You’re probably familiar with zoomies: the unmistakable state of chaotic orbit that your dog enters, making it seem pointless to try and bring them back down to this planet. It’s not just casual playing or your average galavant (or even your above-average galavant); we’re talking episodes of full-blown cyclone-sprinting that defies the laws of physics, with a total disregard for anything in the path of destruction.
What Are Zoomies…you know, scientifically?
It turns out that Animal Behaviorists have a scientific name for this phenomenon: Frenetic Random Activity Period, or FRAPing. This pretty much summarizes all there is to say about zoomies: it’s frenetic (like a delirious frenzy), and it happens in manic bouts. And although seemingly random, the major reason they think dogs do this is to blow off steam and burn excess energy. For that reason, your dog may be telling you that they’re bored or cooped up too much all day, but these bursts of movement pretty much fix that problem.
Are Zoomies Dangerous?
The major threat from zoomies is your dog running into something in your house and hurting themselves in the process of losing their mind for a bit. In a zoomie state, I’ve seen all 95 lbs. of Opie effortlessly side-wind on top of the back of our sofa much like a squirrel traversing a power line. It makes me nervous that he’ll come crashing down and injure himself, but time slows down when he’s in that zone, like a professional athlete who can see the ball in slow-motion when the game is on the line. Other than that, the secondary risk is to your furniture itself (if inside), as even zoned-in zoomers seem to be on a mission to bounce off as many things as possible.
What If I Want My Dog to Stop Zooming?
If your dog zooms right before bed and you’re worried about him getting too amped up to sleep, there’s no better way to ensure he zonks out than to let him get it out of his system. If zooming amps YOU up, the best thing you can do is to stimulate himm more throughout the day with exercise and training, and even to induce a zoomie episode just prior to turning in for the night. Same principle for anytime of day: ride it out or try to get ahead of it with exercise.
Whether you call it FRAP or zoomies (we’ll stick with zoomies), its just your pup’s way of celebrating what he is capable of. He could be suggesting to you that he needs more stimulation and attention, and there’s nothing better than when our dogs remind us of how much they love us!