You love corn chips but are taken dramatically off guard when your Boston Terrier, Rusty, smells like Fritos. At first, you thought you left an old bag of those delicious snacks under the couch - it happens - but as you were scouring your apartment, your nose led you to Rusty’s feet. You had to take another whiff to make sure what you were smelling was real. Yes, Rusty smells like Fritos. You have no idea why he smells like Fritos, and you find it quite strange. You also swear that you are not losing your marbles, but have lost your desire for munchies and decide it’s time to investigate.
The Root of the Behavior
If your Boston Terrier smells like Fritos, you are not alone. This breed tends to develop yeast overgrowths. Not the kind of yeast found in beer that would go great with your Fritos, but the microscopic fungus that reproduces. That’s right. It sounds like Rusty has foot fungus. This could have been caused by increased oils on his skin or excessive perspiration, and it tends to occur more in humid, warm areas. Yeast can multiply and also cause skin and ear discomfort. It grows in patches and causes a creamy fluid to appear. Yeast infections are a sign that Rusty’s immune system is out of whack and you could resolve this by giving him a probiotic to regulate his system. Boston Terriers are small dogs that need a healthy diet to keep their fragile immune systems in order. Consider food without wheat, soy, or corn as the first ingredient since this breed sometimes has food allergies to these products. Also, by eliminating some carbohydrates from Rusty's diet, you are removing some fuel for the yeast since a poor diet can affect Rusty’s immune system that makes it easier for the yeast to grow.
Rusty’s feet are also a perfect place for bacteria overgrowth. Dogs sweat through their feet, and some bacteria is natural, but too much can give off a corn chip stench. The most popular doggy bacterias leading to this Frito smell are Pseudomonas and Proteus because Rusty’s foot pads are the perfect harboring environment for bacteria. Rusty’s Frito feet are more apt to occur during the summer months when bacteria and yeast run rampant or during rainy days when Rusty pounces through the puddles that could contain a variety of bacterias. No matter what the exact cause, corn chip smelling feet means something is off balance with your Boston Terrier.
Encouraging the Behavior
You realize that Rusty has always had some bacterial and yeast on him all along, but with an immune system breakdown, such as his recent allergy symptoms, Rusty's immune system was thrown out of whack and the Frito smell persists. You also know that this Frito smell has led Rusty to itch his ears, scoot his butt along the floor, and lick himself. This licking can lead to excessive moisture and provide bacteria and yeast more places to grow. Rusty’s scratching can also lead to other problems such as infections under the skin; this is why Frito feet need to be dealt with ASAP.
Other Solutions and Considerations
So what can you do to eliminate that smell and make it possible for you to eat corn chips once again? Well, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure that your Boston Terrier doesn't harbor excessive yeast or bacteria. One is to maintain proper grooming for your furry pal. Trim Rusty’s fur in between his foot pads because this extra fur traps that Frito smell and provides more places for the yeast to brew. Also, make sure that Rusty gets those weekly baths, especially during the summer.
And try a microbial or anti-fungal shampoo. Some owners also say that you can mix these shampoos with a baby shampoo which rids the smell and is gentle on Rusty’s allergy prone Boston Terrier skin. And if your dog already has a yeast infection, you can use coconut oil on the affected skin, which is especially useful in preventing the spread of the candida fungus. Plus, it will make Rusty smell like coconuts, which is a more appetizing and healthier smell for him than Fritos. Also, make sure to get Rusty checked out by your vet, who most-likely will evaluate his diet and prescribe a probiotic to get everything back in order.