If you were to create a list of smells associated with dogs, it would likely range from the pleasant scent of a recently-bathed, freshly-groomed pet to the less-pleasing aromas that belong outside. Somewhere in that mix, did you include the fragrance of corn chips?
That’s right — corn chips. Specifically, corn chip-scented feet. That may seem quite odd, but it isn’t at all uncommon. Many people take a whiff of Fido’s feet and wonder if the dog has been treading in a pile of Frito corn chips.
The condition is commonly referred to as “Frito Feet” or “Corn Chip Feet.” It is caused by the bacteria Proteus or Pseudomonas. These microorganisms generate a yeast-like aroma. They tend to thrive in the sweat glands lodged between a dogs paw pads and fur.
Most of the time, the condition is nothing to be concerned about. A dog’s paws are a veritable playground of all sorts of bacteria and fungi that get there through the combination of the dog’s regular walking activity and the saliva from your pup’s grooming behavior.
If, however, Fido’s foot funk is frequently foul, it would be a good idea to pay a visit to your neighborhood veterinarian. A truly-unpleasant odor that persists even after a bath, particularly if coupled with a change in color, could be a sign of an infection or bacterial overgrowth.
Otherwise, assuming the smell of corn chips is pleasant to you, take pleasure in the fact that your pet’s feet probably smell better than your own. Just don’t make the mistake of dipping your pup’s paws in salsa for a mid-day snack.