Does Your Dog Have Corn Chip Feet?

There are quite a few explanations behind why dogs smell so…doggish. They could have doggy breath stemming from dental disease, potent gas from unresolved intestinal issues, or perhaps allergies that cause their ears to get inflamed or infected.

These are all medical concerns that need to be addressed. But what about that funky smell coming from their lower extremities? Corn chip feet is a real phenomenon, and while it can be off putting, the causes and treatment of stinky paws are well-known.

It’s Natural!

Naturally occurring bacteria, such as the Pseudomonas and Proteus strains, are harmless, but they do cause funky Frito–smelling feet. Humans and dogs alike have bacteria and fungus, like yeast, that live on the feet and skin. When dogs go outside and walk around they also pick up germs from various ground surfaces.

And Then…?

Dogs lick their paws, introducing all sorts of other bacterial strains and organic matter to the surface of the paw pads. What’s more is the fact that they sweat from their paws, making a perfect petri dish of sorts for microorganisms to convene and flourish.


Yeast imbalances on the skin can cause significant issues, like excessive itching, red skin, musty odor, and more. This can quickly develop into a serious problem for dogs and should be examined and tested promptly. Left alone, yeast overgrowth can lead to secondary infection, a dangerous situation for immune-compromised dogs or those with pre-existing allergies. 

Facing Corn Chip Feet

Many dog owners live with the funky smell – until, that is, they can’t do it anymore. The following options may help to reduce the smell and any problems associated with corn chip feet. 

  • Wash your dog’s feet daily in lukewarm water and pet shampoo. Check for any impacted debris and gently scrub the paw pads. Dry the feet thoroughly. Reward your dog with lots of affections, praise, and maybe a tasty treat or two.
  • Keep hair trimmed short between the pads, as these can easily harbor excessive yeast and bacteria. Maintain proper length of the nails. 

We’re Here For You

Remember, dogs can have very normal, but very doggish smells. However, if you notice the constant, overpowering smell of corn chip feet, please contact us

Additionally, the following symptoms indicate that something else is going on and need to be examined and tested:

  • Raw skin and severe redness of the skin.
  • Excessive licking of the feet and other areas of the body.
  • Biting or licking the feet and paw pads.
  • Head shaking accompanied by a strong smell from the ears.

If you have further questions about your dog’s health and wellness, our veterinarians and staff members are always here for you at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates