How Do I Protect My Car From Dog Scratches?

There’s a reason dogs are called man’s best friend and there is not much better than bringing your dog with you on your journeys in life. Unfortunately, their sharp claws can damage your vehicle, even if they are the most well behaved.

Don’t worry though, there are many options out there to prevent dog scratches on any surface in, or on, your vehicle. Options range from everything from paint protection film to seat covers and nail covers. There’s something out there to meet you and your pup’s needs.

Secure Your Dog Properly

How you secure your dog is dependant on your dog’s size, personality, and behavior as well as the type of vehicle you have. For example, a dog who is happy to sit in one spot and just watch the view will likely do well with a seat belt harness.

On the other hand, if your dog has more energy and can’t sit still for an extended period, a zip-line back seat harness might be a good option. This, though, will give your pooch more area to possibly scratch while moving around.

Another option, perfect for dogs who like to lay down and take a nap while in the car, is a back seat dog hammock. Back seat dog hammocks come in scratch-resistant material, cover the backs of the front seats as well as the back seats, and can be easily installed and removed.

If you travel often or for great distances, a dog guard may be best. This option bolts into your vehicle so it will not come loose and make the situation more dangerous than it needs to be. It also will not have to be put in and taken out every time you and your dog go for a ride.

The easiest solution is to have your dog inside of its crate while on the road. Make sure your dog is already crate trained or at least used to and comfortable with its crate so that the experience isn’t negative for them. Leave them their favorite chew toy or treat, so they can enjoy the journey with you.

Car Seat Covers That Can Hold Up to Dogs

Any type of seat covers will provide some amount of protection. Any barrier between your dog’s paws and your vehicle’s interior is a help, especially if you have beautiful leather seats. One of the best things about seat covers is that they can be removed and washed. Your dog is unlikely to wipe his paws off before jumping in your car, at least this way you can wash the dirt away!

Depending on the particular needs of you and your dog, a normal car seat cover may not be enough. There are car seat covers made specifically for this purpose. Seat covers for dog owners are made to be easily removable like normal seat covers but are also waterproof and scratch proof.

Nail Caps

Instead of finding ways to protect your vehicle from your dog’s claws, you can make your dog’s claws less dangerous for your vehicle. Nail caps are made out of soft vinyl and can be placed onto your dog’s claws, attached with adhesive.

The nail caps blunt your dog's sharp claws, making it so that they are much less likely to scratch anything, including your vehicle when they go for a ride. Best of all, the vast majority of dogs tolerate nail caps well, paying them no mind.

Cargo Cover

If you own an SUV and generally load your dog up in the back, a cargo cover is a great idea. Like the back seat dog hammock, many cargo covers are waterproof as well as scratch-proof, protecting your carpet and interior from dog scratches.

Additionally, some cargo covers extend over your rear bumper while the door is open, protecting your bumper’s paint from incidental scratches as your dog jumps into the back.

Car Door Protector

If your dog likes to prop himself up on the door’s siding so he can look out the window, a car door protector is for you. Car Door protectors cover the door handle, window buttons, and siding, encouraging your dog to sit nicely and enjoy the view. If they do decide to prop themselves up to look out the window, the door is protected. Some car door protectors come with pockets so that it has more utility than just protecting the door with its waterproofing and scratch resistance.

Paint Protection Film or Ceramic Coating

Most of the suggestions so far have been ways to protect the interior of your car from dog scratches, but the exterior of your vehicle is susceptible to becoming scratched as well. Two ways to protect your car’s paint is paint protection film and ceramic coating.

One of the frequently asked questions about paint protective film is if it can protect against scratches as well as environmental contaminants. Paint protection film can protect against minor dents, scrapes, dings from rock chips, and even damage from harsh chemicals. Your pup's claws will not stand a chance against your paint protection film. Paint protection film may actually increase the value of your vehicle while protecting it from your pooch’s paws.

If you are wondering if this is an option for your vinyl wrapped vehicle and if you can clear coat over vinyl wrap, the answer is yes! Not only can you protect your paint, but you can also protect your vinyl wrap from dog scratches, along with many other things that can damage it.

The other option is having ceramic coating installed over your paint. Ceramic coating acts as an “armor”, healing itself after being scratched, scraped, or dinged. You will no longer have to worry too much about your paint if your dog jumps up on your vehicle. An added bonus is that ceramic coating also increases the life span of your paint.

One thing that puts ceramic coating over paint protection film for dog owners is that it is hydrophobic and oleophobic. These properties allow your paint to repel dog slobber and mud from their paws, beading up and making it easier to wash.

Being able to bring your dog with you where ever you go is great. With these suggestions, you can do so without worrying about your loved canine accidentally causing damage to your vehicle!


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