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Dogs can cause all sorts of problems for the inside of your car. How do you prevent your dog from scratching your car door?

Many dogs will scratch at the door of the car as soon as you get out, while others will dribble on the seats and shed fur.

The best way to keep your dog from scratching the car door is to use car protective gear like a car door protector. You can also choose to keep your dog buckled up, or simply clip their nails short so they won’t be able to scratch up your car’s insides.

Dogs are persistent creatures, and difficult to handle, so training them not to scratch your car doors is next to useless. The best option for you is to go for preventative measures.

We went over all the ways dog owners had kept their dogs from scratching up their car doors and tried them out ourselves. Our recommendations are based on the options we considered to be most helpful.

Table of Contents

How to Keep Your Dog From Scratching Your Car Door

Most dogs will scratch at doors – from cars to rooms – because they want to get out. If they see you getting out of the car, they are likely to start scratching because they want to come out with you. If they see something interesting through the window, they may start scratching so they can get closer to it. In some cases, dogs will scratch at surfaces close by to feel more certain about their environment, because they are anxious about it.

Telling your dog not to scratch the car door does next to nothing. Sure, you can try to train them, but in most cases, dogs will scratch at doors instinctively. The best options you have to protect your car door is to use protective gear.

Car Door Protector

A car door protector is pretty much a must-have for any dog owner that lets their dogs into the car. Even if you employ other methods to keep your dogs from scratching the car doors, a protector is still a needed investment because it is a foolproof method.

Car door interior protectors are very simple to use. They are pieces of fabric you can clip on to the door and cover it. Since the fabric is durable, it takes any scratches your dog may make. Some protectors come with very durable fabric that is completely scratch proof.

You can also get a car protector to keep the rest of your car’s interior safe. There are quilted covers that you can spread over the seats to keep the upholstery safe from scratches. These will also come with side pockets that you can keep dog accessories in, such as leashes or collars.

Many quilted protectors are water-resistant and fit easily into your backseat to protect your car. If your dog has a scratching problem, using protectors is a must if you want to keep your car safe.

Use a Seatbelt

Most dogs will scratch at car doors and seats because of excitement or anxiety. As mentioned earlier, your dog may have seen something outside the window, or they may want to come with you if you are getting out.

In such cases, you can keep them in place by using a dog seatbelt. By buckling up, you can keep your dog from scratching at the doors by holding them in place.

Depending on your dog though, this may be easier said than done. More hyperactive dogs will not like being held in place and may cause you even more trouble than if you were to let them sit free. You’d have to pick between how much you prioritize peace while driving over protecting your car’s interior.

Cover The Car’s Windows

Again, since your dog is most likely to scratch at the doors because of excitement or anxiety, you can reduce this excitement by blocking out the car’s windows. By putting blinds on, you can keep your dog from seeing outside and thus keep them from getting too excited.

Like seatbelts, this sounds better in theory than in practice. Covering your windows may actually frustrate your dog even more since they might not like the feeling of being closed in. On top of that, in some places, it is illegal to block out your windows so this may not be a good idea.

It is also nice for your dog to be able to see outside so they can feel more secure. Some dogs have motion sickness or traveling anxiety, and being able to see out the window can be a good distraction.

Clip Your Dog’s Nails

The best way to get rid of a problem is to get to the root of it – in this case, your dog’s nails. If your dog’s nails remain trimmed and clipped, you can reduce the likelihood of damage to your car from scratching.

However, remember that you need to be careful when clipping your dog’s nails since you don’t want to accidentally cause any injuries. Your dog will probably not be very thrilled about having their nails clipped either.

The best choice is to consult your pet veterinarian or groomer for advice on how to keep your dog’s nails short. They can let you know how to go about clipping them, and may even do the clipping for you.

Another option could be to use nail caps to cover your dog’s nails while you’re in the car. There is plenty of debate around this, but most of it is based on myths and misconceptions. Dog nail caps are non-toxic and completely safe to use. You can use these to cover your dog’s nails while they’re in the car so they don’t end up scratching the insides.

Keep Your Dog Away From The Car

Another way you can simply get rid of the problem before it starts is to keep your dog away from the car altogether. This is not as easy, since your dog may be used to sitting in the car and may not take too well to suddenly being forced away. You may also need to take your dog around with you often, in which case this won’t work for you.

But if your priority is the car’s safety, and you don’t have to take your dog places, you can make your car as unattractive to the dog as possible. For starters, you’d want to get rid of anything that can make your dog want to come towards the car. This includes any food or toys that they like.

Dogs are also very sensitive to smell, so if you add dog resistive substances in the car, you can keep them away from it effectively. This may have the downside of making you want to avoid your car too, but you’ll have to put up with it until your dog loses the habit of sitting in the car.

There are plenty of ways you can protect your car from your dog’s claws. Many people will simply try to train their dogs into losing the habit, but again, scratching is instinctive and it’s not easy to train your dog out of it. The best option for you is to use car protectors or seatbelts, or simply clip your dog’s nails short so they can’t scratch the car even if they wanted to.

How to Prevent Dog Scratching Car Door

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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