Dogs never cease to amaze and entertain us with their curious, and often hilarious, ways. There are many things that cause us to ponder over our dogs’ behaviors, antics, and yes, even smells. Take, for example, that odd aroma that wafts off of your dog’s paws. Does it smell like corn chips? Most likely, yes. 

Many dog owners ask our team why their dog’s paws smell. Since this is an ongoing concern, we at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital want to get to the bottom of this corny conundrum with some simple facts about this odd aroma.

Why Do My Dog’s Paws Smell Like Fritos?

Frito feet is something we often talk about in the dog community. It is that yeasty smell that comes from our dogs’ feet. This weird scent is actually not so weird and is mostly harmless. Corn chip feet are caused by specific bacteria, called Pseudomonas and Proteus, that are naturally found on a dog’s paws. These bacteria, along with fungi and other types of bacteria, all work in a balance that is otherwise safe and healthy.

Dogs are also prone to wander through all sorts of contaminants, debris, and other things in the environment, from mud, puddle water, other animal waste, and so on. This combination contributes to the innate doggie smell of corn chip feet. Oh, and did you know that your dog actually sweats through their paws? It’s true! No wonder those precious paws can sometimes be a little pee-yew!

When Trouble Occurs

Not all smells should be ignored. If your pet’s paws are putrid, rather than a little stinky or yeasty, there may be something more serious occurring. 

Paws are subject to a range of injury and conditions because they are always on the go, traipsing through all sorts of things while they are outdoors. Paw injuries are common, especially for those dogs who love to hike and explore natural areas with their owners.

When there a medical cause to the odor, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Foul smell
  • Inflammation or swelling of the paws
  • Discharge from paws
  • Wound that doesn’t heal
  • Foreign object embedded in paws
  • Chronic licking or biting of paws
  • Recent injury
  • Lameness 

These issues warrant a trip to see your friends at Sunrise. Please call us for an examination if you notice issues above and beyond the “Frito scent”.

Ways to Reduce Funky Feet

If your pet’s paws smell, yet they have been given a clean bill of health, there are some things you can do to take care of the paws.

  • Wipe off your pet’s feet when you return from the outdoors, especially if they walked through water, mud, etc.
  • Shampoo your pet regularly.
  • Have your pet groomed monthly or every other month.
  • Keep paw fur trimmed and the nails at the right length.

Why Do My Dog’s Paws Smell?

If you are asking yourself why your dog’s paws smell, please call us. In most cases, it can be easily explained and summed up as normal paw odor. We can also give you tips about excellent paw care for your best four-legged friend.