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Why Do Dogs Do That: Zoomies Edition

        
          

Has your dog ever sprinted around your house, bouncing from chair to couch and back again with an unrivaled amount of energy?  If so, you are not alone in wondering what just happened?  This phenomenon is known as frenetic random activity period (FRAP), otherwise known as the zoomies.  What are zoomies, why do they occur, and how can they be stopped?  All of these questions will be answered here.

What are Zoomies?

Dogs can develop zoomies at any time, although most dog owners observe them after a bath, when a favorite human has returned home, or after a potty break.  The main characteristics of zoomies are wild bursts of energy where the dog seems to have no concept of its size or strength – or of your furniture and valuables.  While zoomies are completely normal, they can be dangerous for unsuspecting humans, animals, or china collections that are in your dog’s path.

Why do Dogs get the Zoomies?

Photo by arc.org

Most pet owners want to know why dogs engage in random bursts of energy.  Unfortunately, there is no clear answer as to why this phenomenon occurs.  What veterinarians and behaviorists do agree upon, however, is that zoomies are simply the release of pent up energy.  Additionally, zoomies are believed to help relieve stress, which is why they often occur after bath time or a veterinary visit.

Should I Be Concerned if my Dog Gets the Zoomies Often?

While the zoomies often occur at times pet owners least expect, zoomies are a good indication that your dog is healthy.  After all, dogs that are ill rarely have the extra energy to run around the house like crazy.  However, if your dog frequently has extra energy for zoomie-ing, your dog might not be receiving appropriate outlets for physical or mental energy.  Give your dog additional exercise if zoomies start to become a problem in your household.

Dog owners should also consider where their dogs are zommie-ing.  For instance, if a dog is prone to zoomies while on walks, be sure to stay away from busy roads if your dog is allowed off-leash.  Indoors, try to herd your dog away from staircases or unsteady furniture, as a dog in a zoomies mindset can potentially injure itself or others.

Can I Stop My Dog from Doing Zoomies?

You cannot stop your dog from doing zoomies, as this phenomenon is completely natural, regardless of age, sex, or breed.  In fact, if you try to stop your dog from zoomie-ing, he or she may assume you are playing along and become more excited.  Your best option is zoomies prevention by tiring out your dog before a stressful activity, such as a bath.  Additionally, providing enough exercise throughout the week should also keep your dog calm when you return home at the end of the day.

If you are in a situation where you need your dog to stop zoomie-ing immediately (i.e. if your dog is running toward the street), do not chase your dog.  If you chase your pup, he or she will think you are playing and will continue to run away from you.  Instead, you should run away from your dog.  If you move in the opposite direction your dog will instinctually chase you.  In this way you can easily, quickly, and safely move your dog out of harm’s way.

 

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Anna Weber

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