Just because we’re in Central Texas doesn’t always mean we love the smell of Fritos – especially when it comes to our Boxers and their paws. If your Boxer’s feet smell like corn chips – or an odor that’s sometimes described as popcorn, for those unfamiliar with the tasty Texas treat, what’s the likely cause, and should you worry about it?
Presuming your pup hasn’t been sneaking into your snacks, the culprit is very likely a bacteria that naturally gives off a yeasty smell. Although pet odors can be cause for concern, smelly feet are pretty common. This is particularly true in Central Texas, which is known for its allergies that affect pets and people alike. However, you might want to get your vet to check it out if the problem persists or home remedies don’t help.
“Stinky and irritated feet are primarily caused by chronic moisture and yeast infections from dogs licking, which is driven many times by exposure to allergens,” explains Dr. Janet Roush, DVM, owner of Stay at Home Veterinary Care, a mobile vet service. “When dogs walk on grass and other surfaces, allergens get embedded between the pads and toes, causing their feet to itch. Dogs will lick their feet to sooth the itch and remove the allergens.
What Can You Do to Get Rid of the Smell or Avoid It?
“The simplest thing we can do to help is to wash their feet regularly,” adds Rousch. “This will not only remove the allergens but can also reduce the population of yeast which colonize the moist, dark area. For complex irritation, a vet visit may be necessary to help with not just the feet, but allergies in general.” Depending on the length of your pet’s fur, you may also need to trim between the foot pads, where dogs sweat. Since most Boxers tend to be short haired, though, this is usually not the biggest cause.
Besides that, the best approach is to give your Boxer a bath on a regular basis with a mild pet shampoo, ideally one formulated for dogs with allergies. Most Boxers love water and with warm summer and fall weather, a good scrub in the yard with a thorough rinse can be fun for everyone. Just wear a swimsuit or something you don’t mind getting wet and remember to dry your dog thoroughly – especially between the toes.
In addition, one thing you may find found effective is to dip your Boxer’s paws in a mild solution of white vinegar mixed with equal parts warm water, which can be a natural and effective way to kill bacteria without breaking the bank or causing further infections. Just be mindful of not overdoing it as some dogs may be sensitive to the vinegar solution.
If your dog has crusty or oozing foot pads, redness, or any limping, be sure to get them to the vet as that may indicate an injury or infection.