How satisfying does it feel to take a walk with your dog?
There’s nothing like it.
Or curling up with your kitty, who’s purring away in your lap?
The best feeling in the world.
No doubt about it, we are proud pet owners. However, we aren’t exactly proud pipe owners—they aren’t very snuggly, but they are important.
So what’s the connection between our pets and our plumbing? Well depending on how we care for our dogs, cats, and even mini-pigs, we can end up clogging our pipes or even blocking our sewer line.
Read on to learn about how to keep your plumbing safe when you give your four legged friend a bath, wash their blankets, or change their litter. Also get the scoop on what common—but totally unnecessary— plumbing product can kill your pets.
Here’s what you need to know about caring for your pipes (meh) while caring for your pets (woohoo!)
Flush-able Kitty Litter
More and more, top brands of kitty litter advertise their products as being flushable.
It’s a nice idea, right? No need to scoop, just dump the litter box contents in the toilet and flush. Sounds harmless, right?
Umm…How harmless does a CLOGGED SEWER LINE SOUND?
Think about the main job of cat litter: it’s designed to clump when wet. When litter gets flushed down the toilet, it get REALLY wet. The flushed litter forms clumps, deep in your pipes or sewer line—it all depends where the litter starts clumping.
Basically, flushing cat litter is like flushing concrete.
Clogged pipes overflow or mess up in other ways.
Clogged sewer lines send raw sewage bursting back into your house.
If you’ve been flushing cat litter, you need to stop right now while you can flush anything at all.
We have a non-plumbing reason to NEVER flush cat litter. Feline feces contains the waterborne parasite Toxoplasma gondii which can survive sewage treatment plants and make it into freshwater.
Pet Fur/Hair Drain Clogs
Human hair and soap is the most common causes of pipe clogs. Animal fur or hair is just as likely to block drains as human hair. However, most pets shed a lot more hair than most humans.
When you wash your dog, pig, or cat (good luck), a whole lot of fur gets flushed down your drain. Install a drain screen in your shower to catch the extra hair and keep on pampering!
Fur covered blanket
If your pet is like most, their blanket is one of their prized possessions. Day and night, you can find them curled up in it.
Every so often, when you go to wash the blanket you notice it’s covered in hair or fur. Washing a blanket is no different from washing your pet in the tub—a lot of fur is headed down the drain.
Lint rolling your pet’s blanket is the best bet. Time consuming, sure, but better than a clogged pipe and an overflowing toilet.
Pet Owner Pipes
Do you love giving your pet a bath but don’t use drain screens?
Or do keep your cutie’s blanket clean by washing it in the machine?
Or have you been flushing kitty litter?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might be at risk for a clogged drain or, even worse, a blocked sewer line.
Bringing out a Benjamin Franklin Plumber to inspect your drains and sewer lines with a camera is the best way to make sure you are in the clear.
Clogged drains are a serious plumbing problem, but you should never use…
Drain Cleaner: Deadly to Pets
If you are a pet owner, or even if you aren’t, never use liquid drain cleaner. Not only is liquid drain cleaner ineffective at clearing most clogs, the caustic chemical can damage your pipes.
Worst of all, liquid drain cleaners can pose a real risk to your pets. The poisonous liquid can linger after use, and your curious pets may lap it up.
What to Do Instead?
If you have a clogged drain, either from pet hair or your hair, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing has your back.
You can always call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to diagnose and clear drains quickly and completely.
If you want to handle it yourself, we offer a product to do so safely.
Meet Bio Ben: Bio Ben is Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s home pipe cleaning solution that is 100% safe for pipes, pets, and people. Instead of harsh chemicals, Bio Ben employs sludge-eating microorganisms to prevent and breakdown clogs quickly.
Your four-legged friends mean the world to you. We completely understand. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, pets are one of the few things we love more than plumbing.
Remember to NEVER use liquid drain cleaner, especially if you have pets.
Keep these crucial facts in mind. You’ll pamper your pet to your hearts content—without causing a plumbing issue.
Contact us to discuss a pipe inspection and all of your plumbing needs.