All dogs have a body smell of their own. Some have a flowery fresh smell, while others exhibit a typical body scent that may not be pleasurable to our noses. However, if in any case your dog smells like Fritos, then it could be due to a rare occurrence.
Also popularly known as Frito Feet, a dog smells like a pack of Dorritos or other corn chips due to a certain type of bacteria. These bacteria upon mixing with their body sweat cause this particular smell like Fritos which although is a common occurrence can be problematic when ignored for a long time. The smell usually starts from their paws, and therefore the name.
To know more about this bizarre ailment, keep on reading until the end.
What is Frito Feet?
A term coined to relate to the uncanny resemblance of the distinctive smell of Fritos’, Frito Feet is actually an ordinary phenomenon in canines. This happens when there is an infestation of Pseudomonas, Proteus bacteria, yeast, or malassezia on either the dog’s paws or skin. Thus, as the dogs sweat, the microbiome gets mixed with the perspiration, creating the smell.
Similar to humans, a dog’s sweat has no scent of its own. It is the presence of microbes on their bodies that procure a particular scent as they combine. Therefore, as both the bacteria are characterized by a sweet, grape and corn-tortilla like smell, upon mixing together it creates an aroma that is eerily similar to that of a bag of corn chips. The same also goes for certain types of yeast that produce a smell similar to that of a baked bread.
How does Frito Feet occur?
Usually when on walks or spending their time outside, a canine’s fur picks up a lot of things from its surroundings. This may be as common as soil, small leaves or pesky little things like bacteria, yeast and fungi. So, based upon whatever microbes they have picked up, the smell on their bodies may differ greatly.
Just like Frito Feet, there are also a couple other phenomena that occur when the dog has come in contact with other smell-causing microbes. But that is a talk for another time.
Similarly, although rare, certain Frito Feet cases also occur if there is a microbiome transfer between the affected dog and a normal one. The infectious microbes may travel through their skin, immediate surroundings or in case the canine comes in contact with their sweat.
What are the signs and symptoms of a possible Frito Feet?
Apart from the peculiar smell, a dog with Frito Feet will also exhibit other secondary signs and symptoms. This includes:
- Licking or biting of paws (if it’s due to the presence of yeast)
- Scaly patches on skin
- Extreme scratching without the presence of ticks and fleas
- Swollen paws
- Open wound that doesn’t heal
- Unexplainable skin growths
- Increased vulnerability to infections and allergies
- Hair loss around the area
- Bumps, lesions or pus-filled sores
These conditions are usually non-life threatening. But if the dog’s existing health situations are already on the critical side, then extreme instances may happen. This includes:
- Severe lethargy
- Discharge from the dog’s feet
- Appetite loss
- Stinky body
- Vulnerability to other infections
In such cases, a vet consultation should be arranged as fast as possible. As unnecessarily delaying the case would only cause discomfort to the canine.
What should I do to treat Frito Feet?
Usually, Frito Feet in its most severe forms are treated using medications. The vet will prescribe a dosage that may include oral medications, topical lotions or even liquid solutions. Next depending upon the dosage frequency, the drugs should be applied on a regular basis, until there is a visible difference in their condition.
However, aside from following the prescribed guidelines, pet parents can follow simple after-care steps to reduce the side effects of the phenomenon. This includes:
Maintaining a Proper Bathing Schedule
No matter if your canine stays most of their time indoors or in the backyard, maintaining a proper bathing schedule is a must. While the frequency can be a little lower for pups with short fur types, for longer or thicker fur babies the bathing should be done anytime they smell or seem dirty.
On average bathing your canine once every two weeks is good, but if they have been diagnosed with Frito Feet, you should clean them more often. Ensuring a proper bath with a dog-specific, gentle shampoo will restore their skin’s natural barrier mechanism and even cleanse their skin and fur off the nasty bacteria, yeast or fungi.
Practice daily Fold Care
As the name suggests, Fold care is essentially cleaning of the various skin folds in the canine’s body. Such places are predominantly the dirtiest and mostly inhabited by microbes, dirt and dust. Therefore, apart from bathing the pup, pawrents should also tend to these specific places for a quicker recovery from this rather bizarre phenomenon.
For this, you can make your own canine-safe medicated solution, by mixing dog shampoo and water, or otherwise use baby wipes. Next, gently clean the skin folds, including armpits, groin area, facial folds, and even the spots between subsequent nails. Once done with the cleaning, make sure to carefully wipe the areas with a clean cotton cloth. Any residual moisture will worsen the situation, attracting even more microbiome infestations and therefore prolonging discomfort to the canine.
Wash their bedding
Similar to getting your fur baby all nice and clean, it is also advised to keep their belongings in spick and span condition. Most often a dog’s beddings, toys and even personal bowls are the source of microbial transfer and thus keeping them in good condition is a must.
Start off by cleaning their beddings, clothes and anything that the pup comes daily in contact with. Don’t forget to check the washing guidelines before subjecting the accessories to a thorough cleaning. Similarly, you may also want to scrub their toys and bowls in lukewarm or boiling water every few weeks. This will keep them nice and safe and also prevent dust and dirt from getting accumulated within them.
Follow the Vet’s consultation strictly
Ultimately, last but not the least, all pet owners should do exactly as advised by the veterinarian. For instance, if the vet has advised to follow certain bathing procedures or use specific medications, ascertain that the same is followed without any further delays or obstacles.
Depending upon the Frito Feet’s condition, a doc may advise frequent vet clinic appointments which should be done without further questions. Ignoring the professional’s consultations or performing the procedures mentioned half-hazardly won’t bear any positive changes, thereby only creating irrelevant discomfort to the woofer.
Even though the smell of Fritos coming from your pooch’s body or paws may not shock you much, getting professional care as fast as possible is the best bet. You never know when the seemingly safe condition can take a worse turn and therefore always stay prepared for any possible outcome.
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