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Ever Wonder Why Your Dog's Paws Sometimes Smell Like Fritos?

Ever Wonder Why Your Dog's Paws Sometimes Smell Like Fritos?
(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Ever caught a good whiff of your dog's paw as it affectionately brushed across your face? Did it smell familiar?

If you said, "Actually, my Bruno's paw smells like corn chips," you're not alone. Many dog owners described the aroma from their dog's paws smelling strangely similar to that of Fritos or even corn tortillas – and there's a reason for it.

People want answers.


The Kansas City Star calls the phenomenon, "Fritos Paws," or "Fritos Feet."

Dog blogger Beth Meadow wrote an entry for website, saying that many owners love the smell of their furry friend's feet.

This may or may not be a surprise to you, fellow dog owner and dog feet lover. I for one don't understand it. Perhaps because I know all too well what my dogs are walking through every day.

Well-groomed and clean dogs aren't exempt from emitting the smell of Fritos.

The Dogington Post weighed in on the naturally produced odor from a dog, but warned owners may want to take paws (see what we did there?) before getting their noses in contact with their pets' feet.

The culprit for the smell has everything to do with bacteria.

But dog's feet, trampling through the grass and dirt, being licked, with moist folds of skin and fur between the toe pads, are breeding grounds for bacteria and yeast.

The odor-causing microorganisms are very similar to what gives us BO. For dogs, yeast or the bacterium Proteus, which is characteristic of the corn chip smell, could be a causing factor.

Bacterium Pseudomonas could also be contributing to the smell typically associated with what ours noses interpret as a popcorn scent.

While an intense aroma of Fritos Paws is nothing to be overly concerned about, signs like seeing your dog constantly licking its paws and a noticeable inflammation between its toes could be signs of an infection, in which case a trip to the vet might be in order.

The Huffington Post clarified what to look for specifically.

By the way: It's a normal behavior for dogs to lick their paws — it's how they self-clean and remember where they've been throughout the day. Excessive is the keyword.

Now that the pseudo-mystery is solved, one Twitter user cautiously inquired about actual Fritos, and I don't think we want to know the answer.

H/T - HuffingtonPost, DogingtonPost, Twitter, KansasCity