Despite the weird looks you get from people who don’t own dogs when you mention that your pup’s paws smell like Fritos, you aren’t crazy. Many dogs’ paws do smell like Fritos (or popcorn, depending on who you ask). The reason why they have that smell is rather mundane, but we’ll get to that.
It should go without saying, but if your dog’s feet are excessively stinky, swollen, or have discharge, a trip to the vet is definitely in order. But if all looks well, then here’s what the snack-like paw scent might mean.
Why Do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos?
Assuming we’re talking about a normal eau-de-cornchip scent, the real culprit behind Frito feet is bacteria that grows on your dog’s paws. Specifically, it’s Pseudomonas and Proteus. Too much of this bacteria could lead to health concerns, but a balanced amount of it is normal. Yet, the longer hair grows between the paw pads, the more bacteria can build up.
Unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and a few by their nose. That’s why they need to pant to cool themselves off. The hair on your dog’s feet provides a great environment for the bacteria to thrive, grow, and multiply, leading to the famous yeasty smell.
Myths About Dog Paw Smells
There’s a common myth that the Frito smell comes from cheap dog food. Many dry dog food brands are packed with cheap filler ingredients like corn. Ironically, Fritos are also made with corn. So, do dogs smell like Fritos because they’re eating cheap food?
No, switching your dog’s food will not effect their corn-like stench. Although serving them higher quality food will have countless other positive effects on them. But no matter what rumors you heard, there’s no reason for the smell other than bacteria.
When Should You Be Concerned?
The Frito smell on your dog’s feet is normal, but when does it become a problem? Here are some signs to look out for on your dog’s paws:
- Cut or injury that hasn’t healed
- Foul odors
While a little funky smell is okay, any of the above symptoms are not. If you notice something abnormal with your dog’s paws, you should contact your vet right away.
Can You Prevent That Frito Smell?
If you aren’t the type of person who enjoys that smell, washing and shaving your dogs paws can help. Also, carefully trimming the hair on the bottom of your dog’s foot can help prevent overgrowth of bacteria and should reduce the scent. When in doubt, go to a professional groomer for help with paw maintenance!
Regular hygiene is the key to controlling funky smells for both humans and dogs. So, don’t neglect your dog’s grooming in any areas or you might find smells more peculiar than Fritos.