What to Know About the Zoomies

shetland sheepdog zooming across a beach

Has your dog ever just started running around in circles that seem to last forever? This could be a case of the zoomies. Here are some things to know about the zoomies:

What are the Zoomies in Dogs?

Zoomies are scientifically known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). This refers to the explosion of energy in a dog. This most often results in exuberant running around in circles or back and forth with some jumping and sharp turns and spinning around.

This activity is common for your dog after being pent up inside or after a very long, restful nap. Typically, this behavior lasts only for a short burst of time. But, if the zoomies last much longer or occur very frequently, this might be a sign of problematic behavior or one of the signs your dog isn’t getting enough exercise.

Are the Zoomies Safe For Your Dog?

Zoomies are completely normal for your dog. The zoomies themselves are safe, but your dog can injure themselves if they run into something or are running freely where something can hit them.

Just be sure your dog is in a safe space for running around. If this occurs inside your home, clear a path so they don’t run into anything hurtful. Move anything breakable out of the way until your dog calms down.

If your dog gets the zoomies outside, make sure they are in a safe space. Whether that’s enclosed, or open land, be sure to keep an eye on them. Make sure they are not close to a road or a place with a lot of vehicles.

If your dog has not mastered the recall command, is prone to wander, has a high prey drive, or just shouldn’t be off-leash in an open area, make sure they are in a securely fenced space before you let them loose to zoom around.

Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

Dogs often get the zoomies after having pent-up energy build up inside them. This could be after a long nap or a day spent inside with little exercise. Seeing their favorite person or another dog can also induce a case of the zoomies, too. In fact, a short burst of the zoomies can be one of the signs that your dog is happy or excited.

Zoomies can also happen after a bath or grooming. A bout of the zoomies can also be a sign of stress in your dog. Stress-related zoomies tend to seem more frantic and are often accompanied by anxious dog body language. But, they can also be a stress relief too, so don’t be surprised if your dog has a case of the zoomies after a trip to the vet or after a new experience.

Zoomies are often more common in puppies, but older dogs can exhibit this behavior on occasion, too. No matter the age, zoomies are normal for dogs and a way for them to release some energy.

How Do You Deal With the Zoomies?

The best way to handle a case of the zoomies is to wait it out. Ensure that your dog is safe, and let them run around and let out all the energy that has built up inside. Since the zoomies usually only last a few minutes, it’s not too much of a hassle.

If you need to stop your dog mid-zoomies for some reason, don’t try grabbing your dog or chasing them; that will only make it worse. Instead, try to distract them and redirect their attention by throwing a toy. This will help redirect their focus. Or, try running away from them so they chase you. Redirecting their focus will help them settle down.

Remember, the zoomies are a dog’s way of releasing pent-up energy. Making sure your dog is properly exercised and has enough attention can help regulate their energy levels. Knowing these things about the zoomies will go a long way in loving and caring for your dog.