Imagine this: One minute your dog is calm and cool as a cucumber. Then, in a split second, he takes off running like he’s being chased by an invisible swarm of bees. He may be inside, dashing around in circles and darting from room to room. Or maybe he’s outside running laps around the backyard. This quick burst of energy only lasts for a few minutes and, as your dog begins tiring out, you can feel his sense of accomplishment. If you’re raising a dog then chances are this scenario sounds familiar. It’s something called “the zoomies”.
Zoomies – technically called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs) – are a sudden energy burst your dog simply can’t contain. They only last a few minutes and can happen to dogs of all breeds, genders, and ages. Although, many experts say the zoomies happen more in young dogs vs senior canines since they have more energy!
- Overly excited or aroused – This could be from seeing other energetic dogs, people, or something else your pup really loves. For example, my toy Poodle, Gigi, gets the zoomies when she sees me preparing her meals (she loves to eat and the sight of food fills her body with energy!). Plus, my Chihuahua, Diego, gets the zoomies at the beach. The second his paws touch the soft sand he’s immediately sent into FRAP mode.
- Not getting enough physical and/or mental stimulation – Many dogs get the zoomies in the morning or evening, after spending hours in the crate or relaxing around the house. Also, dog behaviorists say zoomies are common during winter months when dogs don’t get to run around and enjoy as much time outdoors.
- Stressed out – Zoomies can feel therapeutic to stressed-out dogs. This is why some dogs get the zoomies after bathtime or a trip to the vet.
What To Do When Your Dog Has The Zoomies
For the most part, zoomies are normal, show your pup has lots of energy, and are harmless, as long as Fido is in a safe space. So, go ahead and let him burn off that pent up energy! Some advice:
- If your dog is inside when he gets the zoomies, try to keep him away from stairs or large furniture that could fall on him.
- If your dog is outside and near a road when he gets the zoomies, don’t chase him. Your dog will just think you’re joining in on the game and start running even faster. Instead, try grabbing his attention with a treat. If that doesn’t work, run in the opposite direction of the road, hoping he chases after you, and then slip on his leash.
If your dog is zooming away every day — or multiple times a day — this may be a sign he isn’t getting enough stimulation. You can help curb this behavior by going for more walks and increasing playtime!