Ever wonder why your dog sometimes seems to go a little nuts, racing around the house or yard with a huge smile on his muzzle? If you were worried about this behavior, don’t be. It’s normal in dogs.
In popular terms, it’s called “the zoomies.” In technical parlance, it’s Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAP for short. It’s more common in puppies and young dogs, but even our old pals can get a case of the zoomies if the mood strikes.
Experts aren’t really sure why dogs do it, but they know the triggers. Dogs often get the zoomies when they are very happy and bursting with energy. It would be akin, in humans, to winning the lottery and doing a major happy dance. You just can’t stop those happy feet.
Dogs also can FRAP out in moments of extreme stress. They race around to burn off some of that anxiety.
A lot of dogs seem to get the zoomies right after a bath. Apparently, they’re very happy to be clean — or more likely, they’re glad the bath is over.
There’s nothing wrong with letting your dog zoom to her heart’s content, although the zooms usually last only a minute or until the dog exhausts herself. But you do want to make sure your dog is zooming safely. Zooming in public, without a leash or the safety of an enclosed fence, can lead to tragedy. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash in those circumstances, whether he’s zooming or not.
When the zoomies hit inside the house, try to direct them to a carpeted area to avoid your pup slipping and sliding into other objects or people, such as a young child or older person, who can be knocked over.
If your dog is prone to zooming after a bath, carry the dog or use a leash to direct him outside, where he can zoom safely, although that might end up defeating the purpose of the bath.
If your dog gets the zoomies outside your yard and appears headed toward trouble, such as a busy street, don’t try to chase after him. Instead, run in the opposite direction of the trouble while cheerfully calling to your dog to follow you. You might want to carry some treats with you as an added incentive.
Do you have a question about some odd behavior your pet displays? Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why does my pup suddenly race around like a crazy dog?