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Behaviourist's Corner

How to manage dog zoomies


Many pet owners may be distressed to see their beloved dog running around erratically only to collapse just as abruptly as the frenzied spell began. The good news is this phenomenon known as zoomies is very common and nothing to worry about.


What are dog zoomies?

Zoomies, also known as FRAP (Frenetic Random Activity Period) attacks, are precisely that, random bursts of high activity and energy. They usually don’t last long and you will know a zoomie episode when you see one. Your dog may suddenly start running around like crazy from one end of the house to the other, or you may see your dog running in frantic circles.

What causes zoomies?

The most common causes of zoomies include overexcitement and pent up energy in puppies. Most dogs will outgrow zoomies as they get older, and not all puppies will be plagued by this odd behaviour.

Most owners tend to see a theme to the behaviour either noticing a bout of zoomies around the same time every day or, as part of some other regular routine, until the behaviour is outgrown.

  • Zoomies before bed
    Many pet owners observe puppy zoomies before bed, this is likely due to pent up energy that your puppy is trying to release before settling for the night.
  • Zoomies after a bath
    Similarly, some dogs will run around wildly in a rush of adrenaline after bath time. This adrenaline rush may be a combination of many factors from relief to simply trying to dry off.
  • Zoomies after eating
    For food obsessed dogs the anticipation of mealtime combined with the energy provided by the food creates a recipe of hyperactivity.

Aggressive dog zoomies

Some dogs get overexcited and their episodes of frantic activity include nipping or biting. Again this is common and nothing to be too worried about, but you will want to try and redirect your puppy’s energy elsewhere. Try using a favourite toy to engage in a game of tug of war to refocus his energy or attach a short lead to maintain better control during these spells.

How to prevent zoomies

We always hear our vet friends saying prevention is the best medicine. In much the same way you may find you’re able to lessen the degree or frequency of zoomies by increasing physical exercise or challenging your dog mentally. This is a great way of releasing some of that pent up energy before it’s channelled into one of these random bursts of energy.

Dog zoomies is a very common phenomenon and some pet owners may find the behaviour comical whilst others will find it worrying. Whatever the cause of zoomies, most dogs will outgrow it at a fairly young age. And in the meantime remember a good amount of breed appropriate exercise and mental stimulation is a great way of contending with an overly energetic young puppy.

We'd love to hear your tips and see how your dog gets on with trying these recommendations. Simply share this on social media, using #PethoodStories


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