Why Do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos? – 4 Common Dog Questions

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1. Why Do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos?

Dog paws smell of corn chips if yeast and bacteria called Proteus or Pseudomonas permeate the nooks and crannies of your dog’s paw.

There’s nothing to worry about here as this is all normal. The only time you should worry is when you see some inflammation in the paw’s webbing and if your dog licks on it obsessively which may indicate pain and infection in which case, take your dog to the vet to have it checked out. 

i saw my dog drink toilet water

If it really bothers you, you can try to wash all 4 paws with soap and water but you’re unlikely to remove the smell altogether. The smell tends to be more pronounced in the morning. And who doesn’t like the smell of corn chips? 

2. Why Do Dogs Drink From The Toilet? 

If you think it’s weird that dog paws smell funny, then what about when you see your dog drinking toilet water. This has most likely happened countless times without you even knowing. For all we know, it could have happened today right before your dog greeted you with a kiss when you got home. 

Dogs are naturally attracted to running water. They instinctively know that it’s better than stagnant water. In most cases, the water in a toilet bowl is fresher than your dog’s water bowl because it is flushed a few times a day. In fact, according to, a toilet seat contains 295 bacteria per square inch while the inside of your dog’s bowl contains 2,110 per square inch and I don’t think there’s a dog on this planet that would only lick an inch. 

Is It Safe For Dogs To Drink From The Toilet?

The short answer is no. There is a risk your dog might contract E. Coli from fecal matter in humans. There is also a risk that your dog may get poisoned by toilet cleaning products. Blue treated water can also be dangerous for dogs especially if she somehow gets a hold of the blue tablet. Chewing on it can cause chemical burns in the mouth and throat. 

i saw my dog drinking toilet water

To avoid this problem, simply close the toilet lid or the bathroom door and thoroughly clean your pet’s food and water bowl once a week with warm soapy water and rinse well.  

3. Why Does My Dog Bring Me A Toy When I Come Home?

There are a few theories, but the most popular is that your dog thinks you’re the pack leader and wants to greet you with a prized possession. We should appreciate it because if they were given a choice between their favorite toy and a hundred dollar bill, they’d most likely choose their toy (don’t try this experiment). To dogs, money is just a piece of paper but old worn-out toys are precious and worthy to show their owner. 

why does my dog drink from the toilet

It could simply mean your dog is happy that you’re back after being away and giving or showing you his toy is a way of trying to please you and is an invitation to play.  Dogs are naturally playful, after all. 

It could also be a calming signal which is the language that dogs use to communicate  with other dogs and humans. 

4. Why Do Dogs Go Crazy After Baths?

If you’ve ever given a dog a bath then you know what it’s like when your dog goes berserk afterwards. Not all dogs do this but more often than not, they go nuts.  

There are many logical reasons why this happens. When they do a full-body shake, they are trying to dry themselves off while removing any water that got in its ears. They also do it to relieve themselves of pent-up stress.

That initial outburst is your dog’s way of saying “It’s finally over! I am so getting out of here!” Bathing involves a lot of manhandling which dogs are not particularly fond of. They have to release this pent up negative energy. There’s actually a term for it called FRAPS or Frantic Random Activity Periods. 

I saw my dog drink toilet water

Dogs in the wild do not take baths. Instead, they roll around in mud and dirt to mask their scent to enable them to hunt to their prey which they’ve done for millennia.  They inherited this trait from their wolf ancestors that even roll on dead carcasses and other disgusting stuff to bring the scent back to their pack. It’s like a human version of taking pictures and showing your friends and family what you’ve been up to or where you’ve been. 

If you notice your dog rolling around the house after a bath, they are simply trying to recreate the scent identity that they lost. They actually don’t mind smelling like a dog. It’s only us humans that want our dogs to smell like Lavender. 

A couple of things you should know – do not use human shampoo on dogs. Doing so can alter their skin’s PH. Human shampoos are also too fragrant for a dog’s sensitive nose. Also, be extra careful when using a hairdryer to dry your pet. You may burn their skin without realizing it. 


All information in the article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.

30 thoughts on “Why Do Dog Paws Smell Like Fritos? – 4 Common Dog Questions”

  1. I have often wondered why a dog would go crazy after getting a full bath and also the rolling around afterwards. When you think about it, we humans may think our dogs want to smell clean and fresh but they just want to be a smelly dog. I always keep the toilet lid closed, though I did have a dog once that used its nose and one of its paws to open the lid just enough to get his head in there. Dogs are cunning and smart.

    • I keep forgetting to follow my own advice. Our dog chewed up around 4 rolls of toilet paper this week. Oh well! Thanks for commenting, Robert


  2. This is quite unusual and I’m very delighted that you have shared this here. Though many times I have seen my dog exhibiting all of these but I never truly took it with too much importance until when you are explaining the significance here. This is really great and thanks is so much for sharing this here. In all honesty, I’m delighted you have shared this and most especially, I am going to pay more attention to my dog entering the bathroom henceforth. Thanks so much

  3. Wow this took me a little aback. I wasn’t aware that dog paws have a Fritos smell! I have also been thinking since I was little why do dogs go nuts after taking a bath and I’m so glad I got an insight. I used to have a cocker spaniel and he would start jumping everywhere, running around and jumping on things whenever I gave him a bath. It was insane!

  4. First of all, thank you for sharing such a beautiful article with us. I am very happy reading your article fully. I learned a lot about dog Paws Frito by reading your article. I saw my dog drinking water from the toilet bowl. You have made it clear in your article that this should not be allowed. I did not notice the smell of freitos on my dog’s paws. however, now I’ll be looking for it.
    Thank you again for the nice post. I

  5. Yes, closing the bathroom door can save the life of our dog. E. Coli is a great threat and our dogs are exposed to it if they drink water from the toilet. The first time I saw a dog doing that I thought he should know better, but what you have explained here about running water makes sense. Closing the door has the bonus of not having to deal with the toilet paper mess, LOL.

  6. Hey thanks for sharing this post as it has given answers to some important questions as regard our dogs. One thing I like about these answers is that some of them give us the “Why it is so”, safety precautions and in other cases how to build up a good relationship with our dogs as in the case of why dog bring me a toy when I come home. This post is truly refreshing.

  7. Haha! We’ve always said our dogs feet smell like corn chips but I had no idea it was an actual thing!! It is such a strange phenomenon but now it makes sense lol! And I absolutely love when dogs bring a toy. Whether they’re presenting me a prize or just so darn happy and want to play, it makes no difference to me! <3 

  8. I have read in other places that is extremely bad for  dogs to drink from the toilet. I work real hard to keep the toilet seat shut and the bathroom door closed especially when I am not home. It is hard with children even when I have trained and told them to do so. I have one dog that likes to pee on the bathroom mat when it rains so I have an additional reason to keep my bathroom door shut.

  9. Honestly, I did not know there was that much bacteria per square inch in my dogs water bowl. I’m actually kind of surprised, I think I’ll be cleaning it at least twice a week now. I’m glad I found this blog I’m sure I can find more useful information for me or things that I did not even know in the future. Thanks for the insight.

  10. I have cats at home but I do not think I have even seen my dog doing this which, to be honest, is really disturbing. I had seen a video of a dog doing it on YouTube and that got me to this post here.

    Haha, paws smelling like Fritos is so true, I just miss my dog even more every time I read this post.

  11. I have always wondered some of these questions. I have never dealt with the Frito smell, but I have experienced the dog going crazy after a bath. I now understand why my dog would roll around in the yard after her bath. It was always a struggle to get her outside before she shook and rolled around, just to keep the house a little less hairy.

    I am glad I was able to read this article and understand a bit more about what’s going on in a dogs head.

    • Hey Kenny, thanks for commenting. And I’m glad you found this article useful. Our dog Watson would roll out in the yard after baths too


  12. Love these questions and the answers not so much for me but because I am able to share them with my 10 year old who finds these pages such fun.  But the great thing is that she is learning so much as well.

    So Katie Rose my 10 year would love to know the answer to the question, how does my fox terrier Tippy know here name to answer to it and come running.

    Great posts please keep them coming


    • Hello Hamish, Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you found this article useful. Please tell Katie Rose the easiest way would be through clicker training. Lots of youtube videos. Practical and easy


  13. I must say, such a nice article. I have never read an article like this because we humans think it is not necessary to have such a type of knowledge. But it is very unique and informative. I don’t have a dog at my home but my neighbors have a dog and I am going to share with them all the points I am sure they are not aware of this.
    Thanks for sharing an informative article with us.

  14. I love coming to your blog because you always ask such fun questions that I have usually asked at least several times in my life. This list is no different. I have often wondered and been grossed out when seeing dogs drinking from the toilet bowl and you have clarified that they shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Thank goodness! Interestingly, I haven’t noticed the Fritos smell on the paws…whether this is because I generally don’t get that close to their paws or just missed it, I’m not sure…however, now I’ll be looking for it! Thanks for a great and informative read!

    • Hey steve, glad to see you back. I bet you’re going to smell your dog’s paws later. lol! thanks for commenting!


  15. Interesting! I didn’t know toilets had less bugs than a drinking bowl but you make it clear when you mentioned to clean it once a week. I do it daily as I think to myself ‘Would I like to drink and eat out of an unwashed bowl every day??’ It’s the little things that count, right?
    Our dogs don’t come in the house anyway (we live in the country) so it’s obviously different as the dogs can’t access the toilet but for townies, it’s obvious; close the door and put the lid down (although a dog will put his nose wherever he wants, if he can manage it).
    Thanks for the article.

  16. Hi Sonny

    You have brought up 4 more interesting  facts about the behaviour of dogs. I have always wondered why dogs often drink from water and your article has most certainly  answer them. Dogs behaviour are sometimes strange that you wonder if the dog you see is acting normally or not. Your article raised some smiles and goes some way of explaining  the dog behaviour that I see.

    One behaviour I sometimes see is when a dog see you it barks at you, getting excited. You think that the dog is asking to be stroked but then when you go to stroke it, the dog  moves away? Why does a dog do this?



  17. Thanks for helping me to understand my dob better

    After reading your article I know more about why is not a good idea to let my dog to drink water from the toilet, I just got in panic after reading dogs can get sick with E coli when they do this, your article will help me to explain my children the importance of always keep the bathroom door closed and always take a look on our dog.

    It will help us to keep our dog healthy.

    Your article will help me to explain to my children also about the importance to wash the dog’s dish!

    I just love to know why my dog is always giving me one of its toys, I think I love my best friend more today!

  18. Dogs and other pets drinking toilet water, to me is a sign of carelessness as a pet keeper. I is my responsibility to keep my pet save from things that can cause sickness and harm them. My toilet doors should be shut away from my dogs even when I am not around.
    E-coli is a common disease amidst dogs, chicken and other house hold animals, and it could cause rapid mortality

  19. This is such an interesting article on the different activities that dogs engage at home.

    Being a no pet owner at home, it really gave me some insights on the things that dog will do it home when no one is watcing them.

    I do agree with the fact that despite the toilet bowl water being flush each time after use, there is still a lot of bacteria and germs around it.  It is therefore not advisable for the dogs to drink from them.

    Last but not least, I love the fact that the dog will come to you with a toy when  you are back home, it shows how much the dog wants to connect.

    Thanks for such an insightful article.

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