Why Does My Dog Smell Like Corn Chips?

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Corn Chips?

As you get a sniff of your dog, you smell a weird but familiar odor.

Why does my dog smell like corn chips?

It’s unlikely he’s broken into your stash of Fritos. Or at least that’s what we’d like to think!

If it’s a corn-based snack you’re smelling off of your dog, you’re actually quite accurate.

And the source? His paws.

Before we tell you why your pup’s paws smell like a guilty pleasure, we want to assure you that this is completely normal! It’s a common complaint for dog paws to smell of corn chips, and it might be worth your while to understand why.

Why the Funky Feet?


We expect you to have thought your dog might have probably stepped in something if his paws are smelly, right?

But that’s actually not the case!

Much like in the case for us humans, a harmless number of bacteria and fungi live on your dog’s skin.

The bacteria – called Pseudomonas and Proteus – are what’s giving off that yeasty smell that you relate to corn chips.

Don’t worry! Those bacteria are healthy and normal when in balance, and the smell they make is nothing concerning either.

But here’s another thing: did you know dog sweat through their paws?

Consider the combination of that sweat (we all know how smelly we’re like when we forget to apply deodorant!) with your pooch licking their paws to clean them.

The microbes in your dog’s tongue combined with the sweat accelerate the bacteria and makes the odor more prominent.

When to Worry


As we’ve said, that corn chips smell coming from your dog’s paws is normal and nothing to worry about.

However, beware of signs of an unbearable smell, or of your dog licking or chewing his paws excessively.

Though the bacteria is harmless, there can still be an overgrowth of it or it can combine with yeast, causing infection or inflammation.

And since our dogs step into many things and pick up lots of dirt and bacteria that could make their paws dirtier, they could be prone to infection if their paw pads are injured.

Here’s how to know there’s something you need to take your dog to the vet for:

  • Inflammation
  • Really bad smell
  • Discharge or redness
  • A cut that doesn’t heal

How to Keep Their Paws Clean


Keeping your furry friend’s paws consistently clean is a good way to prevent the fuss of a paw infection.

It also helps keep the smell away!

One important thing to take note of is, as you bathe your pooch regularly or wash them after a messy run, is to pay attention to the area between the paw pads. It gets dark, warm, and moist, so it’s prone to fungi.

Keep your dog’s paws dry – but not too dry that it cracks! Use moisturizer for pets to keep them healthy.


So, since we’ve explained that that Fritos smell is normal, there’s no need (or even way) to get rid of it per se.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch out for any weird smells or forget to keep your dog and his paws clean!

If your dog smells like anything else that is not corn chips, here are some scenarios of what might be going on.