I came home the other day to the faint aroma of Fritos Corn Chips©. Naturally, I grilled my husband mercilessly on where he hid the bag as this is his favorite snack. He kept protesting that he did not have a bag secreted, gestured to our greyhound, and told me it was her. I thought my husband had sunk to a new low by blaming another of his improprieties on the dog.
He then pointed to her paws and announced, “She has Frito Feet”.
The “Fritos” scent is a natural effect of the bacterium Proteus and Pseudomonas that live on even the cleanest dog paws.
While it sounds alarming, it is a completely normal occurrence. The same microorganisms that give dog’s feet that corn chip smell are the same ones that cause body odor in us. Like the bacteria on our bodies, the scent becomes stronger when there is an overabundance and an imbalance occurs.
Just as people’s feet sweat, dogs sweat through their foot pads. And just like our feet are capable of emanating an odor, our greyhounds can too. Their paw pad hair, spaces between their toes, and cracks in their foot pads are all perfect spots for the bacteria to thrive.
One misnomer is that “Frito feet” is caused by too much corn in their diet. This has been disproved.
While most owners are not bothered by the scent, others may want to curtail it. Proper hygiene is the key. An important step is trimming the fur between the foot pads. Without trimming, the sweat goes into the fur and permeates there. Spread the pads apart to get to as much hair as possible.
After trimming, your pet’s feet must be cleaned thoroughly. Use pet shampoo on each foot, lather it up and then rinse completely. All four paws must be cleaned well to remove sweat and debris.
A light odor of corn chips is natural however, if the smell becomes overpowering or changes, it may indicate a more pressing issue and should be investigated. Otherwise, revel in the scent and enjoy the fact that you can enjoy corn chips without the guilt.
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