Have You Ever Noticed Your Pets Paws Smell Like Corn Chips? Yes, Really

21/12/2015 3:54 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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The dog is raising a hand.

Those without pets will think this is odd, and probably disgusting -- though cat and dog owners know all too well the joy of cuddling their beloved pet close to their chest, sometimes catching a wiff of their paws -- which smell like...corn chips?!

A quick search on Google reveals that it's a common belief that cat and dog paws smell like popcorn, Doritos, or Fritos -- an American cornchip brand.

google pets paws


"I always say that I could eat their feet, so as an animal lover, it's not weird at all," Dr Lisa Chimes of Bondi Vet told The Huffington Post Australia.

"I've never actually thought of what it smells like, but I have always just thought that I love the smell of my dog's feet. My friend's mother is a crazy animal lover and she also loves the foot smell and wants it as a perfume."

So, is it normal for our kitty or pups to have a fragranced foot pad?

"There are glands in our pets' paws that can release sweat, pheromones and scents. Some of the smell also comes from bacteria and yeast that lives in the paws, just like natural bacteria that are a normal part of their skin," Chimes said.

"Sometimes they can get an overgrowth of the healthy bacteria or yeast, or they can get an infection that could make the smell not as appealing. Its pretty normal for them to have that faint, familiar smell, but it shouldn't be overpowering, or if it is musty or unappealing, there might be an infection there."

Dr Audrey Shen, Veterinarian and Aussie Mobile Vet agrees, and advises it's best to monitor your pet's paws and ensure nail grooming occurs regularly, depending on your pet's needs.

"Nails should be checked and trimmed regularly. Cats that are indoors will most likely need trimming more regularly than outdoor cats."

"Dogs generally need trimming approximately every three months. Larger dogs that walk regularly may not need as regular trimming, as the nails will wear down from walking, especially if walked on hard/concrete surfaces. Smaller dogs do not wear down the nails as easily as they are lighter. It is important to check the dew claws [the 'thumb'] regularly, as these nails do not touch the ground so do not wear down naturally," Shen said.

Trimming the hair between the toes may help to keep the area clean and dry.

"If going for a walk and the ground is wet, remember to dry off your pet’s feet as well. Any strong odours should be checked by your veterinarian to ensure it is not an infection starting," Shen said.

It's also very important to monitor the heat on the pavement and sand if you're taking your dog out on summer adventures with you. The rule of thumb -- if it's too hot for your bare feet, it's too hot for theirs.

So while the 'Dorito paw' smell might be normal, maybe we should be asking whoever invented corn chips if they were a big animal lover?!



A photo posted by Anna Drury (@annapraterdrury) on

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