Dog Zoomies - Why do They Happen?

Dog Zoomies - Why do They Happen?

Author WDF Staff


Have you ever noticed your dog suddenly started running across the yard or around your home? If you have, you might have witnessed dog zoomies. The first time owners witness that there is probably a bit of laugh involved. Still, after the initial smiles, there are a couple of unanswered questions left. Why did the dog suddenly start running? Did something scare them? Were they stung by an insect? Stick with us, and we will let you know all there is to know about zoomies.

What are zoomies?

Zoomies are a sudden burst of energy that is not uncommon among dogs. Luckily, there is no reason to panic, and zoomies might indicate there are certain things you can include in your dog’s life. “Zoomies” is the term created by dog owners to explain their dog’s behavior. There is actually a scientific term for it.

border collie running


The scientific term for dog zoomies is FRAP or Frenetic Random Activity Period. It is a burst of energy a dog cannot contain anymore and need to let it out. Dog owners, vets, and breeders often refer to it as zoomies or rips. It is not a symptom of any disease, and it is not a health concern. Our advice is to enjoy the dog zoomies while they last.

From an owner’s standpoint

As a dog owner, you should know that this behavior is a mix between joy and dog energy. There is nothing purer or more fun than watching your dog releasing the pent-up energy all around the house or yard. They are thoroughly enjoying themselves, and usually, zoomies are nothing to worry about. Just enjoy it and smile while your pup is entertaining you as well as themselves.

Why do dogs get zoomies?

Most dog owners that reported dog zoomies noticed this type of behavior happening in three situations;

  • Early in the morning
  • After a bath
  • Before sleep

There are good reasons and straightforward explanations why these things happen in every one of these situations.

rottweiler puppy zoomies

Early-morning zoomies

Dog’s bodies work differently from us. They have different sleeping schedules, and their sleeping patterns are different than ours. We go to sleep once a day, and that is when we rest and gather our energy for the next day.

Dogs have a lighter sleep, and they can get “overly” rested at night. They have plenty of energy they gathered in the longest sleep they had in a day. Early-morning zoomies are an excellent way to spend that excess energy. It is the equivalent of us going for a morning jog.

If you want to know more about dog sleep, check out this article - How long do dogs sleep?

After-bath zoomies

If you ever gave a bath to your dog, you probably noticed the craziness that follows. Some dogs start running, rolling, or what it looks like getting rid of the new shampoo scent. There is no good explanation, but it is a fact — two possible reasons we find plausible; joy or nervous energy.

puppy running


Your dog might be experiencing joy, and they are expressing it by running around your home like crazy. They might have a weird scent and will require time to get used to it.

Nervous energy

Not all dogs love baths, and those that don’t, usually feel the urge to run away from it. However, owners trick them into baths, and the dog starts building the nervous energy by suppressing their flight instinct. The best way to get rid of that energy is to indulge in some adorable after-bath dog zoomies.

Before sleep zoomies

Did you ever try to go to sleep if you are not yet tired enough? It is pretty hard, and you need some time to settle in. Well, zoomies can be a part of the “settling in” process for your dog. They understand what time it is and see you getting ready to go to bed. They are getting rid of extra energy so they can go to sleep too.

sheepdog running

Can all dogs get zoomies?

Yes, dogs of all breeds, sizes, and sexes can get zoomies. Some energetic breeds, especially when they are puppies, are more prone to zoomies. Dogs that aren’t getting plenty of physical exercise can end up with too much energy they need to get rid of. Some breeds are very active, and if you have one of these dogs, don’t be surprised if you witness zoomies;

Of course, these are not all active dog breeds, and no matter the breed, a dog can catch zoomies.

What to do about zoomies?

Although zoomies are nothing to be concerned about, they can happen at an inconvenient time and place. They might catch your dog inside where the furniture is, and there is a good possibility your dog can run into something headfirst. If you have a glass table, your dog can run into it and get hurt. Not to mention the financial damage a large, crazy-running dog can do. If you want to control dog zoomies, there are some things you can try.

Take your dog out

If you notice your dog is acting like they might get zoomies or noticed a pattern, like every night before sleep, your dog gets the zoomies - take them out and have a short play session. Throwing a ball a couple of times can help the dog spend their energy more productively and safely.

Take them out after a bath

This might not be ideal for a freshly cleaned dog, but if you want to prevent them from hurting themselves, it is probably safer to get them outside where they could safely run. Make sure they are in a safely fenced area and not near a street. They tend to not care about safety when zoomies hit.

No chasing

Whatever you do, don’t chase the dog that is experiencing zoomies. They will think you are joining them and playing. Instead, ignore them and wait for dog zoomies to pass. This is typically not a long-lasting thing, and they should feel tired after a few minutes.

Here are some ideas for dog toys that can help you make playtime more fun - Best dog toys.

World Dog Finder team

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