Unusual Odors: Decoding the Mystery of Why Your Dog Smells like Fritos and More

Your furry friend may not always smell fresh, in fact, they may smell like a garbage can after rolling in something unpleasant in your yard or like a wet dog after playing in the sprinkler. While it's common for their fur to have an odor, have you ever taken a whiff of their paws?

If your dog's paws have a corn chip odor, also known as Frito feet, it's not because they ate a bag of chips. Rather, it's caused by a combination of bacteria, fungi, and yeast that live on your dog's skin. Although most bacteria on healthy dogs are not harmful, some microbes can grow and cause an unpleasant smell, such as the bacteria pseudomonas which was found in a 2018 study to be associated with smelly but healthy bloodhounds.

Pseudomonas has a unique smell, described as sweet or grape-like, as well as corn tortilla-like. However, Frito feet do not necessarily mean your furry friend is sick. Healthy dogs can pick up pseudomonas and other microbes from the natural environment, such as soil and water, while playing in the park or swimming in a pond.

Other microbes that may contribute to a dog's smelly paws include bacteria called proteus and yeast known as malassezia. Although your dog's immune system usually keeps these microbes in check, if your furry friend shows any symptoms, it's best to contact your vet.

Therefore, don't worry if your furry friend has Frito feet, as it's a common occurrence. Just make sure to keep your dog clean and contact your vet if you notice any troubling symptoms.

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