If you have a dog, I guarantee you’ve experienced it.

Picture the scene: you’re sitting at home cozying up with your beloved pooch when, seemingly out of nowhere, Fido jumps up and starts running in rapid circles, forcing you to wonder what on earth he’s just seen — a squirrel? An intruder? A ghost!? 

Commonly referred to as “the zoomies,” this kind of frenetic running around is a necessary way for your dog to release energy.

This sudden burst of activity may seem to come out of nowhere, but for your dog, it’s perfectly natural. Commonly referred to online as “the zoomies,” this kind of frenetic running around is a necessary way for your dog to release energy.

Known by veterinarians as Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAPs for short, this behavior is just part of your dog’s makeup and nothing to be concerned about. 

Before a FRAP session begins, your dog may perform certain behaviors that you can watch out for. A dog will often leap up, and bow with its front legs down and tail furiously waggling as an invitation to play.

How to play it

Depending on your preference, you can either indulge this behavior and let your dog go nuts, or you can channel it by using a time-out.

If you’d just rather your dog just do their ‘thing,’ then allow them to go wild for a few minutes (perhaps there’s a good room for this in your house — a room with fewer lamps and vases).

If you wish to stop the behavior, you can put light pressure on a dog’s shoulder blades as a gentle calming technique, holding them in place as they sink to the floor.

Your third option is to build FRAP time into your day. By allowing your dog to run off-leash, some of that energy will be dispelled. If you aren’t able to do this, try running or cycling with your dog, encouraging them to pick up their pace and expend more energy. Good for you, good for your dog!

While FRAP may seem startling at first, it can actually be a great way to encourage activity in you and your loved ones.

When your dog suddenly goes into the zone of a joy-crazed maniac, why not join in the fun? Jump up from the sofa and go wild for a few minutes yourself. It gets the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. Plus, how can you say no to that doggie-face? Maybe we could all use a little FRAP time.