Why Do Your Dog’s Paws Smell Like Corn Chips?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Have you ever noticed a certain smell in the air after your dog licks his paws – just like corn chips! We looked into why a dog’s paws emit this snack-like scent, and here’s what we found out.

Let’s face it, dogs can be confusing (in a weird way) at times and we don’t understand why they do the things they do. This goes for strange smells coming out of your pooch (and not just from his butt). One of those odd aromas is the fact that your dog’s paws can smell like corn chips. Once we caught onto the scent of this interesting question, we couldn’t let it go – here’s what we found out about that corn chip odor.

Where Does the Smell Come From?

You’re no stranger to odd or unpleasant smells when your dog is concerned. But have you ever noticed that your dog’s paws smell distinctly like corn chips after he licks them? This may sound strange, but if you pay attention the next time it happens, take a deep breath! What’s really going on here?

Related: 10 Weird Things Our Pets Do When No One is Watching

The truth is that there are certain kinds of bacteria that live on your dog’s paws, even when you do your best to keep them (and the rest of him) clean. These bacteria are called either Pseudomonas or Proteus, and they give off a yeasty-like smell that is eerily similar to the scent of corn chips. Don’t worry – these bacteria are usually not harmful.

Do You Need to Be Concerned About It?

Canine foot odor is a fairly common problem and there are many potential causes. If your dog’s feet have a corn chip-like smell, it’s probably just a result of the bacteria already mentioned, and not something you need to be overly concerned about.

Related: 9 Bizarre Things Cats Love to Lick

If your dog’s feet smell strongly or if it’s an unpleasant odor, however, you may want to check in with your vet to rule out medical problems such as bacterial infections. If there is an underlying problem causing your dog’s foot odor, your vet will be able to identify it and provide you with a treatment plan to solve the problem.

Another potential cause for your dog’s foot odor is sweat. You may not realize that dogs aren’t capable of sweating in the same way that humans are as a means of regulating their temperature. When your dog is hot, he starts panting, but he’ll also start sweating through the pads of his feet.

In some cases, this sweat can become trapped in your dog’s fur between his toes where it accumulates and starts to develop a foul odor. Keeping the fur between your dog’s toes trimmed and neat can help to reduce this odor. After trimming, it’s a good idea to give your dog’s paws a thorough cleaning with warm water and dog-friendly shampoo. That should be enough to remove the pooch pong.

Dogs can be smelly animals – when they sniff out something stinky, they often roll in it, eat it, or spread it around. While you may have a tough time controlling this behavior, you can keep his feet clean to reduce odor – unless, of course, you like the smell of corn chips. Hmmmm… we wonder if there’s a Corn Chip Glade Plug-In…

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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