While a dog can get the zoomies (crazy, fast running in repetitive patterns) just because they are pleased you are home, it is often a case of needing to go out to the toilet.
Younger dogs or puppies get the most excited about pooping and start to zoom around because:
- They need to poop and are trying to tell you.
- Running massages the bowels and helps the pooping process.
- They zoom around when finished, pleased to have completed the task.
- Your dog is proud of its poop and marking their territory.
- Possible reward to be earned after pooping.
The zoomies or running in circles or erratically is quite normal for a dog. It is an outlet for their energy when they have been cooped up and a relief when they get to go outside to do their business!
The zoomies, as they are known, are just an outlet for the energy they have stored up inside. Excitement at something new, attention from their owner, a walk outside on a breezy night… almost anything can set your dog off running erratically around you.
Many owners I have spoken to agree that the dog needs to move their bowels, and the movements of the zoomies help to stimulate the anal glands which are expressed on excretion. The result is a feeling of relief and dogs express this by their crazy actions.
When a dog doesn’t exercise enough and eat good meals, the process of toileting can become difficult. Movement is the means of keeping their system moving along and the way they keep it healthy.
These events may just be a release from boredom. Sitting quietly while dinner is made can be boring. Many dogs probably don’t understand why humans take so long to eat! They are ready to play, so when finally the owner reaches for the door, your dog is ready to zoom!
Ignore them until they get rid of their energy, it usually only lasts a few minutes, although it will be hard not to laugh at their crazy expression.
The Technical Name for Zoomies
I bet you didn’t think the zoomies had been acknowledged as a ‘real’ phenomenon by dog experts? But it is!
The technical term is – Frenetic, Random, Activity Bursts – also known as FRAP’s.
The explanation is that this explosion of energy typically lasts a few minutes or less. Frap’s can happen anytime;
- When your dog is excited.
- When your dog is overwhelmed,
- When your dog needs to poop!
- And even when your pup is seemingly at ease!
It appears that any reason, any time, and anywhere – anything goes.
And because dogs often poop before or after zooming, that is why dog owners call it ‘the poop zoomies.’
Breed Doesn’t Matter For the Poop Zoomies.
According to many top dog experts, the breed of the dog doesn’t matter when it comes to pets who are zoomers. It depends more on their lifestyle and their age.
- A dog who isn’t getting enough walks or has the energy to burn is more prone to get a dose of the zoomies than a busy working dog on a farm.
- Zoomies are usually the sign of your dog needing to poop. It is just a natural reaction for them to race around, and while they do this, it keeps them regular.
- If your dog is mostly an indoor dog, taking them outside can set them off as it is exciting to get outside with the wind blowing in their ears.
- The zoomies aren’t always because they want to poop, it could be pure excitement. That goofy smile on their face says it all … they are happy!
- Young dogs and puppies often get excited to get out and poop as it’s a big thing for a youngster (especially if they get a treat for going where they should) and running about helps them to poop without pain.
Even after a bath, your dog could decide to race around like a demented pup. After holding still while you or someone close bathes them builds up their energy. And once you free them, they explode into action, drying themselves on whatever they can roll in either inside or out.
Disclosure statement – I must say here that zoomies are not confined just to the outdoors. Your dog can get the urge to zoom just as easily when you play a game inside, regardless of the furniture.
In conclusion, it is the lifestyle and age of your dog, not their breed, that predisposes them to the poop zoomies.
It Doesn’t Take Much to Set Off the Zoomies.
It doesn’t need a special situation that can set your dog off, spinning around and around, or running in repetitive circles.
If your dog hasn’t had the opportunity to relieve themselves for a longer period than normal, then the zoomies will help to loosen them up. Even after eliminating, your dog may once again zoom around the yard because they feel great after doing their business.
If your dog has difficulty when they poop, the zoomies can help by loosening up their bowels which makes the process of removal easier. If your dog strains or cries when they try to pass stools, they may need a check-up with your vet.
A vet trip can be a touch nerve-wracking for some pups, and once home, they will often show you how pleased they are with a frenetic zoomie run followed by an urgent toilet stop.
The zoomies are the result of a build-up of inactivity. If you leave your dog alone for an hour or so, if your dog has been in their crate while people visit, or maybe if your dog has been confined inside on a wet day, then they will have energy to spare. The moment you take them outside or play with them inside, that will trigger an energy release!
Other things such as having a bath which can be stressful for some dogs; they will feel relief when they are finished, and they celebrate by zooming.
Watch for these Signals of a Zoomie Spurt is on its Way
It is hard not to laugh when your dog takes off and runs as a dog possessed before collapsing by your feet with a tongue hanging out a mile long and panting loudly.
Here is how to tell when a FRAPs moment is about to happen.
- Your dog will get a certain glint in their eyes.
- They may start to play bow at your or another dog.
- Some dogs may start by chasing their tails.
- Others will take off and race back and forth, or they may spin in circles until they drop.
- Any activity is usually done at top speed.
- The zoom maybe before a poop or after one.
- It is usually only for 2-4 minutes of frenetic activity before they drop and return to normal.
Once your dog has done a zoomie or two, you will start to observe the behavioral patterns before one begins. But as long as they are in a safe area, there is nothing to worry about.
Calming Your Dog After Zoomies
As stated before, the zoomies or FRAPs are completely normal. And let’s face it, your dog looks hilarious running around getting rid of their excess energy.
The added advantage is that they either poop before or after the zooming. That means by the time you head inside to bed, or take them out in the car, at least they are more relaxed and ready to listen to your commands.
So how do you calm your livewire down?
- The zoomies are a sign that your dog has energy to burn, so take them for a nice long walk or, in the worst case, a run.
- Give your dog a chance to wear off the excess energy.
- Don’t engage. You need to send a signal to your dog that it is not playtime. If you start chasing them, they will think you are playing with them.
- Luckily the burst of activity is normally short-lived, so keep calm, don’t pay them attention.
- A nice calming treat can work wonders.
- Encourage them to go to the toilet before you head back inside if they haven’t already been.
- Keep things calm and quiet. They will soon get the message.
Remember that the zoomies are short-lived spurts of energy that usually instigates a poop which leaves them feeling better.
The zoomies signify of a happy dog, one who has a healthy system and occasionally just goes a bit bonkers and crazy and are entertaining to watch.
Situations Where Zoomies Are a Concern
While he action of zoomies is not harmful and a useful tool to loosen up your dog’s stools before they expel them, there are some things to consider.
When you are out with your dog and they get the zoomies while they are off their leash, it could be dangerous. They may race out onto the road, or they may crash into small children.
The other thing is that your dog may crash into your furniture and hurt themselves when they are indoors.
When zooming, if your dog cannot go to the toilet, if they are straining, or if they cry, then they may have a problem pooping that will require a visit to the vet. But normally, an active dog has healthy bowels.
So when you see that glint in their eye, make sure they are either on a leash when out and about, or clear that area at home – quickly.
But in all seriousness, the poop zoomies are a fact of life, entertaining, and just another delightful quirk in our beloved pet.
The pet poop zoomies are a natural part of your dog’s life. The movement of running flat out and circling is a way of massaging the internal organs and making pooping easier for your dog.
It is also a way for your dog to get rid of some of their pent up energy.
Some dogs need more exercise than others, but if you can work in a walk to get your dog out and moving around, it will help them to overcome all that pent up energy.
But don’t worry if your puppy is a zoomer, they will probably grow out of it, so enjoy this stage while you can.
As your dog ages, they become more sedate in their behavior. They may still do the zoomies, but it may be a modified version of them. Like running around a box instead of the whole house.
It is a bit of harmless fun for your dog that serves a good purpose for their internal workings. And it is very entertaining watching them go crazy.
The poop zoomies are therefore, both practical and fun.
Writer: Jean Brewer