• Cierra Voelkl

Why Do Dog Feet Smell Like Fritos?

Updated: Nov 19

Are you one of those dog owners that sniff your dog's feet and goes "hmmm, Fritos"? Because if so, you aren't alone. Dog paws smelling like Fritos or corn chips have been a common observance by dog owners for years. So why exactly do your dog's paws smell like Fritos?


Photo Credit: For My Dachshund

That "smell of corn chips" is usually caused by bacteria, notably the Proteus or Pseudomonas bacteria, which are completely natural but give off a kind of yeasty odor. A lot of people with dogs agree that they really embrace this scent, so you can relax. If the foot odor of your dog is especially stinky, however, something else might be at hand, which we will discuss next.

Many pet owners report that dog paws smell of corn-based products, but it's not yeast that's likely to be responsible, but bacteria in the sweat on your dogs' paws. When Pseudomonas bacteria were cultivated in Petri dishes, a quick smell proved that there were bacteria that smelled of Fritos.


It is normal that dog feet stink because dogs don't constantly clean the bottom of their paws. But regular washing of their paws removes sweat and dirt that can contribute to Frito feet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. If the smell of corn chips from your dog's feet or body bothers you, try these tips. Certain products can also help you reduce it, but if it bothers you and you must get rid of it you can try trimming their paws:

  • By inserting your thumb between them, spread the dog's paw pads apart.

  • Carefully cut the fur from around the pads using pet clippers.

  • Bathe the dog after trimming the paws. For each foot, use pet-friendly shampoo, lather it up, and then clean them out. To extract sweat and dirt, shampoo all 4 paws properly.


Photo Credit: Ariana Cantu

In the end, there's nothing wrong with embracing Frito-feet! But if the odor increases, a trip to the vet might help resolve that issue.


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