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What Does It Mean When Your Dog Gets The Zoomies?
Here’s why pet owners don’t need to worry when their dogs catch the zoomies!
Every dog owner is well aware of the zoomies, also known as the moment our dogs start running at top speed all over our homes or yards seemingly out of nowhere. Zoomies, or Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs) as they are officially called, typically involve repetitive, fast behavior like running in circles or spinning around. These bursts of activity should only last for a few minutes at a time and are typically quite amusing to watch. But have you ever stopped to wonder why your dog gets zoomies?
Typically, zoomies mean your dog is happy, playful, and just burning off steam. Most of the time, you can just sit back and enjoy the show. Just keep an eye on your dog to make sure he doesn’t run into anything dangerous! For example, some dogs will run into furniture or slip on hard floors. Additionally, don’t let your dog race around stairs so they can’t fall and injure themselves. Ideally, try to direct your dog to an open carpeted or grassy area where they can’t run into the street or into anything that might break and/or cause them harm.
Your dog is releasing excess energy.
Imagine the happiness and excitement you would feel if you just won the lottery. When your dog gets the zoomies, that is basically how your pup feels. Zoomies are generally caused by a build-up of excess energy or excitement, which is then released in one short burst. Some common scenarios where dogs might get the zoomies are during playtime when they are already excited, when their favorite human comes home, when they are released from their crate to roam free, or just before bed in preparation for a long period of rest.
Your dog has just gone through something stressful.
In some cases, your dog may get the zoomies after going through something stressful. For example, some dogs will get the zoomies due to a burst of adrenaline after visiting the grooming salon or the veterinary clinic. Some dogs even get the zoomies during training sessions if they become nervous while trying to learn a new command. In these situations, your dog may be over-excited, but it’s not always a happy excitement. If your dog is getting the zoomies due to nerves or anxiety, see what you can do to ease their mind going forward if they’ll have to encounter the same stressors in the future. You may want to contact a certified dog trainer for guidance if your dog needs extra help overcoming a phobia or if the zoomies seem to be linked to a possible behavioral issue.
Your dog needs more exercise.
Depending on your dog’s breed and age, he may be getting the zoomies because he isn’t getting enough exercise in his daily routine. High-energy breeds and working dogs typically need a ton of exercise to stay happy and healthy. If you have a high-energy breed that seems to get the zoomies constantly, it’s likely a sign that your dog needs more exercise from you. For tips on how to improve your pet’s fitness and ideas for how you can exercise together, click here.
Your dog has an underlying medical condition.
Most of the time, zoomies are absolutely nothing to worry about. They are not usually triggered by something being wrong, and the only real danger comes from the risk that your pet might run into something hard or breakable, which can be mitigated with proper supervision. However, if zoomies are accompanied by other strange behaviors or symptoms, you will want to contact your vet to make sure there is nothing medically wrong. There are some health conditions that can trigger strange behavior, such as Cushing’s Disease or neurological disorders.
That said, your dog getting the zoomies isn’t typically something to worry about. In actuality, zoomies are a sign that your dog is actually feeling happy and healthy. Dogs who are severely ill will not have the energy to expend on zoomies because it will all be going toward trying to get better, so it’s usually an indicator that your dog is NOT sick. As long as you supervise your dog to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself in the process, zoomies are just an enjoyable experience for your dog and a fun moment for you to observe.