Why Do My Dog's Paws Smell Like Fritos?

As a dog owner, you may have noticed a peculiar odor coming from your furry friend's paws - a smell that resembles the popular corn chips, Fritos. This phenomenon may seem odd, but it is actually quite common among dogs. In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind this smell and offer tips on how to keep your dog's paws clean.

Why do dogs' paws smell like Fritos?

The answer lies in a combination of factors. First, dogs have sweat glands in their paws, just like humans. These glands secrete moisture and oils that can accumulate on the skin, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. Second, dogs are known for licking their paws, which can introduce even more bacteria and yeast to the area. Finally, the type of bacteria and yeast that grow on a dog's paws produce a distinct odor that many people compare to the scent of Fritos.

While the Fritos-like odor is usually harmless, it can be a sign of an underlying health issue. If your dog's paws are excessively smelly, it could indicate a skin infection, allergies, or a hormonal imbalance. If you notice any other symptoms, such as redness, swelling, or excessive licking, it's best to take your dog to the vet for a checkup.

How to keep your dog's paws clean

To prevent excessive odor and keep your dog's paws healthy, regular cleaning is important. Here are some tips to help you keep your dog's paws clean:

  1. Wipe down your dog's paws after walks. Use a damp cloth or pet wipe to clean your dog's paws after a walk or outdoor playtime. This will help remove any dirt, bacteria, or allergens that may have accumulated on the skin.

  2. Keep your dog's nails trimmed. Long nails can trap dirt and bacteria, so it's important to keep them trimmed. If you're not comfortable trimming your dog's nails yourself, take them to a professional groomer.

  3. Use paw balms or moisturizers. Applying a paw balm or moisturizer can help keep your dog's paws hydrated and prevent cracking or drying. Visit our Shampoo + Conditioner Collection for grooming products for ALL types of dog hair and skin!

  4. Consider a foot soak. Soaking your dog's paws in a mixture of warm water and epsom salt can help soothe sore paws and remove any bacteria or allergens.

  5. Keep your home clean. Regularly vacuuming and dusting can help reduce the amount of dirt, dust, and allergens in your home, which can help prevent skin irritation and infection.

In conclusion, while the Fritos-like smell coming from your dog's paws may be harmless, it's important to keep them clean and healthy to prevent any underlying health issues. Regular cleaning, trimming, and moisturizing can go a long way in preventing odor and maintaining your dog's overall paw health.


  1. VetStreet. (2020, August 13). Why Do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos? Retrieved from https://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-do-dog-paws-smell-like-fritos

  2. Dogtime. (n.d.). Why Do My Dog’s Feet Smell Like Fritos? Retrieved from https://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/49302-dogs-feet-smell-like-fritos