How To Fix Dog Scratches On Car Door? (Solved)

Car scratches are inevitable if you have a pet dog. Despite being our best friends, dogs can cause significant damage to a car’s finish.

These playful, adorable animals are blessed with a set of sharp toenails that, if they make contact with your car door, can leave deep scratches behind.

There are many reasons why a dog can scratch your car door. They could be excited to see you and can’t wait for you to get out of the car.

Or, you may have left their favorite toy or snack in the car, and they could be barking towards it. Irrespective of why a dog may scratch your car door, this is a habit that you should discourage as soon as possible.

Through proper training, you can teach your dog not to scratch the car door or any other component of your car.

how to fix dog scratches on car door

What are the Effects of Dog Scratches on Car Doors?

Before we can list some of the ways you can fix dog scratches on your car door, we must evaluate the impact this has on your vehicle.

We all know that scratches can’t be prevented not unless you never drive your car and leave it covered in your parking all day and night long. Even though scratches are normal, those from a dog can have adverse side effects.

A dog has four toenails on each paw. Their nails are quite strong, and that’s why the scratches they leave on surfaces tend to be deep.

A dog’s nails are oval, and this allows them to tear into surfaces. If a dog, for whatever purpose, scratches your car, they will cut through the clear coat.

Depending on the size and aggressiveness of the dog, the scratch can be deeper and bigger.

If the clear coat is scratched, there is a 50% chance that the paint is also scratched. You should be able to determine the extent of the scratch just by looking at it.

A dog’s scratch on the car door will first affect the aesthetics of the vehicle. The paint job won’t look sleek or neat.

If the scratch isn’t repaired and it happens to have removed the paint, the metal beneath is exposed to air and moisture. This is a recipe for corrosion. And do we have to explain how dangerous this is for your car?

Therefore, if your dog scratches your car, you must fix this right away. And to avoid a similar scenario in the future, train your dog on how to stop this habit. We are going to advise you on all these things. Let us start with fixing dog scratches on the car door.

What is the Best Way of Repairing Scratches on a Car Door?

If you spot some dog scratches on your car door, do not panic and do not hate your pet for doing this.

Though intelligent creatures, dogs can at times do the silliest things, including scratching your car door. The ideal solution for such a problem is using a cutting compound.

A cutting compound is a go-to product for most detailers when repairing scratches. This is a substance that contains abrasive particles which get into scratches and cover them.

You can find a cutting compound at your nearest auto store or in the car care section. It should be next to polishes.

Removing dog scratches on a car door using a cutting compound is a relatively simple and quick process. Here is a step by step guide;

  • You will need to clean the area thoroughly. This may make the scratch more visible but do not worry about that.


  • Ensure that the surface about to be polished with a cutting compound is free of debris, dirt, or oil deposits.


  • Grab your cutting compound, dub it on a piece of cloth and rub it on the scratches. Rub it gently in circular motions until the compound is absorbed into the scratches. Do this for about two minutes. If it’s a light scratch, you need not do this for long.


  • Remove excess cutting compound and inspect if the scratches are gone. In case they haven’t, apply more cutting compound and rub it in.


  • When you are satisfied that the scratches are gone, apply sealant or wax. Your car should look as good as new.

Should I Apply Fresh Paint on a Scratched Car Door?

Even though it is an effective method of getting rid of scratches, we wouldn’t recommend rushing to apply fresh paint. This form of paint correction is quite time-consuming.

It needs a lot of material and labor. Applying a rubbing or cutting compound is often enough to eliminate dog scratches on the car door. The latter is a quick and easy process that won’t take up much of your time.

We recommend applying fresh paint if there are plenty of dog scratches on the door, to the point that it looks hideous.

You should also repaint your car door if, other than the scratches, the paint is worn out. In case you opt for this method, here are tips on how you can repaint your car door;

  • Start by sanding the car paint scratches.


  • If the scratches are still visible, apply filler or compound and then sand it once more.


  • Clean off the residue and inspect the area. If the scratches are still there, apply more compound and then sand till the surface is smooth.


  • Spray primer followed by two layers of paint and three layers of clear coat.


  • To achieve a more appealing finish, sand the freshly painted car door. Once the paint cures, wax it.

Other Ways to Remove Dog Scratches on Car Door

Buffing is the best method of removing dog scratches from car doors.

We have also seen that applying fresh paint can also offer pleasant results, but it’s hectic. If you do more research, you will find other methods recommended by car owners or detailing enthusiasts.

Some work exceptionally well, and others we wouldn’t advise you to use them. Here is a list of popular methods that can be used to remove dog scratches. In each, we will advise you whether to use it or not.

1. Scratch Remover Kits

After buffing with cutting compound and painting, scratch remover kits are the next best thing you can use to get rid of dog scratch marks on your door.

These kits are designed to fill in scratches and restore paint jobs. There are many scratch removers in the market. Ensure that you research thoroughly.

Please do the same when shopping for cutting compounds as well. Popular scratch remover kits include 3M, Chemical Guys, and Meguiars.

2. WD-40

In car’s WD-40 has a lot of applications. This lubricant is known to loosen the paint. When you spray and let it sit before wiping it with a cloth, it should get rid of surface scratches on the paint.

The only issue with WD-40 is that it contains some ingredients that may be harmful to paint. Therefore, clean it right away after you are done using it.

3. Toothpaste

The abrasiveness of toothpaste is what makes it an ideal car door scratch remover. We are talking about regular toothpaste and not the gel version.

In some ways, toothpaste polishes a car surface and leaves behind a smooth finish. The properties of toothpaste are safe on paint. However, the act of rubbing the toothpaste on the car can damage the paint. Is it worth the risk?

There are also the likes of magic eraser, nail polish, shoe polish, and many more. We do not recommend using these products since they were not meant to be used on car paint.

It’s surprising how people risk using these products, yet cutting compounds can be found easily in most stores.

What Should I Do About My Dog’s Behaviour?

Hopefully, you have seen how challenging fixing dog scratches on a car door is. It is therefore crucial that you train your dog on how to stop doing this in the future.

There are various methods on how you can stop your dog from scratching the car door. The first method is ignoring this behavior completely.

Your door might face it rough, but after a while, your dog will learn that scratching the door never gives him/her the attention they desire, and they will stop this habit.

Another reason why dogs scratch doors is because of separation anxiety. Dealing with this issue can prevent this behavior from reoccurring in the future.

Train him/her that when you get home, they should be standing at the door. And not scratching or jumping on the car door.

If you want your car door to retain its finish, you must break this unhealthy attachment or eagerness to see you.

The other thing you can do is by saying no. If you have lived with your canine for years, you have obviously denied them some things by using the no command.

This can also work on preventing car door scratching. When you find the dog in the act of scratching the car door, command them to stop.

If all this fails, then the best way to prevent this is by ensuring your dog never comes into contact with cars. This includes locking up the garage and denying them access.