Frito Bandito: What Does My Dog’s Paws Smell Like Corn Chips

A dog with its paw in the air

If you have ever had the unfortunate whiff of your pet’s feet, it may have reminded you of something. That’s right, Frito’s! Many pet owners come to us asking why their dogs’ paws smell like corn chips. Is it just a thing with them? Is it an infection? Fungus? 

This common quandary is one that is easily explained. Your friends at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital can answer your question as well as offer some solutions to the funky feet problem.

The Corn Chips Conundrum

This yeasty smell from a dog’s feet is actually pretty harmless. Most of the time, the scent is caused by bacteria that, in balance, are nothing to worry about. Your pet’s foot odor is also a result of whatever it is they’ve been exposed to. As your pet walks across natural areas, they pick up environmental substances as well as additional bacteria. 

Once your dog gets home, their natural reaction is to clean their paws. While doing so, they deposit additional microbes from their saliva, which mixes with the foot bacteria and yeast. As a result, the odor may be a little yucky to us, but isn’t necessarily a health issue.

In terms of the corn chip smell, this is most likely caused by the bacteria, Proteus or Pseudomonas. These bacteria are healthy and exist on the skin, and their smell can be somewhat yeasty, which is why it resembles corn snacks.

When the Funk Gets Funkier

If your pet’s paws smell particularly putrid, there may be a health condition at work. Stinky feet can be caused by several conditions that can produce odors, among other paw problems. Be alert to any of the following signs:

  • Putrid odor
  • Pus or bleeding 
  • Injury to the paw(s)
  • Recent burns on paws
  • Wound that won’t heal
  • Red, inflamed paws
  • Dryness and scaling of skin
  • Your pet is licking at paws excessively
  • Foreign body lodged in paw/foot

Contact us as there could be an infection or injury that needs immediate veterinary attention.

Keeping the Paws Healthy

You can take steps to keep those precious paws at their best. 

  1. Wash off feet with a damp cloth whenever you return from walking with your pet.
  2. Use protective booties when outside.
  3. Shampoo your pet regularly.
  4. Keep paws neat by clipping nails and trimming fur around paws.

For more information on why your dog’s paws smell like corn chips, please do not hesitate to call us