Why Do My Dog’s Paws Smell Like Popcorn?

dog paw

Dog owners commonly suffer from the problem of canine foot odor. Pets will usually have their pawns smelling like popcorn. But with proper hygiene you can keep the smell down. Despite regular care and cleanliness, many dog owners still complain about the smell. Here is the main reason why your dog’s paws smell like that.

Why the Unique Odor?

The reason behind the popcorn scent or corn chip odor is caused because of the chemical reactions taking place in the dog’s paw. The scent is considered as a byproduct of bacteria and yeast. Proteus and pseudomonas are the 2 main types of bacteria that enter the paws from soil. It is pseudomonas which is responsible for giving this unique popcorn like smell.

Many conditions could be the reason behind this popcorn-like smell. The common ones are as following:

  • Bacterial infection or fungal infection. This involves the development of pathologic or normal microbes which leads to disease.
  • Various foreign bodies like grass awn causing abscess or irritation.
  • Lick sore or skin tumor that has either reached a level of infection or has turned ulcerous.
  • Nail bed infection or injury to the toe nail.

Signs of Problem

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of problem with your dog’s paws:

  • Loss of hair, consistent licking or redness
  • Crusty or flaky foot pads or skin
  • Toenails which are cracked, broken or flaky
  • Swelling, bumps or lumps on or between toes
  • Any changes in way of walking including limping
  • Dampness on the skin or flowing fluid from wound or skin

If you notice any of these signs, it is recommended to get your pet checked by a vet.

Sweating as a Cause of the Smell

Dogs also sweat from their food pads. This is similar to how human feet sweat. So the unique smell may also be caused because of this sweat. The sweat could get trapped within the coat between the pads and can start stinking over time.

Make sure to trim the fur between the pads to help reduce the stench. When the fur is not trimmed, the sweat can enter the fur and settle there. So make sure to spread the foot pads and clean trim all the hair.

A good way to do this is to place your thumb between the food pads. Pet hair clippers are available that allow you to trim the fur with more precision and ease. If you do this periodically, it can help prevent any sweat buildup and minimize the stink.

Make sure to bathe your dog after every trim. Use a prescribed pet shampoo to wash the foot. After lathering, make sure to rinse it thoroughly. Shampoo all the 4 paws to eliminate all debris and sweat. This can help remove the popcorn smell and also protect your pet’s feet in the long term. Make sure to clean those paws regularly – at least once every week or twice a week.