August 07, 2020

Lockdown mystery solved. Why pet’s feet smell like Doritos

Lockdown mystery solved. Why pet’s feet smell like Doritos
Dr. Chris Brown

Your dog or cat’s feet are pretty remarkable. They’re essentially their go anywhere sports shoe, casual kick and sleeping slipper all in one neat package. But they do have a quirk that leads them to smell like one of our favourite snack foods. And here’s why…

You see, while the rest of your pet’s body doesn’t sweat, the surface of their toe pads do. They secrete a clear fluid that’s soaked up by the skin and fur around their foot. This damp fur then provides the perfect home and food to some relatively harmless bacteria that release the subtle odours that smell like you need a side order of salsa and guacamole stat! Don’t worry though, these bacteria are considered normal residents with every right to be there! If their feet (or ears) start to smell a little more fruity, overpowering and unpleasant (like rotting fruit) then chances are it’s a fungal infection that needs some veterinary attention.

Oh and in case you’re wondering. Pets that obsessively lick their feet probably aren’t anxious and performing the canine equivalent of chewing their fingernails. Allergies to grasses and weeds often manifest as this itchy skin between the toes.

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