The Star-Herald

Make way for the zoomies

Nearly anyone who has ever had puppies or dogs can relate to “The Zoomies.”

The zoomies are defined as those sudden bursts of pent-up energy that cause dogs to run at breakneck speeds back and forth or around and around, or sometimes in a tight little circle.

My little Sadie either runs around and around the house fast as lightning or from the top of the driveway to the house on full speed ahead. Then I yell, “Zoom, zoom, Sadie, zoom,” which makes her go even faster.  She makes me tired just watching her.  

Zoomies are among the cutest, funniest things they do. It’s a dog’s way of showing that they are irrepressibly happy.  This behavior is entirely normal for many animal species, both wild and domesticated, so there’s no need to worry unless there’s a risk your pet could be injured.

Some dogs will do zoomies after stressful activities as a way of relieving that stress — like bath time, for instance.  I know that after I have bathed one of my dogs and let them outside, they shake and take off running around, rubbing themselves on the ground. You could call this a form of zoomies.  Maybe your dog is stressed around other dogs and when they finally come out of their shell, the zoomies hit.

The behavior doesn’t always mean stress, though. It can arise from just plain and simple over-arousal, say from playing lots of exciting games. You may also see it just before a dog crashes, as one final bout of energy.  Zoomies create a feel-good response in dogs. 

Before the zoomies hit, dogs often get a glint in their eyes, and they may start to play-bow at you or another dog.  Sometimes a dog may try to catch its tail when the zoomies hit. This is all normal dog behavior has long as your dog is zooming in a safe place.

These super-speed rushes tend to hit puppies and young dogs more frequently than older dogs, but they are a great way for dogs of any age to release pent-up energy.  So, if you’re out with your dog and you see they are starting to get into the zoomies, just make sure it is a safe area, and that they are not running towards the road or people. This will avoid anyone being tripped or knocked down and will keep your pet safe. 

I really enjoy hearing from people who enjoy what I share in this space. Just the other day I was at a local store and a woman told me she loved reading my articles. I love to hear that kind of feedback because it makes my heart happy that I can give someone a bit of enjoyment.  

If you are looking for a pet to bring home, check out the Central Aroostook Humane Society at 24 Cross Street in Presque Isle. We have some great pets there for you to choose from.  Betsy and her staff will make sure that you are matched with the right furbaby.  

Here’s a quote to think about:  “Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen,” said Orhan Pamuk.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.

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