19th April 2023
Are you the proud parent of a furry canine companion? Everyone loves man’s best friend - but, if you’re a dog owner, it’s more than likely that you’ve encountered the zoomies. Playfully named as they are in nature, zoomies are the frantic laps of full-blown craziness that your dog tends to engage in after bath time, during playtime, or before bed. The mad half hour, if you will.
Want to understand more about why your dog has zoomies every now and then? To educate owners all about zoomies, what they are, and what they mean, we’ve pulled together an all-you-need-to-know guide to get you clued up.
What are zoomies?
So, we’re all familiar with what zoomies look like. Picture your dog spinning around tornado-style or bolting up and down the corridor. But what exactly are zoomies?
Otherwise known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPS), zoomies are those unmistakable bursts of energy from a dog that result in euphoric dashes, frantic spinning around on the spot, and a lot of running in circles. Put simply, zoomies are when your dog experiences a sudden release of excess energy.
Why do dogs get zoomies?
Referred to by some as ‘the mad half hour’, zoomies are simply a way for our loveable hounds to let off some steam and release any pent-up energy. Very common in young puppies, in particular, zoomies most commonly kick in after a bath, in the evening, or during play.
Puppies and younger dogs tend to get zoomies fairly regularly. Though zoomies can happen at any time and to any dog breed, this natural behavior tends to occur less and less as your dog grows older.
Do the zoomies mean that my dog is happy?
A case of zoomies can mean many things - but, more often than not, they’re nothing to worry about. They’re very common and completely ordinary. In most cases, zoomies are brought on due to excitement caused by a high-energy state. For example, they could occur when you come home from a long trip and they’ve missed having you at home, when they wake up after a long sleep or have just been overstimulated during the day.
Dogs love attention and affirmation from their owners, so zoomies are a natural way for them to hog the limelight. Just like the reassuring pat you give them after doing a good deed or the extra treat they get after sitting on demand, some dogs may get zoomies from learned behaviour - especially if you hype up your dog during their mad half hour, which we wouldn’t advise.
Sometimes, however, zoomies can be a sign of uneasiness and anxiety. Has your hound ever gotten zoomies after a visit to the vet or after a stressful trip out? If you notice that their ears are back, hackles are up, or have a tense facial expression, it may be worth checking with a professional to see if your dog needs any additional attention.
Are zoomies bad or dangerous?
The short answer is no - zoomies aren’t harmful. They’re normal. However, to stay on the safe side, it’s worth assessing the space in which your dog may get zoomies. For example, if you’re out on a walk and your dog is off the lead, please be mindful of zoomies as they may cause a hard-to-control situation. If your dog often gets zoomies whilst out and about, try not to chase after them as they may be encouraged to run away! Instead, try carrying around treats as a form of bargaining and invest in a long, flexible lead.
Is your apartment full of breakables? Do you have small children that may get hurt by your dog and one of their episodes? Having your dog unmanageable in a risky environment is never ideal, but investing in dog insurance is always a smart idea - especially if your hound is accident-prone. If your pup has a habit of bounding into furniture or slipping across skid-friendly floors, then it may be worth directing your doggie toward an accident-free area. Think carpeted surfaces and non-fragile decor.
If your canine companion is having zoomies a lot, then it may be that they aren’t getting enough walks. Exercise is key to keeping your pup happy - so why not try taking your dogs out for more regular, longer outings? You could even look into more mentally stimulating dog toys, like a Kong or a snuffle mat!