Have you ever smelled your dog’s feet? Well, if you have – whether by accident or on purpose – you may have noticed a certain corn chip smell. And you’re not crazy, your dog’s feet do indeed smell like Fritos – or popcorn depending on what your nose picks up. And there is science to back up the scent as well.
It turns out that the smell is from microorganisms and bacteria called Pseudomonas and Proteus that live in your dog’s paws.
Since hair grows in between your dog’s paws, it is a great place for bacteria to grow – especially when they get wet.
Humans sweat all over their body while dogs only sweat on parts not covered by fur. This includes their paws and their noses. Which makes sense why I can see my dogs paw prints on the floor during a hot summer day.
This is also why your dog will take time to pant when you take them on a walk during the summer. There paws and nose aren’t large enough to cool them down. this is why they rely on moisture from their tongue and lining of their lungs.
You can minimize the smell by trimming the hair on your dog’s paws or washing them after they go outside.
Side note: If your dog’s feet start to smell excessive, they produce discharge, or there is swelling from their feet, this is most likely a sign of infection and your pet should see their vet ASAP.