According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 56 percent of American households owned a pet in 2011. If you are the proud owner of a dog or a cat, you know how much time and effort it requires to protect your pets from the hazards found throughout your home. However, there is another potential issue that can harm both your pet and your pocketbook: your plumbing. Here are a few simple tips to help you pet-proof your home's plumbing:
Bath Time Tips
If you have ever bathed your dog or cat, you know how exhausting this process can be – especially if you do not protect your drain. This is why it is vital to install a drain strainer before you take on this task again.
According to Today's Homeowner, there are a variety of drain strainers available and most will cost anywhere from $10 to $60. The majority of these strainers can easily be installed in an afternoon and you won't require any specialized tools.
However, if you don't feel comfortable, go ahead and hire a plumber to install the strainer in your bathtub.
Additionally, after you've give your dog or cat a bath, it is important to clean out the strainer. This will ensure that any built-up fur won't cause a nasty clog. You can also hire a plumber to perform drain cleaning services if you find a lot of pet hair has clogged your drains.
Your Pets and Your Toilet
In a pinch, your toilet is a great way for your dogs and cats to grab a quick drink of water. Unfortunately, in addition to turning your stomach, your dogs and cats can potentially become ill from the chemical used to clean the bowl.
Keeping the lid down is one solution, but if your clever dog or cat has found a way to open it, consider installing a childproof toilet lid lock. Providing your pets with a constant source of clean water will also help prevent them from seeking a quick drink out of the toilet.
Additionally, if you have a cat and purchase litter labeled "flushable," it is important to toss the used litter in the trash, instead. Sometimes your cat will consume foods that they cannot digest, including bones. These items can cause a serious clog or damage to your plumbing.
Protecting Your Indoor and Outdoor Pipes
Your curious dog loves to chew and dig – which can cause some serious damage to your indoor and outdoor plumbing. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your plumbing doesn't become your dog's favorite new chew toy.
On the inside of your home, make sure that your dog cannot access any of your exposed plumbing. If you have exposed pipes, arrange furniture in-front of them, or cover the pipes with insulation. This will make it much more difficult for your curious dog to damage your pipes.
If your dog spends their afternoons digging up your backyard, it is possible they will unintentionally expose your underground plumbing. To prevent this, contact your local utility company to learn where the water lines are found on your property. Once this is determined, create a designated area for your dog to dig and play in your backyard. If necessary, train your dog to remain in a safe area in your backyard. Installing a fence to ensure your dog doesn't accidentally wander over to the restricted area and dig up your underground pipes is another option.
From chewing on exposed pipes to causing a serious clog in your bathtub, there are many ways your pets can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Luckily, there are several simple changes and upgrades you can make to ensure both your pets and your pipes are safe.