For the love of you pet: Options available to keep dog from scratching door

By John Beck
March 7, 2013 at midnight
Updated March 6, 2013 at 9:07 p.m.

My dog always scratches at the door when she wants in or out. She is leaving big marks all over my doors. Is there anything I can do to help?

Dogs often use their paws to indicate what they want. They paw at toys, food, doors, etc. to indicate an interest or to test the waters. This can leave your doors in less than perfect condition. You might want to consider a doggy door. This will allow your pet in and out as she wishes.

There are doors that can be installed in the bottom of a regular door, ones that fit into a sliding glass door and some that you can even install into your actual wall. A dog door will not only prevent the door scratches it often helps with improper elimination inside the house and can even help with boredom.

Another good option is to maintain your dog's nails on a very regular basis. This can sometimes become a tedious process but will eliminate the ability of your dog to make a 'scratch' in the door. Clipping the nail regularly will help, but the real trick is to file your pet's nails after clipping them. This will take off all the rough edges and eliminate any points on the nail. There are a few commercial nail grinders available. If you are not comfortable performing this procedure, when you visit your groomer or vet, ask them to not only clip the nails but sand them too.

There is also a commercial soft nail tip that can be glued around the pet's nail. This product is as easy to apply as a nail trim is to do. The tips typically stay on between four to six weeks. At that time you will need to trim the nail and then reapply new tips. These tips will not only save your door from being scratched, but they typically prevent nail snags in the carpet, scratches and dents in your wood floors and skin tears from your pet jumping on your legs.

These might not be your only options or the right options for your pet. If you are not sure what option is best for you and your dog, please speak to your veterinarian.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at



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