Has your dog ever suddenly burst into motion from standing perfectly still?
Do they tear around the yard or house at supersonic speed with a wild look on their face?
There’s the repeated play bowing with their fuzzy buttons up in the air.
Do you even find yourself pondering, “What the zoom is going on here?!”
Don’t worry, you are not alone.
And no, your Shiba Inu isn’t drunk on Bepis. They just have a perfectly normal case of the zoomies!
What The Zoom: Why Does My Shiba Inu Run Around Like Crazy?
According to the experts, such as Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Jill Goldman Ph.D. from Los Angeles, the “zoomies” are a kind of Frenetic Random Activity Period (FRAP) that happens whenever dogs explode with energy.
Frapping is a biological tick, but there is no one thing that causes it to happen.
Goldman explains in her studies that zoomies happen when the dogs have “some form of excess energy that’s been contained…or nervous energy, like when they tolerate an uncomfortable situation.”
Younger dogs, for instance, will burst into zoomies whenever they have periods of low activity and need to burn off energy.
However, dogs of all breeds and of all ages have the potential to suddenly start frapping.
The only breeds with a reduced chance of zoomies would be high-energy dogs that receive loads of exercise.
But again, the zoomies are usually totally random.
What Do Dog Zoomies Look Like?
You will know zoomies from any other burst of energy by how your Shiba Inu appears when the FRAP happens.
Dogs that have been overcome by a case of the zoomies will have a unique posture. FRAPs are characterized by a run with the butt tucked under and wild eyes.
It almost looks as if your dog is crouching mid-run.
Another obvious part of the zoomies is the repetitive play bow.
Puppies and dogs alike will stop in the middle of their zoomies, play bow, run around in circles again, and then play bow again.
They might pounce towards you, paws stretched out, with their tails wagging.
Sometimes, the “frenetic” behavior also translates into nipping and play biting.
When this happens, you are going to need to step in and manage the behavior.
Immediately stop any games that could have initiated the zoomies then disallow any interaction until your puppy or dog calms down.
During these moments, try not to physically handle your dog either.
When Are Zoomies More Likely To Occur?
Zoomies are most common after baths.
Exactly why remains a mystery - but theories exist.
It could be the wonderful "it's so good to feel clean" feeling, or that "I survived another bath" feeling.
If only we could speak dog.
Additionally zoomies can also happen whenever dogs need to release their pent-up energy - like after being crated or confined for any length of time.
Trips to the vet can even cause the zoomies, especially if the visit was more stressful than usual.
Are Zoomies Safe?
Yes! As long as your Shiba Inu isn’t colliding with obstacles around the dining room table or wrapping you around trees in the park during the zoomies, these frenetic random activity periods are best left to run their course.
In order to make the area safer from your Shibe to zoom about, you should make sure that the room is carpeted to prevent falling, tripping, or sliding.
Any delicate knickknacks should be removed from the room where the zoomies usually are unleashed to make sure that nothing unfortunate happens to them.
If you have a feeling that the zoomies are coming, you can always take your Shiba Inu outside - if you have a fenced yard of course.
Keep in mind that if the zoomies tend to happen frequently after crating, you might have a dog with too much energy or too much stress.
The zoomies that happen every single day could be a cause for concern, because it shows that your dog isn’t getting enough stimulation.
As mentioned earlier, nipping can be another sign of stress. In the event this happens, you will need to give your doggo more exercise throughout the day to avoid boredom and poor behavior.
Dog Zoomies Vs. Cat Zoomies
Cat and dog owners often notice that their furry companions get the zoomies for various reasons. How are dog and cat zoomies related, you ask?
First, cat zoomies also fall under the technical name of Frenetic Random Activity Periods.
Unlike dogs, nocturnal felines often startle their owners in the early morning hours with these FRAPs, making you think that there is a demon in the house, when in reality, your cat is just really wound up.
Cats also experience the zoomies post-poop for a couple of reasons: survival and poo-phoria.
In the wild, cats often want to get as far away from a fresh pile as they can. Although cats are predators, they are also preyed upon by larger animals, so they retreat from their excrement to ensure they aren’t ambushed.
Dogs, on the other hand, kick dirt on their feces as a way to mark it and say, “Oh yeah, that’s mine.”
This is why your cats fly out of the litter box and do victory laps around the house—even though the only predator in the house is probably the vacuum.
Next, there is the phenomenon called “poo-phoria.” Like people, cats have a vagus nerve that descends along the spine from the brain stem.
Pooping can stimulate the vagus nerve, leading to a sensation of relaxation or elation.
So, while there is not much of a difference between dog and cat zoomies, the main dissimilarity is that cats get their zoomies more in the evening, while dogs get theirs in the morning.
Cats are also more likely to experience poo-phoria, whereas dogs react more often after moments of stress or due to inactivity.
All That Zooms is Gold
If your Shiba Inu is getting the zoomies, don’t worry.
FRAPs are normal, happen occasionally, and allow for your Shibe to burn off excess energy.
The zipping, yipping, jumping, and bowing might seem frantic and mad, but your dog will regain their senses after a moment or two.
Just wait out the zoomies before continuing with whatever you were doing.
In the meantime, enjoy the zooms while it lasts. Think of it as your Shiba having a HIIT (high intensity interval training) which is great for overall fitness and health.
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