Why Do Dogs Get Zoomies?

October 5th, 2020

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A dog dashing ecstatically toward her owner, ears and tail flying through the air.

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Does your dog get the zoomies? You know, that sudden burst of energy that sends them dashing around in a frenzy?

Almost every dog owner has witnessed their furry friend have a case of the zoomies. It’s funny and entertaining to watch, and also makes for great content on social media.

Zoomies are also called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). So what’s going on when your dog gets the zoomies? And why do dogs get zoomies in the first place?

In this blog post, we’ll look at this funny phenomenon in detail. Let’s zoom right in.

Dog Zoomies: Here's What's Up.

Zoomies are a way for dogs to relieve stress and let out excess built-up energy. Most dogs break into a run and go around in circles at a supersonic speed.

Most of the time, zoomies don’t last long. One episode will last just a few minutes, maximum.

Why Do Dogs Get Zoomies?

According to experts, dogs get zoomies because of two main reasons–excess energy and stress. A lot of situations can trigger the zoomies, the most common of which are:

  • Getting in or out of the bath
  • After coming home from a rainy walk
  • Before or after a vet visit
  • After waking up in the morning
  • During playtime
  • After spending extended time in a crate
  • After getting scolded
  • Watching other dogs play
  • During training sessions
An infographic that lists the main reasons and common triggers for why dogs get the zoomies.

When is your dog most likely to get zoomies? Let us know in the comments!

Zoomies aren’t bad for your dog’s health, but it can mean your dog needs more exercise, or is generally understimulated.

If your dog gets the zoomies very frequently–daily or even twice a day–you should work on channeling their energy into other forms of healthy exercise and play.

READ: 24 Ways To Exercise Your Dog!

Puppies And Zoomies

Puppies and dogs younger than two years old are more likely to get zoomies since they are easily excitable and energetic. They also have higher exercise and activity needs than older dogs.

However, zoomies don’t discriminate by age!

Older dogs can get the zoomies too, just not as frequently as puppies do. Of course, that’s because they have lower activity needs.

In general, well-exercised dogs are less likely to have these sudden bursts of energy.

Are Zoomies Dangerous?

Let’s be real: zoomies are strange!

One minute your dog is calm and collected. You start petting them playfully and suddenly, they’re running around in circles! This is quite a common occurrence with me and Yuna.

A dog zooming on the beach, looking wild and crazy.

It’s natural to wonder whether you should be concerned about them, and whether you should try to control your dog’s zoomies.

By itself, an episode of the zoomies is not something you need to be worried about. Many animals, not just dogs, experience FRAPs, including goats, horses, cats, elephants, gazelles, and bears.

However, you may want to dog-proof your living space in case your dog goes wild! The best zoomies happen in a safe space like a fenced yard.

Chasing A Dog With The Zoomies

Often times, zoomies strike at inconvenient times. Like when you have friends over, or when your dog is off-leash.

Many people will try to get a hold of their dog by chasing after them.

However, it seems like all this does is make your dog want to run faster! That’s because your dog now thinks you’re playing with them, and only gets them more excited.

The best thing to do is to tone down the energy level of yourself and your surroundings to encourage calm. It’s always good to have reliable recall during times like this in case you’re outside.

Seasonal Zoomies

Did you know that FRAPs in general are more common during the winter months, especially when the weather is bad?

Well, blaming the weather might not be completely accurate. Thanks to the cold, we humans tend to become lazier as well, shortening our dog’s walks where convenient.

And with indoor time and holiday time, many dogs also tend to be more spoiled and eat more calories during the winter!

This disparity between more calories and less exercise definitely gives rise to more zoomies.

A dog in mid-zoomies, as if confused on which direction to go next.

What can we do about it? There are many ways to exercise your dog indoors, including a fun game of tug, fetch, or hide and seek. Make up for the lack of walks with other perfectly good ways to stimulate your dog, in the warmth and comfort of your home.

Conclusion

Zoomies stem from two root causes: excess energy, or stress. They are most common in younger dogs, but older dogs aren’t immune!

We gave common reasons why dogs get the zoomies, as well as whether you should be concerned about them at all.

Zoomies aren’t bad for your dog, but they do point to a potential lack of activity. As we roll around to the winter months, be sure you’re still consistently exercising them.

We’d love to hear about your dog’s zoomies in the comments! Also, be sure to follow Yuna on Instagram and Pinterest for more daily updates and useful dog tips.

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