The Curious Case of “Frito Feet”
Have you ever smelled your pet’s feet? No, seriously – have you? It seems strange, but if you have ever been close enough to your dog’s paws, you may have noticed a strange, yet familiar odor. Corn chips!
You’d be surprised that many owners come to us and ask why their pets’ paws smell like that corn snack (or other strange scents).
Your team at The Whole Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center is here to answer this odd riddle.
Pet Odors Are Normal, Sometimes
Of course, pets pick up a number of smells on their paws from walking on dirty concrete, asphalt, grass, and other surfaces. So, it’s no surprise that your pet’s feet don’t smell like a bed of roses. But there are times when odor can signal a problem.
- Foul odor
- A wound that won’t heal
If your pet’s feet smell putrid, or if there is discharge, there may be an underlying infection at work. Call your veterinarian for an examination.
Dogs feet pick up bacteria, yeast, and other contributors to smells, some of which can be entirely normal. Bacteria and fungi reside on the skin of healthy pets. It is only when there is an injury or underlying illness present that this can become problematic.
Pets also sweat through their feet. Because your pet licks their feet to clean them, that funky smell is just a normal process of being an animal! Now, what about the “Frito feet”? The smell of corn chips is caused by a specific bacteria, Proteus or Pseudomonas. These types of bacteria can be normal findings on the skin of otherwise healthy dogs, so no need to worry.
What Do I Do About Frito Feet?
If you want to keep your pet’s paws at their cleanest, the best way to do this is consistent grooming.
- Trim the hair between your pet’s paws and keep their feet fur tidy.
- Bathe your pet once every two weeks with a hypoallergenic shampoo, formulated for stinky dog feet.
- Always dry your pet’s feet after a bath.
- After a walk through puddles, creeks, rain, or other wet paths, ensure you clean the legs, feet, and paws.
If you have any questions about your pet’s health, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us. We may not be able to change the smell of those “corn chip paws,” but we can help you come up with solutions to promote paw health.