Why Do Dogs Get The Zoomies?

No matter how calm, relaxed, and “chill” your dog may be, chances are, they have their moments where they go absolutely bonkers. Running around in circles, jumping all over you, crashing into furniture—all of a sudden, they’ve got a Herculean burst of energy that displays itself in all sorts of crazy (but fun!) behaviors.

Dog owners have affectionately started to call this energetic phenomenon “the zoomies”—and while they can certainly be entertaining, they’re also a bit of a question mark for some dog owners.

So what’s the deal? Why do dogs get the zoomies? Are the zoomies normal? And how long do the zoomies last in dogs (and how can you calm your dog down if they get the zoomies at a not-so-great time, like right before bed)?

What Are The Zoomies?

Dogs With BarkBox Tug Toy

The technical term for the zoomies? Frenetic Random Activity Periods—also known as FRAPs. These periods are characterized by a sudden burst of energy that typically lasts a few minutes or less. FRAPs can happen anytime; when your dog is excited, when your dog is overwhelmed, when your dog is seemingly chill—anything goes.

Why Do Dogs Get The Zoomies?

Dog On A Walk

Professionals aren’t 100% sure why the zoomies happen. The most likely explanation? Just like humans, dogs can get a build-up of energy. The zoomies are their way of letting off steam and releasing that energy…in a really intense, zip back-and-forth kind of way.

Are The Zoomies Normal?

Yorkie Yorkshire Terrier Fetch Toy Best Balls Ever BarkShop

The most important thing to know about the zoomies? They’re completely normal. FRAPs occur with puppies and older dogs, large breeds and small breeds, excitable dogs and laid-back pups. If your dog gets a case of the zoomies, it’s nothing to be concerned about. In fact, quite the opposite! These bursts of energy are typically a sign your dog is happy and healthy. Your dog’s not going to run around like a crazy pup if they’re feeling sad or under the weather!

How Do You Calm Down A Dog With The Zoomies?

dog and man

The zoomies are totally normal—and, in the right circumstances, they can be pretty entertaining (who doesn’t love watching a dog run around in the backyard?!). But there may be times when the zoomies just aren’t convenient (like bedtime!) and you want to calm your dog down.

If your dog gets a case of the zoomies at a less-than-opportune time, there are a few steps you can take to calm them down:

  • Take your dog for a long walk. Remember, the zoomies are your dog’s way of burning excess energy. Taking them for a nice, long walk can help them get rid of some of that energy—and get their FRAPs under control. For an extreme case of the zoomies, try a run.
  • Don’t engage. If you want your dog to calm down, you need to give them the signal that it’s not play time. Don’t chase your dog, run around, or react to their overly energetic behavior; that may make them think it’s a game—and will make it much harder to calm them down.
  • Give your pup a calming supplement. IF your dog’s zoomies are stress-related (and this is a BIG IF), a calming supplement like CBD Extract/Treats or Calming Support can be just what you need to help your dog relax—and get their stress zoomies under control. Keep in mind, though, that all dogs get the zoomies, and they’re far more often a sign of happiness from your dog than stress!

Deanna deBara

3 years ago

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