To smell a bag of Fritos or Popcorn can be nice on a Friday night while binging Netflix. However, smelling it becomes a source of concern when you go for a walk or play with your dog. Check these 6 facts about the ‘Frito feet’ phenomena and get to know your dog – and how to help him!
1. You can blame Proteus and Pseudomonas for your dog’s corn chips odour
Even though such expressions seem to be taken out of Greek mythology, your dog can easily stumble upon these two on a daily basis all around the world. These bacteria are found widely in the environment, being present in soil, water and plants.
The Proteus bacterium causes a more sweet, corn tortilla smell while Pseudomonas is leaning towards fruity scents, reminding people of popcorn. When bacteria or yeast develop on dogs’ paws, they slowly decompose the tissue, releasing chemicals that cause the corny odour.
2. Bacteria are attracted to damp paws
In contrast to human ones, dogs’ sweat glands are placed only on their pads and by their nose. Hence, paws are their primary way to cool themselves down. This also explains why dogs pant in hot temperatures!
However, as you can imagine, having sweaty and moist paws can both attract bacteria and create them an ideal environment to thrive.
When you combine it with the fact that dogs spend most of their time walking through dirt, you can get why picking up microorganisms on the way is a piece of cake.
3. A lot can be solved by throwing your dog a hot tub party
The paws of your dog are on the floor 99% of the time. They get dirty and sweaty, providing bacteria and yeast with a perfect setting.
Although you don’t need to worry unless your dog gets an infection, you can treat the corny smell at home. Much like getting rid of human body odour, Frito smell can be washed away with water and disinfection.
When treating the Frito feet at home, you can fill your dog a bath and add some white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide to disinfect. It is advised to mix a gallon of lukewarm water with a cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1-4 cups of white vinegar. After soaking your dog’s paws in the solution, there is no need to rinse it down!
4. Things can go sideways in case of infection
Suppose bacteria or especially yeast, gets overly accumulated on your dog’s feet. In that case, it may be the best time to visit the vet for pododermatitis! You can suspect the abundance if your dog is licking or chewing its paws way too often. This indicates irritation and inflammation, most likely caused by an infection.
Remember to check whether he has problems walking and look out for any swelling or injuries on his pad. Injuries from cuts or scratches may be hazardous, so as a precaution, don’t forget to trim his nails and regularly check his paws!
Lastly, if your dog has an allergy combined with ‘Frito feet’, it’s probably an issue requiring changes to his diet, but you should see a vet!
5. Hitting up a barbershop is one of the best precautions
Proper grooming can go a long way. Dogs often have long hair getting in between their paw pads. This alone shouldn’t be a source of concern. However, their fur usually is or quickly gets wet. As we already know, a moist environment is no good if we want to avoid bacteria, so trimming it now and then is for the best.
6. Paws may have been spared, but…
Even though the phenomenon is well-known as ‘Frito feet ‘, the problem may not occur anywhere near them. While sweat glands and dirty pads usually cause the paws to catch the bacteria, the rest of their body, face or ears, can smell after corn chips instead. So don’t forget to look for any clues that your dog might not be completely okay!
Remember, your dog’s feet smelling like corn chip is not automatically something to be concerned about! However, as the good pet owner you are, watch out for any indications that the problem is more serious. In case of an infection, the vet is the only one to help. Your dog is happy to have you!