WHY DOES MY DOG SMELL LIKE CORN CHIPS?
WHY DOES MY DOG SMELL LIKE CORN CHIPS?
Dogs should not smell overwhelmingly like corn chips. So it’s essential to investigate and get to the root cause. Otherwise, you’re looking at a host of other problems. Brachycephalic breeds- smushy, pushed in faced dogs like bulldogs and pugs- are much more likely to have smelly faces than non-brachycephalic dogs. But the corn chip smell can strike any dog.
first we have to talk about sweat and get a little medical
All natural dog odors are most prominent near the ears, and from the paw pads. Most people complain that their dog’s paws smell like corn chips or that their ears smell to high heaven. Dogs naturally produce secretions, the function of which is to produce scents allowing for species and individual animal recognition by other dogs and for use in scent-marking of territory. This is a feature they share with other canids.
Dogs only produce sweat on areas NOT covered with fur, such as the nose and paw pads, unlike humans who sweat almost everywhere. However, they do have sweat glands, called apocrine glands, associated with every hair follicle on their body. The exact function of these glands is not known, but they may produce pheromones or chemical signals for communication with other dogs. It is believed that these sweat secretions produce an individual odor signal that is recognizable by other dogs.
Dogs also have sweat glands on their noses. These are eccrine glands. When these glands are active, they leave the nose and paw pads slightly moist and help these specialized skin features maintain their functional properties. The odor associated with dog paw pads is much more noticeable on dogs with moist paw pads than on those with dry pads.
Cue the dog licking! If your dog is constantly licking their paws, the smell will be far worse.
While dogs don’t sweat and produce body odor like us stinky humans, they do emit a light perspiration from their hair follicles. With regular bathing and grooming, this natural odor can be kept at bay. But if the smell is chronic and/or overwhelming, it may signify an unwanted visitor in the form of bacteria or fungus. Therefore, it is imperative that you take your dog to the vet.
According to petMD, other abnormal conditions that cause dog smells are skin infections or irritations. Wrinkly breeds (brachycephalic) with overlapping skin folds, like bulldogs and pugs, are particularly susceptible.
Here are some common complaints we hear often.
my dogs paws are stinky winky
Do you find that your dog’s feet let off more odor when they’re wet? Is your dog an obsessive paw licker? The moisture on your pet’s feet is what provides a suitable environment for bacteria to breed and grow. This natural bacteria won’t hurt your dog, but its possible that in this warm, wet breeding ground, natural yeast can grow, and your dog could develop a yeast infection if an overgrowth of yeast becomes a problem.
The corn chip smell you’ve been sniffing arises when perspiration mixes with bacteria on even the cleanest paws. But why corn chips? This bacteria, called Protea or Pseudomonas, gives off a yeasty smell, according to The Dodo. To keep the smell from overtaking your nostrils, wash your dog’s paws with a chemical free, all natural shampoo like our Sudsy Wudsy™ Certified Organic Dog Shampoo and apply an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ointment like our Cruddy Wuddy™ Crud Fix to their paws. This will help prevent an overgrowth and begin to eliminate the smell.
You can also do a Povidone Iodine Soak for Fido. Povidone iodine is an organic iodine solution. It’s safe, non-toxic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-yeast. Fill a tub with water and add enough Povidone Iodine to make the water the color of iced tea, soak paws for 3-5 minutes, pat dry.
my dogs ears smell like a bread factory
The Foo suffered from ear infections, due to the overgrowth of pseudomonas, and boy was it STINK-Y! I’d ask him,
“Geez, are you growing a bread factory in there?”
Dogs have numerous apocrine glands in their external ear canals. In this location they are referred to as ceruminous glands. The ear canals also have numerous sebaceous glands. Together these two sets of glands produce natural ear wax, or cerumen. Micro-organisms live naturally in this material and give the ears a characteristic slightly yeasty odor even when healthy. When infected, the ears can give off a strong disagreeable smell. If you have ever had a dog with ear crud, you would know this smell blindfolded. Jake was born with low levels of immunoglobulin, which caused yeast to often go into overdrive. More on this below.
It is not uncommon for a vet to sniff a dog’s ears to try to detect any potential problem with bacterial or fungal infection. Some owners do this routinely if they have a dog susceptible to ear infections or if they have a breed with heavy, floppy ears which can hide early signs of inflammation. Dogs’ ears produce a yeast that can become quite stinky if left unchecked. There are steps you can take to keep that stinky ear odor to a minimum. PetMD recommends using a gentle ear cleaner or hydrogen peroxide. Some breeds may need their ear hair trimmed to prevent wax buildup and mites.
We also recommend our Cruddy Wuddy™ Crud Fix to clean out the outer portion of the ear. As our Cruddy Wuddy™ contains both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredients, it will help with the overproduction of crud in the ear. Simply apply a little to your fingers or a soft cotton pad and rub along the inside of the visible ear, but do not put into the ear canal. We never recommend that a deep ear cleaning be done by anyone other than a professional. And we don’t recommend using Q-tips as they can very easily damage and/or pierce your dog’s ear.
my dog’s entire body has a stinky smell
If you read our previous post on STINKY SKIN, then you will know that allergies can cause a whole host of problems for dog’s skin.
We recommend a weekly bath using our Sudsy Wudsy™ Certified Organic Dog Shampoo. Since carbs and grains ultimately feed yeast overgrowth, we don’t recommend using oatmeal-based shampoos. Oatmeal is a grain which provides a food source for that yeast on your dog’s skin. No time for a bath or your dog is in-between baths? We recommend an all-over-massage using our Cruddy Wuddy™ Crud Fix. Take a small amount and rub between your two palms and gently massage all over your dog’s body. This will help their body fight bacteria and fungus growing on their skin.
There are a few other reasons why your dog may smell like corn chips.
check your dog’s diet
Diet is the foundation of health. The way you nourish your dog is either going to help their immune system manage yeast, or it’s going to feed yeast. If your dog has a sensitivity to corn, and actually smells like corn chips constantly, it could very well be an intolerance to corn. Many dog food manufacturers use corn as a filler because it is cheap. So ditch the corn and look for a better dog food. Cheap brand dog foods are the WORST foods you can be feeding Fido and are often the culprit for a host of skin problems.
There is such a thing as an anti-yeast diet. The beauty of an anti-yeast diet is it is also an anti-inflammatory and species-appropriate diet. Yeast needs sugar as a source of energy. Carbohydrates break down into sugar. Both MDs and veterinarians advise patients with yeast to get the sugars out of their diets.
Dietary sugar isn’t just the white kind added to many pet treats and some pet foods. There are ‘secret,’ hidden forms of sugar that can also feed yeast overgrowth, for instance, honey. Although honey can be beneficial for pets in some cases, it does provide a food source for yeast. So if your dog is yeasty, you’ll need to carefully read their pet food and cookie labels and avoid any product containing honey, high fructose corn syrup, and even white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Many dogs on LID (limited Ingredient Diets) eat sweet potatoes. If your dog is yeasty, you need to switch foods.
Eliminate potatoes, corn, wheat, rice – essentially all the carbohydrates need to go away in a sugar-free diet.
immune system not operating at optimum levels
If your dog is overwhelmed with an opportunistic pathogen like yeast, it’s likely their immune system isn’t operating at 100 percent. In order to determine if this is the culprit, you can do immune testing to measure their immunoglobulin levels (IgG, IgM and IgA). Generally these levels are low in a dog with constant yeast overgrowth. If your dog is producing healthy levels of immunoglobulins, they should be able to overcome almost any infection, and particularly an opportunistic yeast infection.