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Do Your Dog's Feet Smell Like Fritos?

Do Your Dog's Feet Smell Like Fritos?

It’s ok. You can admit it. You likely have at one point in time smelled your dog’s feet. Most people have. I know someone who actually loved, I mean LOVED to smell her dog’s feet. Why? Because she loved the smell of Fritos! I’ve tried to come up with a solid name to submit to Webster’s Dictionary for this fetish that my friend has, but I can’t decide between cornchippawophilia or fritofeetophilia. If you are willing to admit that you've smelled and liked the smell of your dog’s feet, know that you're not alone. Many people have done it. Haven’t done it yet? Ok, go do it. We won’t look and we won’t tell anyone. Corn chips right?!   

I've gotten asked about the smell of dog’s feet by a great many people over the years. Usually, they tell me that their dog has smelly feet, not a bad smelly, just a smelly. They want to know that everything is ok with their dog’s feet. I first take a look at the paws to make sure there isn't an abnormality present, which usually there is not, and then I proceed to stick my nose near a paw and take a whiff. Ahhhh, Fritos!! I then tell the client that their dog has normal feet, and I ask them what they think their dog’s feet smell like. Usually, they don’t have an exact answer at the time, they try to explain it, but just can’t put an exact name on it. I then say the word "Frito", and a light bulb goes off in their head. “YES! That's exactly it” they'll say to me.

So, what exactly is this Frito smell? Honestly, it's just dog B.O. Just like you and I, dogs have body odor. The body odor on their feet just happens to smell like an all-time favorite dipping chip.

Why? It is caused by the microscopic organisms of bacteria and yeast. NORMAL bacteria and yeast that are on the skin of dogs, and these organisms give off an odor, and that odor tends to smell like corn chips. The smell is most noticeable when you spread the toes and get your nose right down in there. Some breeds of dogs will have a more odiferous corn chip scent to their feet than others, with characteristics such as the amount of fur and where that fur is located dictates if your dog has a snack bag Frito smell or a family sized Frito smell. 

So, it's very normal to have Frito smelling dog feet. We do see issues such as infections on the feet of some dogs and infections in or on the nails, so if you ever have a concern, please let us examine your dog to be sure there is not an issue. Signs such as biting and licking excessively at the paws can indicate an abnormal issue, and not just the normal "Frito foot". If for some reason, you don't like your dog’s feet smelling like corn chips, you can do something about it to reduce the scent. These tips won’t completely or entirely eliminate the scent, but it can diminish it for periods of time.

  1. Regular washing of feet. Once weekly you could use a mild shampoo and suds up each paw and wash away with copious amounts of water. Be sure to wash in between each of the toes, around each nail, and around all pads. When done, be sure to dry the paws well, including in between the toes.
  2. Periodically you could use a damp washrag or a baby wipe, and wipe each paw completely, including in between each of the toes and pads.
  3. A final technique is to use a foot-bath/foot-soak. You could place your dog in a shallow area of water, and let their paws soak for five minutes. There are foot soak products you could purchase to do this, or you could make your own. A homemade recipe is to mix a gallon of water with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide.

So, there you have it. Dog feet have body odor, and that body odor tends to smell like Frito corn chips. At your next Super Bowl party try having people smell your dog’s feet, and take a vote on what they smell like. Most won’t be able to pinpoint it at first, but once you say FRITOS!, I all but guarantee they will agree. 

I hope you've enjoyed this article!

Until next time.... Dr. Arnett

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