A well behaved puppy listening to its owner.

Most of us who have spent time with animals know what the zoomies are, even if you didn’t know what they were called at the time we experienced them. You know, that sudden burst of energy that your dog or cat gets from seemingly nowhere that results in a frantic dash around and lots of laughs? But why do the zoomies happen? Is your pet trying to tell you something? Read on for Springbrook Animal Care Center’s take on this comedic and energetic phenomenon.

Digging In To the Zoomies

Crazy bursts of energy in pets are well known to most of us, but not everyone knows that they have an actual scientific name. The zoomies are more properly called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAP). 

They do seem to affect younger pets more, but any age, species, or breed can experience FRAP. The behavior does seem to be somewhat infectious, however, with multiple animals joining in the fun once one starts.

While these crazy spurts of dashing around the house are generally harmless and only last a short time, this unfettered energy can result in an accident as pets slide across slippery floors, leap over furniture, or knocks over personal belongings. 

It does seem that certain situations trigger a case of the zoomies. Whether it be a certain favorite place, a part of the daily routine, or a certain time of day, FRAP is somewhat predictable. 

What Your Pet is Trying to Tell You

If your pet is affected by a case of the zoomies, then, what does it mean? You may wonder if Is it a reason to make an appointment to bring them in to see our doctors. Surely it isn’t a pet emergency, is it?

Usually the zoomies are no big deal. They are, however, an indication of some pent up energy. If they are happening frequently, it may be a sign that your pet needs some exercise and environmental enrichment

The winter months can be particularly difficult to provide the stimulation your pet needs. 

Some ideas as to how you might meet the requirement include:

  • Making a daily commitment to going on a walk
  • Playing fetch (inside or out)
  • Play hide and seek (with humans, toys, or treats)
  • Bust out the laser pointer
  • Visit the dog park
  • Arrange a playdate if your pet enjoys the company of other animals
  • Visit a human friend
  • Take a car ride if your pet enjoys
  • Put a bird feeder or fish tank within sight
  • Find a new interactive puzzle toy for your pet
  • Enroll in an obedience class
  • Find some new tricks to teach your pet (cats can learn tricks, too)
  • Give your pet a massage

Most pets need at least 15 minutes of physical activity daily, but mental stimulation can also help to manage energy levels. When unchecked, a deficit of physical and mental stimulation can lead to behavioral problems.

All that said, the zoomies are bound to happen from time to time. As long as your pet is safe, be sure to enjoy their antics and allow them to make some unforgettable memories. The zoomies may be a little strange, but they are one of those endearing aspects of pet ownership.