As veterinarians, we have heard pet parents say their dogs' feet smell like a variety of different foods - cookies, popcorn, french fries…and the list goes on. One of the most common questions we hear about the distinct smell of dog paws, however, is, “why do my dog’s feet smell like Fritos corn chips?” We’ll explore the reasons why your dog's feet might smell like Fritos, whether this is normal, and what you can do about it.

Why Your Dog's Paws Smell Fritos

The main reason why your dog's feet smell like Fritos is due to two types of bacteria -  proteus and pseudomonas. Dogs' paws are exposed to a lot of different substances, including dirt, dust, and moisture. As a result, most dogs have some level of bacteria and fungi present on their paws, which can give off a Fritos-like scent. Just because your dog’s paws have bacteria on the surface does not mean that they have a bacterial or fungal infection, and usually, the smell is completely normal.

In some cases, however, the odor on your dog's feet may be due to allergies, yeast, or a skin infection. Dogs' paws are prone to allergies and infections, especially when they are exposed to bacteria and yeast. If you notice that in addition to “Frito feet” your dog's feet are red, swollen, or have an unusually strong odor, it's important to consult your veterinarian. Other signs of allergies include excessive licking or chewing, hair loss, or sensitivity and pain in their paws.

Preventing Frito Paws

Usually, dogs will not require any treatment as long as they are not exhibiting any other symptoms, but if the smell is bothersome to you, there are some simple home remedies for Frito paws. To reduce the odor on your dog's feet, it's important to keep their paws clean and dry. Regularly washing your dog's paws with soap and water or using cleansing wipes can help. Make sure to use products that are specifically formulated for dogs. It's also a good idea to keep your dog’s paws dry, as moisture can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Another easy way to combat the corn chip smell is to keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Long nails can collect more bacteria from the ground, so keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can help prevent this build-up.

In conclusion, if you've noticed that your dog's feet smell like Fritos, it's most likely due to common bacteria that your dog comes into contact with and is perfectly normal. To reduce the odor, keep your dog's paws clean and dry and the nails trimmed. If you've noticed a recent change in the smell of your dog’s paws or have noticed additional symptoms like skin irritation, excessive licking, or hair loss, it’s best to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all dogs have Frito paws?

All dogs have two common types of bacteria on their paws - proteus and pseudomonas. While not every pet parent thinks their furry friend’s paws smell like corn chips, it is one of the most common descriptions we get questions about.

Is Frito feet bad for dogs?

Whether you think your dog’s feet smell like Fritos, french fries, or popcorn, in all likelihood this is a completely normal occurrence. If you notice that the smell becomes stronger than usual or there are other indications of allergies or irritation, then it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian.

Is treating Frito paws in dogs necessary?

Most of the time treatment is not necessary, unless other issues are present, like skin irritation, an infection, or other signs of allergies or pain.

Are there any home remedies for Frito paws?

Although usually “Frito paws” are totally normal and harmless, you can reduce the odor by keeping your dog’s paws clean and dry and their nails trimmed.