One minute the dog is acting like their normal self ….then just turns into an all out Tasmanian devil, going crazy everywhere! This can and does happen to even the most mild mannered dogs!.
This moment of energetic circus behaviour is often referred to as “the zoomies” The good news is for the most part it’s completely normal, totally hilarious and often video worthy, I mean c’mon who does want to see a dog running around in circles acting completely mad and having the time of their life!
The only time this may cause problems is when this happens at less than ideal times or it happens in a room full of fragile items or perhaps in in front of dog shy guests.
So what exactly are the zoomies? This frantic display of madness is also know as Frenetic Random Activity Periods or “FRAPS”. FRAPs are essentially a release of pent up energy and usually last for only a few minutes at a time. It is quite common for these to come out of nowhere and be quite short.
FRAPS happen when a dog is quite excited, sometimes after being inside for a few hours, after a meal or when you their loving owner comes home after a long day! It can also happen when a new dog friend comes over or a special person visits like a dog walker or family friend. FRAPS can also happen after an event such as a car ride or trip to the groomers as FRAPS can be a means of relieving stress. These outbursts can provide a great deal of relief for your dog.
FRAPS can be triggered if the dog sees something that excites them like other dogs playing, high energy kids playing or watching other animals. These funny Instagram worthy moments are almost always happy and positive outbursts of energy. This is a good sign as it means your dog is happy and healthy.
When do dogs start getting Zoomies? This typically occurs in dogs with bodies thats are fully developed. Super young puppies 12-24 weeks may not have the zoomeis as often as an older dog but it will all depend on their growth and development. Older dogs closer to the seniors age don’t get the zoomies as often as they don’t tend to have the same kind of pent up energy they may have had in the past.
As we mentioned before FRAPS are typically not dangerous and generally mean your dog is in a good mood or is relieving stress but it is important to keep your dog away for tripping hazards and objects where they may hurt themselves, avoiding slippery floors is also a good idea. Ideally outside on the grass or sand or indoors on carpet are a safe bet. Make sure you keep your dog away from the road during these times!
If your dog is experiencing FRAPS outside try to call them back with a treat or a toy before you decide to chase after him or her as they often will interpret this as a game and it can only further excite them. If toys and treats don’t you can try to run in the opposite directions so your dog will try to chase you.
If you think the zoomies are more from stress than a playful energy burst you may want to consider the potential sources of stress and eliminate or reduce them as much as possible as no one wants their pup to be stressed out. It is important to recognize and track patterns to ensure these funny outbursts are coming from a positive place and not a place of stress.
How to Help Dogs With the Zoomies? While FRAPs or the zoomies are completely normal in dogs, there are some actions you can take if these bouts of energy happen frequently. If you think the zoomies might due to stress, you can try to help your dog by getting ahead of the problem.
There are some tell tale signs that FRAPS are about to come on. These may include:
a glint in their eyes that says something is about to happen
tongue hanging out
play-bowing at you or other pets or kids.
Ensuring your dog understands the command “Come” and views it as a good and positive thing to do managing the zoomies is totally possible.
So all in all Zoomies, FRAPs or a circus in your dogs head is not only healthy its fun and definitely photo worthy.