You’ll be surprised by how many people ask why does my dog smell like corn chips? Your dog’s paws are often a neglected part of their body – until something goes wrong with them and that includes noticing that their paws smell like fritos!

Dogs need to look after their feet the same as humans do. They are an intricate part of the canine body and each breed has slightly different paws. As a dog Mom or Dad, you need to know how to look after this delicate area so check out our vital guide to dog paws to find out more.

But, if you are asking why paws smell like fritos- read on because you will find the answers here!

What Can Couse Dog Paw Smell?

If your precious pet develops a smelly feet problem, there are a few possible causes. Start by taking a close look at the paws to see if there are any visible signs of infection or injury. Here are some things that can go wrong with your dog’s feet.

  • They may have trodden in something nasty! Dogs don’t look where they are putting their feet and this can result in some pretty unpleasant substances getting on their paws and fur!
  • They can get an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi on their paw pads or toenails which can make your dog’s feet red and hot and can cause scales to form.
  • Sharp stones, sticks and even glass or metal can cause cuts and abrasions that become infected producing both pus and an unpleasant odor. Dogs can also burn their feet on hot sidewalks and yards.
  • Objects such as grass and stones can become lodged in between the paw pads and cause a build up of material that can have a foul odor.
  • Other conditions such as skin tumors or skin diseases can cause scaling of the skin and some smells.

If there are any visible signs of damage to your pet’s feet or if they seem unwell, you should talk to your vet about the problem.

You May Also Like: Dog Paw Washer and Paw Protection Waxes

Why do Dogs Feet Smell Like Fritos?

It is not unusual for worried pet owners to contact their vet wanting to know what has caused their pet’s frito feet problem. Some think that it is stale sweat – the canine equivalent of a human’s smelly feet. Whilst it is true that dog’s paws do sweat (unlike the rest of their body) this is not the cause of the frito smell.

The odor is caused by a build up of bacteria and yeast. The bacteria most often involved are called proteus or pseudomonas and it is quite normal for them to live on your dog’s skin. It is not a yeast infection as such, just a larger number than normal.

What Can you do about Dog Feet Smell?

This is one pet problem that you probably won’t have to worry about because it’s not doing any harm. However, if you do want to tackle it, there’s plenty that you can do about your pet’s paws corn chip smell.

  • Keep paws clean: By keeping the paw pads and the fur around them clean, you can help to keep the odor under control
  • Prevent cracking: If your pet frequently suffers from cracked paws, this can encourage an over growth of micro-organisms. Try protecting their paws with some paw wax such as Mushers Secret that protects from heat, cold and chemicals.
  • Trim nails: Your pet will benefit from neatly trimmed nails which makes it more comfortable for them to walk and reduces the risk of abrasions.
  • Wipe paw pads after walks: Give your pet a good clean after walks. It will help to stop the build up of debris that can cause odors.

Paw and hand. Border Collie dog gives paw.

Preventing Bacteria that Smells like Corn Chips

The bacteria that cause the corn chip odor cannot be eliminated but you can stop them from growing to large numbers. Keeping your dog’s feet clean by washing them after a walk is the best preventative measure.

Scrape the worst of the mud off using a paw cleaner and then give them a good wash with a portable paw washer to reduce the bacteria and molds that they are carrying.

Paw wipes are another option if you are not able to carry very much equipment with you.

Related Post: Dog Wipes

My Dog Smells like Fritos – the Last Word…

So, now you know that if your pet’s paws smell like corn chips it is not necessarily something to get worried about. If there are no other signs of injury or infection and if your pet seems otherwise fit and healthy, it is just a normal build-up of yeast and bacteria. Keeping their paws clean and protected should keep the odor under control but if you are at all concerned always check in with your vet.

Destin Benoit
A former Special Forces Canine Handler, Destin Benoit has extensive knowledge and experience with military canine training. He has worked with multiple military dogs in the most stressful places and situations in the world. Currently, Destin is a SOC Canine Handler, aiding in the protection of the US diplomats abroad.

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