The belief that, if you smell your dog’s feet (and you know you have; they’re so cute!), they possess a scent reminiscent of Fritos is a long held one by dog owners everywhere.

For example… what do you think THESE feet smell like?

You’ve probably always shrugged it off as just one of those things, but it turns out that you’re not alone…and it’s kind of true, though you wouldn’t want to lick them to see if the taste matches.

The scent is likely due to microorganisms that live on their foot pads, specifically the bacteria Pseudomonas and Proteus. The bacteria living there is totally natural and healthy, so no need to worry.

Dogs only sweat through the parts of their body not covered by fur, which means a majority of sweat glands are located in their paws (the others are in their noses), so it’s a natural place to accumulate all kinds of bacteria. They rely on the evaporation of moisture from their tongues and the lining of their lungs to lower their body temperature.

The sweat mixes with the microorganisms eating it to produce a smell – just the way it does on humans – and if the scent bothers you, simply give your dog’s feet a wash (or trim the hairs between their toes).

Like all healthy, well-functioning bodies, there’s no need to do anything if you don’t want to – they’re designed to self-clean and care for themselves.

If you notice any kind of weird smell, discharge, or swelling, though, it could be time to take your dog to the vet.

Give your pups a nose boop from me the next time your inhaling the popcorn-y scent of their little puppy pads!