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This Is Why Your Dog's Paws Smell Like Fritos

07/24/2015 07:00am ET

You’re not imagining it, and your pup probably hasn’t been sneaking into the snack pantry (we hope). It’s actually very common for a dog’s paws to smell like Fritos.

The corn chip odor -- which some human noses interpret as more of a popcorn scent -- is a byproduct of yeast and bacteria, Dr. Robert J. Silver, a Colorado-based veterinarian, told The Huffington Post. Pseudomonas and proteus are the two types of natural bacteria that make their way from soil or water into the crevices of a paw, and it's the former that gives your pet that snack food smell.

While the smell is perfectly normal, Silver said that it can sometimes be a sign of infection. If your pooch is excessively licking his feet, his paws are greasy or there is inflammation in the webbed part between his toes, you might want to take a trip to the vet. (By the way: It's a normal behavior for dogs to lick their paws -- it's how they self-clean and remember where they've been throughout the day. Excessive is the keyword.)

If you're overwhelmed by the smell, you can try scrubbing your doggy's paws more often. But really, Frito feet are better than stinky feet, so give your pooch a break and a treat for good measure.

More on HuffPost:

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