Why Do Dog Feet Smell Like Fritos?
Have you ever noticed a corn chip smell coming from your dogs feet? If so you’re not going crazy, and you’re certainly not alone.
Many dogs have a corn chip (or popcorn like) smell coming from their feet. It’s known as “Frito feet,” and although it’s a bit strange it is completely normal.
So why do dog feet smell like Fritos? One common theory is that the corn chip smell on a dogs paws is caused by excess corn in their diet. And although a healthy diet is always important it’s not the cause of that corn chip smell on your dogs feet. Here’s the real reason your dogs feel smell like Fritos.
Why Do Dog Feet Smell Like Fritos?
The reason your dogs feet smell like Fritos is due to bacteria. That corn chip smell is caused by natural bacteria that end up on your dogs feet. It’s natural, normal, and fairly common. Most people say it reminds them of the smell of popcorn or corn chips. It’s commonly referred to as “Frito Feet.”
Dog feet are a thriving host for bacteria, mostly Proteus or Pseudomonas. Both of these common bacteria give of a yeasty type smell. Humans sweat glands are distributed over much of the body, but dogs only sweat from their paws. And since there’s not a lot of air circulation moving in between your dogs toes that moisture leads to a build up of bacteria.
Bacteria thrives in your dogs paws, and that’s what causes that corn chip smell, or as I like to call it ‘frito feet.’ But don’t let all this bacteria talk alarm you – it’s all completely natural. The same microorganisms that give your dogs feet that corn chip smell are the same ones that cause body odor in us. It’s nothing to be alarmed about. Your dog has trillions of bacteria living on its skin, even if he’s the cleanest dog in the neighborhood.
As Bill Bryson states in A Short History of Nearly Everything, “If you are in good health and averagely diligent about hygiene, you will have a herd of about one trillion bacteria grazing on your fleshy plains—about a hundred thousand of them on every square centimeter of skin.” So when it comes why dog feet smell like corn chips it’s due to all that bacteria, and yes — it’s completely normal.
What to Do If You Don’t Like The Way Your Dog’s Feet Smell
Dogs sweat through their foot pads, so any sweat that gets trapped between their toes can build up and create a strong odor coming from their feet. If you’d like to prevent the build up of sweat you can trim your dogs fur around their toes.
Place your thumb in between your dogs toes, and use a hair trimmer to carefully trim the fur around the pads. After you’ve trimmed the fur thoroughly bathe their feet. Shampoo, lather, and rinse each of their feet thoroughly. This will remove any remaining build up of sweat and debris.
Frito Feet Is Completely Normal
That corn chip smell on your dogs feet is completely normal. It’s a result of natural bacteria collecting between their toes and producing that Frito feet smell. If that smell isn’t one you fond of you can reduce the odor by keeping your dogs paws well groomed & clean. But for the rest of us? Well we don’t mind that frito feet smell at all, many of us find it endearing.
Do Your Dogs Feel Smell Like Corn Chips or Popcorn?
Do your dogs feet smell like Fritos? Or do you think they smell more like corn chips or popcorn? Does it bother you or do you find it endearing?
Check out out the Rest of Our “Why Do Dogs” Series:
- Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rubs?
- Why Do Dogs Go Crazy After a Bath?
- Why Do Dogs Have Spotted Tongues?
- Why Do Dogs Steal Laundry?
Walks With Rama says
I think it is rather endearing. 🙂
Chelsea Price says
Ha! I love that smell! …Though I love it a bit less now that I know it’s bacteria…
Pamela | Something Wagging says
The bigger question is why don’t people say Fritos smell like dog’s feet?
Sharon Seltzer says
I find it interesting that the natural smell of a dog’s feet is an odor people like. Mother nature is amazing!.
God is amazing
I LOVE MY DOGS FEET THEY SMELL SO GOOD PLUS THEY ARE ATTACHED TO THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURE AND SOUL IN THE WORLD.
My kitties LOVE to smell the dogs feet, especially when he comes in after his walk. The dog gets a little huffy when they do this, but I think it’s really the cutest thing.
JOHN H TETREAULT says
Since dogs existed long before Fritos, the real, and more disturbing, question everyone should be asking is not why do dog feet smell like Fritos, but why do Fritos smell like dog feet.
Jen Gabbard says
You’ve made an excellent point. Apparently Fritos have only been around since 1932, and I’m pretty sure dog feet have a much longer history.
Wow I can’t believe I didn’t even know this was a thing until now. I’m going to smell my dog’s feet when I get home…
Linda babashoff says
So the main question everyone reading this blog should be, “What can we use or do to rid that awful smell from their feet?”
Awful? More like sweet-salty-corn-chipy 😉
Lynn Robinson says
I have a rescue dog that looks like the one you have initially pictured with the Frito feet article. What breed or breed mix is that dog?
The “Frito smelling feet” having nothing to do with their diet is completely inaccurate. A lot of dog foods are made with corn and soy and that is exactly why their feet smell like corn. I noticed this when my dog was a puppy and I asked her vet and read many articles that stated the corn in their diet is the reason for the smell. I changed her diet to foods that contain brown rice and sweet potatoes and the smell went away immediately. Foods with corn and soy are bad for for dogs and cause disease since most corn and soy crops are genetically modified. A lot of people think the smell is cute but it is definitely a sign that their diet needs a change
John Sarter says
We used to call our sweet little Jackhuahua Tess “popcorn doggy”!! Now we know why!!♥️