Dog paws and bowl Dog paws and bowl

Why Do Dogs Paws Smell Like Popcorn?

Read time: 3 mins

20 Sep 2023

Welcome to the world of canine curiosities, where our four-legged companions never cease to amaze us. One such mystery that has puzzled dog owners is the occasional popcorn-like aroma emanating from their furry friend's paws. 

Why Does My Dog Sometimes Smell Like Popcorn?

If you've ever caught a whiff of popcorn coming from your dog's paws, you're not alone. This phenomenon might leave you both baffled and intrigued. The truth is, there are several factors that can contribute to this unique odour:

Sweat glands

Dogs have sweat glands primarily located in their paw pads. When they sweat, it can create a distinct odour, akin to the scent of popcorn. This is especially noticeable if your dog has been active or is experiencing a rise in body temperature.

Diet and nutrition

The saying "you are what you eat" holds true for our furry companions as well. If your dog's diet includes ingredients that have a popcorn-like aroma, it could manifest in their scent.

Yeast and bacteria

Just like in humans, yeast and bacteria can thrive in warm, moist environments. The crevices between a dog's paw pads can provide the perfect conditions for these microorganisms to multiply, leading to a popcorn-like smell. Maintaining good paw hygiene can help combat this issue.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Smells Like Popcorn?

The good news is that in most cases, a popcorn-like smell coming from your dog's paws is nothing to be overly concerned about. 

However, it's essential to be vigilant and take note of any changes in your dog's behaviour or the scent itself. Here are some key points to consider:

Normal odour

As mentioned earlier, a popcorn-like smell from your dog's paws can often be attributed to sweat glands, diet, or mild yeast and bacterial growth. These are typically harmless and don't indicate any underlying health issues.

Allergies and infections

If the scent becomes unusually strong, changes in character, or is accompanied by other symptoms like redness, itching, or limping, it could be a sign of allergies or an infection. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect an issue.

Paw hygiene

Maintaining proper paw hygiene is essential for preventing excessive odour or potential issues. Regularly clean and inspect your dog's paws to ensure they are free from debris, foreign objects, or signs of infection.

Does a Popcorn Smell Mean My Dog Has an Infection?

While a popcorn-like smell from your dog's paws is usually harmless, it's crucial to remain vigilant and aware of potential signs of infection. Here's what you need to know:

Yeast infections

Yeast infections can occur in the warm and moist spaces between your dog's paw pads. This can lead to a noticeable change in odour, often resembling a more pungent version of the popcorn scent. Common signs of a yeast infection include redness, itching, and discomfort for your dog. If you suspect a yeast infection, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can also contribute to an unpleasant odour from your dog's paws. Symptoms may include swelling, discharge, and discomfort. These infections require prompt attention and treatment from your vet.


Allergies to certain substances or environmental factors can lead to paw irritation and excessive licking. This can result in a popcorn-like smell as well. Identifying and addressing the underlying allergy is essential to alleviate the issue.