Have you ever noticed an occasion when your dog gets a burst of energy that forces him to run himself out? This is often called getting “the zoomies.”
Against all sense of self-preservation, they zoom around the house, heedless of furniture, walls, and even gawking bystanders (which can be problematic in the wrong place at the wrong time).
It’s a typical dog behavior that you’ll see in dogs of all ages and all breeds. Though sometimes, as dogs get older, the behavior will taper off.
The zoomies can be a way for your dog to get out energy that they’ve bottled up. For instance, if they’ve been home and bored all day, and then you come home from work, it could prompt the zoomies.
The clinical term for the zoomies is “frenetic random activity periods.”
While there isn’t a specific explanation for them, they seem to happen when your dog becomes very enthusiastic, like if your dog is excited to see you or a visitor.
They also seem to happen when dogs see people or animals exhibit vigorous or frisky behavior.
This is Lobo the Siberian Husky with the zoomies on YouTube
The zoomies also seem to occur as a result of a stressful experience like a visit to the vet, bath time, etc.
Sometimes humans will do the same thing. If we’re upset or frustrated we may go for a run or go to the gym.
While the zoomies are harmless in and of themselves, it can be helpful to maintain situational awareness when they begin, in case you need to intervene for your pet’s safety.
You may want to move your dog away from stairs and any location with a nearby drop-off. It’s also safer if they’re able to vent their energy on a surface with traction, like carpeting or outside in the grass or dirt.
But make sure to keep them away from streets with traffic. And if they get the zoomies outside and get away from you, curb the instinct to chase your pet—they may think it’s playtime and it’ll be more difficult to calm your dog down.
If you’re outside and need to get your dog back on the leash, try using a toy or treat to lure him back. Another potential option is to walk or run away from your dog and try to get him to chase you.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR DOG WITH THE ZOOMIES
You probably know your dog better than anyone else. Try to figure out when your pet gets the zoomies because of stress and conversely because of excitement.
Try to predict when your dog needs to release energy and take them outside to play, to the park, or for a walk or run.