Why do dogs do zoomies?

June 3, 2024

  • If you’ve ever witnessed your dog suddenly start running around at full speed, darting back and forth with wild enthusiasm, you’ve experienced the phenomenon known as "zoomies." Scientifically referred to as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs), zoomies are a common and natural behaviour in dogs, often prompting curiosity and amusement among pet owners.

  • Release of Pent-Up Energy

  • One of the primary reasons dogs engage in zoomies is to release pent-up energy. Dogs, particularly those that are young or have been sedentary for a while, can accumulate excess energy that needs an outlet. Zoomies are a way for them to let off steam, similar to how children might run around a playground after sitting in class all day. This behaviour can be especially prevalent in high-energy breeds such as Border Collies or Jack Russell Terriers.

  • Emotional Expression

  • Zoomies can also be an expression of sheer joy or excitement. This is often observed when our canine companions have awoken, after a bath, or obviously when they see a fresh bowl of Tuggs being prepared for them. The unrestrained sprinting and playful antics are a dog's way of expressing happiness and enthusiasm. It’s their version of shouting from the rooftops.

  • Natural Instincts

  • From an evolutionary perspective, zoomies may be linked to a dog’s natural instincts. Wild canines, such as wolves, engage in bursts of activity to sharpen their hunting skills or establish dominance within their pack. Domestic dogs, despite their long history of domestication, retain many of these primal behaviours, and zoomies could be a manifestation of this inherent need for physical exertion and play.

  • Stress Relief

  • Interestingly, zoomies can also serve as a form of stress relief. After a stressful event or a period of restraint, dogs might perform zoomies to release built-up stress and tension. This is why you might see a dog zooming around after a visit to the vet or after a thunderstorm.

  • In essence, zoomies are a multifaceted behavior reflecting a dog's need to release energy, express emotions, and adhere to natural instincts. For pet owners, understanding and allowing for this exuberant display is key to fostering a happy and healthy dog.


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