Dogs are adorable when they run around chasing their toys or tails. Playtime is one way for people and pets to communicate and bond together. Sometimes, however, dogs exhibit behavior that can be perplexing to their human companions.
One such behavior is the zoomies. It’s that frantic, full-speed crazy, running like a madman that happens when dogs get out of the bath.
Let’s take a closer look at why dogs get the zoomies.
What are Dog Zoomies?
When dogs have the zoomies, they sprint back and forth, sometimes in wide circles and spin around over and over again. They often break suddenly and then run again with their back end tucked as they run. With their tongue wagging and a wild, excited look in their eyes, they make sharp turns and burst into a sudden change in direction. What is this madness?
There is no need to panic as dog zoomies are actually normal behavior. In fact, zoomies not only occur in dogs, but also in cats, horses, goats, bears, elephants, ferrets, gazelles and other animals.
Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?
Zoomies are a way for dogs to release a sudden burst of energy. It is very common in young dogs who need to let loose pent-up energy.
The scientific term for this impulsive burst of energy is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPS). When dogs run around the house after a bath like a maniac, that is definitely the zoomies. If a young puppy displays sudden bursts of energy late at night that could be another instance of the zoomies.
FRAPs or zoomies allow dogs to relieve stress and handle the excitement. And, they can happen at a specific time of the day or during certain activities.
The most common instances of dogs getting the zoomies are after a bath, pooping, grooming and during playtime.
Sometimes dogs get the zoomies first thing in the morning or late at night.
Dog zoomies also occur when the pup is aroused as they:
- are let out after inside the house for a long time
- are released from the crate,
- see another dog
- eealize their favorite person comes home.
Some dogs even get the zoomies when they see snow! In some cases, dog zoomies are triggered by stressful situations such as going to the vet office. Although dog zoomies most often occur in puppies and young adults, they can affect canines of all ages and breeds.
· Zoomies in young dogs
Dog zoomies are quite common in young pups. There is usually no need for concern. Zoomies are a quick way for dogs to release stored extra energy especially when engaged in play. As dogs mature in age, those sudden bursts of energy tend to break out less frequently.
Sometimes, dog zoomies are an indicator that the dog is not getting enough exercise. When dog zoomies happen before bed, it is most likely that they could not get adequate exercise during the day.
If dog zoomies happen all the time, try giving your dog more exercise that stimulates his body and mind. Go for a thirty minute walk or play mental games to change up the daily routine.
· Zoomies after bathing
Pet owners see this all the time. Once their pups are out of the bath, they go nuts! They run around the house, jump on furniture, chase their tail, roll over the floor and zip from room to room.
According to behavioral experts, dogs get the zoomies after a bath because they release nervous energy that’s been pent up while bathing. Zoomies are also a way of showing relief that bath time is finally over.
· Zoomies while playing
Dogs can get pretty excited when playing. Two of the most common behaviors caused by overstimulation are mounting and the zoomies.
When a new dog is around, most pups exhibit the zoomies – running frantically around the park, wagging their tail and sticking out their tongue to show their excitement over meeting a new friend.
Are Dog Zoomies Dangerous?
There is no cause for concern with dog zoomies as long as the behavior does not put the dog at risk. This includes running towards the street or through a part of the yard with dangerous objects such as nails, sharp tools or other objects.
Though zoomies are not problematic, dogs chasing their tails can be mistaken for simply having the zoomies when they are actually showing symptoms of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Dog zoomies typically last for a few minutes. In some cases, up to ten minutes.
It is almost impossible to stop a dog while in mid-zoom so it is best just to wait out these short bursts and watch him look silly. If need be, redirect his attention by running away from him so that he will chase you to a safer spot.
Do not chase a dog with the zoomies. It will only add to the excitement and make it even more difficult for the pup to calm down.
For more information about specific pet behaviors, talk to a behavioral expert at Positive Paws Pet Training.