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Why Do Dogs Get the Zoomies After a Bath? Behavior Explained

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

dog playing with bubble during a bath

Many dog owners have experienced their pooch’s frenzied behavior after bathtime. Although a bath is not every dog’s favorite pastime, they seem to get quite energetic after one. This often results in a wet dog running around the house with a burst of energy that dog owners refer to as the zoomies.

Why do dogs get the zoomies after the bath and what does it mean? This article has the answers for you.

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Post-Bath Zoomies Explained

Dog zoomies are more formally known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or simply FRAPs. A dog with the zoomies is going to be running around, sometimes in circles or up and down parts of the house. They may also jump onto furniture or knock over ornaments and chairs in the home.

Several triggers can cause your dog to get the zoomies, and a commonly reported trigger is bathtime. Researchers do not yet know the exact causes of dog zoomies, but there are some theories.

Zoomies might be a dog’s way of releasing pent-up energy that they accumulated during the bath. They were probably eager to get the bath over with and zoomies are a way for them to deal with their overwhelming emotions. Otherwise, they could have been envisioning running away during the bath but can only do it once they are out of the bath.

The post-bath zoomies that some dogs get are generally normal and not usually a concern. However, it can be an annoyance to owners who do not want a wet dog running around the house.

pomeranian dog taking a bath
Image Credit; Roman Chazov, Shutterstock

The 5 Possible Reasons Dogs Get the Zoomies After a Bath?

The crazy behaviors after bathtime many owners experience from their dogs are likely from the zoomies. There are various reasons they might get the zoomies after a bath, so let’s take a look at them in more detail below.

1. New Smells

Your dog is going to smell different after a bath, and the unfamiliar smell might be odd for them. If you have used a heavily scented shampoo and conditioner on your dog, they are likely alarmed about the new smell. Dogs find comfort in familiar scents, especially their scent. Unfamiliar smells on their own body might result in some unusual behaviors after bath time. Opt for a shampoo and conditioner with a mild, fresh scent that won’t cause your pups nose any harm. Also, use the same products so they become accustomed to the scent.

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2. Excitement

While not all dogs are excited about bath time itself, they could be excited when it’s over. Most dogs do not enjoy being bathed and get the zoomies as a way to celebrate that it is finally over. Otherwise, your dog could have been excited that you were paying attention to them, even if it was only over a bath.

labrador dog shaking off after bath
Image Credit: photoshooter2015, Shutterstock

3. Nervousness

Bathtime can be nerve-racking for some dogs. They might have put up a fight to be bathed in the first place and probably wanted to escape the entire time. Once they are out of the bath, zooming around the house could be their way of dealing with the urge they had to escape from the bath.

Being exposed to water may make some dogs feel vulnerable and nervous, resulting in a burst of hyperactivity to try to calm themselves down.


4. Playtime

Another possible reason dogs get zoomies after a bath is because they want to play. Your dog might feel unsure after bathing and immediately want to try to initiate playtime to feel more at ease. Getting the zoomies can be a dog’s way of trying to encourage you or other dogs to play with them.

white maltese dog playing with ball after bath
Image Credit: Milos Nakovic, Shutterstock

5. To Dry Off

A bath can leave your dog’s coat feeling cold, wet, and heavy. They might attempt to make themselves feel better by zooming around the house to dry themselves off. Otherwise, they could get the zoomies to make themselves feel better if they do not know how to deal with the negative emotions caused by the bath and wet fur.

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How Can You Stop Your Dog from Getting the Zoomies After a Bath?

There is no guaranteed way to stop your dog from getting the zoomies. It usually doesn’t last long, so some dog owners prefer to let their dogs calm down on their own. Dog zoomies typically last for about 2 to 20 minutes, and most dogs will stop when they get tired or feel calmer. However, you could try exercising your dog before a bath to get them more tired.

A tired dog is unlikely to get the zoomies for very long as the exercise session has already tired them out. Alternatively, you could close the door to the room your dog is being bathed in. This limits the amount of space your dog has to run around in and helps to prevent them from slipping or wetting your furniture.

It is a good idea to give your dog an appropriate area to exercise and play if they want to release pent-up energy after a bath. There are too many risks in allowing a wet dog to run frantically around the house and risk damaging items in the home or knocking over small children.

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Conclusion

Dog zoomies are a completely normal behavior that could be triggered for several reasons. Bathing seems to be a common trigger for many dogs, and there are various theories as to why it could happen. The most likely theories would be from pent-up energy and emotions your dog felt during the bath.

Otherwise, it could simply be your dog’s way of drying off their wet fur or initiating playtime. Dog zoomies usually do not last more than a few minutes, and most dogs stop by themselves.


Featured Image Credit: SunflowerMomma, Shutterstock

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