What You Need to Know About Sweaty Paws in Dogs

Updated on March 30, 2020
alexadry profile image

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and the author of "Brain Training for Dogs."


Dogs Cooling Off Through Sweaty Paws

If your dog has sweaty paws, you may be wondering what triggers this and what you can do about it. Sweaty paws in dogs is not uncommon. It takes a bit of a trained eye to recognize sweaty paws in dogs at times as the signs can be very subtle.

Generally, you notice sweaty paws in dogs when they leave footprints around and the paws aren't wet by water. These footprints are more noticeable on certain surfaces, such as the vet's examination table, on certain dark tiles, or on cement. You will rarely see sweaty foot prints on carpet and you may never notice it on grass or gravel. Upon touching your dog's paws, they will feel clammy and cool.

Why is your dog sweating from his paws? Fact is, dogs do not sweat as we do. In us humans, sweat glands (merocrine glands) are distributed over our body so we can cool ourselves down. If our internal temperature rises, our body signals the need to lower it by triggering the glands to release sweat, which evaporates and effectively cools us down.

Dogs have different skin, and most of their sweat glands are found on their paws.This is because, unlike humans, dogs cool themselves mostly through panting.

Panting allows moisture to circulate air through their bodies, causing a cooling effect through evaporation. The moist lining of the tongue, mouth, and lungs work as an evaporation surface. Yet those paws are surely working hard as well in ridding the dog of excessive heat. So why are your dog's paws sweating? Most likely, he is hot, but there may be other factors at play.

Why Do My Dog's Feet Smell like Popcorn, Fritos, or Cheetos?

If you ever got a whiff of your dog's feet, you may find that they smell just like popcorn, Fritos or that bag of Cheetos you brought from the snack aisle. Why is that?

Dogs do not have scent glands in their feet. Some believe that it is triggered by sweat that has an odor when it becomes trapped within the hair between the foot pads, but most likely it's caused by natural occurring bacteria and yeast found on the skin.

Many owners find that trimming this hair and washing the pads helps reduce this type of odor. However, many dog owners seem to like this type of smell. Chances are, if you like popcorn or Fritos, you will like the smell of your dog's paws!

Sweaty paws in dogs may be due to stress
Sweaty paws in dogs may be due to stress

Sweaty Paws as a Sign of Stress

Did you ever notice how the palms of your hands get clammy when you are nervous? For the same reason, dogs get sweaty paws. From an evolutionary standpoint, you may wonder what's the function of those sweaty feet.

It is thought that the sweat is meant to provide traction so the dog can effectively run faster over a variety of surfaces. It's a great aid for the dog's fight or flight response, so he can effectively run for his life when he feels frightened.

If you notice your dog has sweaty paws, see if there's a pattern when it happens. Does it happen on walks? At the vet's office? When you must leave the house? Are the sweaty paws accompanied by other signs of stress?

This will help you determine what circumstances trigger stress in your dog so you can help him. Chances are that you can help your dog by using dog calming aids such as DAP diffusers, Thundershirts, or you may help your dog by implementing dog behavior modification with the aid of a dog behavior professional.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2014 Adrienne Farricelli


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      18 months ago

      Yes, indeed, we had a boarder with separation anxiety and he left these humid footprints from his sweaty paws everywhere he walked. As the days went by though, less footprints meant that his separation anxiety was lessening and that was great news.

    • profile image

      21 months ago

      Please fact check your information!

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      You just solved my query. When I go out, my rescue puppers has separation anxiety. When i come back there are wet little footprints on the hardwood. at first i thought he maybe peed and walked into it, but nope. now that i know all his sneaky spots, i was convinced it was sweaty or he was excessively licking them from stress. Thank you for the article and information

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Farricelli 

      5 years ago

      It's one of those little known facts, I guess because it's hard to see. I have yet to notice sweaty paws on my dogs but it could be just because they walk on surfaces where you would hardly notice.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I learned another new aspect of dogs.A well- summed up hub and so interesting about dogs

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that was interesting. As long as I've had dogs and I did not know this. Thanks for the great information.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great hub. Fortunately my little Jack Russell has never had sweaty paws as far as I know, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for it after this. Thank you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)