Why does my dogs’ paws smell like Fritos?

Jun 20, 2019 | Pet Health

I have to write this blog because I’ve never experienced this before until I got my sweet little Jakie Poo!  I now have a little monster with Frito smelling paws and a nose that smells like honey (but that is a topic for another blog).  

Does your fur baby’s paws smell like Corn chips? Fritos? Maybe corn tortillas?  This phenomenon is known as “Fritos Paws,” or “Fritos Feet.”  

Dogs have trillions of bacteria living on their skin and with trampling through water, grass, and mud, the dirt lays in the folds of the skin and the fur between the paws and creates a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.  The smell might appeal to you but remember when your dog is licking his paws, it creates a moist environment between the toes where the bacteria can survive and you might not want to put your nose to close.  

Pseudomonas and proteus are natural bacteria your dog picks up from soil or water he walks through.  The pseudomonas create the corn chip smell.  Pseudomonas and proteus are the two types of natural bacteria that make their way from soil or water into the crevices of a paw, and it’s the former that gives your pet that snack food smell.

This is perfectly normal but when the Frito smell becomes excessive it can be a sign of infection. If your dog seems to be excessively licking his paws, or you see inflammation in the webbed part between his toes, it is time to see the vet.  

Two ways to help keep the smell down:

  • Dogs sweat through their feet so keeping the fur between their foot pads trimmed can help reduce the smell.  After trimming, bath your dog. Use pet shampoo on each foot, lathering it up and then rinsing it completely. Shampoo all 4 paws well to remove sweat and debris.
  • I read that some people swear that the Fritos odor comes from cheap dog food. They say that if the main ingredient in your dogs’ brand is corn, you should switch brands to possibly decrease your pets’ foot odor.

I have checked both Jake and Maggie’s paws and there is no sign of inflammation or infection.  I think it’s just Jake’s natural smell because he has had a little bit of Frito smell since he was a puppy.  LOL!  

Hope you enjoyed this post.  I found it very interesting and wanted to share.

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