Most pet owners are familiar with dog zoomies. One moment your pooch is calm and relaxed, and the next, they’re running circles around the living room. It’s almost as if someone suddenly flicked your dog’s switch to “on”! We asked vets why dogs get these seemingly random “zoomie” attacks, what you can do to control them and when they’re a cause for concern. Keep scrolling to see some adorable videos of dogs with zoomies, too!
What are dog zoomies?
If you’ve ever seen your pooch spring to their feet for seemingly no reason and start running around the house, bouncing off furniture and walls with no apparent destination in mind, you’ve witnessed what the internet and dog lovers affectionately call “the zoomies.”
“Veterinarians actually have an official technical name for the crazy bursts of playful dashing: Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or ‘FRAP,'” says Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, veterinary medical advisor for Rover. Whether you call them FRAPs or the zoomies, there’s one thing we know for sure: They’re hilarious to watch.
Why dogs get the zoomies
As random as zoomies may seem, they’re a normal and healthy part of canine behavior. “It’s essentially a way for dogs to release pent-up energy,” says Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM and veterinary contributor at We Love Doodles. “Think of it as their version of a mini workout or sudden dance break!”
Dogs love to run, and they often have energy to burn. “Having a zoomie-fit will help release that energy,” notes Sean Prichard, certified canine fitness coach and president and head canine fitness coach at Pant & Wag.
And while they seem to come out of nowhere, there is some rhyme and reason when it comes to the onset of zoomies. “Zoomies often occur after a period of inactivity and can be triggered by various factors, such as excitement, pent-up energy or simply a playful mood,” adds Prichard.
Zoomies can also be a form of stress relief, notes Prichard. If your dog has just had their nails trimmed at the groomers or they’ve suffered through a few shots at the vet’s office, they’re probably happy to no longer be in an uncomfortable situation. Just as a little kid perks up when they are done with school, so does your dog after their bath.
Do some dogs get zoomies more often than others?
Vets generally agree that dogs of all ages and breeds can get the zoomies. Weeks-old puppies are less likely to exhibit FRAPs just because they don’t have the body strength or motor skills to do so. However, once they get a little older, they can certainly start to run wild. Even older, senior dogs can get the zoomies if they’re feeling good.
Your dog’s breed can actually play a role in how often they engage in zoomies. “While absolutely any dog of almost any shape or size can partake in the delight of zoomies, the higher the energy and athleticism of a particular breed, the higher the zoomie quotient,” says Dr. Greenstein.
“For example, herding dogs like Australian Shepherds, athletic breeds like greyhounds or playful breeds like retrievers are probably going to be more prolific ‘zoomers’ than toy breeds like teacup yorkies,” adds Dr. Greenstein. “But again, it entirely depends on the individual pupper and how jazzed up they are in the moment.”
What it means if your dog doesn’t get the zoomies
Considering how normal and natural the FRAPs are, you might be concerned if your dog doesn’t exhibit this behavior. Not to worry — it’s not a sign that there’s something wrong or that your dog isn’t happy, say experts.
“If your dog doesn’t get the zoomies, it’s not a cause for concern,” says Dr. Kong. “Every dog is unique, and some might just have other ways of expressing their energy or excitement.” Just like people, dogs have a vast array of personalities and tendencies, so some are simply more zoomie-prone than others.
How to control zoomies
Even though zoomies are a normal behavior, it’s possible your dog might get a zoomie attack in a less-than-ideal setting, like near your family heirlooms or too close to a busy street. It’s a good idea to train your pup to give you their attention so you can stop zoomies that could get dangerous or destructive.
“Pet parents should have some sort of attention-grabbing command such as ‘heel’ or ‘look at me’ to get your dog to stop zooming at look at you,” says Prichard. If their zoomie habits are getting out of control, it might be a sign your pup has too much unspent energy. “The best way to control the frequency is to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation,” Prichard adds.
When zoomies are a concern
The biggest risk during zoomies is potential injury. Your pup’s main concern during a FRAP is releasing energy — they aren’t paying very much attention to their surroundings. If they starts to run on a slippery floor or near furniture that could topple, redirect them to a more open area, like the backyard.
And while they’re typically a sign of a healthy, happy dog, some zoomies might be worth asking your vet about. “If you notice her getting zoomies excessively or after eating, it might be worth a check-in with your vet,” says Dr. Kong. “On rare occasions, it could be linked to specific medical issues or digestive discomfort.”
Videos of dogs getting the zoomies
Even if you see your own dog get the zoomies on a regular basis, it’s always delightful watching pups get hit with a case of the FRAPs. Keep scrolling to see some cute videos of goofy pups who can’t help but zoom.
1. Stella gets the zoomies
With no warning whatsoever, Stella the yellow lab goes from zero to zoomie in just a matter of seconds. It’s a good reminder that a FRAP attack can hit at any time!
2. Dog park zoomie riot
This greyhound starts a trend at the park and gets all the other pups to join her. (Click through to learn more about greyhounds and other dogs with long noses.)
3. Pomsky pup parkour
Sapphie the pomsky pup is, almost literally, bouncing off the walls.
4. Tiny dog zoomies
Tina the chihuahua (@tinahassomethingonhernose) is proof that all dog breeds — not just the ones known for their athleticism — can get a case of the zoomies. We love the sound of her little paws hitting the floor!
5. Frenchie FRAPs
Mason the French bulldog may not be the speediest zoomer, but he gets major points for style and enthusiasm.
6. Tornado warning!
This goofy pup takes her zoomies in a more circular direction.
7. Ball pit zoomies
We can almost hear this sweet golden retriever pup yelling “cannonball!”
Click through to learn more about quirky dog behaviors: