Your furry friend is racing around the house as if being chased by an invisible friend. It started with a play bow and then he was off, going around the house like a whirlwind. He seems to be enjoying himself but why is he behaving like this? He has a case of Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs), better known as “zoomies.” So why does this happen? Keep reading for some common reasons why your dog might get the zoomies.
Energy to burn
Dogs get zoomies when they have the energy to burn. This could be because they have been in a crate for a long time, or first thing in the morning when they wake up. Maybe they don’t have a walk or enough mental stimulation. Zoomies help them release their excess energy.
Racing around can help a dog relieve anxiety or stress They may need to stay for some time, or if they are in a stressful situation, for example, going to the vet. Zoomies can help them relieve the stress and anxiety they may experience from restraint.
Read our blog for tips on Keeping vet visits fearless®
“I’m so excited… and I just can’t hide it”
Zoomies can be the result of a dog not being able to control his excitement. He may be happy to see a special someone, a canine friend, or simply to be in a favorite place. The amazing burst of energy helps him to settle down and to show his full satisfaction.
Puppies and young dogs can get zoomies more than older dogs, simply because they have more energy to burn. But all dogs, regardless of breed, can get zoomies.
Things to consider when your dog has zoomies
You may notice a pattern in your furry friend. Certain stimuli can make them roll. Zoomies can be stroked every night before bedtime to help them settle before they go to bed at night, or after a bath, which may have caused them anxiety. Some pet parents notice zoomies even after their dog poops. Zoomies are a great way for them to burn off excess energy and adrenaline and show that they feel good.
“For most, zoomies are an exciting release of energy,” says Megan Holmes, Animal and Behavior Co-ordinator, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. “The only time I would say zoomies would be a problem is if they are constant, or last more than a few minutes. This is where there should be concern for other behavioral problems and anxiety concerns.
Another precaution is to make sure your dog’s environment is safe for zoomies. You don’t want them running into furniture and hurting themselves, or if they’re outside, running into a road. Chasing them is not a good idea and will make your dog more excited. To control them, you can distract them with a verbal cue like “walk” or “treat” or redirect their energy to playing with a favorite toy.
Zoomies are a normal dog behavior. Be aware of your dog’s safety when anticipating a FRAP attack. And if they start having zoomies more often, or if they don’t seem to enjoy the burst of energy, it may be time to examine other reasons for the behavior.
If not, stand back and enjoy the sheer joy and excitement your dog displays during zoomies.