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TLDR: Zoomies are normal playful behaviour to release bottled up energy. It is absolutely okay for dogs to engage in zoomies as long as it’s in a safe environment where you’re sure your dog can’t harm himself or others.
As you’ve already guessed, dog zoomies are a period of frantic activity during which a dog runs around like crazy, and seems to be completely unaware of their surroundings. You typically know it’s a zoomie when you see one. When dogs have them, they do it without noticing what’s going on around them. Zoomies are more common in puppies but they can happen in dogs of all ages.
If you ever settled in for the night, ready to fall asleep or watch some tv, when all of a sudden your dog goes crazy, chances are it was a case of the dog zoomies. Often, just when you’re unsure what to do next, the craziness has passed. Your dog is laying on the carpet, panting, totally exhausted.
If you’ve ever wondered what those zoomies are all about, this article is for you.
Zoomies is the slang word for a period of frenzied running in a dog. In more technical terms, we know zoomies as FRAP attacks, which stands for Frenetic Random Activity Period attacks. So, in normal words, zoomies are random bursts of high activity and energy.
The most common reasons for zoomies include overexcitement and bottled up energy in puppies. Most dogs will outgrow zoomies as they get older, and not all puppies will display this behaviour.
Any dog can get the zoomies at any time, but most owners tend to see a theme to the behaviour until they outgrow it. The most common triggers are after a bath, before bed, during play, and after eating.
Many pet owners observe zoomies before bed. That’s is because your puppy is trying to release pent up energy before settling for the night.
If your dog goes crazy after a bath, it’s your dog’s way of showing relief that bath time is finally over. Running around the house like a maniac is a quick way to get rid of nervous energy that’s been pent up.
For food-obsessed dogs, the anticipation of mealtime combined with the energy provided by the food can turn into zoomies.
Dogs can get very excited when playing, and it’s common for them to get the zoomies during play.
Dog zoomies are an excellent way for your dog to get rid of excess energy. If you have a young dog, the zoomies are quite normal and generally nothing to be concerned about. Older dogs can get them too, just not usually as frequently as young ones do.
If they’re very frequent, the zoomies can be a sign that your dog is not getting enough exercise throughout the day. You can add more exercise to your day and observe if it makes a difference to the zoomies.
If that’s difficult for you due to a busy schedule, look at mentally stimulating games you can play with your dog. Sometimes having to use their brain can get dogs more tired than running around outside.
Zoomies are usually a sign that your dog is in a good mood, but if they happen in the wrong place or at the wrong time, they could be dangerous. Try to keep dogs with zoomies away from stairs and slick surfaces if you can.
If they happen outside in a dangerous place and you need your dog to stop, don’t run after him. He might think it’s a game of chase and will continue running away from you. What you can do, however, is run away from your dog so that he will chase after you! Or if you have perfect recall, simply call your dog back to you.
Zoomies are normal and show that your dog is happy and full of energy, so there’s no need to prevent them altogether. They are your dog’s way of burning surplus energy, so if you’re concerned about the frequency of your dog’s zoomies, you can reduce them by increasing physical and mental exercise. The best way we’ve found to help with this is a daily dose of exercise first thing in the morning.