Corn Chip Paws: Why Do Dog Feet Smell Like Fritos?

dog with corn chip paws

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Did you know that many dogs’ feet smell like corn chips? If you’ve ever had Fritos or any kind of corn chip, you already know what scent I’m talking about. And many dog people love the smell of their dogs’ paws!

This may or may not surprise you as a dog parent and/or dog paw lover. I, for one, don’t understand it — perhaps because I know all too well what my dogs are walking through every day. Sadly, it seems that my dog Chance’s paws don’t really have that smell that so many other dog feet seem to have.

Turns out that most people seem to find that this is also the general smell of dog feet, and people can’t get enough. Have you ever smelled your dog’s paws? If not, grab that pooch and give those feet a sniff.

But what is that corn chip aroma exactly? Why do some of our dogs’ feet smell this way? Here’s what you should know about the mystery of the dog paw corn chip smell.

The Reason Those Dog Feet Smell Like Fritos

dog on bed stretching out paw

(Image Credit: Getty Images)

The secret behind the dog paw Frito smell is that those paw pads are where dogs do the majority of their sweating. Basically, the places on the body that aren’t covered with fur are where dogs sweat. So, naturally, that includes their paw pads.

The corn chip scent is the result of yeast and bacteria mixing with that sweat. Most responsible for the smell is pseudomonas — a bacteria that comes from the soil and water your pup is constantly trotting through.

That bacteria laden sweat gets stuck in the fur coat between the foot pads, and voila! You get “Frito feet!”

While the smell by itself isn’t cause to worry, if the scent is excessive, it could be a sign of infection. If this is the case, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

But if the smell is subtle and stays that way, feel free to take a whiff — if you still can knowing full well that it’s the odor of yeast, bacteria, and sweat on your pooch’s paws. It probably won’t hurt you or make you sick, but sniff at your own risk.

Do you love the smell of your dog’s paws? Do they ever smell like corn chips to you? Let us know in the comments below!