Have you ever stood in the doorway (to get out of the way!) and watched your dog run laps around the living room like their tail is on fire? Most dog parents have experienced our dog getting a case of the zoomies at least once or twice. Usually it is funny to watch, and occasionally it is a little nerve-wracking as they careen full speed around the coffee table. So, what are these random bursts of energy?
What Are the Zoomies?
According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, your dog isn’t crazy and there’s actually a technical term for dog zoomies – Frenetic Random Activity Period (FRAP). These zoom sessions do not have a specific biological or scientific cause that the doctors can determine though they indicate it is normal dog behaviour, particularly for younger dogs or puppies. A dog parent will see their pet, even older dogs, tuck their tail under their backend and run laps in a big burst of speed that is almost over before it begins.
Why Does My Dog Get the Zoomies?
The sudden burst of energy your dog is displaying could be due to pent-up energy or stress. Dogs of all ages need a way to release the excess buildup of energy, which sometimes results in dog’s running in circles at top speed. This may be a way for them to work through a stressful situation or if they have not had enough physical exercise, says the American Kennel Club (AKC).
As you’re looking out for your dog and their stress level, you also want to look into their hydration – According to PetMD, most dogs should drink about an ounce of water for every pound of weight. Crafty Beasts offers healthy dog drinks that combine nutrition-rich bone broth with healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables, that is tasty and good for your dog’s health. You can order a six pack for your four-legged best friend by clicking here.
When Do the Zoomies Happen?
While a zoom session can happen just about any time, there are certain scenarios where it occurs most often. In an article by Daily Paws, it talks about baths creating tension in dogs. Humans don’t associate bath time with being stressful but to our furry friends, bathing or grooming can cause anxiety as they are being restrained longer than they would prefer, and their nervous energy needs an outlet.
A specific time of day can also trigger a case of the zoomies. Some dog parents crate their pups during the day so they have pent-up energy when an owner returns home. If a dog isn’t getting enough physical exercise or mental stimulation during the day, a dog may experience a big burst of energy. After a long night of sleeping, dogs may take a quick sprint around the backyard in the morning, particularly after pooping. It could also have to do with their bio-rhythms and genetics, claims a certified professional dog trainer for Daily Paws. Their sudden bursts of energy in the morning and evening follows a typical hunting cycle.
Young pups tend to get excited about everything – seeing another dog, their favourite gift, or their favourite human – and will often combine zoomies with a play bow. This lets you know they are happy and feeling playful. If they’re up-to-date on their vaccines, you can take them to a dog park and work on their socialization skills while burning off excess energy.
Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Zoomies?
In general, dog zoomies are considered a natural dog behaviour. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on environmental hazards that may impact your dog’s run – slippery floors, holes in the lawn, stairways or a busy road. A dog’s demeanor during a zoom session is another clue if they are having a good time or in a stressful situation. Happy dogs put a little wiggle in their zoomies and let their tongues hang out. Anxious dogs appear tense and wide-eyed, and hold their tail tucked under even when they stop zooming. If a dog is experiencing frequent zoomies due to nervous energy, take a look at what stressors are in their life that can be eliminated.
Pet parents whose dogs have constant zoomies – once a day or more – should track when it is occurring and under which scenario. It could be a sign of compulsive behaviour, which should be addressed by an animal behaviourist, or just an indication that they are not getting enough physical or mental exercise, states the AKC. Increase their walks or take them to different places where your dog can enjoy new sights and smells. There are puzzle toys available for additional mental stimulation. The bonus is these activities are a great way for dog owners to bond with their furry friends. For the most part, dog zoomies are not a health or medical concern, and should be enjoyed for the good time that they are!