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What are dog zoomies?

Airedale dog running in field advice

Dog zoomies are caused by a burst of energy.

© Pixabay

We call them the dog zoomies, vets refer to them as frenetic random activity periods, or FRAPS. Either way they're the same thing - random bursts of energy that make pooches do some very odd things, including running around in circles.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 13/09/2020, 17:00

Have you ever watched your dog, start to run around in circles like a maniac? Not only is it fun to watch, but it also makes us wonder what triggers this crazy moment. However, some pet owners could be distressed to see their furry friend running around erratically. The good news is, this episode of craziness known as zoomies is very common and it's nothing to worry about.

But what causes dog zoomies? What can dog owners do to prevent the zoomies? And why do they always seem to happen at strange times, like after a bath or just before bed?  We've got all the answers in this guide to the dog zoomies.

What causes zoomies?

Zoomies are usually caused by pent up energy in your dog. For example, they might not be getting enough exercise or mental stimulation. Zoomies also relieve stress. So if your dog gets a sudden case of the zoomies, think about any recent changes to their environment and consider how it might have affected them.

Zoomies: why your dog gets hyper and runs in circles

Some pups get the zoomies first thing in the morning. They wake up excited by the idea of spending another day with you and let it all out by running around at full speed until they calm down. This is nothing to worry about.

Here's everything you need to know about dog behaviour problems: Pet parent guide!
 

Canine experts aren't sure why, but bath time can also bring on the zoomies. The zoomies could be a way of dealing with any negative feelings about bath time, or the dog could also be celebrating! After all, they know bath time is over for at least a few weeks!

How long do dog Zoomies last?

These bursts of energy don't last very long. In most cases, they're over within a few minutes. Some dogs can get the zoomies for up to 10-minutes at a time, although this is quite rare. More prolonged zoomie episodes could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Speak to your vet for more advice.

 What does it mean when a dog gets the Zoomies?

The zoomies is a natural type of dog behaviour, especially in young dogs or a young puppy. In other words, don't worry if your dog goes into 'zoom'  mode now and again or if they get the zoomies at a particular time of the day, like when you get home from work.

Young pups tend to calm down as they mature, which usually means fewer zoomie episodes. But the zoomies can still affect dogs of any age, including older dogs; their zoomies are just a lot more 'chill'  and don't last very long. Again, this is nothing to be concerned about.

Why does my dog get the zoomies at night?

Regular night time zoomies mean your dog is still full of energy. If it becomes a regular occurrence, you should probably think about changing routines. If you go for a long walk with your pooch in the morning or afternoon, try exercising them in the evening instead.

If that's not possible, let them out into the garden or a fenced yard for a quick run around before bedtime. They can stretch their legs, do their 'business',  and burn off any stored up excitement.

How do I stop my dog from getting Zoomies?

As most dog trainers will tell you, regular exercise is the best way to stop (or at least reduce) the zoomies. And while quantity is always important, quality is equally so.  A French Bulldog will probably be happy with a gentle walk around the park. Smart dogs like Poodles want more. They need exercise that works their brains and satisfies their natural work ethic. Games of fetch, hide the treat, or obedience training are all great ways to keep clever pooches happy.

TOP TIP: whatever you do, don't chase your dog when they get the zoomies. This will encourage then even more! Just stand back, move the coffee table out of the way, and let them get on with it! They'll tire out soon enough.

How to prevent zoomies

Regular walks, the right kind of mental stimulation, and creating a stable, loving home for your pooch are the best ways to prevent zoomies.

As a dog owner, you should always keep an eye out for any sudden changes in your pet's behaviour. Excessive zoomies or zoom sessions that go on for more than 10minutes could be a symptom of an underlying health issue. However, in the vast majority of cases, zoomies are just part of a dogs' life, especially when they're young and bursting with energy!

Watch this Husky dog get the zoomies:

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