Dog Zoomies: Why Your Dog Runs in Circles (& What to Do)

Dog Zoomies: Why Your Dog Runs in Circles (& What to Do)

Alpha Paw Sale

Jan 07, 2023

Why Do Dogs Run In Circles When They Get Excited?

What are dog zoomies? Most dog owners are very familiar with the explosive bursts of energy that your dog experiences when you let them out after having been gone all day. Your dog frantically runs in circles, and it almost seems like they are going a little crazy.

These intense bursts of energy are called zoomies. The technical term for zoomies is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). Zoomies are a completely normal behavior. They occur because your dog has a lot of energy, and they need a way to release it. Your dog will sprint and run in circles because they are very excited and energetic.

Why is my dog going crazy?

Many people wonder if their dog is going crazy when they see them do zoomies. Actually, zoomies are a very normal behavior in dogs. Your dog isn’t going crazy, they are just releasing some pent-up energy. Dog zoomies are their way of releasing their stored energy.

Dog zoomies: why your dog runs in circles (& what to do)

When do zoomies occur?

Dog zoomies can occur at any time of the day or night. Zoomies seem to be especially common after your dog has been alone all day, after a long nap, after bathtime, or when there is company over. Zoomies also occur sometimes after stressful situations such as veterinary visits.

The AKC reported that zoomies may occur more frequently in younger dogs with more energy and occur more often if your dog has few opportunities to exert their energy.

Why do dogs get the zoomies at night?

As a veterinarian, I often get asked, “why does my dog go crazy at night?” Often pet owners report that zoomies are happening right before bedtime or in the middle of the night. If your dog is getting zoomies at night, they are probably not getting enough exercise and stimulation throughout the day. Because zoomies are a release of excess energy, your dog is likely going to sleep with too much energy. You may need to exercise your dog more during the day to decrease night zoomies.

What to do about aggressive dog zoomies?

Sometimes dogs can nip or bite when they are excited and doing zoomies. If your dog has a tendency to get a little too excited during zoomies, it is important to say safe and not get bit by your dog. Do not run or chase your dog while they are having zoomies as this may make the behavior worse. Also, be sure to not let your dog play with a child while doing zoomies because they could easily knock them over and hurt them. I knew a child that broke his arm from being knocked over by a dog doing zoomies.

Can zoomies be dangerous?

In general, zoomies are not dangerous. Occasionally, if a dog twists too quickly while doing zoomies, especially an older dog or a dachshund with back problems, they can become injured. Usually, for young dogs, zoomies are quite safe. It is important to make sure that your dog is not on a slippery floor or near stairs when they do zoomies as this can create dangerous situations where your dog can get hurt.

If your dog is displaying odd behavior like excessively circling, bumping into things, or strange eye movements, then you should have your dog examined by a veterinarian to ensure that there are no neurological issues causing this behavior. I recommend taking a video of your dog’s behavior so you can show the veterinarian at your appointment. Often with video, a veterinarian will be able to tell if this is normal dog zoomie behavior or something more serious.

Dog zoomies: why your dog runs in circles (& what to do)

How do I stop my dog from getting zoomies?

You should not be overly worried if your dog has occasional zoomies. This is a normal behavior for dogs. If you would like to decrease the amount of zoomies that your dog gets, you should provide your dog with adequate exercise and mental stimulation. If you suspect your dog has high levels of anxiety, there are calming treats for dogs available, but keep in mind that you are not addressing your dog’s mental and physical needs, you are just calming them down. Also, you should always consult with your vet prior to starting any supplements to ensure that they are safe for your dog.

Here are a few suggestions to reduce the number of zoomies:

Move with Ease: Top Supplements for Your Dog’s Mobility

Supporting your dog’s mobility is essential for their overall well-being, and there are excellent supplements designed for this purpose. Explore top-rated products such as joint supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin, known for promoting healthy joints and reducing stiffness.

Ark naturals gray muzzle old dogs! Happy joints! Vet recommended to support cartilage and joint func
  • All-natural ingredients with an excellent taste for soothing joint discomfort
  • No corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and green-lipped mussel to increase mobility and flexibility of joints and connective tissue. Also contains omega-3 oil and turmeric which act as anti-inflammatories
  • Vet recommended for senior dogs to help combat side effects of aging
  • Safe for dogs 5 years and older
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  • Grain-free chews feature cold processed New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel and provide your dog with daily hip, joint, and digestive support.
  • Dog-licious soft chews contain naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin to support your pup’s hip and joint function.
  • Promotes mobility, agility, comfort, wellness, and ease of movement for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes.
  • Rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DHA, and ETA—which may provide additional joint support benefits.
  • May also promote healthy digestion and decrease stomach discomfort from gas, bloating, upset, and constipation.
Pet honesty hip & joint health, dog joint supplement support, glucosamine chondroitin, msm, turmeric
  • Helps maintain healthy bone and joint function.
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  • May help relieve inflammation associated with normal daily exercise and activity.
  • Helps ease joint stiffness due to normal daily activity.
  • Crafted with an irresistible natural chicken flavor.
Senior advanced multifunctional supplement for dogs – glucosamine & chondroitin for hip & joint su
  • Formulated with a blend of powerful ingredients that help promote flexibility, mobility, range of motion, comfort and overall hip and joint wellness.
  • Contains glucosamine HCL, chondroitin sulfate and New Zealand green lipped mussel to help cushion and lubricate your older pooch’s hips and joints.
  • Enhanced with OptiMSM, a premium form of methylsulfonylmethane, that undergoes a multi-stage distillation process ensuring 99.9% purity for increased muscle support.
  • Made with Qmin, a form of turmeric curcumin, and BioPerine—black pepper extract—to help support connective tissue and cartilage.
  • Includes hyaluronic acid and vitamins C and E for strength, flexibility and comfort.
Zesty paws mobility bites dog joint supplement - hip and joint chews for dogs - pet products with gl
  • Crafted with a delicious chicken flavor.
  • These chewables contain hemp seed, which provides a source of stearidonic acid (SDA), a precursor to long-chain fatty acids and may support immune function.
  • At 400 mg per chew, OptiMSM is a premium form of MSM that undergoes a purifying distillation process to provide premium muscular support for your doggy.
  • Each chew includes turmeric extract, a natural source of curcuminoids that may ease joint stiffness due to normal, daily exercise and activity.
  • These chews also include glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins C and E, organic turmeric, zinc and organic boswellia for additional pet joint support.

What can I give my dog for calming?

It is normal for certain dog breeds to have high levels of energy. If your dog is driving you crazy, as a pet owner, you must find ways to provide mental stimulation and physical stimulation for your dog. The best way to calm your dog is to give your dog plenty of exercises. Going for a long walk several times a day will help to physically stimulate your dog.

Also, mental stimulation is very important. You can provide your dog with puzzle toys or fun Bouncy Fish Toys to help calm down your dog. Providing your dog with a Kong can also help distract them and provide them with some stimulation. If you are interested in learning more about ways to calm down your dog, you should speak with your veterinarian. In addition, always speak with your veterinarian if you are considering starting your pet on any new medications or supplements.

Alpha Paw Sale
author image

Dr. Addie Reinhard, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Addie Reinhard is an experienced companion animal veterinarian who lives in Lexington, KY with her husband, greyhound, and four cats. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and currently practices in the central Kentucky region. Dr. Addie has special interests in preventative care, dermatology, and diseases, and she enjoys creating helpful educational resources related to these topics to help pet parents keep their four-legged family members happy and healthy. We love Dr. Addie’s passion for providing reliable veterinary insight and medical advice to help pet parents like us give their pups the happy & healthy lives they deserve!


The medical, nutritional, or behavioral advice we provide is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our editorial content is not a substitute for formal or personalized medical advice from a veterinary professional. Only board-certified veterinary specialists who have examined your pet should diagnose medical conditions, provide personalized treatment, or prescribe appropriate medication. For questions regarding your pet’s health, or if your pet is exhibiting signs of illness, injury, or distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.