Some people insist it smells more like popcorn, but the majority argue the snack-like smell coming from their dog's feet smell like fritos. Long a mystery for pet parents everywhere, there’s a reason for this decidedly corny smell, and it has nothing to do with feeding your four-legged friend corn-based meals. Before you start accusing your pooch of getting into your Fritos stash, read these facts about this quite common phenomenon.
What’s With the Funky Feet?
The strange odor of “Frito feet” occurs when microscopic organisms proliferate on your pup’s paws. This could be from his diet, irregular hygiene, or environmental conditions. While it could be a common state of affairs, it isn’t natural or endearing, though some people claim to like it! So, what’s causing the smell? Most likely it’s a yeast infection. If it’s not a full-blown yeast infection, it’s probably an unchecked proliferation of fungi in and around your dog’s paws. Your pet’s immune system usually keeps small surface mites, bacteria, and fungi in check, but things like humidity outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter from heaters often outstrips his immune system’s ability to keep them checked.
How to Get Rid of Frito Paws
A diet that includes too many foods that are rich in sugars or carbohydrates can contribute to Frito feet. If the condition is caused by a yeast infection, though, it’s probably uncomfortable for your dog. His paws might itch, and the smell could become overwhelming. A trip to the vet is in order where you might be advised to give your dog a foot soak to disinfect his paws and eliminate the smell. It’s a simple process that can bring you and your pooch a lot of relief (but check with your vet first before trying any at-home solutions like the one below):
- Mix 1 gallon of warm water, 2-4 cups of white vinegar, and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in a bucket.
- Place one of your dog’s paws into the solution and let it soak for about 30 seconds.
- Remove his paw from the bucket but don’t rinse it.
- Use a towel to gently pat his paw dry.
- Repeat the process with his other three paws.
You might have to repeat the soaking process multiple times to get your pup’s paws completely clean and odor free. Watch him carefully to make sure he doesn’t lick his paws until they are dry.
Finally, if your dog is showing additional symptoms like difficulty walking or excessive licking or scratching of his feet, ears, or skin folds, it could be signs of a more serious health problem, so talk to your vet. It’s also a good idea when cleaning your dog’s feet to check for things like abrasions, swellings, or other signs of infection and/or injury.
As with most dog-related things pet parents find weird, smelly paws are a perfectly normal trait in the canine world. A good foot soak or two is usually all it takes to have those paws smelling fresh and your dog walking pretty once again. If you have more questions or concerns, check with your vet.