No one ever thinks a dog smells great all of the time. In fact, most doggos have a musty odor to them, especially when they get wet. But if you have ever gotten a quick whiff of your dog’s feet, it may have reminded you of something… Is that… corn chips? 

“Frito feet” may seem like a mystery, but we get the question of, “Why do my dog’s paws smell like corn chips?” all the time. 

Your friends at Dupont Veterinary Clinic are here to uncover the reasons beyond this strange smell and what you can do to keep your pet’s paws healthy and stank-free.

The Curious Case of the Corn Chip

Dogs do smell funky from time to time, but when it comes to the yeasty odor that is emitted from the paws, it can definitely be curious. 

The good news is that this smell is generally nothing to worry about and occurs in most healthy dogs. The cause of the corn chip odor is bacteria. Bacteria, in balance, are perfectly normal and healthy, but when you combine yeast and bacteria, this concoction creates a corn chip odor.

The bacteria in question are called Pseudomonas and Proteus, which create that particular smell. Along with bacteria and yeast on the skin, your pet traipses through all sorts of things outdoors, from dirt and mud to trash and other animal’s waste. 

No wonder their feet smell a little funky!

When Feet are Foul

Normal Frito-feet smell is something that is most likely caused by the aforementioned. However, if the stink turns sour, then you may be dealing with a problem. When there is abnormal bacteria growth occurring, or an infection, certain symptoms can arise.

Look for the following red flag symptoms:

  • Putrid odor
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Discharge from the paws or skin
  • Foreign body lodged in feet
  • Your pet has sore paws
  • Chronic licking or chewing on feet

Contact us for an examination if your pet is exhibiting these signs of potential infection or injury.

The Feet Stink… Now What?

While corn chip feet may not be a health concern, it certainly isn’t pleasant smelling for dog owners. Keeping your pet’s paws in good condition requires consistent grooming and protecting the paws from everything your furry one walks through. 

Here are a few simple suggestions to keeping those feet smelling great.

  1. Make home grooming a part of your pet’s weekly routine. When you shampoo your pet, pay close attention to the health of the paws. Trim excess fur around the paw pads and feet to decrease the likelihood of stuff in the environment adhering to the fur, such as burs, excarded gum, mud, etc.
  2. Consider investing in dog booties, which cover the paws and feet and protect from hot surfaces, rocks, sticks, and other things that cause odor or injury. 
  3. Keep your pet’s monthly professional grooming appointment. Regular  professional grooming not only feels great for your pet but it also gives you an extra pair of eyes on your pet’s skin and coat condition. Groomers are often the first to notice any problem areas that need to be examined.
  4. Wipe off your pet’s paws and feet when you return from the park or a walk in the neighborhood. 

Help! My Dog’s Paws Smell Like Corn Chips!

If your pet’s foot odor is problematic, or if you have questions about why your dog’s paws smell like corn chips, please contact our team. We can help get your pet’s paws in good shape again.