Zoomies: Why Does My Dog Get Hyper and Run in Circles?

Many dog parents are familiar with this scenario: their pets look like they go crazy and start running in circles. Both puppies and adult dogs rapidly pick up speed and rush back and forth in a straight line or in circles, rolling over everything in their path. This state is called “zoomies.” So, what are “zoomies” exactly and how should you react to them?

What are zoomies in dogs?

Zoomies are also called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). One of the major causes of zoomies is a dog’s need to release an excess buildup of energy, and  this behavior is normal for both puppies and adult dogs when it happens occasionally. However, if you notice that your pet is doing this frequently, it could be a sign that your pet doesn’t get enough physical and mental activity. Are you sure that your pet is not bored?

Sometimes  zoomies are provoked by a specific cause. For example, they may happen if four legged friends see their beloved owners after a long absence.

Zoomies can be “contagious.” If one dog starts running around in circles, the other one may join in. Sometimes it may look like a dog doesn’t even hear the owner’s words and doesn’t react to signals. 

Zoomies last a maximum of a few minutes (more often they last less). After that, the dog looks completely worn out and exhausted and may lie down panting heavily.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes for the pet to recover and become ready for new achievements.

What do you do if you see zoomies in your pet?

As a rule, there’s nothing to worry about when your pet has zoomies. You should only make sure that your dog runs in a safe place and won’t bump into anything or jump out onto the road.

If the outburst happens indoors, it’s better to remove objects that are fragile or capable of injuring your dogs from their trajectories. Some pets are able to run around obstacles standing in their way, but many of them can’t. Try to lure your pet on the mat to prevent them from slipping on the tile, laminate or parquet. Of course, don’t let your pet approach the stairs. 

If several dogs have zoomies and they all play together, watch the dogs carefully and make sure that playing  does not become excessively intense. Otherwise, a play can turn into a fight.

If your dog gets hyper and runs in circles in a dangerous place, try to carefully catch them. If your pet doesn’t react to your recall, try to use the emergency recall command (if you have one).

Don’t start chasing your four-legged friend as that may be seen as reinforcement and perhaps you’ll cause an even more intense reaction. Try to lure your pet to a safe place. Then play together for a little bit  so that your dog doesn’t take it as a punishment.

As soon as your dog calms down, give praise and perhaps a reward with something tasty.

Keep in mind that zoomies are dangerous in hot weather, as a dog can overheat.

Be sure to take some water for your pet when you go outside. Watch your pet carefully in order to notice signs of overheating or a heat stroke in a timely fashion. Remember that, In general, infrequent zoomies are normal behavior in dogs and if they happen in a safe place, it’s totally fine.

October 26, 2021

Join thousands
of happy Dog Parents!