would otherwise get washed down the drain and possibly cause a blockage.

2. Keep the toilet lid closed

Pets are curious and they probably don’t realise what we humans use our toilets for. And if they did, that probably wouldn’t stop them from investigating them anyway. Keeping the toilet lids closed in all of your bathrooms helps ensure two things.

First, it removes any risk that your dog will drop something down the toilet that could cause a toilet blockage.

Second, keeping the lid closed stops your dog from drinking the toilet water. Your toilet might have remnants of cleaning products in it, or you may use those toilet pucks that stick to the inside of the toilet. These are all toxic and you definitely don’t want your pet ingesting these chemicals.

Even if you don’t use any of these harsh cleaning products in your toilet, it’s wise not to let your pet drink from the toilet. If they do develop this habit, they may then do it at someone else’s house where there are toxic chemicals in the toilet. It’s best not to let them start the habit of drinking from or sticking their nose in the toilet. Make sure they have access to sufficient drinking water so they don’t need to go searching for it in the bathroom.

3. Keep cat litter out of your pipes

Never flush kitty litter down the toilet. Never wash it down the laundry sink. Never wash it down the outside drains. Even if a brand claims to be flushable, it’s safest not to. Many types of cat litter can corrode or damage your pipes.

Almost all types of cat litter are made of an absorbent material that expands when wet. That’s how it works, absorbing liquid. Therefore, cat litter in your pipes will expand when wet and will probably cause a blockage in your pipes and plumbing system.

In addition, cat faeces can contain harmful parasites that none of us wants in the water system. Municipal water treatment systems aren’t designed to deal with these.

Instead, scoop out waste from your cat’s litter tray and put it in the rubbish. If you want, you can first place it on a paper towel or sheet of newspaper, or put it in a plastic bag, before putting it in the rubbish

4. Protect or cover exposed pipes

Dogs and cats love to dig or claw at things. If they come across exposed pipes outside, they might cause damage. Depending on how curious your pet is, they may even dig and find buried pipes. Sometimes water or sewer lines are only a couple of feet underground. Don’t leave anything out that will tempt your pets or make them curious around pipes.

5. Check your water pressure and water temperature

Water that feels okay to you may not be comfortable for your pet. This pertains to temperature as well as water pressure.

Always test the water temperature and pressure before you start bathing your pet. Test it out on your own arm first. If it’s too hot or the pressure is too strong for you, chances are it will be for your pet also. Next, test it on one of their paws and check their reaction.

Move the water carefully to their torso next, carefully checking how they react. Never put water on your pet’s face or other sensitive parts before checking the temperature and pressure on their limbs then torso first.

If you have any questions at all, we’re always more than happy to help. At Sumich Plumbing & Drainage we want all the plumbing and drainage systems in and around your home to work smoothly. But if you ever need us at short notice, we have an emergency team of plumbers.

Also, remember to check out all of our pluming services.