Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

(Last Updated On: May 7, 2020)

Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

Honestly, the zoomies phenomenon isn’t limited to dogs at all, and you can see videos from all sorts of animals here. But you’ve probably observed this if you’ve spent any amount of time with a puppy, or even a young animal of any kind. You know, where they run around in circles or across the room back and forth. Or across a field. Zoomies are mostly just nonsensical running. But why do dogs get the zoomies in the first place? And what about other animals?

Frenetic Random Activity Periods aka Zoomies

So yes, zoomies are not just something people made a subreddit for because we record dumb things animals do. They’re called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP) in the vet community. While they have been seen in other animals, the term FRAPs (and by proxy, zoomies) is typically just reserved for domestic cats and dogs. 

There’s a reason zoomies are technically considered periods of “random activity.” That’s because animals will zoomie (zoomy? zoom?) in different ways. Well… Kind of. You’re gonna get the dog crack eyes as a relative constant, but where the energy goes after that kind of goes out the window. 

Some dogs will run back and forth in a line, or around in circles. Typically these periods only last a couple minutes, but they will always be entertaining. 

Some pets will bow their head almost to ask permission to engage in zoomies. If you somehow managed a pet that disciplined, props?

Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies?

Doing digging, it doesn’t seem like there has been much, if any at all, significant research into zoomies. For that reason, you probably won’t be surprised to read that nobody knows what directly causes the zoomies. We’ve got some general rules that you’ve figured out if you have pets, but every animal is different. 

Like many of the weird animal behaviors we’ve discussed on the blog, you’ll largely have to see how well you know your pet to see what their zoomies are all about.

Further Reading: Why Do Dogs Paddle Over Water?

The most basic constant is an excess of energy. Zoomies, then, are just the primary way this energy gets vented. Probably not unlike how some people jump up and down when they hear good news, or something like that.

This energy can come from just being stressed all day and then getting let outside; a form of extreme excitement. If you have a younger pet, they probably engage in the zoomies a lot more. Hint, they have way more energy they need to get out. Sometimes, what needs to be released needs to be released. Hence your new puppy running around your couch for 5 minutes straight and then immediately taking a nap. 

Maybe your friend is actually very nervous in a new space. That’s also a thing that can happen.

Too Much Zoomies?

Zoomies are a healthy thing for your pets to do, ergo, you might not want to force them to stop zooming around. But if you don’t want your dog zooming around, don’t chase them. That’ll probably just make them zoom around more. 9 out of 10 they’re excited and will assume you want to play with them.

You also see zoomies triggered. It’s common for some dogs to get zoomies after baths. So if you’ve figured out what gets your pet running around, simply avoiding those triggers will probably go a long way.

Otherwise, your dog is probably zooming about because they’ve got way too much energy inside their little bodies. It might mean your little friend needs to go on walks or something or other. Exercise is good.

They’re not in motion, but images will have to do. Here are some puppies of various breeds.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.