Never in my life have I wondered what my dog's feet smell like. That was until I found this out.

Apparently, your dog's feet smell like Fritos or popcorn, depending on who you ask. Don't worry, the smell is perfectly normal...yet weird. I'm not sure what's more odd: sniffing your dog's feet, or the fact that they smell like Fritos.

Cute dog giving his paw
Getty Images/iStockphoto

I wrote about this a while ago, but recently I was messing with one of my friends to try to sniff my dog's paw. He thought I was messing with him. I kind of was, but I was trying to prove to him that dogs paws actually smell like Fritos. Once I finally talked him into it, he confirmed that this was right. Full transparency here...even when I first found out about this smell, I never sniffed my dog's paws. It just seems like an odd thing to do.

I don't know too many people who go around smelling their dog's feet, but if by chance you do, you might notice the smell. Just ask your dog to shake, grab its paw, and take a whiff. Or if they're coming in from the snow and you're wiping their paws, give them a sniff or two.

According to, the reason behind your dog's paw smelling that way is due to the microorganisms living on the foot pads – specifically the bacteria called Pseudomonas and Proteus. The hair that grows between your dog's pads is prime real estate for the bacteria to grow.

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Dogs only sweat on the parts of their body that isn't covered with fur, like their paws. While the sweat itself doesn't produce the scent, it does contribute to the growth of the microorganisms that releases the odor. Which is still baffling to me. Of all things for this bacteria to smell like, it smells like Fritos or popcorn? You'd think that it would smell a little more disgusting than that, right?

Now, I know you're probably going to try to sniff your dog's paws as soon as you get home to see if it really does smell like Fritos or not. Just save yourself, and your dog some embarrassment and don't sniff them in public.

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