How to Remove Dog Scratches from Your Car? : Guide to Restore Your Car’s Surface

As a dog owner, it’s not uncommon to find scratches on your car caused by your furry friend’s enthusiastic presence. While these scratches can be frustrating, there are several effective methods to remove them and restore your car’s appearance.

In this article, we will explore different approaches to remove dog scratches from your car, ranging from simple DIY methods to professional solutions. So, let’s get started and bring back the shine to your vehicle!


Having a dog is a joyful experience, but it can also lead to unexpected scratches on your car’s exterior. It’s essential to address these scratches promptly to prevent further damage and maintain your car’s resale value. Fortunately, you can take several measures to effectively remove dog scratches and restore your car’s pristine look.

Understanding the Damage: Types of Dog Scratches

How to Remove Dog Scratches from Your Car

Before diving into the removal methods, it’s important to understand the types of dog scratches you might encounter:

Superficial Scratches

Superficial scratches are light surface marks that do not penetrate the clear coat of your car’s paint. These scratches are usually shallow and can be easier to remove.

Deep Scratches

Deep scratches, on the other hand, are more severe and extend beyond the clear coat, reaching the base coat or even the metal body of the car. These scratches may require more advanced repair techniques.

Paint Transfer Scratches

Paint transfer scratches occur when another surface, such as your dog’s paw or a foreign object, rubs against the car’s surface, leaving behind marks of the material that made contact. These scratches can be challenging to remove without proper techniques.

Preparing for the Repair

Before attempting to remove the dog scratches, it’s important to prepare properly. Here’s what you should do:

Gather the Required Materials

To successfully remove dog scratches, you will need:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mild car detergent or soap
  • Water
  • Toothpaste or baking soda
  • Sandpaper (fine-grit)
  • Nail polish (clear coat)
  • Car wax or polish
  • Scratch repair kit (optional)

Having these materials readily available will ensure a smoother repair process.

Assess the Severity of the Scratches

Inspect the scratches on your car’s surface to determine their severity. Identifying whether they are superficial, deep, or paint transfer scratches will help you choose the most appropriate method for removal.

Clean the Affected Area

Before applying any repair methods, it’s crucial to clean the affected area thoroughly. Use mild car detergent or soap mixed with water to gently wash the scratched surface. Rinse well and pat dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

DIY Methods for Removing Dog Scratches

How to Remove Dog Scratches from Your Car

If the scratches are relatively minor and don’t require professional intervention, you can try the following DIY methods:

Toothpaste Method

Toothpaste can serve as an effective abrasive agent for light scratches. Apply a small amount of toothpaste onto a damp microfiber cloth and gently rub it over the scratch in a circular motion. Rinse the area and inspect the results. Repeat if necessary.

Baking Soda Method

Similar to toothpaste, baking soda can be used to remove light scratches. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water, and apply it to the scratched area using a microfiber cloth. Gently rub the paste in circular motions, then rinse and evaluate the outcome.

Sandpaper Method

For deeper scratches, sandpaper can be used to level the surface. Start with fine-grit sandpaper and wet it. Carefully sand the scratched area in a back-and-forth motion until the scratch becomes less visible. Switch to a finer-grit sandpaper and repeat the process until the scratch is smooth. Remember to rinse and dry the area afterward.

Nail Polish Method

Paint transfer scratches can often be addressed with clear nail polish. Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish over the scratch and let it dry. Once dry, gently sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper until the surface is even. Finally, apply car wax or polish to restore the shine.

Professional Solutions for Dog Scratch Removal

How to Remove Dog Scratches from Your Car

If the scratches are too deep or extensive for DIY methods, it’s advisable to take professional assistance. Here are some options for professional dog scratch removal:

Consult an Auto Detailing Service

Auto detailing services specialize in restoring and enhancing the appearance of vehicles. They have the expertise and tools to effectively remove dog scratches.

A professional detailer will assess the damage and use techniques such as machine polishing, compounding, and touch-up painting to eliminate the scratches and restore the car’s finish.

Seek Assistance from a Body Shop

If the scratches are severe or have caused significant damage, consulting a reputable body shop is recommended. Body shops have experienced technicians who can assess the extent of the damage and provide suitable repair solutions.

They may employ techniques such as paint blending, wet sanding, or even repainting the affected area to achieve a seamless repair.

Utilize Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a technique commonly used to repair minor dents and dings, but it can also be effective for shallow scratches.

PDR involves manipulating the damaged area from the underside of the panel, gradually massaging the metal back into its original shape without the need for paint. This method is ideal for shallow scratches that have not penetrated the paint layers.

Preventing Dog Scratches in the Future

How to Remove Dog Scratches from Your Car

While it may be challenging to completely eliminate the risk of dog scratches, you can take preventative measures to minimize the chances of them occurring:

Use Protective Barriers

Consider using protective barriers such as car seat covers, dog blankets, or pet barriers to create a physical barrier between your dog and your car’s surfaces. These barriers can help reduce the likelihood of scratches caused by your dog’s movements or paws.

Regularly Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed and well-maintained can significantly reduce the risk of scratches. Long nails can inadvertently scratch the car’s surface when your dog jumps on or off the vehicle. Regular nail trims can help prevent such incidents.

Train Your Dog to Stay Away from Vehicles

Training your dog to stay away from vehicles or teaching them proper car etiquette can be beneficial. Encourage them to enter and exit the car calmly and avoid scratching or pawing at the car’s exterior.


Dealing with dog scratches on your car can be a frustrating experience, but with the right approach, you can effectively remove them and restore your car’s appearance.

Whether you opt for DIY methods or seek professional assistance, it’s crucial to address the scratches promptly to prevent further damage. Additionally, taking preventive measures and training your dog can help minimize future scratches and keep your car looking its best.


Can I use any toothpaste to remove dog scratches?

It’s best to use non-gel, non-whitening toothpaste for scratch removal. Avoid toothpaste with abrasive additives or gels that can potentially damage your car’s surface.

Are professional repairs expensive?

The cost of professional repairs can vary depending on the severity of the scratches and the specific repair techniques required. It’s advisable to get estimates from different service providers to determine the best option for your budget.

Is it possible to fix deep scratches on my own?

Deep scratches can be more challenging to fix on your own, especially if they have penetrated the paint layers. It’s recommended to consult a professional or a reputable body shop for deep scratch repairs.

Can I prevent dog scratches completely?

While it’s difficult to completely prevent dog scratches, using protective barriers, regularly trimming your dog’s nails, and training them to stay away from vehicles can significantly minimize the risk of scratches.

What should I do if the scratches are too severe to fix at home?

If the scratches are severe or extensive, it’s best to consult a professional auto detailing service or a body shop

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