Dog Zoomies (aka FRAPs): Why, When & What To Do | Pupford
May 1st, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
Your pup comes sprinting through your living room, running in large, wide circles with seemingly no desire to stop… It’s the DOG ZOOMIES!
And while this slightly ‘crazy’ behavior can be confusing at first, we’re here to break down everything you need to know about dog (or puppy) zoomies!
Let’s get right to it 👇
DOG ZOOMIES TABLE OF CONTENTS
Before we dive into the ever-popular-Instagrammable-zoomies, here is what we’re going to cover!
- What are dog zoomies?
- Why do dogs get the zoomies?
- How long do zoomies last?
- When do dogs get the zoomies?
- Why does my dog get zoomies after a walk?
- Why does my dog get zoomies after a bath?
- Why does my puppy go crazy in the evening?
- How to stop the zoomies (hint: maybe you shouldn’t)
Oh, and if you’d prefer to listen or watch, be sure to check out the sections below!
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WHAT ARE DOG ZOOMIES (aka FRAPs)?
While dog zoomies are the most common term you’ll hear, there is actually a more technical term for this fascinating display of energy put on by your pup!
FRAPs or FRAP. This stands for frenetic random activity periods. And while I think this term is spot on, “zoomies” is more fun!
Just like the real name says, the zoomies are a spurt of energy (often at seemingly random times) from your dog.
Dog (or puppy) zoomies often include (but is not limited to) things like this… ⬇️
- Running as fast as possible
- Running in no clear direction or with no clear purpose
- , howling, or making other vocal forms of communication
- Jumping on and off of things like couches, beds, nearby toddlers, chairs, etc.
- Spinning wildly in circles (yes, this happens)
- Trying to get you (or other dogs) to chase them, often encouraged by a play bow
- Just overall being a little bit and uncontrollable for a short burst of time
While there isn’t one specific action that makes it the zoomies, you can typically tell when it is happening!
Here is a compilation video of pet zoomies, including some horses and maybe even bunnies… Enjoy 🥳
WHY DO DOGS GET THE ZOOMIES?
The question of why do dogs get the zoomies gets a lot of attention in our private Facebook community and on our social media pages!
And while there may not be a hard and fast rule as to why it happens, there are some ideas as to why.
But first, have you ever gone on a really long with a kid under the age of 8?
Half of the time is spent answering ‘are we there yet?’, the other 49% of the time is trying to keep the kid entertained, and the remaining 1% is silence…
And no matter how successful you are (or aren’t) at keeping the kid entertained while in the car, it is as if all sense of reality and norms go out the window as soon as that car stops!
I’ve seen kids doing cartwheels in grass patches at truck stops all while throwing back a bag of Skittles.
It’s a lot like that with our pups 😂
When our pups encounter prolonged periods of boredom, confinement, or even stress, it can create a pent-up amount of energy. And when you get a pent-up amount of energy and a desire to relieve stress… THE ZOOMIES!
Most of the time our dogs get the zoomies after they’ve been forced to be not active for quite a while.
Additionally, it can happen after stressful situations. Think bath time, vet visits, and even new guests coming to your home!
And while the zoomies can really happen to your pup at any time, you’ll often see it after a period of boredom/confinement (like in a crate) or after stressful situations.
So, as a quick recap here is why dogs often get the zoomies.
- Extended periods of confinement
- After stressful situations, like baths
- When new guests come to your home
- When you come home after being gone for a while
Of course, those are just a few examples of why your pup might get the zoomies.
Which quickly (and energetically) leads us to our next point 👇
HOW LONG DO ZOOMIES LAST?
This question can be twofold. You may be wondering how long zoomies last once they start, or you may be wondering until what age puppies/dogs get the zoomies. Let’s answer both 👍
Once your dog starts going into full wild mode (aka the zoomies), how long can you expect it to last? While there isn’t one simple answer (because every dog is different), the zoomies typically last about 1-5 minutes.
Again, the technical term of Frenetic Random Activity Periods has the answer within the phrase, random.
Sometimes your dog will get the zoomies for a quick couple of minutes, while other times they may be zoomin’ around for what seems like ages.
Tell us your experience below!
And if you’re thinking your puppy will outgrow the zoomies, think again!
A few days before my old dog Buddy (15 ½ years old at the time) got very sick and passed away he needed a bath.
Buddy despised baths.
A really was the only way for him to tolerate it.
Keep in mind too, Buddy was getting pretty slow and old at this point. His joints hurt, his vision was almost nonexistent, and his pancreatitis was days away from ultimately taking his life…
I let Buddy out of the shower after his much-needed bath and I swear on everything I own I thought I had let a puppy out of the shower!
He sprinted around the house faster than I’d seen him move in months.
He jumped up onto the bed, spun around like a top, and then leaped off the other side.
My geriatric dog was experiencing a truly hilarious version of the zoomies.
So, if you’re still wondering how long dog zoomies last… the answer is likely until the end of their life 😅
WHEN DO DOGS GET THE ZOOMIES?
Just like undesired car repairs, the zoomies can happen at any time! And, it’s often when you aren’t expecting it.
While these random bursts of energy can happen spontaneously, there are instances when dogs are more likely to get the zoomies. Here are a few ⬇️
- After being crated
- After visiting the vet
- After visiting the groomer
- After a bath/shower at home
- After being on a leash for an extended period of time
- When they hear you say something they love like walk, park, dinner, treats, etc.
- When you come home after a long period of time
- When your dog knows you are about to leave
- When your dog becomes extremely bored
- When your dog knows it is about bedtime
- When your dog doesn’t have enough outlets for physical and/or mental activity
Those are just a few times when dogs get the zoomies!
Again, generally speaking, our dogs get the zoomies after times of stress, confinement, or even excitement!
WHY DOES MY DOG GET ZOOMIES AFTER A WALK?
Our dogs often get the zoomies after a walk because they are potentially feeling confined or bored by the leash.
What does your dog prefer? Walking on a leash or having the freedom to run and explore?
Many times, even after a long walk with my dogs, I’ll come home and think my dogs are going to be tired out. Instead, they start wrestling and going crazy on my couch.
I’ve found that the zoomies happen after a walk in which my dogs didn’t get any opportunity to be off-leash or explore as much as they would have liked!
Every dog is different, but most dogs get the zoomies after a walk because they still have pent-up energy and excitement from the walk.
WHY DOES MY DOG GET ZOOMIES OR GO CRAZY AFTER A BATH?
While dog behavior around water can by mystifying, there is a simpler-ish answer as to why our dogs get the zoomies after a bath.
Most dogs do not inherently enjoy the bath (my dog Sunny excluded… it’s like a spa day for her).
The bathing, being handled for an extended period of time, and general discomfort can lead to some stress for your dog. While it’s important to , ultimately they may still never really enjoy the experience.
So, when the bath ends and your pup is “let free” they’re ready to go wild! They just spent 10-20 minutes being told not to move, not being allowed freedom, and generally being in an unenjoyable situation.
So they wanna run!!
And truthfully, your dog getting the zoomies after a bath can be beneficial! All that running should certainly help dry them off.. Right?! 😜
WHY DOES MY PUPPY GO CRAZY IN THE EVENING?
So if you’re wondering why your puppy goes crazy in the evening, that craziness is often the zoomies.
Let’s talk about why it happens in the evening.
I don’t have children, but I’ve always heard that kids are the most cranky when they are overtired.
And when does overtiredness occur..? In the evening, before bed!
I believe there is a strong correlation between our and in turn getting the zoomies. They feel confused, tired, and potentially unsure of what to do… so they do what puppies do best, run around. Fast!
Another reason puppies go crazy in the evening is that they may have been bored for too long, and it boils over at night.
No matter the reason, there are some things you can do to decrease the frequency of zoomies.
HOW TO STOP THE DOG ZOOMIES
Before we answer how to stop the zoomies, we really should ask should we want to stop the zoomies?
While it’s understandable to sometimes need your dog to chill out, shouldn’t we be excited when our pups get the zoomies?!
I mean we all want a tired, relaxed, and chilled out pup and doesn’t exercise help with that?
When my dogs get the zoomies, I’m stoked!
Because they’re making my life easier. And as a human being, I like when my life is easier.
They get to run around, go crazy, and get some energy out all while I often sit and enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of my couch!
There are a few instances though where you may need to stop the zoomies. If your pup might get into a dangerous situation, there are people around who may not be able to handle the energy, or if your pup has an injury and is supposed to rest.
In those cases, the best way to help stop the zoomies is to get your dog to engage with you by doing something less intense.
For example, you could offer a full of treats.
Or, you could give your pup a new chew toy filled with their or treats.
The key is to redirect the zoomies to something a little less intense. It won’t always work, but it just might!
RECAP OF DOG ZOOMIES
While the dog zoomies can be a bit intense at first, I’ve found it’s best to embrace puppy and dog zoomies!
This Frenetic Random Activity Period (aka FRAP, aka the zoomies) is often a way for your dog to release pent-up energy, stress, and even just a fun desire to play!
And truthfully, if you can you should try to capitalize on this opportunity. I’ve found the zoomies as a great time to get my dog interested in things like tug, , and other forms of fun play!
Speaking of tug, you have to check out the super-popular Fire Hose Tug Toys.
Have any fun zoomies experiences? Tell us in the below and we may add it to this article!
TRANSCRIPTION OF PODCAST
Speaker 1: This is the Perfect Pup Podcast, helping you build a better relationship with your pup, presented by Pupford. Hello, pup parents and welcome to today's episode of the Perfect Pup podcast. My name is Devon. This is going to be a good episode. It's a fun one. It is a question that you've likely had or wondered about. It's all about the dog zoomies. What they really are, why they happen, when they typically happen. And if you should try and stop it. So let's get right into it.
When we talk about the zoomies, this is what it means. You've probably experienced this, your dog or puppy. It can happen to dogs of any age, but it's more common in puppies. They seem to get this sudden burst of energy and they're just everywhere. Kind of going crazy. They're sprinting around. They're often running around in circles. If you like try and engage with them, they'll run one way and run back another way. And they're going crazy for lack of better word and just running around and zooming around everywhere. And that is what the zoomies are.
It is a sudden burst of energy. There's actually a more technical term called FRAP or FRAPs, which is frenetic random activity periods. So what your dog is experiencing is number one, something that has been recognized and understood by people a lot smarter than me, scientists, whatever you want to call them. People who understand dog behavior more in depth. And number two, it is a normal part of dog life and puppy life. And honestly, it can be kind of exciting. So let's talk about why zoomies happen.
In most cases, zoomies happen when your dog has undergone a period of time of maybe it's boredom or they've been pent up doing something like in confinement or a very stressful situation. So sometimes what you see is a bath, right? Baths can be stressful for dogs. They're confined often into your shower and they're not allowed to leave and they may not enjoy it. You can see it after the vet. You can see it even after walks. And a lot of people wonder, why is my dog getting the zoomies after a walk? They just had some exercise. What I found for my dogs and it rings true for a lot of other dogs as well is that sometimes when you go on a walk, your dog is wanting more. They're on the end of the leash, even if you've done leash training and they're well behaved and they're staying next to you and they're giving you a .
Deep down inside, they would prefer to run. They would prefer to just zoom all over wherever you're going. So that's why it can even happen after walks. There's this sense of kind of pent up, I don't think frustration is the right word, but pent up energy, pent up excitement. And they just want to run around and get it out. Another reason that you sometimes see it at night is what I've seen, especially with puppies is sometimes it's a sign of them being overtired. So their emotions are just high and they're not able to kind of regulate what's happening. And oftentimes that overtired zoomies is where you get a lot of puppy nipping and chewing on things. And maybe being just a little bit of a rascal and making your life a little bit difficult. And again, those are kind of some of the times that you'll see the zoomies happen.
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I would prefer for them to have that outlet and be able to run around and do enjoyable things. Of course, depending on the size of your house or apartment, it may be more limiting. So just be careful. And I think this generally just goes back to puppy proofing and dog proofing your home and understanding that anything that can get knocked over probably will. Anything that can be eaten or chewed on by your dog, specifically puppy probably will. So just thinking about that and having your home set up in a way that, hey, if my dog gets the zoomies, it's fine. They're going to be okay, which kind of leads to the final question or final thought of how do you stop your dog from getting the zoomies?
I think the question you have to ask yourself, if you're asking, how do I stop my dog from doing the zoomies or when they have the zoomies, how do I stop them? You should ask yourself, why? Why do you want to stop them? Is it because you're wanting to relax? Is it because you're bothered by what they're doing? Or is it a more realistic reason, like, oh, you had noise complaints from your neighbors or your dog has an injury, and they're not supposed to run. Those types of things. Like that's where it makes more sense. And you can maybe see what I'm alluding to here, which is in most cases, don't stop your dog from having the zoomies and from running around and having enjoyable experience. Puppies, dogs of all ages, that time, if you kind of visualize and... Sorry, not visualized, but focused in on what your dog's body language looks like in those moments, when they're having the zoomies, they're having a ton of fun.
I watch my dogs have the zoomies and I'm like I wish I had half as much energy as they did. And I wish I could... It looks like fun. It looks like they're having an enjoyable time. They're having an enjoyable experience. So I'm from the school thought of let your dog get that energy out through the zoomies. Especially if you have a puppy, like they're kind of making one of the harder parts of your job as a pup parent, which is giving your dog exercise, they're doing it for you. They're saying I'm going to go run around on my own and have zoomies on my own. And that's great. And I want to end with one funny story because a lot of people ask, is my puppy going to have the zoomies forever? Is it just a puppy thing? Is it a dog thing?
I have had multiple dogs (PS- ). And as many of you know, I had a puggle. His name was Buddy. He's passed away in July. And he was 15 and a half the time when the time came that he passed away. And I'll never forget it. This was a few days... Yes. This was just a few days before he passed away. So he was already starting to kind of get sick. He ended up having pancreatitis, but he was starting to get sick. He was starting to be a little bit lethargic and we had come home from a bit of a trip and they needed a bath. And we gave all three of our dogs a bath and my wife was continuing to bathe the other two dogs and I let Buddy out.
And he was having this new zoomies. A 15 and a half year old dog was having the zoomies. He didn't love bathes. And so he was just, again, there was some stress confinement. He was ready to just book it around the house. He was jumping up and off the bed, which he doesn't really ever do or didn't ever do at that point. He was getting old and he still had the zoomies. So my advice to you and why I want to tell you that story is the zoomies are going to be a part of your dog's life in one way, shape, or form. I like to just embrace it. I like to lean into it and have an enjoyable time. Take a video. It's hilarious. Like, I love it. I love watching dogs with the zoomies. I think it's so funny, but again, just make sure that they're in an environment where they're not going to get into any trouble or have any safety issue that might pop up.
So hopefully you learned something today about the dog zoomies. Again, the more technical term is FRAPs, which is frenetic random activity periods. You can use that in a fun quiz or to really impress your friends next time they talk about dog zoomies, but I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you learn something. If you have not already, I am genuinely asking you to leave a review on Apple Podcast. It is extremely helpful. We put a lot of time and effort into these episodes. I really love doing this podcast and I want it to grow. I want more and more pup parents to get the help and advice that they need. So if you have not already, please leave a review on Apple Podcast. And other than that, we'll catch you on the next episode.