Oh No, Not the Leather Seats! 3 Ways to Protect Your Car Interior from Pets


Do you like to take your dog to the lake or the dog park in the summer? What about hunting in the fall? Or a quick trip to the groomer? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then your vehicle is at risk of pet damage.

Dogs and cats can really do a number on a car’s interior, and they can even scratch your exterior paint. We see vehicles come into the shop all the time with muddy pawprints, nose-smudged windows, and even scratched and torn upholstery. To protect your car this summer and fall, try these three pet proofing methods.

1. Limit their access. Your pet can only damage the parts of your vehicle they can reach, so consider transporting them in a crate, investing in a gate to separate the trunk of your SUV from the seats, or buying a seatbelt harness that will keep them in place while also acting as a safety feature. (Sleepypod, Kurgo, and Vastar are good options.)

2. Cover your seats. Whether your pet rides in the front seat or the back, there’s a cover out there designed to protect your seats from  scratches, dirt, and debris! For the back seat, we recommend a  car hammock, which completely covers the seat and will also prevent your pet
from jumping up front. (BarksBar makes a great one for just $27.) You can also buy a single-seat cover if your pet rides as a passenger. These
covers slot right over the existing seat. Either way, be sure to look for something waterproof.

3. Invest in scratch solutions. You don't want your pet's nails to leave gouges in your paint or your set. To prevent the former, consider buying a ramp that will help them get in and out of your car. That way, they won’t leap or scramble into place and scratch your paint in the process. You can also try nail caps, which stick to your pets’ claws and can last for weeks. Soft Claws sells options in several sizes for dogs and cats.