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Avoiding Negative Pet Impact on Your SLC Plumbing

While we all love the pets many of us keep around the home, from dogs and cats to certain other less common animals, it's important to ensure these companions aren't creating any issues for important home systems. One possible example, if you're not careful, is some ways your pets may negatively impact your plumbing system.

At My Buddy the Plumber, not only are we here to offer a variety of plumbing repair and related services, from drain cleaning and sewer line assistance to several areas of emergency plumbing throughout Salt Lake City, we also offer general expertise that keeps our clients' plumbing systems in good working order throughout the year. We've seen the very worst examples of pets who have created issues within their owners' plumbing systems, and we'll provide you with all the basic expertise you need to avoid these concerns. Here are some of the most common ways your pets may impact your plumbing system, plus some simple tips on how to avoid these risks.

avoiding pet impact plumbing

Pet Hair and Drain Clogs

Perhaps the most common major issue people run into with their pets' hair is it can lead to clogs in the sewer system. Some animals, like dogs who love to get dirty outdoors on a regular basis, are more likely to end up with particularly thick or matted hair that won't break down fast enough within your plumbing system. This means it may sit there, slowly building up and blocking your drain system further on down the line.

This risk is possible at a variety of drain areas within a given home, but the most common area where pet hair might be likely to contribute towards an issue is within your shower drain. That's due to the fact that it tends to collect dirt and grime at a higher rate than other areas, but if you find yourself dealing with regular issues, try having your pet groomed more often to see if this reduces any issues. In addition, if you clean or groom your pet in the shower, you should strongly consider moving this process to somewhere outside the home.

If this doesn't work, consider contacting a professional who can run various tests of your home's sewer line to determine if there are more significant issues. If so, they may be able to recommend the right solution for you.

Another area where pet hair might cause problems is within your washing machine, especially if you tend to use this space for grooming your pet. While this may reduce the amount of hair that winds up elsewhere in your home, it's also worth considering that these mats will likely catch on the fine mesh screens within your machine and cause an unexpected blockage during a heavy-duty cycle.

Dropping Items in the Toilet

Pets can be like children in many ways, including their desire to imitate what we do on a regular basis. Some of them may even notice their owners using the toilet regularly, and decide it's a toy they'd like to play with.

Unfortunately, that means you may find your pet dropping just about anything into the toilet bowl at some point or another. As these items often float for a while before sinking, this is more of an issue if they drop something within the tank reservoir itself.

However, many pets tend to drop items into the bowl itself. This can include toys, food or just about anything else they shouldn't be playing with within your home's plumbing system.

While most of these objects tend to float long enough for you to fish them out of the toilet, they'll often lead to an unexpected blockage inside your pipes. To avoid this risk, make sure you don't leave any objects on the floor anywhere near your toilet, and consider picking up your pet's toys at least once per week to reduce any risks.

Pet Accidents in the Sink or Shower

Some animals may be more likely to go inside the sink or shower when they need to relieve themselves, particularly if their owners have set up a pet door that leads to this space. Unfortunately, some animals may also have an issue with their plumbing system and will urinate in these areas as well.

If your pet is having issues urinating for one reason or another, you should consult with your veterinarian about how to resolve this problem before it becomes worse. In addition, if you find your pet frequently defecating in the sink, shower or other areas within your home's plumbing system, it could be due to an issue and you should consult with a professional to determine how best to resolve this problem if possible.

Never Flush Cat Litter!

One pet-related plumbing mistake that isn't the fault of your animal at all, but rather of some pet owners: Flushing cat litter down the toilet. While cat litter is marked as being flushable, you should never actually do this due to how it can cause problems for your home's entire plumbing system. That's because these small granules are designed to absorb water and swell up on the inside of your drain line, which can cause some clogging issues if too much builds up.

In addition, the very nature of cat litter means it may contain some bacteria within that can be harmful to your home's pipes and sink as a whole. If your pet is incontinent or you find they've urinated on something in your home, make sure to dispose of those items appropriately rather than flushing them down the toilet.

For more on the ways your pets may interfere with your plumbing and how to avoid them, or to learn about any of our other plumbing or HVAC services in SLC, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.

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