Holding dog paw.

Dogs have their fair share of quirks. Most of the time, these little peculiarities add layers to an owner’s amusement and appreciation. Regarding things out of their control, such as smelly paws, we can choose to accept these characteristics or figure out creative ways to deal with them. The good news is that the corn chip odor coming from their paws is not causing any pain or long-term harm. This means that owners are simply left with the mystery of why their dog’s feet smell like Fritos and what they can do to reduce the funky odor.

Feet-os Smell Like Frit-os

Have you ever been snuggling with your dog only to get hit with the distinctive smell of corn chips floating through your cuddle bubble? A common occurrence among owners of pups, this phenomenon can be explained.

Alive, on your dog’s feet, is a flourishing combo of bacteria and fungi. Alone, either bacteria or fungi might not create such a stank. However, the special fusion of both can lead to an unforgettable olfactory experience. 

Walking Petri Dish

Dogs are basically covered in organisms, just like humans. Perhaps it’s the fact that they walk everywhere without protective layers on their feet (most of the time, anyway) that contributes to this unique alchemy. They pick up all sorts of debris, dirt, and other environmental stuff that all combines on the skin. Since dogs sweat through the paw pads, this moisture causes further growth and, lucky for us, intensely smelly paws. 

A Perfect Storm

Without a doubt, your dog’s feet provide an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria and fungi. While most of the time, these smelly paws are inoffensive. However, if an overwhelming yeasty smell comes from their feet it’s best to investigate. 

A yeast overgrowth or an infection can lead to severely smelly paws. If you notice this in conjunction with the following symptoms, we recommend scheduling an exam:

Pets that have a history of allergic reactions may be more likely to develop smelly paws, or Frito feet. Yeast infections can be treated effectively with medication, but if an animal has a compromised immune system or allergies, their chances of secondary infections or other skin issues increases. 

Countering Smelly Paws

You can mitigate smelly paws in these ways:

  • Give your dog regular baths, giving special attention to their feet. A hypoallergenic, pet-specific product will reduce itchiness and keep their skin feeling great. Massage this into the skin between the toes and be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • When grooming your dog, be sure to trim the hair that grows between the toes and around the paw pads. 
  • Wipe your dog’s paws clean every day and be sure to keep them as dry as possible. Remember, moisture breeds bacteria.

Keeping your dog’s feet looking, feeling, and smelling good is part of responsible dog ownership. If you have questions about grooming, allergies, and general canine behavior, please don’t hesitate to call us at (916) 939-1705. We’re always happy to help you at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital