Just wash his feet before bed time. I do. People said I am weird but my little dog sleeps with me and we walk outside
so I usually just wipe him with a washcloth each night and get the paws while I am at it. It is a routine now and he puts his paws up for this now. Good luck
Dogs sweat through their feet, so they get BO there. Use baby wipes or whatever, with anything that would be safe on your skin. Also, obviously, I trust he hasn't stepped in something unfortunate.
Dogs lick their paws, so don't put anything on them you don't want your dog to ingest -- like deodorant or antibacterial powder. I've heard that sweaty feet on people can be helped by soaking their feet in strong tea. Something about the tannin in the tea or something like that. It was Dr. Oz speaking about it on Oprah. Anyway, it might work for dogs. Just don't let him drink the tea. Bad for dogs.
Another point to consider is the dog's diet. Dogs will smell more if they are ill (from allergies to the food or otherwise) or if they eat poor food. Don't think you're feeding good food just because it's higher priced, either. Try changing the dog's diet to a homemade or raw food diet. If you don't wish to do that, then supplement his current diet with more unprocessed foods of human grade -- meat, eggs, vegetables (no onions), oatmeal, brown rice, etc. Check to see if the food is safe for dogs, first though (as in onions). Or try switching to a food that doesn't have the common food allergy triggers like corn, wheat, and soy. Oh, and look at the ingredients of any dog treats. There are very few regulations about the ingredients in dog treats, so they may be the problem. I wish you all the best in your solution.
You didn't say what breed, but what I do is shave the hair between the pads of my 6 dogs. Because the pads are so close they retain any moisture that gets between the pads, possibly leading to an infection/sour smell. If you can't do this, take him to a groomer and have it done there. You also might take a gauze pad and put Listerine Mouth wash on it and carefully wipe between pads. Have found that Listerine will clear up minor ear infections and scaly skin on tummies and is safe for the dog.
Maybe using a mild spray deodorant would help? You might try standing him in a tub with a couple of inches of water with an anti-bacterial soap in it, then, once his feet dry, apply a deodorant or even an antibacterial body powder, taking care to get between his pads.
It sounds like maybe he is getting some bacterial growth in the moisture from his feet, just like we get B.O. under our arms where it is moist. I would hesitate to use an antiperspirant on his feet, though, because dogs can only perspire through their nose skin and feet to cool themselves (in addition to panting). Someone else on here might know more about this.
I expect trial/error would teach you how often you need to do the foot; bath; but I would suspect it would turn into a relatively quick process once he realizes hopping in the tub doesn't mean a full bath!
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.