Does your dog get the zoomies? Trainer reveals the most common causes (and some of them really surprised us!)

Dog with the zoomies
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Does your dog get the ‘zoomies’? 

Particularly if you’ve had your dog since they were a puppy, you’ve probably seen them have the zoomies – or frenetic random activity periods (FRAPS) – before. They’re those seemingly spontaneous bursts of energy that see our pups running around with more energy than we could imagine having ourselves.

What you might not know is that there are a few potential reasons why your dog may get the zoomies. Zoomies are often nothing to worry about, and are a normal behavior for our dogs – just as normal as playing with one of the best dog toys or sniffing during a walk – but it’s a good idea to learn a little more about them. 

Fortunately, award-winning trainer Lisa Burton of Listen Dog Training has shared with us all we need to know in a recent Instagram post. Every day’s a school day, right? 

Why do dogs get the zoomies? First of all, zoomies can occur at any age. They might be more common in puppies and younger dogs, but any dog can get the zoomies – they’re simply a way to address a build-up of excess energy. 

If your dog gets the zoomies on a regular basis, it might mean that your pup needs more exercise. However, Burton offers a range of other potential factors and causes. Your dog might get the zoomies after a stressful event ends, because they’re overwhelmed with excitement or arousal, they’re a bit spooked by something, or because they’ve just finished eating or going to the toilet. 

Other potential causes might be an attempt to adjust their body temperature, a response to instinctive hunting rhythms, or even your dog being aware that there’s a period of rest or confinement coming up. 

So, should you be worried about zoomies? 

In short, no. Burton explains, “As long as your puppy is in a safe environment and not likely to injure themselves, there’s no need to interrupt or prevent zoomies – episodes are often over within minutes, and enable your puppy a completely natural opportunity to self-regulate.”

If your pup feels really energetic, consider how much physical and mental stimulation they get, and whether you can increase it – it’s important that our dogs get the right amount of exercise for their breed, though of course things like age and health will be factors too. A vet’s guide to dog exercise might be useful if you’d like to know how much your pup should be getting.

So, the next time your canine companion gets the zoomies, you can watch them with bemusement – you probably don’t need to do anything else! They aren’t the only confusing things dogs might do, however. Take a look at these seven weird things dogs do that are actually completely normal.

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.