The Reasons Dogs Get Night Zoomies – It Is Normal

Most dogs have night zoomies. They’re a natural stress relief for your dog. Pent up energy can feed a zoomie as can a bath, food, or general excitement.

Zoomies last for a short time and end as fast as they started. One minute your dog is running around crazily, next it goes to sleep.

It’s all natural behavior. Enjoy your dog.

Are night zoomies common? Yes, they are, so if your dog runs around and temporarily goes crazy at night, you aren’t alone. Commonly known as the night zoomies, this behavior is technically known as FRAPS (frenetic random activity periods).

In our house, we call it the mad half hour where our dog appears to lose control and have a random burst of energy, running to and fro before falling asleep as swift as the zoomie starts.

The zoomie can start without warning, or we may see signs of it building. These signs include playfulness, excitement, whining, and a desperation to go outside.


What Triggers a Zoomie at Night?

Because your dog has a unique personality, various situations will cause a zoomie. Triggers can include:

  • Noise
  • A bath
  • Lack of exercise
  • Youthfulness
  • After being cooped up inside or in a kennel
  • Releasing the dog off a tether

Something personal to your dog can trigger a zoomie. You will know each time they experience that trigger, that a zoomie might be the result.


Do You Need to Stop a Night Zoomie?

In short, the answer is no. Zoomies are a natural way for your dog to exert energy.

One reason you need to stop a zoomie is if your dog is in danger of hurting itself, it may damage property or hurt someone like a child.

Your dog may hurt itself if their night zoomie is inside as it may crash into furniture or people.  The best place for them to have it is outside if you have a safe, enclosed yard. People inexperienced with dogs may not know that it is best to let their dog carry on with having a zoomie.


Can Some Zoomies be Dangerous for Your Dog?

If your dog is doing zoomies because of stress, you need to address the stress issue. 

Consider if your dog needs additional walks. Is stress caused by you being at work all day or other factors? If not, it’s likely a natural zoomie behavior.


Can Dogs be Aggressive During Zoomies?

Yes,  a dog may nip or bite during a zoomie. If your dog isn’t usally aggressive, it might be over excitement. Try to redirect your dog’s energy by providing their favorite toy or playing a game you know it likes.

What Age Do Dogs Have Night Zoomies?

Dogs can have zoomies at any age. Young puppies don’t have the dexterity to run around like crazy, but older puppies may exhibit this behavior. As long as older dogs have the energy, they may have zoomies, as long as they are capable.


Are Certain Breeds Likely to Have Zoomies?

Exercise is essential for all dogs. It depends on the breed and age as to what levels of exercise you should provide your dog. Exercise is good for your dog’s physical and mental health.

Some breeds require extensive exercise while the lazier breeds don’t require as much. If you have a dog that needs substantive exercise and it doesn’t get all it needs, things like night zoomies will likely be a regular occurance.

You may see an increase in night zoomies if you decrease the number of regular walks for some reason.

Breeds that require higher levels of exercise around 2 plus hours a day include:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Border Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Dalmatian
  • Boxer
  • Samoyed

Breeds that  require less, around 1 hour plus include:

  • Whippet
  • Bull Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Breeds that require around 30 minutes a day include:

  • Chihuahua
  • Papillion
  • Pekingese
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian

If you have a breed of dog that needs plenty of exercise and it only gets a partial amount of what it should get, those night zoomies may be common. 

Remember though, your dog’s zoomies maybe because it is young, excitement has built up, or something else has set it off.


Triggers to Your Dog’s Zoomies

See if there’s a consistency to your dog’s zoomies. Some dog owners recognize what sets their dog off. It may be after a bath, food, before settling down for bed, or the fact you’ve come home.

Although zoomies generally aren’t dangerous or a problem, it’s wise to consider when they’re going to start.


What You Should and Shouldn’t do When Your Dog has a Zoomie

If you want to manage your dog’s zoomies, there are a few steps you can take.

  • If a bath or other activity causes your dog’s zoomie, exercise them first to reduce energy levels.
  • Don’t reward your dog’s zoomie behavior by chasing them. This will cause a bigger energetic outburst.
  • Let the zoomie run its course, so let your dog outside.
  • Avoid the zoomie trigger if it’s an inconvenient time for your dog to have a zoomie. Skip the bath or run until you’re okay for the zoomie.


What Supplements Help Calm Night Zoomies?

You don’t necessarily need to give your dog a calming supplement, but you may want to, if your dog stresses, and the zoomie is a result of that stress. Calming supplements that treat stress and anxiety are to reduce the frequency or length of the zoomies. 

Remember though, zoomies are a natural stress relief for dogs, so use supplements if necessary, not


How to Be Prepared for Your Dog Having a Zoomie

If your dog has a zoomie after a bath, make sure you have a lead ready or an enclosed yard so they can run around.

If their zoomie is because of removing a tether after a long day, create a process that keeps them calm for a while, so their zoomie remains under control.

Teach your dog to come and that coming to you is a good thing, Use treats, and train with a long lead.

This is an important skill to teach your dog if there’s a time you need to stop their zoomie.


How to Discourage Zoomies

Although zoomies are natural and don’t hurt dogs, there’s times you’ll want to discourage them for a number of reasons. You may live in a small apartment, or you may have a small area to allow your dog to run around.  In these cases, you need a plan to discourage zoomies.

How do you do this given dogs seem out of control during a zoomie?

Schedule long walks at night if you can. Try to do this at the time your dog tends to have their zoomie or moments prior.

If your dog has energy building up during the day and it’s a dog with high energy, long walks may enable it to release its pent up energy.


How Do You Know What Is a Zoomie, and What Isn’t

There are signs for you to be able to tell the difference between  normal playful activity and night zoomies.

I described my dog’s signs higher up this article. Your dog will have random and sudden bursts of craziness, but the signals will be consistent.

Signs of night zoomies include:

  • Your dog running with its tail or bottom tucked underneath
  • A crazy or over-excited look in your dog’s eyes
  • Sudden running from a standstill
  • Running in all directions


Do Other Animals Get Night Zoomies?

Zoomies are natural and occur in other species. Goats, sheep, horses and many other animals have their moments of madness. If your dog’s zoomie concerns you, the fact other animals have them should allay your fears for your dog.

As you can see, dog zoomies at night are a natural way for your dog to release pent up energy. Zoomies are not something that you should try to stop or concern you, unless you have to.

The reasons to stop zoomies are if your dog is in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, they are in public and may run away, or if they get aggressive.

If you think stress or anxiety causes your dog’s zoomies, you could consider professional help. Stressed and anxious dogs need support, and you should make every effort to identify the source of their stress and anxiety.

Talk to your vet and see if calming supplements will help.

Like most dog owners, you should be able to sit back and watch your pooch have a zoomie and see the sheer exhilaration on their face.

Enjoy your dog’s zoomies; they are a part of their unique and wonderful personality.


Writer: Craig Taylor

Read about me