Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fritos – Specifically Its Feet?

People are smelling their dogs’ paws — and it turns out they smell like corn chips. Here’s why your pet’s paws smell funny.

why does my dog smell like fritos image
Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fritos – Specifically Its Feet?

People often notice their dog’s feet smell like Fritos. This article explores why that happens and how to manage it.

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fritos: The Cause?

That “corn chips smell” is usually caused by bacteria that are completely natural yet give off a kind of yeasty odor, particularly the bacteria Proteus or Pseudomonas.

Many people who have dogs say they actually enjoy this smell, so you can relax.

However, if your dog’s foot odor seems particularly stinky, something else may be at play — which we discuss next.

why do dog feet smell like fritos
Dogs sweat through their foot pads.

Sweat and Dog Paws

Dogs sweat through their foot pads.

Just as people’s feet sweat — and more often than not have an odor — so do canine paws. The sweat becomes trapped in the coat between the foot pads and can become, shall we say, malodorous.

Trimming the fur between the foot pads is important for keeping the stench down.

Without trimming, the sweat goes into the fur and permeates there.

You can try doing the following, carefully:

  • Spread the dog’s paw pads apart by putting your thumb between them.
  • Using pet hair clippers, carefully trim the fur from around the pads.
  • After trimming, bathe your dog. Use pet-friendly shampoo on each foot, lathering it up and then rinsing it completely. Shampoo all 4 paws well to remove sweat and debris.

This should get rid of the bad dog paw odor.

why do dog feet smell like fritos
Does corn in dog food cause the corn chips to smell? No, that’s a myth.

Myths About Corn in Dog Food

Some people swear that the dog “Fritos” odor comes from cheap dog food. They say that if the main ingredient is corn, you should switch brands to get rid of your pet’s foot odor.

Will this work? No, not really.

But a higher-quality diet should come with the added benefit of improving your pet’s overall health, so what’s the harm in upgrading foods? (Also: Be sure to stay on top of dog food recalls.)

Here’s Meghann with her dog-paw observations:

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How to Manage and Prevent the Smell

Grooming Tips

  • Regularly trim the fur around the paw pads.
  • Use pet-friendly shampoo to wash your dog’s paws thoroughly.

Diet and Supplements

  • Consider a high-quality diet to support overall health.
  • Omega-3 supplements can help with skin health.

When to Consult a Vet

If your dog’s foot odor becomes particularly strong or is accompanied by redness, swelling, or excessive licking, it might indicate an infection, and you should consult a veterinarian.

Conclusion: Celebrate Your Dog’s Natural Foot Smell

So why does my dog smell like Fritos – specifically its feet?

The short answer: It’s probably just your dog’s natural odor.

As with humans, regular and proper hygiene will certainly help keep the smell down.

If it seems like a big deal to you, then consider scrubbing and clipping around those grubby little paw pads regularly. Otherwise, celebrate everything that makes your pet special — including dog paws that smell like Fritos.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why does my dog smell like Fritos?

The smell is usually caused by natural bacteria on their skin.

Why does my dog paws smell like Fritos?

Bacteria like Proteus and Pseudomonas on the paws produce a yeasty odor.

Why does my dog smell like Fritos after sleeping?

During sleep, the body temperature rises, increasing bacterial activity, which can enhance the smell.

Why does my dog smell like Fritos in the morning?

Bacterial activity overnight can cause a stronger odor in the morning.