How To Prevent Dog Scratches on Car Seats: Ultimate Guide

How To Prevent Dog Scratches on Car Seats: Ultimate Guide

 It's fun taking your furry friends along on car trips until they scratch the seats. Well, your dog may resort to scratching your car's interior for various reasons, including excitement, stress, anxiety, or curiosity. Since it's challenging to train your dog not to scratch, the best alternative is to protect the car seats from scratches.

Here are some essential ways of preventing dog scratches on car seats:

  • Use seat covers.
  • Keep your dog's nails well-trimmed or capped.
  • Secure your dog firmly on the seat.
  • Use a dog travel carrier.
  • Use a dog car booster seat.
  • Minimize car ride anxiety.
  • Use a leather protectant.
  • Dog scratches can be a nuisance, especially when your car's interior has luxurious seats. The rest of the article will discuss how to keep car seats scratch-free in great detail. So, let's dig in!

    1. Use Seat Covers

    Using seat covers is a great way to prevent your furry friend from scratching their car seats. Whether on the front or back seat, these covers create a barrier between the dog and the seat, keeping the car upholstery safe. And, they're available in different materials and designs to suit your needs and taste.

    Dog-specific seat covers are specially made to keep dirt, stains, and scratches at bay. So, most of them are made from tear and water-resistant materials.

    You'll find a wide array of removable seat covers, which include the following types:

    Hammock-Style Seat Covers

    The hammock-style seat covers protect a large area from the rear seat to the back of the front seat. They have straps and fasteners that secure them on the headrest and plastic anchors for stability. Hammocks are usually scratch-proof, providing a perfect protector for your car seats.  

    An ideal hammock-style seat cover for your car seat is the Plush Paws Premium Convertible Rear Pet Seat Cover. It comprises a detachable hammock that you can unfasten easily and store in your truck when not in use. It's made from heavy-duty quilted fabric and is tear-resistant and long-lasting.

    This Plush Paws hammock-style seat cover also has fitted side flaps for a perfect fit and Velcro seat belt access. Its soft texture and non-slip silicone backing will keep your dog comfortable and safe.

    Rear Seat Covers

    Rear seat covers are specifically designed for back seats. They perfectly fit on the rear seat, protecting it from your furry friend's claw marks. Also, most have strong headrest straps or fasteners to secure the seat covers in place.

    For instance, the Plush Paws Velvet Rear Pet Seat Cover provides ultimate protection from your dog's claws on the back seat. This luxury-grade seat cover comes in two sizes, depending on your car size. Also, it's made from high-quality velvet with cotton filling to provide a lush and comfortable surface.

    This top-notch seat cover is diamond-stitched and has reinforced pressure points, ensuring that it doesn't tear from dog scratches. Moreover, the sturdy headrest straps secure it well on the seat, while the convenient side release buckles make it easy to remove.

    Front Seat Covers

    If your dog loves riding in the front, front seat covers are the best choice. These seat covers are available in designs that perfectly fit on the front seat, so you won't have to worry about your furry friend ruining your elegant-looking co-driver seat.

    An ideal example is the Plush Paws Premium Bucket Car Seat Cover. This front seat cover is best-suited for the co-driver seat, as it has a stretchable skirt, allowing it to fit perfectly in a car, truck, or SUV.

    This seat cover comprises a heavy-duty quilted fabric reinforced with diamond stitching to protect the seat from dog scratches. Its non-slip silicone backing, plastic anchors, and silicone side pillows will protect your dog from unnecessary movements.

    Cargo Liners

    Cargo liners are a perfect option if you own an SUV and love having your dog in the back while driving. Quilted cargo liners (or covers) are made from scratch-proof and water-resistant material and protect the car interior from dog scratches.

    The Plush Paws Cargo Liner is a durable, scratch-proof, quilted cover that you can easily attach to the front or back seat using headrest buckles. It has YKK zippers for easy integration and length adjustment. The cover liner also features bumper and side panels to protect your dog's backside from dog scratches.

    2. Keep Your Dog’s Nails Well-Trimmed or Capped

    Apart from inventing ways to protect your car seats from dog scratches, you can also make your dog’s claws less dangerous for the seats. One of the best ways to keep the nails in good shape is clipping them. This should be part of your regular grooming routine.

    Trimming a dog's nails is not as tricky as some pet owners think. If you start clipping your puppy's nails at a young age, they'll be less anxious, making the experience hassle-free. So, you don't always have to seek the services of a professional groomer; you can clip your pet's nails at home.

    To trim your dog's nails, follow these steps:

    1. First, let your dog feel comfortable around the nail clippers for about a week. Let them sniff the clippers as you praise them and offer treats. 
    2. Then, try touching the claws with the nail clipper. Using this technique, trim one nail tip if your dog allows you to.
    3. Repeat the routine daily. Cut just a few nails at a time each day.

    But, if your furry friend isn't ready to have their nails clipped, don't pressure them. You can always seek advice from a vet or a professional dog groomer if your dog’s anxiety is too much to handle.

    Now, another way to keep your dog's nails in check is by using nail caps. These are vinyl caps resembling a dog's nails. Once glued to the canine's claws, these caps keep the nails blunt, preventing your dog from scratching surfaces.

    Nail caps usually pose no danger to dogs, as they're made from non-toxic materials. Moreover, they don't prevent the dog from extending or retracting its nails. Also, they won't interfere with nail growth.

    However, not all dogs are comfortable wearing nail caps. Also, if wrongly installed, these caps can alter your pup's movement. So, it is recommended that a professional put them on your dog and monitor them regularly to avoid infections.

    3. Secure Your Dog Firmly on the Seat

    If your dog is well-trained and well-secured, they will barely scratch the seats. Securing a well-behaved dog is easy with a seat belt harness. This works well if you have a designated space in the back or front seat for your pet.

    A dog seatbelt or restrainer is a must-have for any pet owner in many states, as it is considered part of necessary safety precautions. But even if your state doesn't demand a seatbelt harness, it's crucial to have one for safety reasons. Apart from securing your dog, the harness keeps your furry friend comfortable and minimizes any distractions that may cause accidents.

    Now, seat belt harnesses come in various sizes and designs, depending on a specific dog's needs. So, when shopping for a harness, be keen on features to ensure it's the best for your pet. A well-fitting seat belt harness will not only keep your dog safe but will also prevent it from scratching the dog car seat.

    Here are some common types of seat belt harnesses:

    Chest Seat Belt Harnesses

    Chest seat belt harnesses, which double as leashes, are the most commonly used dog harnesses. They are comprised of a padded vest and adjustable back straps, which connect to the seatbelt. The vest helps distribute pressure during movement, primarily when a collision occurs. The harness is flexible enough for your dog to stand, sit, or lie down on the back seat.

    Seat Belt Bungee Tethers

    Seat belt bungee tethers are adjustable leashes compatible with various cars and dog sizes. They provide more room for the dog to move about while securing them to the seat belt. Moreover, they're more affordable than vest seat belt harnesses.

    Chew-Proof Vehicle Restraint

    If your furry friend loves chewing on leashes, a chew-proof restraint is a perfect option. The harness has a carabiner clip resembling what rock climbers use; thus, it can withstand intense tension. Moreover, it's made from braided steel wire to secure your dog firmly.

    A chew-proof restraint is pocket-friendly and compatible with most vehicles comprising a latch system. So, if you cannot get a vest-style seat belt harness, this could be your best alternative.

    Upright Seat Belt Harnesses

    Some dogs (or puppies) can't sit the whole time you're traveling due to knee or hip problems. Some are too short but love to watch the outdoors. So, if your pet is in either category, you can opt for an upright seat belt harness to restrain them while considering their particular needs.

    Such harnesses are mainly designed to keep the dog upright while secured on the seat. So, even if your dog is too short, it will enjoy watching the scenery from its seat. However, it's advisable not to extend its standing duration for more than 90 minutes.

    Dog Car Headrest Restraint

    Not all harnesses are connected to seatbelts. So, if you have a big and energetic dog, you can go for a harness that adheres to the seat's headrest. The harness comprises an adjustable loop that you place on the rear headrest and adjust its length according to the dog's size.

    The unique harness keeps your dog safe while preventing it from misbehaving by scratching the seat. Moreover, it comes with a padded-vest leash, making it suitable for walking your dog. Therefore, it's convenient and multi-purpose.

    4. Use a Dog Travel Carrier

    Other than seat belt harnesses, dog travel carriers are ideal restraints. So, if your dog is hyperactive or usually has car jitters, you might consider securing it in a carrier to restrain its movements. Moreover, this will keep the car seats safe from any scratches.

    Since a wide array of dog carriers are available in pet stores, you need to find one that perfectly suits your dog's length and height. Moreover, you can either go for a top or side-opener, depending on your preferences.

    Here are some types of dog travel carriers (or crates):

    • Soft-sided carriers are lightweight, portable pet carriers. They're the most sought-after carriers, as they fold easily, making them ideal for all kinds of travel. Moreover, they are best-suited for small-sized dogs.
    • Hard-sided carriers are hard-shelled travel crates that most pet owners prefer due to their durability and security. These carriers can accommodate both small and large-sized dogs. Also, most of them are top-openers, allowing you to either place or remove your pet from the top.
    • Wheeled dog carriers are perfect for long-distance travels or city walks since dogs can be pretty heavy. So, apart from securing your dog on the car floor, these carriers are great for transporting your dog on city or airport pavements.

    5. Use a Dog Car Booster Seat

    Another great way to stop your dog from scratching on the dog car seats is by keeping them in a booster seat. These booster seats come in handy when you want to restrain your dog or puppy and keep them comfortable. However, most dog car booster seats are available for small-sized dogs such as Chihuahuas.

    Now, a dog car booster seat works similarly to a feeding chair. So, it will elevate your pet using an inflated or padded base. Therefore, if your dog enjoys the outside view while riding in the car, the booster seat will elevate it, minimizing straining (and whining about it).

    Now, there's a wide selection of dog car booster seats targeting different dog breeds. And they're primarily categorized according to a pet's weight. However, always go for a booster seat that accommodates your dog, especially if your furry friend weighs less but has a longer body size.

    You'll find that some dog car boosters fit well on either the front or back seat. Moreover, some have modifications and can also serve as sleeping gear or carriers. But, most of them have fasteners to secure them on the car seat and clippings to attach them to seat belt harnesses.

    Some dog car seat boosters come with heated systems to keep your pet warm when it's very cold. So, if you're wondering how you can make your anxious furry friend cozy and relaxed, a booster seat will be a life-saver.

    But, ensure that the booster seat is washable or cleaned easily. Moreover, if you're on a tight budget, you can make one at home using a box or basket, different types of fabrics, and a cushion.

    6. Minimize Car Ride Anxiety

    Does your dog hate car rides, or is it always anxious and agitated when traveling for long distances? A stressed or anxious dog will do many things to cope, including scratching on anything, including your elegant car seats. So, if your furry friend is usually uncomfortable when you turn on the ignition key, you need to invent a way to reduce this negative sensation.

    Driving your car with an anxious dog in it is not the best experience. It's not only uncomfortable, but it’s also risky for you and your dog. For instance, your dog can start whining, barking, moving around, or scratching on things to relieve the anxiety.

    Different dogs have varying coping mechanisms. So, it's crucial to know what works best for your dog. But, if you have no idea, you can try out several strategies and arrive at the most suitable one.

    Here are some ways to help your dog cope and minimize stress while you are driving:

    Have Chew Toys in the Car

    Since most dogs love chewing on things, having a chew toy on the trip can help reduce anxiety and stress. This will help to keep your furry friend entertained, comfortable, and happy. So, when you're packing your dog's essentials, don't forget their favorite chew toy.

    Carry Some Treats and Water

    It's not a good idea to have your dog on a full stomach while traveling. This will cause discomfort, car sickness, and will bring on an upset stomach in most cases. And these are common factors that stress dogs out. So, we suggest packing some treats and letting your doggie snack on them during the car ride.

    But, don't be tempted to always rely on commercial dog treats, as most of them have high sugar levels. You can prepare healthier treats using vegetables or fruits at home. Also, always remember to carry enough water to keep your dog hydrated.

    Have a Familiar Item

    Not all pets love car rides. The engine's sound or the speed may scare your dog, creating anxiety and stress over time. So, if your furry friend isn't a fan of car rides, you can carry something that they're used to outside the car to help them feel more comfortable.

    For instance, if your dog has a favorite blanket or cuddling toy, bring it along while driving with your pet. Moreover, you can have a dog seat cover that you also leave in your dog's sleeping area. So, your furry friend will get used to it and will have less anxiety and scratch the seats less while riding in the car.

    Exercise Before the Trip

    Exercising your dog about 20 minutes before a car ride can significantly reduce anxiety and motion sickness. Burning those calories will help calm down your dog, reduce stress or anxiety, and discourage them from scratching the seats.

    Monitor Your Dog’s Health Status Before Traveling

    Driving with a sick pet onboard is not advisable unless you're visiting the vet. Your dog will not enjoy the car ride if they're unwell. So, they'll either sleep the whole way or express their discomfort by whining or scratching the seats. Therefore, it's crucial to monitor your dog's status before driving with them.

    7. Use a Leather Protectant

    Leather seats enhance the aesthetic look of your car's interior. And, you wouldn't want them to have ugly dog prints. So, it is crucial to protect them from your furry friend's sharp claws.

    Now, high-quality leather protectants are a must-have for pet owners with leather car seats. These leather conditions create a barrier on your leather seats, protecting them from stains, dust, water, and dog scratches. Therefore, this will prevent them from becoming brittle or developing cracks.

    Leather protectants keep your seats looking glossy and hydrated since they restore the lost oils that keep leather materials healthy. So applying a leather conditioner on the seats will not only hydrate and clean your high-end car seats but will maintain their healthy look.

    Different leather protectants are available, but most of them are in spray form. For the spray leather conditions, it's preferable not to apply them directly on the leather surface. Therefore, it's better to spray them on a clean cloth or towel and then wipe the leather seat.

    Note: Not all leather protectors will be compatible with your leather seats. Hence, test the conditioner on a less conspicuous area before applying them to the whole seat. Also, seat covers are generally better at protecting your seats from dog scratches than leather protectants.

    Parting Words

    No pet owner would like their dog car seats covered with unpleasant-looking dog prints. Protecting the seats from dog scratches is better than dealing with the already scratched seats. Therefore to prevent your furry friend from scratching the seats:

    • Use seat covers
    • Keep your dog's nails well-trimmed
    • Secure your dog firmly on the seat
    • Use dog travel carriers
    • Use a dog car booster seat
    • Minimize car ride anxiety
    • Use a leather protectant

    Here at Plush Paws, we make it easier than ever to find the perfect car seat covers to keep your car clean and your dog happy and comfortable. Browse our selection today to find something that fits your style!


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