Why Do Dogs Smell Like Biscuits? (Digestives & Cookie Odours!)

why does my dog smell like biscuits

Dogs really do have some weird and wonderful smells sometimes. Depending on where they’ve been or what they’ve been up to can really influence their odours. But one smell that has always confounded me; the smell of biscuits!

Why does my dog smell like digestive biscuits or cookies? It’s just so weird that I decided to do some research into it – it’s nothing to do with something they ate!

Why does my dog smell of biscuits? Dogs’ feet and ears can sometimes smell like digestive biscuits or cookies due to a build-up of yeast, Proteus bacteria, or Pseudomonas bacteria. All can develop in-between the toes of your dog where it’s warm, damp, and not a lot of air circulation.

That’s the short answer, and it doesn’t sound too nice, but don’t worry… unless there’s a really pungent smell coming from your dog, it’s usually nothing serious.

“My dog smells like biscuits” – I want to know more!

The biscuit or cookie smell you are getting from your dog will often be described differently by other dog owners. Some say it’s like popcorn, others compare it to corn chips and crisps – but they all have one thing in common… it’s derived from a yeasty smell. You can see what interesting bacteria smells your dog might also get over time in this article on Discover Magazine.

I also read an article on the Daily Mail where they interviewed a vet. Here’s what the vet said about dogs smelling like biscuits, corn chips, or popcorn: 

“Owners have somehow confused the aroma of corn chips with that of the yeast that’s growing inside a pup’s ears and in between his toes. For some reason, lots of people think they smell alike.”

Another vet was also quoted as saying:

“Bacteria and fungi live on the skin of healthy animals, including dogs. The feet, being what they are; on the ground, walking in stuff, and occasionally licked by the dog’s tongue (containing additional microbes) may have more of an odour than the rest of the body. Thankfully, this faintly food-related smell is, in most cases, just a curiosity.”

Should you be worried?

From what I can gather, you shouldn’t worry too much if your dog smells like cookies or digestive biscuits.

The biscuit smell coming from your dog’s paws is something that you won’t be able to eradicate. Yeast and bacteria get trapped there each time your dog goes for a walk. All the moisture, no air circulation, and places to get trapped are an ideal breeding ground.

The Pseudomonas and Proteus bacteria are natural and first develop in soil before getting into your dog’s feet.

If bacteria are the root cause, it’s perfectly normal unless it gets over-whelming, or you notice your dog licking his paws excessively. In that case, you should consult with your vet.

Let’s be honest, the smell could be a lot, lot worse!

Such as…

  • Why does my dog smell like fish? This is usually the sign that something is wrong with their anal glands. There could be an infection of anal sac impaction that needs veterinary attention.
  • Why does my dog smell like cheese? Cheesy smells are often the sign of a yeast infection, poor diet, or an allergic reaction to something he ate or sniffed. Vets can prescribe medicines for infections, and help you find the root cause of an allergy.
  • Why dog my dog smell like vinegar? Vinegar smells can be a sign of diabetes as the ketones pass through their urine. Dogs with kidney problems have also been described of having a vinegar smell, in particular on their breath.

Handy Hint: Did you know that dogs can smell like fish when they are scared? It can be quite disgusting but it is possible to prevent it.


The next time you notice the sweet smell of digestive biscuits coming from your dog, embrace it. It’s just down to nature, pure and simple and has no harmful effects for you or your four-legged friend.

However, it could be a sign of canine diabetes as I recently found out when I researched dogs smelling like maple syrup.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet and all of the information in this guide has been researched online. If you have any concerns about the smell of your dog, you should consult with a professional.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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