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What You Should Know about Plumbing and Pet Safety

How could owning a pet affect your plumbing? Actually, every living thing in your home – including your fur family and plants – impact your plumbing situation. You may love your plants, but child and pet safety are priorities for most homeowners. Here’s what you need to know:

Pet Safety and Home Plumbing

There are several things that go wrong with your pets and plumbing. Also, there are ways you can keep your pet safe from potential plumbing disasters.

For example, putting cat waste products – and cat litter – in the toilet makes sense to a lot of people. This can have a negative effect on your plumbing. And forgetting to close the toilet bowl lid can jeopardize pet safety.

Pet Safety and Home Plumbing

It seems harmless for Fido and Kitty to drink a bit of clean toilet bowl water occasionally. However, if your toilet bowl retains just a small amount of liquid blue cleaner, it could make your pet very sick.

You don’t hear about it often, but pets (and toddlers) actually drown in toilet bowls, depending on the water level. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) receives reports of accidental toilet drownings every year.

If you suspect your pet drank toilet bowl water with chemical residue from discs or other cleaners, feed the pet milk and water. Contact your veterinarian or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) Animal Poison Control Center as soon as possible to ensure your pet’s safety.

The water that flushes your toilet bowl is the same tap water you put in your pet’s water dish, but there’s a contamination threat. Even the cleanest toilet bowl can retain bacteria that can make your pet sick. Toilet water can cause gastrointestinal distress.

Avoid Hairy Situations

There are only 23 breeds of dogs and six breeds of cats that don’t shed. Terrier owners are sometimes quick to boast their pets have “hair, not fur.” If you own a furry pet – including terriers – you have drain-clogging potential after every bath. Any bathtub drain hair-catcher can save you the expense and frustration of an emergency plumbing visit.

Flushable Litter? Not Really…

“Flushable” kitty litter can be made from many natural products, but none of them do your plumbing any favors. Clay-based cat litter expands when wet and can quickly clog your drains and pipes.

Natural clay alternatives used in flushable kitty litter may be environmentally friendly but still pose a threat to residential plumbing. Yes, plastic bags are eliminated, saving our landfills from eons of non-biodegradable material. But toilets are designed for water-soluble materials.

To put it bluntly, cat fecal matter hardens quickly. No matter what kind of litter you use, you’re flushing “petrified poop,” said a professional plumber on

If you have a septic system, those flushable litters can cause an expensive problem. If you have a water-saving toilet, there may not be enough flow-power to keep the cat litter moving through your pipes.

The Phoenix Plumbing Pros

Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning is the family-owned and operated Phoenix plumbing company. We love our pets. We know living with family pets has many rewards and it also has many responsibilities. Plumbing precautions are always important, but pet safety comes first.

If you have any questions about bathroom remodeling or new-home plumbing, please contact Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning. Together, we can keep your water moving in the right direction!

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