Expert explains the science behind dog zoomies
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Expert explains the science behind dog zoomies

Folks who have a dog in their family — or have previously had a dog as a pet — likely know the experience of their dog getting excited and hyper out of nowhere. Before you know it, they’re on the move — zooming around, running in circles and making your home or yard feel something like an obstacle course. Many dog lovers refer to this as “the zoomies,” but an expert explained to KSDK that there’s actually some science behind the behavior. Elsa Stuart, an associate veterinarian at Millis Animal Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, said the scientific term for the zoomies is a “frenetic random activity period.” It’s also known as a “FRAP.””Typically we see FRAPs happen at times of transition through the day, so it might be like when their owner gets home from work, or a guest is coming over,” Stuart said, adding that there are other times the zoomies can occur. “They seem random to us but I think if you think about what’s going on in your dog’s head, what they’ve encountered during that day it might make a little more sense that they need to blow off some steam,” Stuart told KSDK’s Kelly Jackson.The expert explained that having FRAPs are normal, but it’s important to know the difference between zoomies and anxiety. “Usually if they’re really loose and wiggly and carefree, that is a happy zoomie,” Stuart said.There are movements a dog can make that may seem like the zoomies, but could actually indicate anxiety and/or pain. “If their ears are pinned back. If their eyes are really wide and worried-looking. Or if their body seems tense,” Stuart said. See more in the video player above.

Folks who have a dog in their family — or have previously had a dog as a pet — likely know the experience of their dog getting excited and hyper out of nowhere.

Before you know it, they’re on the move — zooming around, running in circles and making your home or yard feel something like an obstacle course.

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Many dog lovers refer to this as “the zoomies,” but an expert explained to KSDK that there’s actually some science behind the behavior.

Elsa Stuart, an associate veterinarian at Millis Animal Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, said the scientific term for the zoomies is a “frenetic random activity period.” It’s also known as a “FRAP.”

“Typically we see FRAPs happen at times of transition through the day, so it might be like when their owner gets home from work, or a guest is coming over,” Stuart said, adding that there are other times the zoomies can occur.

“They seem random to us but I think if you think about what’s going on in your dog’s head, what they’ve encountered during that day it might make a little more sense that they need to blow off some steam,” Stuart told KSDK’s Kelly Jackson.

The expert explained that having FRAPs are normal, but it’s important to know the difference between zoomies and anxiety.

“Usually if they’re really loose and wiggly and carefree, that is a happy zoomie,” Stuart said.

There are movements a dog can make that may seem like the zoomies, but could actually indicate anxiety and/or pain.

“If their ears are pinned back. If their eyes are really wide and worried-looking. Or if their body seems tense,” Stuart said.

See more in the video player above.

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