As dog owners, we’re familiar with our best pal’s likes, dislikes, habits, routines, and, of course, their smell. Dog odors can range from pleasant (puppy breath) to downright disgusting (a roll in fresh manure). One smell that isn’t necessarily bad but is certainly perplexing is paw odor. Many dog owners recognize the scent as smelling like Fritos, popcorn, or freshly baked bread.

If you’re wondering why your dog’s paws smell like Fritos, we can help! At Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care, we regularly delve into topics like pet grooming, shedding, and dental care. This time, let’s turn our attention to your pet’s adorable yet strangely odiferous paws!

Why do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos?

The short answer to this question can be found in bacteria and fungi. Our pups walk everywhere, and regardless of how fastidiously they groom their feet, there are still millions of bacteria and fungi living in between the paw pads. Combine this with the fact that dogs regulate their body temperature mainly by sweating through their paws, and you have the perfect environment for microorganisms to thrive.

Fortunately, the vast majority of bacteria and fungi in and around the paw pads are completely harmless. Pseudomonas and Proteus are two species that, when mixed with moisture in between the toes, tend to create that unique corn chip smell.

Wash, Rinse, Dry, Repeat

To reduce that Frito-like smell, groom and bathe your dog’s paws regularly. Trim the fur in between the paw pads, keep nails trimmed, and wash the paws using a mild, hypoallergenic soap. Be sure to thoroughly dry in between each toe with a soft towel.

Our professional groomers are happy to help keep your dog’s paws in great shape. Give us a call for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Times of Trouble

Even if you enjoy the fact that your dog’s paws smell like Fritos, remember you can have too much of a good thing. If the odor becomes overwhelming or takes a turn for the worse, an underlying health condition may be to blame, such as allergies, injury, or infection.

Please give us a call if you notice your dog is excessively licking or chewing at their paws, groin, or belly. Also be on the lookout for any redness or irritation or if you notice the corn chip odor coming from their ears.

As always, our team is here to help in any way we can when it comes to your pet’s health, happiness, and quality of life!