A gray puppy chews on a plaid chew toy

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Frito's?

There’s nothing like getting some snuggles from your fur baby, but sometimes, those cuddle sessions leave you sniffing the air and wondering “why do my dog’s feet smell like Fritos?” or “why do my dog’s ears smell like that?” Although it may seem strange that your dog smells like Fritos, the problem is very common due to a combination of sweat, yeast and bacterial build-up. Read on to learn, “why does my dog smell like fritos​?” and find out what you can do to keep your pooch smelling fresh.

Reasons Your Dog Smells Like Fritos

    1. Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria

    2. Bacterial infections

    3. Yeast in the ears

    4. Sweaty paws

That distinctive Fritos smell is usually due to bacteria. Specifically, the most common culprits are Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria. They’re located everywhere in the environment. When your dog walks around, they naturally pick up these microbes. When these bacteria mix with your dog’s saliva or with sweat from their paws, they give off that strange Fritos smell.

There’s really no way to keep your dog’s feet from coming in contact with Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria. Because they are so prevalent, these bacteria are hard to avoid. However, the bacteria are generally harmless for pets. Still, you don’t want your pet tracking bacteria through your home, so regularly washing your dog’s feet with a pet-friendly shampoo is wise. Make sure that you dry their paws off thoroughly after bathing, especially between their toes. Also, keep the fur between your dog’s toes trimmed to cut down on how much bacteria stick to them.

Why Does My Dog Smell Yeasty Around Their Ears? 

Some people describe that Fritos smell as yeasty. If you notice it coming from their paws, Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria are most likely to blame. However, if a dog smells yeasty around its ears, there could be another problem at play, such as:

  • Yeast infections: When yeast overgrows in a dog’s ears, it can cause an infection, causing ears to give off a sweet or musty odor. You may notice your dog scratching their ears, or their ears may be red, swollen or oozing. Your vet can describe ointment, cream or ear drops to clear up the infection.

  • Bacterial infections: Bacteria can also cause ear infections in dogs. The symptoms of bacterial infections are similar to those of yeast infections, but discharge is more likely. Prescription antibiotic ear drops are usually the treatment for bacterial ear infections.

  • Harmless bacteria: The same microorganisms that cause stinky feet can cause a dog’s ears to smell. Regular bathing can help to control this type of odor.

  • Ear wax: An excessive buildup of earwax can sometimes cause a dog’s ears to smell. Usually, the smell is subtler than the odor caused by infections and bacteria. If bathing your dog doesn’t control odors and they’re not showing any signs of infection, schedule an appointment to have your vet check for wax buildup.

Do Dogs Sweat Through Their Paws? 

Just like humans, a dog sweats as a natural method of regulating body temperature. When your pet is running around and playing, their body temperature naturally rises and they begin to perspire to keep things in check. When sweat evaporates, it produces a cooling sensation to prevent body temperature from getting too high.

People tend to sweat most under their arms, on the palms of their hands, and on the soles of their feet. Most of your dog’s sweat glands are located in their paws. Just like sweating can give you body odor, it can make your dog’s feet odor. You’re most likely to notice sweat-related odors during vigorous play and or after you spent time at the dog park.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

How often you should bathe your dog depends primarily on the length of their coat:

  • Hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested usually need weekly baths because they don’t have any fur to protect their skin from bacteria.

  • Medium– to long-haired breeds like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often need bathing once every 4 to 6 weeks, provided you brush them and care for their coats in between baths.

  • Short-haired breeds like boxers and labs may be able to go longer between baths.

Keep in mind that some thick and double-coated dogs need less frequent bathing to preserve the natural oils in their coats. Because each breed is so different, it’s best to check with your vet for advice personalized for your pooch.

Try Our Odor Eliminating Pet Shampoo

Consistent professional grooming appointments can be pricey, so a DIY dog bath at home will do the trick. Regular pet shampoos typically mask bad pet odors and may contain harmful ingredients. Fresh Wave dog shampoo is made with coconut-derived cleaners, lemongrass, and other plant oils, so it’s safe for all pets. Fresh Wave does not use any fragrance in the pet shampoo, so you can feel confident our product absorbs odors instead of just masking them. Our pet odor eliminating products will effectively remove the Frito odor from your dog