What Dog Zoomies Are And Are They A Bad Behavioral Trait


Hyperactivity isn’t something that can only occur in humans, it can very well manifest itself in dogs too and it’s what we call “dog zoomies”, but are they a bad thing?

Well, dog zoomies on their own aren’t bad. They’re just a way for your pooch to expel excess energy that was built up over a period of time.

The reason behind the build-up is the potential problem as it’s usually a sign that the dog was cooped up in a small space for too long or was presented with a stressful situation.

These situations can range anywhere from taking a bath to a particular fear so the appearance of zoomies can be quite varied.

The scientific term for them is FRAP (Frenetic Random Activity Period), but it refers to the exact same thing, this repetitive behavior that dogs do to easily work through the excess energy.

But when do they happen specifically and are they bad? That’s what we’re here to find out today.

When Do Dog Zoomies Happen?

A Terrier x Australian Cattle Dog mixed breed dog running outdoorsA Terrier x Australian Cattle Dog mixed breed dog running outdoors

Dog zoomies tend to happen more often the younger a dog is as they’ll often be stuck with excess energy during their growing periods.

However, as for the more concrete periods for when they happen, the first ones are likely to occur after the dog wakes up.

He’ll be bubbling up with stored up energy that’s raring to come out, especially if he’s had a good bit of rest.

Other than that, it depends on the situation, and it’s different for every dog.

Dogs are known to get zoomies if they’re made to stand still or sit in a confined space for longer periods of time like crates or going to the vet to get a shot.

Others also get the zoomies from being made to take a bath or from having to sit down while getting groomed.

These two can be either caused by being forced to stay stationary, the stress that comes from it, or both.

Speaking of stress, it too is a likely cause for zoomies.

This is particularly true in anxious or fearful dogs who’ve just had an encounter with the source of one of  their fears and they’re looking to nervously walk the sensation off.

Pooping does it for some dogs too as the sense of relief fills them with renewed energy.

This all depends on the breed you’re dealing with and how cooped up they are on a daily basis.

The less chance a dog has to expel his usual energy out, the more it gets built up and the more often these FRAPs are going to occur, it’s as simple as that.

Are Dog Zoomies Dangerous?

the dog runs around the housethe dog runs around the house

They’re only as dangerous as the environment around the dog.

While it may seem like the dog is running around mindlessly, I assure you that he’s still fully aware of the situation, if a bit happier and more excited.

It’s a natural canine process after all and is expected to happen every now and then.

They’re even happy when it hits them and a lot more open to play than they would be normally. It’s wise to use that time to indulge them in it a little if you have the time.

The Source Is The Real Problem

The actual problem can stem from some of the particular sources of dog zoomies as they can lead to other behavioral and health problems.

If your dog seems to have frequent zoomies, it’s wise to track down the actual cause of it to determine whether they come from bad practices or not.

For instance, if your dog seems to get zoomies when you let him out of his crate, he may be spending a bit too much time in there.

On the other hand, if the cause of it appears to be a particular stress or fear, try to eliminate its source from your dog’s life as much as you can.

If successful, you should see the number of FRAP occurrences diminish greatly.

Though, if the behavior continues, I’d advise calling up a certified animal behavior specialist to help you get to the bottom of the problem.

It could be that he has some form of compulsive behavior that poses as zoomies which the behavior specialist can help unravel.

Keep The Area Canine Friendly

When zoomies do occur, be sure to allow your dog to expel it in a canine friendly area where he won’t risk falling over or hitting something that’ll hurt him or cause material damage.

Your dog can control himself, but he may get careless, especially if he’s wet from a bath or anxious from fear.

It depends on what the trigger for the FRAPs is, but it’s better to stay on the safe side and let him get the energy out in an adequate room.

In Conclusion

Dog zoomies are harmless for the most part, at least for you and others.

They’re simply a manifestation of pent-up energy your dog’s body has accumulated over a period of time.

This is usually a result of having to deal with a stressful situation or from being unable to walk freely for a set period of time.

The feeling of relief after a good poop is known to trigger it too as is a bath.

Some dogs may get it for no apparent reason too. It differs from one pooch to the next.

It’s more frequent in younger dogs who have more energy than older ones do, but dogs of any age can experience the phenomenon.

As for its dangers, the zoomies themselves aren’t dangerous, but their potential source, especially if said source is stress or a crate.

It can indicate a problem in the way the dog is being raised, one which is easily corrected, which, if successful, should see a decline in FRAP behavior.

Whatever the case may be, just make sure he does this behavior in a safe environment where he can’t hurt himself, and, should it happen too often, try finding the source of it.

I’m sure you can easily get a handle on it, and, if not, calling an animal behaviorist is the next best thing.

Until next time, pet parents.

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