Closeup view of friendly jack russell terrier with paw in person's hand.

If you have ever gotten an unfortunate whiff of your dog’s feet, you may have been surprised that they smell a lot like a favorite snack. Yeasty, a little, but definitely like opening a bag of Frito’s, right? 

The case of the corn chip canine isn’t too hard to solve. This is why your friends at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center are here to sleuth out the reasons, so you can have a healthier and better smelling pup.

The Culprit Is Likely Bacteria

When your dog has a corn chip smell from the area of their feet and paws, it’s probably normal bacteria and other buildup on the skin. The bacteria responsible for the yeasty smell are called pseudomonas and proteus. Most bacteria and yeast occur in balance in the skin without causing any problems, other than the corny smell.

Along with yeast and bacteria is the fact that your dog traipses through a wide variety of things outdoors, from other animal’s excrement and urine to mud, dirt, and standing water. This combination can obviously make for a less than rosy smell.

When Good Bacteria Go Bad

Most dog lovers don’t mind a little doggie smell from their four-legged friends. However, if the smell is overbearing or foul, there may be trouble brewing. Sometimes, these naturally occurring bacteria and yeast become imbalanced. When there is an overgrowth, it can often lead to infection and other skin disorders that can create foul odor.

If the smell accompanies over symptoms, there may be a health condition that needs to be addressed. Some symptoms that are synonymous with this type of skin imbalance are:

  • Yeasty smell from the ears or skin
  • Chronic scratching and biting at skin and/or paws
  • Hair loss
  • Dry, raw or red skin, including the ears
  • Injury to skin and paws from chronic biting/scratching

In these situations, you should follow up with your veterinarian to see there is an infection causing these symptoms. Allergies in pets often manifest as skin disorders and itchiness, so there can be seasonal, flea, or other allergic reactions occurring.

Paw Care to the Rescue

If your canine companion’s paws smell a little Frito-y, there are some things you can do to improve their overall skin and paw condition. Regular grooming is a must for  doggos and help to combat problems from developing.

  1. Wash off your pet’s paws with warm water and towel dry them when they’ve been outdoors.
  2. Keep the paw’s neat and tidy by trimming excess fur. This includes between the toes, where the funk loves to hide.
  3. Trim your dog’s nails monthly (or more frequently if they grow quickly).
  4. Shampoo your pet every few weeks, using a pleasant smelling shampoo and conditioner.

Yuck! My Dog’s Feet Smell!

If your pet has a certain corny aroma, or they are experiencing other skin problems or symptoms, contact us. We may not be able to deliver a perfectly smelling pooch for life, but we can ensure the best quality care and well-being for your best friend.