The truth of the matter is that feet stink. Despite our differing hygiene routines, both human and dog paws can get pretty funky. Many dog owners have realized there is a specific funk associated with their pup, and that dog paws smell like corn chips. For most dogs, this isn’t indicative of a health problem, and many pet parents don’t mind the savory odor. However, there are several causes for stinky paws, and it’s important to know what’s affecting your pup’s footsies.
Five different causes of smelly paws
1. Bacteria and fungi
That “Fritos smell” is usually caused by bacteria that are entirely natural yet give off a kind of yeasty odor, particularly the bacteria Proteus or Pseudomonas. Luckily, many people don’t mind this smell, which is much different from stinky human feet! Summer’s high humidity and excessive use of heaters in the winter provide ideal conditions for fungal growth. The spaces between your dog’s toes, and the cracks and crevices around a dog’s foot pads, are the perfect spots for fungi to thrive.
2. Dogs sweating
Dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans. Instead, they sweat through their foot pads. This impacts them in many ways, including stinky paws. Trimming the fur between the foot pads is important for keeping the stench down to prevent sweat from permeating into their fur.
3. Barbed weeds, rocks, or other foreign objects
If your pup has something stuck in their paw, it could cause an infection or abscess, and a funky smell. You should check your pup’s paws daily for anything that shouldn’t be there.
4. Open sore
Foot melanoma, or a sore that’s become infected from licking, can cause an unpleasant odor. If this is the case, it’s best to have the wound assessed by a veterinarian.
5. Toenail problems
A toenail injury or infection can cause your dog’s paws to reek. Depending on the severity of this injury, you may be able to heal it at home, or you may need to visit the vet.
It might be your dog's food ingredients
It seems fitting that your dog’s food choices could also be a culprit behind their Frito-scented feet. Poor nutrition will affect your pet’s overall health, which has a domino effect on their odor, as well. Too many foods rich in sugars or starches can contribute to the right dietary conditions that foster Frito feet. That’s why it’s imperative to provide your fur baby with all the goodness and none of the nasty with food from I and Love and You.