Why do Beagles smell like corn chips? What to Know


So, you’ve had your Beagle for a while now and are getting used to all of the quarks that make Beagles unique.

I bet you didn’t know that they could smell so much!

Sometimes their paws can smell like Fritos or corn chips, which comes as a surprise to most people.

Why do Beagles smell like corn chips? 

The corn chip odor is caused by Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria. It’s not a cause for concern if it’s minimal and isolated to the Beagle’s feet. If the smell is all over his body, it could be a more serious bacterial infection. It’s often caused by wet, dirty feet and licking paws too much.

It’s nothing to worry about as Bacteria and fungi on dogs’ paws are normal. Regularly washing your Beagle’s feet can help reduce the odor, but it will likely come back.

If his entire body stinks, you should see your veterinarian for testing and a good solution.

The corn chip smell on Beagles feet is typical and something you have to live with. Some Beagle owners love the scent, I honestly don’t mind it, but I understand that others can’t stand it.

In this post, I will go over some solutions I recommend to reduce the odor on your Beagle’s feet. I also cover some reasons Beagles stink; there are quite a few causes.

Why do Beagles’ feet stink?

Beagles are on their paws 100% of the time when they are walking. They step directly onto grass and dirt. They sweat through their paws and release odor through their paws. They also lick their feet, which adds even more bacteria and moisture. The moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, especially Pseudomonas and Proteus, that smell like Frito’s.

How To Prevent a Beagles Feet From Smelling

There are two things you can do.

  1. Wash your Beagles feet regularly. This eliminates the bacteria that causes the smell and delays further bacteria growth.
  2. Using dog-safe scented perfumes and lotions. This will only cover up the smell. It will not eliminate it. Washing the Beagle’s feet before applying is recommended.
  • Washing your Beagles feet a few times per week should reduce the smell enough for most Beagles.
  • You can wash his paws daily but make sure his feet don’t become irritated, dry, or chapped.

How to Wash a Beagles Paws

Beagles can step in poop, pee, dirt, and other nasty things when they’re outside. That’s why cleaning their feet regularly is a good idea. It will also reduce the corn chip odor they get on their feet.

Step One: Fill a small bucket or basin with warm water.

I like to use plastic basins meant for foot baths, for humans. I also use medium-sized plastic Tupperware bowls. I don’t want to use bathtubs or sinks for this.

Step Two: Wet Paws

Dip your Beagle’s paws into the warm water to get them wet. This will loosen up the dirt and prepare his paws for the soap or shampoo.

Step Three: Apply dog-friendly soap or shampoo.

I like to apply dog shampoo to a washcloth, but you can apply the soap directly to the Beagles paws if you want. 

Gently rub the soap into each one of your Beagles paws. You should massage each paw and get into the gaps and areas that bacteria is likely to grow in.

Step Four: Rinse.

Be sure to rinse each paw enough to get off all the soap residue.

Step Five: Dry Completely

Make sure your dog’s paws are completely dry. If he walks around with wet feet, there is a good chance the smell will come right back. Use a dry towel or a blow dryer if he isn’t afraid of it. Use the cool or warm setting, never the hot setting.

Step Six: Apply dog-friendly odor reducer.

At this point, if you have a dog perfume or odor reducer meant for paws, you can apply it.

  • Repeat this process every day but be careful not to do it too much. 
  • You want to keep an eye out for any skin irritation, dryness, and chapping. 
  • If your Beagle experiences skin irritation, then make sure it’s not an allergic reaction to the soap or perfume. If not, then reduce the number of paw washings to a level that doesn’t irritate his skin.

Why do Beagles Smell?

Beagles can have some funky smells! 

  • Aromas can come from several things like bacteria and skin oils.
  • Odors are often isolated to a specific area, such as feet, ears, mouth, and butt.

Hound Odor

Beagles are hound dogs, and hounds are known to release unusual odors. 

Why do hound dogs smell worse than non-hound dogs? Because they have more skin folds. It’s easier for bacteria to grow. Beagles may not have as many skin-folds as bloodhounds or basset hounds, but they have enough to create more of a stink than non-hounds.

When dogs lived in packs in the wild, the different scents identify each other. That’s why dogs like to smell each other, it imprints on their memory, and when they are near that same dog again, their memory gets triggered by smell. Not usually by sight.

Ears

Bacteria loves to grow in dog ears, especially big floppy Beagle ears. 

Keeping your Beagles ears clean is essential.

Beagles love to scratch their ears with their paws when there is an itch. The bacteria on their paws can transfer to their ears and cause an infection. It often makes itching and scratching worse.

Once bacteria builds up inside the ear, it can release a foul odor. If this happens, you should consult your vet about medication.

Anal Glands

Dogs have tiny sacs near their butts called anal glands. These glands store and build up fluid released when your Beagle poops.

Sometimes anal glands don’t release properly and build up so much that they need to be manually drained.

This is a horrible smell that is so bad, you won’t forget it. It’s easy to identify when this is an issue because the smell will be unbearable. It can smell like something died.

If they build up enough, your Beagle may stink. One of the signs of this happening is him dragging his butt on the ground after pooping.

A vet or groomer will be able to drain them. It’s effortless and is just a matter of squeezing and applying pressure.

I recommend you go to an expert to get it done due to how bad it can smell. If needed, they can show you how to do it.

Bad Breath

Many Beagles, especially older Beagles, develop bad breath. There are a few different causes of bad breath in Beagles.

  • The most common cause is bad oral hygiene.
  • Plaque and tartar can buildup in your Beagle’s mouth just like it does in humans. After awhile, bacteria grows enough to cause a foul odor.

Giving your Beagle oral hygiene bones can help clean his teeth. Alternatively, you can brush his teeth yourself.

Gum and other oral-based diseases can develop in Beagles.

Prevention is the best medicine here. Cleaning their teeth regularly is essential. The best time to start is now. It doesn’t matter if they are a puppy or an adult!

Gas

Gas can come from the mouth or the Beagle’s butt. Farting and burping are noticeable odors, but some might not be so obvious, like gut unbalanced microbiomes.

  • Gut microbiomes can also cause your Beagle to have bad breath. This will be in his breath, his exhale, and not from his mouth.

Unbalanced gut bacteria is often caused by an overgrowth in gut bacteria in the small intestine.

If your dog has foul breath that does not seem to be coming from the inside of his mouth, then get him checked by a vet.

There may be simple solutions, like trying a special diet or medication that works.

Final Thoughts

Still, wondering beagles smell like corn chips? It’s likely isolated to his paws, but it isn’t always. It’s from that bacteria I mentioned earlier, Pseudomonas and Proteus. That’s what causes the yeast-like stench. Corn chips have yeast in them, in case you didn’t realize.

Wherever Pseudomonas and Proteus grow, the corn chip smell is likely to follow. It can infect the skin on various parts of your Beagle and even infect his bladder.

If it’s a big problem, a veterinarian visit is in order. If it’s just isolated to his feet, try the tips I mentioned.

Do you have experience with your dog smelling like Frito’s?

Let me know in the comments. 

If you’ve done something that helped your Beagle let me know what you found that worked.

-Andrew

Andrew

I am a dog trainer and passionate about canine health and behavior problems. I train dogs of all ages but specialize in training dogs with behavioral issues such as aggression or anxiety. My favorite part of my job is watching the transformation that takes place when an owner starts to understand their pet’s needs and how to meet them.

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