So you noticed that your dog’s paws smell like corn chips or Fritos, and you are wondering how did this happen? You are at the right place.
Some dog owners don’t mind the smell, while some are allergic to it. You will wonder at some point if this smell indicates an underlying health condition for your dog. Worry not. We will answer all your concerns in this article.
Reasons behind Corn Chip Smell from Your Dog’s Paws
Vets explain the reason behind this smell is bacteria known as Proteus and Pseudomonas. These bacteria give a yeasty odor that smells like corn chips. These bacteria are commonly found on dog skin and many other mammals.
The two bacteria like to grow in moist spaces, and your pet’s paws are a perfect habitat. Your pet catches dirt, debris, and moisture while playing outside or whenever he returns from a walk. The paws stay wet for quite some time after you bathe your dog or he plays in the rain.
What to do about the Corn Chips Smell?
Many vets believe the corn chips smell from a dog’s paw is entirely normal unless it gets out of control. The odor-causing bacteria can multiply rapidly and may lead to infection, bumps, redness, and swelling. Your dog may start licking his paws excessively or limping if the pain worsens.
If you notice any discomfort or your dog has bumps or infection and licks his paws too much, take him to a vet. The vet will probably suggest some medicines and dog paw cream to soothe the infection.
Why are Dog Paws prone to Infection?
A dog roams around on all surfaces, including lawns, wet places, roads, sand, and anywhere he can go. The toes have skin folds and hair and don’t get too much airflow. Hence, leading to a moist and damp environment. Bacteria, fungi, and mold love to grow in such places.
When your dog catches some bacteria, he licks his paws to relax. The licking doesn’t do any good but increases the moisture content. Many dog owners don’t notice this licking unless the infection has spread and caused your dog to limp or show behavioral changes.
The problem arises when a dog is not accustomed to letting you touch his feet, eyes, mouth, and ears. Vets suggest getting your dog accustomed to checking these things when they are puppies, as older dogs are more reluctant to let you touch them.
You may contact your vet if you think that your dog needs attention. A common symptom your dog needs medical attention is when the corn chips smell turns into moldy cheese or gets too unpleasant, accompanied by excessive licking, whining, crying, or growling.
Home-Made Treatment for Frito Feet or Corn Chips Smell from Your Dog’s Feet
Make sure you consult your vet before using the method given below.
- Take a large bucket and add 1 gallon of warm water, 2-4 cups of white vinegar, and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide.
- Place one paw of your dog in the bucket and let it stay there for 30 seconds.
- Remove the paw from the bucket but don’t rinse it. Instead, use a soft towel to dry the paw.
- Repeat for all four paws.
- Don’t let your pooch lick his paws until they are completely dry.
You may have to repeat the process if the smell doesn’t disappear in 1-2 applications.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Feet Healthy
- Wash your dog’s feet with an antiseptic and dog-friendly shampoo to remove any bacteria lodged in the paws.
- Trim excess fur between the toes with the help of a pet hair clipper.
- Trim their nails regularly, as long nails can make your dog’s paws come into contact with dirt and debris more often.
- Spread your dog’s toes while bathing and dry them properly to avoid bacterial growth.
- Wipe your dog’s feet after you take him on a walk or he returns from a playing session with your kids. Only use alcohol-free and unscented baby wipes or wipes specifically designed for dogs.
- You don’t have to wash your dog’s feet unless they are muddy or your dog has stepped in urine or feces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all breeds have corn chips smell on their feet?
Most breeds do have smelly feet problems. However, breeds with excessive skin folds and heavy coats are more prone to this issue. Bulldogs, pugs, Shar Pies, retrievers, and Saint Bernards are the commonly affected breeds.
Do dogs get uncomfortable by the corn chips smell on their feet?
Dogs have a super powerful sense of smell compared to humans. Their smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than humans, and they like to smell like dogs. Putting air freshener, scent, or deodorant on your dog’s smelly paws may irritate them. Vets suggest that if you don’t like this smell, don’t get near your dog’s paws or use unscented wipes soaps to wash the feet specifically designed for dogs.