Dog owners, and anyone who's spent some time with a pup, know that their four-legged friend has plenty of cute quirks. Perhaps one of the most well-known of those canine behaviors is the "zoomies." If you're unfamiliar with the term, the word is a perfect descriptor of the action. "Zoomies are defined as short periods of hyperactivity, when a dog literally 'zooms' around in crazed activity for a bit, and then calms down and resumes normal activity," says Sarah Wooten, D.V.M., a Colorado-based veterinarian who works with Pumpkin Pet Insurance. It's certainly entertaining when your puppy starts dashing around, but as an owner, you might be wondering why your dog even does this in the first place. (And no, it has nothing to do with the video conferencing program that has become very popular since the beginning of the pandemic.)
Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?
Zoomies is a fun name, but there's actual medical terminology to describe the action: frenetic random activity periods, also known as FRAP, Wooten says. "These zoomies help dispel large amounts of energy that the dog has held onto. In most dogs, especially young dogs, this is completely normal behavior," Wooten explains. There's no specific time when your pup experience FRAP; in fact, it could be anytime. "Your dog may engage in zoomies more in the early morning, after being crated, after a bath, or after a vet visit," Wooten says. "It can happen after eating when they get a bit of a rush from their food, or it can happen randomly to help dogs burn off excess energy."
If you notice your dog having zoomies at undesirable times, like in the middle of the night when you're fast asleep, it can be frustrating. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening. "Encourage your dog to get more exercise during the day by playing with your dog several times a day and going for more walks or trips to the dog park.