What Are The Zoomies In Puppies?

If you’re about to adopt a puppy for the first time, you’re no doubt filled with questions, excitement, and, possibly, even a little anxiety. The thing is, adopting a living creature is a big decision, especially for an animal as intelligent as a dog. (Let’s be honest, anyone with half a brain can take care of a hamster.) 

Having a little bit of anxiety about whether you’ll be a good puppy parent is normal. If you’ve never owned a dog or adopted one before, you won’t have experience dealing with their moods, habits, and needs. Indeed, you’ll be learning as you go, picking up new info every day you spend with your precious pupper.

That can be exciting, of course, as puppies are full of energy and often as silly as a drunken clown. As with a small child, a puppy can also be obstinate, make a mess and, occasionally, break or damage things too. (It will happen, so prepare yourself and your house before they come home.)

I was thinking about this the other day when a reader of mine asked me a question about her new pup. It seems that her precocious puppy was, at times, getting ridiculously excited and running around the house like a lunatic. Her question to me was one I only started hearing recently: what are the zoomies in puppies?

The answer is that zoomies are an explosion of energy that puppies (and, occasionally, dogs) will have on occasion. Surprisingly, the technical name for the zoomies is even more silly; FRAPs. That stands for Frenetic Random Activity Periods, which commonly feature repetitive and seemingly frantic behavior like running around the yard at top speed or running in circles like a madman.

The good news is that the zoomies are, in most cases, completely harmless, so long as your pup has the space to do whatever they do when they have them. (If they don’t, they could injure themselves.) However, a puppy that often has the zoomies might have an underlying behavioral problem you need to have checked out by your vet.

Now that you know what the Zoomies are, I’m betting you have other questions about this seemingly crazy behavior. Why do puppies get the Zoomies, for example, and how to calm them down when they have them? 

If so, please continue reading. I’ve got the answers to those questions and several more below, which can be very helpful if you’re a new puppy parent dealing with a puppy who has seemingly lost its little doggy mind.

Why do Puppies get the Zoomies?

There seem to be several reasons that a puppy will suddenly have a FRAP, although pinpointing a single one in your particular pup might take some time. For example, your puppy might get the zoomies first thing in the morning when they wake up. This is one of the times of day that are most common for FRAPs.

On the other hand, some puppies who have been in their crate for a large portion of the day might get a case of the zoomies when you get home and let them out. (Freedom!) Other pups get the zoomies after a bath, while still others might get them due to a stressful event, like a visit to your local veterinarian or dog groomer.

There are several other events and occurrences that can cause zoomies, though. For example, if your pup has never seen snow, they might start zooming when they do. Some puppies will also get the zoomies if they see another dog they like or another animal like a squirrel. (Squirrel!) 

One thing to keep in mind is that, usually, the zoomies only last for a few minutes and rarely more than 10 minutes. Typically a puppy will start to calm down after a few minutes and return to its normal puppy behavior. 

From my research and experience, there’s only one cause of the zoomies that you should be concerned about, which is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. If your puppy has this uncommon dog disorder, they will likely chase their tails frantically and often. (Some chase their tails and don’t have the condition, though, so don’t freak out.)

When do Puppies Grow out of Zoomies? 

Typically, puppies start to calm down and grow out of the zoomies by the time they reach about 18 to 24 months of age. However, keep in mind that even an adult dog can get the zoomies on occasion, especially if they haven’t been given enough exercise.

Most dogs that have reached 2 to 3 years old won’t have the zoomies often unless they have the obsessive-compulsive disorder I talked about earlier. Other than that, though, it’s rare for an older dog to have the zoomies, although not impossible.

How to Calm Down Puppy Zoomies

The thing about FRAPs is that, once they start, they’re hard to stop. Some dog experts say you shouldn’t even try as they don’t last long and, in the vast majority of cases, aren’t harmful to your pup. 

If you’re worried they might hurt themself during these frenetic energy bursts, however, there are a few things you can do to help calm them down or, at least, ensure they don’t crash into a wall. They include:

  • Run away from them so that they chase you to a safer area.
  • Take one of their fave toys and throw it towards them to get their attention and help redirect their energy.
  • Give them treats with CBD oil to keep them calmer.
  • Take them for a long walk. Zoomies come from excess energy, so burning it off with a walk works well in preventing them. Indeed, any type of exercise will work to use up some of your pup’s extra energy.
  • Teach them using rewards how to calm down. (You’ll need a treat that is more interesting than their zoomy shenanigans.)

Keep in mind that chasing your puppy when they have the zoomies is not recommended. Chasing them, in most cases, will make your puppy even more hyperactive, which will make it even more difficult for them to calm down. 

Also, if you know your pup is prone to zoomies, try to ensure they have them in an area of your home that’s safe. A room with carpeting on the floor is preferred, with anything dangerously fragile up and out of the way. Better still, your fenced-in backyard where they can zoom themselves silly.

In other words, instead of trying to control your pup’s zoomies, do your best to control the environment where they happen. Tile or wood floors where they can slip and fall, for example, are not a good idea. 

Final Thoughts

What are the zoomies in puppies? Technically called FRAPs; it’s when your puppy has a ton of pent-up energy and lets it out by going nuts for a few minutes, running like mad, barking, zipping around the backyard, etc. They’re not a problem to worry about in 99% of cases, and, as they get older, your puppy will grow out of the zoomies.

Did you enjoy today’s blog about the zoomies (FRAPs) and how they affect your precious pupper? I hope so and that it answered your questions about this interestingly weird doggy behavior. If you have more, please see my other blogs. They’re all loaded with real-world information and advice to help you become a better puppy parent and raise a healthy, happy dog.