Stinky Saliva

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Stinky Saliva

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  • #60661 Report Abuse
    Walt R

    Hi. We got a rescue dog about 3 years back. It took us nearly a year before we found food that he liked and we liked. His issue was that he was always stinky even though an indoor dog. He also had room clearing gas. It was truly awful. We tried many different varieties/blends of dog food and he was, at one point, being bathed weekly it was that bad. But, we finally found the Purina Pro Plan Select Sensitive with the Salmon. It took only a matter of days and the gas was gone. In addition, he no longer smelled bad all the time and his baths were now 8 – 10 weeks apart. The dog is a pointer mix and is now pushing 5 years old. He has always been a dog that likes to lick. You walk past him or he you and out comes that tongue. He’ll get ya. LOL. He also licks the sheets, and carpet and his feet, etc. It’s never been a problem for us.

    Anyhow, over the past 6 months something has changed. His feet start to smell like Frito’s. But, so do the bed linens and other things, because of his licking. His breath is not bad. If he licks your hand, it’s not bad. But over time, it adds up and we’re having a hard time with it. In addition, because of this, what becomes, an over powering smell of Fritos… he’s back to being bathed every 2 weeks.

    His overall coat smells fine. His head and neck are fine. His feet on the other hand… UGH. Same with the bed linens and where he likes to sleep throughout the day.

    I can’t help but think it’s his food.

    Again, his breath is fine. His coat (other than feet) are fine. Still no gas and he still likes the food.

    I don’t know if there is a vitamin supplement we should give him, if there are breath drops that i see online that we can give him or if we should change food.

    Unfortunately, i have 100lbs of his food in the basement as it recently went on sale at $10 off per bag. It was hard to pass up. Now… I may be regretting that decision.

    So, i found this site. I read up on the Pro Plan Select and it didn’t get very good reviews. Out of the nearly 200 brands/formula’s posted as 4 stars and above, Purina wasn’t even on the list.

    A friend has recommended Zsignature Trout/Salmon, but OMGoodness, that is seriously expensive food.

    So i thought i would reach out here in this forum and ask if anyone else has experienced this kind of thing.

    I do not think the dog has any yeast infections. He doesn’t have dry, red or cracked feet and there aren’t sores on his body. He had a vet check in October and everything is good. Even his teeth are good.

    I did read though, that the Pro Plan Sensitive Salmon does contain yeast. So, could that be it? The yeast is in his saliva, he’s licking thinking things and then the Yeast is fermenting for lack of a better expression?

    And if that is maybe the source of the issue, why now? Why after being on this food for over 2 years, would this happen now?

    And again i ask, if it’s possible it’s the yeast from the food, which clearly isn’t harming him… would breath drops work, or a vitamin of some kind and if not… are there recommendations for FISH based foods that we can try? Fish based food so far is the only one, that resolves his coat and gas issues.

    Sorry for being long winded and thank you for any help you can provide.


    #60695 Report Abuse

    Hi Walt, your dog is suffering from yeasty, stinky paws…..they don’t have to be red & cracked, my boy gets them & when he eats sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, rye, barley, oats, he gets stinky ears, skin, mouth & fur…yeast loves starchy foods, you need a sugar free diet to starve the yeast, here’s a link by Dr Karen Becker explaining yeast problems in dogs & how to fix, she also explains how the disinfect their paws, also have a look at K9 Natural freeze dried food this was invented for dogs with problems with yeast also put him on a good dog probiotic for his stomach… Dr Karen Becker sells a good probiotic…

    #60699 Report Abuse

    Here’s the K9 Natural link
    try & put your boy on a Gluten free diet also a diet low in Lectins… Potatoes, tomatoes, wheat, (grains) dairy, lentils, beans, soybeans, legumes, etc are very high in lectins…

    #60704 Report Abuse

    Walt I just put my order in for 4 cases of 4 different wellness canned ……… many thanks to all here . If Rocky won’t eat any of it, I plan to give it to the local shelter . Not sure what your plan is , please give any that may go out of date to your local shelter before it gets too old . Good Luck !

    #60786 Report Abuse

    Frito feet!! Some of my dogs have it to from time to time, some more than others. Remember dogs also sweat from the pads so it’s not always from licking. Mine who have had Frito feet never had yeast infections so go figure. I have had dogs with yeast infections before and in their cases there was no frito odor but rather a putrid one.

    #60816 Report Abuse
    Walt R

    Thank you all for your suggestions. Four questions. First, if the issue is possibly a yeast infection on his paws, is it spread then via his licking and that is why the bed linens smell so bad (in addition to his feet) or is it possible that the issue is the saliva and as he licks his feet he’s also licking the blankets because he DOES lick the blankets, floors and everything else?

    Secondly, there have been some recommendation for food/changing diet. Can anyone recommend a specific brand/formula (or 4) that is a touch on the less expensive side? Simply put, we are not in a position to spend $70 or $80 for a 30lb bag of food. We are more in the $30 – $40 range for 30 pound bags of premium foods and then stock up when it goes on sale.

    Third, i see a lot about foot baths with recommendations for for specific product lines as well as home made remedies such as peroxide, vinegar, iodine and water (various combinations, I’d have to go back and look for the exact recipes.) Can anyone recommend one over the other or have a specific product in mind? My only concern about iodine is whether it will stain his white paws and/or the bath tub.

    Lastly, i actually enjoy bathing the dog, blow drying, grooming him. When we got him he was deathly afraid of adult males. The first thing we as a family did was bath him and then i took over from there. It took a bit but now we are absolute buds. Unfortunately if you put him in a room with my wife on one side and me on the other and we both call him, she wins. She likely always will, but that does not mean i’ll ever stop trying! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, i enjoy the time with him, caring for him, bathing him, etc… because i can tell over the past 2 years that it’s made huge inroads with trust, amongst many other things.

    Thanks again for allow in my questions and thank you too so very much for the idea’s and suggestions.


    #60817 Report Abuse

    Aww, Walt! What a heartwarming story. You’re a great pet parent! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The first food that comes to my mind when someone is looking for about $1.00 per pound is Victor, but only if you’re able to buy it locally. Take a look at the late a dealer tab here:

    #60821 Report Abuse

    Hi Walt-

    I second Victor as a budget friendly brand if it is in your area. I feed it frequently. I’m giving Eagle Pack a try right now made by Well Pet, the same company that makes Wellness. So far so good! I prefer to use inexpensive dry and supplement with fresh, canned or frozen protein rich toppers.

    I’ve never fed it, but Fromm Family Classics is another budget friendly food made by a reputable company.

    Good luck to you and your buddy!

    #60858 Report Abuse

    Hi Walt, I don’t know if I mentioned “MALASEB” medicated shampoo, bath his paws in the Malaseb as this kills the yeast & bacteria that’s living in his paws & stops the smell…also wash his whole body & give a massage for about 5-10mins while his paws are covered in the Malaseb shampoo & soaking…..Malaseb is for yeasty skin & wont strip their good oils like other products do making the dogs skin dry. Iodine does make their feet real dry… I only used Iodine when Patches paws were red & sore which he hasn’t had since washing in them in Malaseb…I have to wash Patches stinky paws every 5 days, its hard if you fill a bath then you cant soak the paws & my boy is soooo scared of baths, I don’t know what happened in his past… I’ve had him 2 years now, I can not wash or put water around his head, he starts to panic, so I use a wash cloth around his head… when you get a kibble make sure the Carbs are LOW & make sure you start writing down the first 7 ingredients that way u’ll notice what carb works & what carb make his smell worst eg: potatoes, peas, (starchy carbs) as soon as you find the right food his paw problem will go away, I have to keep my boy on his vet diet due to IBD, like vet said, she’d rather stinky paws then diarrhoea.. Ur boy has landed on his feet, one very lucky boy….

    #61241 Report Abuse

    Oh, it makes me sad to hear stories like this… I know it seems expensive to upgrade food, but it’s going to be hard to get your dog in better health eating a sub-optimal diet. I think of it like a person spending lots of money on “fat burning belts” and jiggling machines to lose weight while still eating a box of Twinkies a week and drinking a liter of Coke daily. You can’t pour enough stuff on from the outside to make up for what’s going on inside.

    Any money you put toward a diet upgrade will pay off in better health and less money spent trying to “Band-Aid” problems. I do salute you for caring and trying to come up with solutions. I don’t mean to criticize your efforts! Just saying I hope you’ll reconsider how you think about the value of diet. I can think of a couple of dog foods I really like that cost about $60-70/month to feed a 50 lb. dog. Would that be do-able?

    One last thing– buying a lot of dry dog food at one time means it’s not going to be at all fresh when you feed it. The fats in it do not stay fresh for that long and can really add to health problems. Dogs need fresh fats! It’s a problem with all foods, especially stale kibble.

    I have a few articles about foods on my blog if you’re interested:


    #62305 Report Abuse
    Walt R

    Thanks all for your suggestions. I have been doing the antifungal shampoo every 2 days for the past week and I have not notice much difference. I also got a spray for the paws but that too has not helped. I did supplement his food with probiotic powder but again, no change. In fact, I want to say it’s worse.

    I am thoroughly convinced his issue is INSIDE… that it’s in his saliva, in his mouth. He licks himself and then it gets on the bed linens and then they smell too.

    The most convincing reason why I think it’s his mouth/insides… when he takes a deep breath and breathes out…. the fritos smell is huge. almost as bad as bad gas.

    I’m very sensitive to this which is why it’s a problem.

    Anyhow… I agree, that I need to start with food.

    Unfortunately it’s challenging to spend $50 on a bag of dog food. Time is limited too with how much I work.

    I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but for now, I want to remain with dry food.

    There are 100’s of makes/formula’s out there. Something has to work.

    As mentioned previously, when we got him we tried many of the regular brand foods and everything made his coat smell and he had bad gas. We stumbled upon the Purina Pro Plan Select Salmon formula and life was good for nearly 2 years. We had small bouts of this frito breath smell, but it would go away. This time… it’s not.

    Can anyone recommend other dry dog foods to try?

    I have read… no potatoes, sweet potatoes, grains, peas, sugars, yeasts, etc… but it seems no matter what I look at, one of these ingredentis in in the food. Sometimes it’s 7 or 8 ingredients down the list…

    Which prompts the next question… if the potatos or peas are 7 ingredients down… do I need to be concerned?

    I do not have a distributor near me for Victors. I was recommend Blue Wilderness but it has the Peas and Potatoes. I was also recommended Zignature Trout/Salmon but it too has peas further down the list.

    Any other thoughts?

    I don’t mind buy a 6lb bag here and there and start trying to find the right ones again. But it’s challenging with there being so many to choose from.

    Thanks again for all your help. I will continue on with the shampoos, probiotics, etc…

    #62435 Report Abuse
    Walt R

    HI. I gave my bud another medicated bath today followed by a regular shampoo Fresh N Clean that we like. He was smelling good. I also cleaned the carpets and changed out the bed linen.

    He laid down at the foot of the bed and a deep breath was let out as he was going to sleep. UGH… it smelled so bad. It’s the smell that I’m having a really hard time with.

    That to me was indeed confirmation it’s internal, not external, and through licking he’s transferring to the external.

    So, based on readings and feedback from others, i got a bag of the Zignature Trout and Salmon. I’m thinking now that, also based on readings here, that his yeast infection is internal which is possible.

    I also put 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 liter of water into his 2 water bowls and will do this for a few days.

    My question now changes.

    He’s on the Purina Select Salmon food. I am switching him to the Zignature Trout and Salmon. How much of a wean off do i need to do? Meaning, do i do 50/50 of old food to new food for 3 or 4 days and then Zignature after? Can i move faster?

    Are there any signs i should be looking for that would indicate we are moving too fast with the switching of the food, such as gas or loose stools, sleepiness, etc?

    Once again, thanks everyone for your continued help.

    #62440 Report Abuse

    Hi Walt,

    If he’s been eating it for a while, the transition will take some time, especially if he’s got issues with a leaky gut.

    Start with a very small portion of the new food and mix it with a reduced portion of the old food. If he he’s doing well on the new food, leave him at that ratio for a few days. His stool will be the biggest indicator of how he’s handling the new food. Only increase the portion of the new food to the old when his stool is firm. Let the transition take as long as necessary, it could take two or three weeks or more. If he has some loose stool, a bit of plain, canned pumpkin helps a lot.

    I would also consider adding digestive enzyme and probiotics to his food for a while. I’ve had great success with Swanson’s BioCore and Soil Based Organisms.

    Zignature has lots of legumes which are notorious for their ability to cause gas and loose stool. If your pup doesn’t do well on the Zignature, you might need something without chickpeas or lentils.

    Don’t stock up on fish based food. Delicate Omega 3’s are best added at the time that you serve it in the form of fish oil or sardines. Here’s a great article on rancid fats: If you must buy fish based food, buy the freshest you can and smaller bags that you’ll use within a couple of weeks of opening. Once opened keep it stored in the original bag, with the top roles down and in an air tight container.

    #62448 Report Abuse
    Walt R

    Thanks for your follow up. Yes, i have been adding probiotics to his food and will continue to do so. I will also watch the stools to see what happens and adjust per your recommendations.

    We truly do not know if he must have fish based foods or not. All i have to go on are all the various foods we tried when we first got him. We tried a LOT of different foods due to the bad gas. I really can’t even recall all the different brands and types (beef vs. chicken, etc). I know we tried several… and once we go to the fish, problem solved. Gas was gone, dog was far more energetic and his fur was looking great. It took many months and just like that… life was good for everyone until about 3 months ago and now i can hardly stand to let the boy sleep next to me because the breath is too much. It smells like the Frito and it literally makes me ill from headaches to stomach. My wife and son are not as affected but they too smell it.

    Anyhow, it is only because of our experiences when we first got him, that i start with the Trout/Salmon vs. Bison or Lamb (2 meats i think we did not try).

    If you have recommendations for an actual food/type, I’m wide open to suggestions.

    Part of the problem i have… seems that every food has “something” we need to watch for. Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Legumes, Yeast, Oats, Grains, etc. So it’s hard trying to figure out where to start.

    Unfortunately, money is a factor. Zignature is at the very high end of what i can afford if this turns out to be the new food of choice. I also know that due to lifestyle constraints, i need to stick with dry dog food. Again, convenience is a factor. Hope that doesn’t sound insensitive.

    He’s been doing great for over 2 years and all of a sudden, something changed. I’m sure we’ll once again find the right food and fix whatever is going on. I just dread that this may take months.

    So, thanks again for the advise. If you have any specific recommendations or 3 for brands/formulas… i will put them on my list in case the Zignature does not work out.

    Thanks again.


    #62696 Report Abuse

    “Part of the problem i haveโ€ฆ seems that every food has โ€œsomethingโ€ we need to watch for. Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Legumes, Yeast, Oats, Grains, etc.”

    That’s because it’s hard to make kibble without some sort of starch. It’s like making meatballs with no breadcrumbs– they won’t stick together. That’s part of the reason that simply changing from kibble to the canned version of the same food can be a big help. Almost always, canned food has less starch in it since it doesn’t have to form kibbles. It tends to have fresher nutrients as well. Something to consider!


    #62698 Report Abuse

    @Tabitha Because you’ve brought it up here, I wanted to ask what you think about the Wysong Egigen kibble. It is made without any starch or binders, and has very low carbs. The thing is it has the unspecified ingredient “meat protein isolate” in it, which was scaring me off because it was unspecified. I think it could really help in situations like this though. What do you think about this food? Thanks!

    #62793 Report Abuse

    @Dog Obsessed: I’m with you. Protein isolate sounds kind of unappealing, un-natural, and overprocessed. I found this on their website:

    It’s kibble. It may be better than some others, but it’s still dried up/processed meat and vegetable what not in a bag. I know Wysong has a good reputation but I doubt I will ever give my full blessing to this type of food for continuous, long-term use.


    #62823 Report Abuse

    Thanks! I would never use this kibble, or any for that matter, for long-term use, but it sounds like the protein is a bit too processed for it to really be a “natural” food. I’m also a bit concerned about Wysong since I saw this on The Truth About Pet Food:

    Also, the link to Wysong’s website gave me a Not Found error. ๐Ÿ™ Maybe try posting the original link? Thanks!

    #62833 Report Abuse

    Sorry about the bad link. Try this:

    or just go to this page and click the link near the bottom that talks about protein isolates:

    The article on the site you linked to makes me never want to get involved with commercial pet food politics. I personally would not use that as a guideline for how good the pet food is. That statement comes off harsher in writing than it would sound if I said it to you in real life :). I guess I’m just saying it seems like people get super amped up about issues that concern money and pet health. It’s easy for the truth to become entangled in emotion.


    #62843 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    Dr. Tabitha:
    There’s no like button on the forum side. I just want to write that I agree with your opinion, particularly your last sentence! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #62884 Report Abuse

    The link works now, thanks! I agree that pet food politics is tricky business, and that emotions and money make things more complicated, which is why I’m grateful for sites like DFA and vets like you who give their time. ๐Ÿ˜€

    #62885 Report Abuse

    Wow, Dr. Tabitha! I signed up to receive your blog updates by email and received your elimination diet PDF. What a great document! Elimination diets that aren’t done correctly are worthless. If anyone needs proper guidance in conducting an elimination diet, they should visit your site!

    #62888 Report Abuse
    Bobby dog

    DF: I forgot about the elimination diet PDF. I recently signed up for Dr. Tabitha’s news letter too. You are right about elimination diets being worthless if not done correctly. People have many different ideas of what an elimination diet is and most comments I read about them in no way describe the procedure for them.

    Dr. Tabitha, thanks for the PDF and your newsletter!

    #62900 Report Abuse

    Dog Foodie- hahaha! I didn’t know I had it set to send that PDF! I was testing it out and guess I actually set it up. I don’t think you got the final version- I’ll have to check. I’m thrilled to hear you liked it, though! If you want the final version I can email it to you :). I need to let people know that’s a freebie for signing up on my blog.


    • This reply was modified 7 years, 4 months ago by T.
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