Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 12/01/20 •  6 min read
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Does your dog get the zoomies? Do you know what the zoomies are? If you’re new to being a canine pet parent, then you may not have experienced these with your dog yet.

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If you’re wondering what zoomies are or if they’re something to worry about, then read no for more information! Along with explaining zoomies, we’ll take a look at if these are normal, when they happen, and what you can do to help your canine companion when he has a case of the zoomies!

What are Zoomies?

Have you ever seen your dog or puppy running circles at high speed in the yard or in the house? If so, these are zoomies! When dogs have the zoomies, they look ecstatic with their eyes sparkling and/or bugging out, and tongues handing out to the side of their mouths like a banner. They’re excited, happy, and filled to overflowing with energy and antics!

If your dog’s in the house, he may use furniture and tables as ramps and trampolines to launch himself in the air, only to hit the ground zooming again. We’ve even heard of dogs that ran so hard they left footprints on the wall. This was accomplished by running across a couch placed against the wall. Instead of running on the couch, the dog actually ran off the wall at high speed!

Some dogs may run stretched out full length, while others may assume a position where their rear is tucked, and their back is rounded. No matter their favorite zoomie position, a dog with the zoomies will run in just about any configuration that lets him run at full speed.

The zoomies even have an official name which is Frenetic Activity Periods (FRAPs). Doesn’t the perfectly describe a dog running at fully speed through your yard or home? FRAPS are caused by energy build up in the dog, which finally becomes too much for the dog to deal with. At that point, a dog will just suddenly explode with energy and begin running at full speed wherever he is.

Are Zoomies Normal?

Yes, zoomies are completed normal. In fact, most puppies and adult dogs have zoomies. This burst of energy isn’t quite as common in senior dogs, but they can get the zoomies, too!

When Do Zoomies Happen Most Often?

FRAPs come on most often if a dog’s been crated for long periods, hasn’t had enough exercise, or they’re feeling a little stressed. However, there are other times when a dog may be excited to see their pet parent and family, then break out with the zoomies.

Dogs may go into zoomie-mode due to the weather, too! Some dogs may get the zoomies when the weather cools off in the fall, or when they see snow in the winter. Other dogs may get the zoomies in the spring after being cooped up all winter!

In addition, FRAPs can be caused by having a bath, especially if the dog doesn’t like bath time too well. Zoomies may also come on after a dog poops, though we can’t really figure that one out! But if the dog’s happy and feeling better, then why not?

How Long Do Zoomies Last?

Zoomies may last anywhere from a minute to 10 minutes, but not usually much longer than that. After 10 minutes of running flat out at full speed, even puppies will need a breather! Well, most puppies, anyway.

Are Zoomies Dangerous?

Most of the time zoomies are not dangerous unless they’re taking place in a room or area that isn’t safe for full speed running/jumping. For instance, if a dog goes into zoomies in a small apartment, then he could run into furniture, uncarpeted flooring, tip over vases, and more. Even in an outdoor area, tools, outdoor furniture, and other obstacles could pose a danger.

If you have a fenced yard and your fur baby gets a case of the zoomies, then it’s best to try to get him to go outside in his yard, where he can be safe to run it off. Just make sure there no garden tools, wires, etc. that he could get hurt on.

For those who don’t have fenced yards, you’ll just have to let your canine companion run it off inside. Try to guide your dog into a safer area, if possible. And remove anything that he could knock over, get hurt on, etc.

And if you have young children, make sure the kids are safely out of the way when your dog has the FRAPs. Not all dogs keep their wits about them during their zoomie times.

Can I Stop My Dog When He’s Having Zoomies?

Zoomies are a completely normal part of a dog’s life. There’s nothing wrong with a dog having the zoomies, other than if he may be in a dangerous space as he’s running at such fast speeds.

However, we do need to point out that while some dogs do chase their tales during the zoomies, if a dog does this regularly, then he may have obsessive-compulsive disorder. This should be evaluated by a vet.

If your dog has the zoomies daily, then it may indicate he needs to have more exercise. Longer walks are great to help work off your dog’s excess energy. This will especially help if you live in a home without a yard.

When it comes to stopping the zoomies, this can be challenging. Most dogs that are in the midst of zoomies will not really pay attention to cues. For this reason, experts advise getting the dog’s attention with a favorite toy or perhaps with a treat and redirect them to the yard, if possible. You can also try running away from your dog, as they may try to follow you; however, getting them redirected with a toy or treat may be more helpful.

When your dog has the zoomies, never chase him. All this does is make him more excited and could even give him more energy. He may think you’re trying to join in on the fun! So, don’t run after him when he’s busy zooming around the house.

One more note—if you have more than one dog, and one of them gets the zoomies, you may just find that your little pack all gets the zoomies at the same time!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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