Does your dog have the zoomies? If at any point you’ve seen your pooch suddenly and unforgivingly start running around and chasing his tail or jumping from one couch to the next, charging ahead at full speed with the wind through his hair and the world behind him, then it’s very likely you’ve just witnessed an episode of the zoomies.
If it happens with any sort of frequency, you may be wondering exactly what the zoomies are and why they occur. First off: don’t panic. As odd as it sounds, the zoomies are actually quite common for some dogs, and while it may not always be evident why the episodes happen, there are some scientific explanations for the unusual behavior.
What Are The Zoomies?
As described above, random bursts of intense energy are characteristic of the zoomies. They typically last anywhere from a minute to several minutes, and fatigue is sure to follow. What most owners lovingly refer to as the “zoomies”, animal behavior specialists call Frenetic Random Activity Periods, also known as FRAPs or frapping. Essentially, energy builds up and then explodes into a chaotic, energetic few minutes for your pooch, full of running in circles, chasing his tail and repetitive behavior.
What Causes The Zoomies?
In short, pent up energy that needs to be released is the culprit. However, several different factors may be responsible for creating that excess energy. According to South Boston Animal Hospital, the following may all lead to additional energy that causes the zoomies:
- Infrequent exercise
- Staying inside too long
- Triggers, such as baths or going to the vet
If your pooch endures stress, such as a vet visit, he may be so excited when the appointment is over that his pent up nervous energy overtakes him. Exciting situations may also cause a case of the zoomies. Imagine a young boy or girl at Disney World for the first time – their eyes light up, they start talking a million miles a minute and start running and jumping around. That’s what happens to your pup when he gets over-excited, too.
Should You Be Concerned About The Zoomies?
In short, no. The zoomies are a normal part of being a dog. However, there are steps you can take to ensure your furry friend isn’t injured in his frenzied state. For example, if you have a fenced-in yard, let your pooch out during an episode. This will give him space to run around without indoor objects falling on him or hurting him. It will also save you any clean-up if he knocks stuff over.
Pay attention to when the zoomies occur. Does it happen after vet appointments? After bath time? After grooming him or clipping his nails? This will potentially inform you of any stressors that may be causing the episodes.
If the zoomies occur too frequently for your liking, it could be a sign that your pooch needs more exercise or has too many stressors. Do not hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for tips and recommendations about how you can reduce his stress or increase his activity levels to help you (and your pet) deal with those zoomies.
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