Why do my dog’s paws smell like doritos?

dog paw care

People do think I’m crazy when we call Dolly’s paws ‘dorito paws’ but I’m sure you know as a dog owner that familiar yeasty smell of your doggy’s feet.

The naturally occurring bacteria on your dog’s paws is what causes them to smell. This bacteria’s real names are Proteus or Pseudomonas and they grow everywhere including plants, soil, water, and even in humans. This faint whiff of ‘dorito paws’ from the ever present bacteria in paws is no cause for concern. However if your dog’s paws are a bit stinkier than usual then there could be a problem and you should consult your vet.

How to get rid of stinky paws

Here are my top tips for good paw care, which is really important all year round, but particularly at the moment we have outbreaks of Alabama Rot and as it is not known what causes it, good paw hygiene is essential. ( Click here to see reported outbreaks )

Clean and Dry

Always make sure your pet’s paws are kept clean. When bathing your dog, make sure to scrub in between each and every toe with warm sudsy water. Thoroughly dry in between each and every toe as well.

Groom hairy toes

To cut down on the bacteria that causes that yeasty smell, keep the hair between the toes shortly groomed to lessen the surface area that the bacteria can linger on and to promote good air circulation.

Protect and condition with paw balm

Dogs constantly step in dirt, which may contain trace amounts of poop, pee and chemicals from lawn care and pesticides, or salt and ice removal so use a good paw balm before your go out all year round – Try our Whiffy Dog Natural Skin & Paw salve.

Prepare a dog paw wash

Before you take your dog out, place a small bowl filled with soapy water outside your door with a clean towel or paper towel. Upon returning from your walk, dip each paw into the bowl, then clean and dry between the toes. By preparing the bowl before you leave, it will be ready for use without needing to traipse your dog and the germs or chemicals all over your house. Don’t reuse this water since you’d just be redistributing the same chemicals. Throw it away and always start clean.

Homemade Paw Soak for treating smelly paws

Paw Soak for Dogs

This quick and easy recipe for paw soak can be part of your paw hygiene routine after washing.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time20 mins
Course: Beauty
Cuisine: English
Keyword: dog feet, hygiene, paw soak
Yield: 1 bowl
Author: Sarah at Ruffle Snuffle


  • Flat bottomed bowl


  • 250ml Organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 juice Lemon Lemon is an anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral ingredient
  • 20 drops Peppermint oil


  • Mix all the ingredients in a flat bottomed dish ( we use a stainless dog bowl.
  • Pop each clean paw in the bowl for 30 seconds and then let them air dry.

Here is Sir Fidget Smelly-Bottom and his man servant (Tom) demonstrating a good paw wash after a muddy walk:

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