Why Chow Chows Are the Best Family Dog
Deciding to add a dog to your life is an awesome moment, but it’s a choice that should be carefully considered before taking the plunge. Dogs are amazing animals, and there’s no doubt that having a dog also brings a lot of responsibility and life changes. This is especially true if you’re adding a pup to a family.
One of your biggest questions is most likely, is this dog good with kids? When you add a pooch to your family, you hope that your children will bond with the new addition and that both pup and kids will form a special relationship. A Chow Chow can be a great choice for a family dog; it is extremely loyal and protective of its human pack. However, a tendency toward overprotection and a reputation for being an aggressive breed has also placed this fluffy-coated pup on the insurance blacklist. This can definitely make some people pause before choosing this pooch. The key is early socialization and getting a young pup that you can raise around your kids.
Why a Chow Chow Is a Great Choice for Families
Here are four reasons why a Chow Chow can make the best family dog if trained and raised properly:
- A Chow Chow is extremely loyal to his family.
- A Chow Chow is protective of his family, including the kids.
- A Chow Chow is patient.
- A Chow Chow is known to be a well-behaved pup when properly trained.
Getting To Know the Chow Chow
Of course, how a dog interacts with children isn’t going to be the only factor that informs your decision. You still have all of the practical things to think about, like how big a dog you want, how much grooming and maintenance you’re willing to do, and how much costs are associated with your pup of choice. For example, a smaller dog that is an overall healthy breed will most likely cost less to care for than a larger dog that eats three times as much food or a dog that is prone to several health conditions.
Knowing the basics of any dog breed that you are considering bringing into your family is always a valuable asset.
Here are some good-to-know facts about the dignified and loyal Chow Chow:
A Chow Chow is approximately 45-70 pounds and roughly 17-20 inches, so it has the potential to be a pretty large breed, albeit not one of the largest. If you want to lean toward the lower end of this scale, consider looking for a female, since most often the female members of a dog breed tend to be smaller.
A Chow Chow’s average life expectancy is 8 to 12 years old. If you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to purchase or adopt a younger or older dog, strongly consider the fact that a chow will do better with kids when he is raised with them. Therefore, you might want to seek out a puppy and wait till your kids are a little older to help even things out a bit.
A Chow Chow has a thick, double, fluffy coat that makes him look like a little lion. It is very important to keep his coat brushed regularly to avoid matting, which means you need to thoroughly brush him at least twice a week. The Chow Chow should also be checked often for parasites and ticks, have a monthly bath, and it is essential to make sure the coat is completely dried after every bath. In addition, just like with most breeds, you should routinely check and clean your pup’s eyes and ears, trim his nails, and attend to adequate dental care.
If you get your pup from a reputable breeder, then he should be properly screened and monitored for a variety of health problems. However, the Chow Chow is prone to several conditions including hip dysplasia, eyelid entropion, thyroid issues, and more. You can see more detailed information about this breed’s health by visiting Chow Chow Club, Inc.
A Chow Chow needs regular exercise, but despite being a larger pup, he does not require a lot of high-impact activity. A few walks a day are enough to keep this dog in good shape, in addition to regular playtimes with toys like the Rolly Cannoli that can help with exercise and bonding time. One way to help your kids and Chow Chow bond is to let your children accompany you on walks, and allow older kids to hold the leash. One thing to keep in mind, is this breed doesn’t handle heat very well, so keep exercise to a minimum during hot parts of the day.
This pup is smart but he can also be very stubborn. Training is critical for this dog, though, so you need to be ready and determined, stay focused, and be prepared to seek help if needed. Proper socialization is essential to ensuring your Chow Chow becomes a great family dog, and training needs to stay positive so that you and your dog develop a trusting relationship.
Chow Chows and Kids
While it’s true that some dogs are more naturally suited to being around kids than others, it doesn’t mean that certain breeds can’t get along well with children. The important thing to remember is that it is always of the utmost importance to properly train and socialize your new pup as soon as you add him to the family. Expose your dog to a wide variety of positive situations, places, and people, and train him consistently. If you are hesitant about training, then seek a pro to help you. If you decide to bring a Chow Chow into the mix, training is non-negotiable. If you are unwilling to train your dog or do not have the necessary time or abilities to do so then you need to strongly reconsider your decision.
Although a Chow Chow might be better suited to a household with older children, he can definitely be introduced to younger children and babies, if he himself is young and properly raised alongside the kids. However, never leave your Chow Chow (or any dog, really) alone with young children. It’s also key to make sure the kids know how to properly interact with their new pup. Therefore, go over the correct way to touch and handle a dog, caution your kids to never go by a dog that is eating, and let older kids share in the responsibility of caring for their new canine companion.
If you’re ready to add a dog to the family, a Chow Chow can be a great option. A Chow Chow is loving, devoted, and loyal, and he can be a wonderful companion to your children, as long as you’re ready to do the work necessary to make it happen. If you want to adopt a dog, you can start your search at petfinder.com, or you can even look into breed-specific rescues by starting here.For more great information that can help you learn more bout your pets and what they need to be happy and healthy, make sure to check out the rest of our blogs. At Neater Pets, we always aim to provide you with the most up-to-date resources and tips so you can be everything your pets need you to be.
- Fernando Becattini
Why Dalmatians Are the Best Family Dog
Adding a dog to your family, especially if you have children, is a huge decision. It's definitely not something you should just dive into without any careful planning or forethought; it's a big commitment. If you have kids, then it's very likely you already lead a pretty busy life, and while bringing a dog into the fold adds more responsibilities, it also adds a lot of rewards.
Obviously, one of your biggest questions is going to be how your future potential pooch is with children. You want a dog that is going to be more than just tolerable of kids, you want a dog that can be their best friend. You want your kids to have the ultimate pup playmate. Well, when it comes to a dog that loves to play and can hold its own with the most energetic of kids, there are few breeds that can come close to the fun-loving dalmatian.
Why a Dalmatian Is a Great Choice for Families
If you’re ready to add a dog to your family tree, the dalmatian is a great option! Here are 6 reasons why a dalmatian makes the best family dog:
- A dalmatian has lots of energy, which means he can easily keep up with active kids.
- A dalmatian is very loyal to his humans and can become a good watchdog, ever faithful to the whole family.
- A dalmatian is a stable breed, meaning he isn’t likely to engage in unpredictable behavior.
- A dalmatian can be a big goof once he’s comfortable with his pack, making him a great playmate.
- A dalmatian is a very sturdy dog, so he can handle the rowdiness that usually comes along with kids.
- A dalmatian is considered one of the quieter dog breeds; a good thing when you have sensitive kids or sleeping babies.
Getting To Know the Dalmatian
Of course, a dog's temperament and personality are only a few pieces of the puzzle when it comes to choosing a canine companion that is a good fit for your family. You also need to consider the basics of the breed, like size, trainability, costs associated with things like grooming and health, and how much exercise the breed requires.
Therefore, it’s always a good idea to learn as much as you can about any dog breed that you are considering making a member of your family. Here are a few helpful stats about the dignified dalmatian:
The average height of a dalmatian is approximate 19 to 24 inches, and the average weight is anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds. Since there’s quite a wide range between the smallest and largest of these pups, if you adopt a dalmatian puppy, it’s best to prepare for the larger end of the spectrum. Although a 45-pound pooch falls within the range of a more medium-sized dog, you could just as easily end up with a dog that is 70-pounds and stands 24-inches tall. Therefore, if a large breed is not your preference, it’s important to keep this possibility in mind.
A dalmatian’s average life expectancy is 11 to 13 years. It’s always a good idea to know the expected lifespan of any pup that you plan to add to your family; it especially becomes critical when you are deciding on whether or not to purchase or adopt a younger or older dog. For example, if you have a toddler at home that you want to grow up alongside your new canine companion, then your better option would be to look for a dalmatian puppy. However, if your kids are already closer to 10 or 11 years old, you might be okay with a dog that is already two or three years of age.
The dalmatian sheds frequently, but regular weekly brushing and occasional baths are enough to tackle the dead hairs that accumulate on your pup’s coat and keep him looking his best. As with any breed, it’s important to make sure the nails are regularly trimmed and to ensure regular teeth brushing is a part of the grooming routine. Since a dalmatian has floppy ears, it’s also critical to frequently check the ears and keep them clean.
The dalmatian is generally a healthy dog breed, but it is prone to a couple of different health issues, including kidney stones and deafness. If you get your dalmatian from a reputable breeder, then the breeder should have performed extensive testing and screened your pup for these various health issues.
If a dalmatian does have hearing issues, how it affects him depends on several factors. If he only has deafness in one ear, the odds are good that he can still lead a pretty normal doggy life, but if he is deaf in both ears, there will be several special considerations and adaptations that you will need to discuss with your vet. Since the breed is also prone to kidney stones, this is something that your vet can also assist with, recommending a diet that is best for your pup and suggesting any necessary life changes.
A dalmatian has a lot of energy, and therefore, requires a lot of opportunities for exercise, play, and engaging in fun activities. This high-energy pup also requires a lot of mental stimulation, otherwise, your spotted friend can get himself into a whole lot of mischief. Since a dalmatian absolutely loves to be active and play, he’s a great match for energetic kids who can chase him around the backyard, play fetch, and are always willing to grab the leash and go for a walk. A dalmatian also benefits from having access to interactive toys, like the Rolly Cannoli, that can keep him working hard as he plays.
Overall, a dalmatian is a pretty alert and agreeable pup, and therefore, he is fairly easy to train. However this breed can also be sensitive, so maintaining a positive reinforcement approach to training is of the utmost importance. As with any dog, proper socialization is key. Exposing your puppy to as many new people and places as possible early on in his life will help with his overall development and help him build a positive response to the world around him.
Dalmations and Kids
While a dalmatian is a good fit for most families, it's always critical to ensure that everyone in the home, both dogs and humans, know how to properly interact with each other. It's also important to consider the personality of your kids. For example, if you have a child that gets upset or frightened easily, an overly rambunctious dalmatian might not be the best fit. However, if you're vigilant about early behavior training for your pup, then this might not be an issue.
Basically, it's always crucial to consider your own unique situation and the individual personalities of everyone in the home. Let your kids be a part of the whole process, from finding the perfect pooch to helping care for your new furry addition to the family.Whether you’re considering adopting a dog, purchasing your pup from a breeder, or perhaps looking into various breed-specific rescues, it’s always important to have a strong understanding of the dog you’re about to welcome into your life. If you decide to look into pet rescue or adoption, good starting points are The Dalmatian Club of America and petfinder.com. Once you find your new furry friend, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blogs for helpful insight into how you can be the best pet parent to your new pup!
- Fernando Becattini
Why Golden Retrievers Are the Best Family Dog
If you’ve ever been blessed to have a dog as part of your life, then you know that there’s something about a dog that makes you a better person. Choosing to add a dog to your family is a big decision, and if you have children, then there are even more factors to consider.
Of course, you want to find a dog that is good with kids, but you most likely are also looking for a pup that will quickly become their best friend. Golden retrievers have enjoyed a long reputation as a great family pet, but what exactly is it about this breed that makes them such a good family dog?
Why a Golden Retriever Is a Great Choice for Families
If you’re looking for a dog that is a great match for your family, here are 8 reasons why a golden retriever makes the best family dog:
- A golden retriever has a loving and affectionate demeanor.
- A golden retriever is gentle with kids and other animals.
- A golden retriever is loyal to his family.
- A golden retriever is eager to please his owners, making him easier to train.
- A golden retriever is very active, which means he loves to play for long periods of time.
- A golden retriever has a laid-back personality, which is a big bonus with young children.
- A golden retriever doesn’t require extensive maintenance and grooming, which is good news for a busy family.
- A golden retriever likes to “latch-on” to its humans, making it a great constant-companion for kids.
Getting To Know the Golden Retriever
When you are searching for that perfect pooch to add to the mix, your future pup’s personality is only one part of the equation. There are several logistical pieces of the puzzle that you have to think about when you are looking for a dog, such as size, ease of training, health issues (if any) that are common to the breed, and your budget. For example, a dog can be the absolute best dog in the whole world, but if he weighs 250 pounds and you live in a small apartment, he might not be the best fit for your family. Likewise, you might find a pup that is perfect in every way, but you know you can’t keep up with the extensive grooming and maintenance that the breed requires.
Therefore, it’s always helpful to get to know the basics of any dog breed that you are considering adding to your family. Here are a few helpful stats about the friendly and devoted golden retriever:
A male golden retriever can grow to be roughly 23 to 24 inches in height and weigh between 65 and 75 pounds. Females can reach an average height of 21.5 to 22.5 inches and weigh between 55 and 65 pounds. It’s definitely important to decide ahead of time what size dog you want. Consider if you need to stick with a smaller breed based on your living situation, or if a large breed is your preference. If you opt for a large dog, then exactly how big can you go? Keep in mind that the bigger the dog usually means the more expensive, since he’ll eat more, cost more to board, and require larger supplies, like oversized bowls and a bigger kennel (when needed).
A golden retriever’s average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. This is an important factor to consider if you plan to get a dog that will grow up with your children; knowing the average life span might influence when you get your pup or if you choose to adopt a younger or older dog.
A golden retriever does not have high-maintenance and grooming needs; an occasional bath will usually do the trick, as well as brushing a couple of times a week. A golden tends to shed his thick, outer coat once or twice a year, so, during these times, you can expect to brush your pup daily. In addition, regular teeth brushing and ear and eye checks are important, as well as regular nail-trimming, which should be done with any breed.
Overall, a golden retriever is a healthy dog breed. If you get your golden through a breeder then your pup should have been screened for various health issues like heart disease, eye conditions, and hip dysplasia. Always make sure to have an established relationship with a veterinarian that you trust if you are about to add a dog to your family.
A golden retriever is a member of the sporting group of dog breeds, which means this pup needs a lot of exercise and activity. Be prepared to provide your golden with ample opportunities for daily exercise, whether it’s taking him along on your daily jog or bike ride, signing him up for agility training, or making him your hunting and fishing partner. Kids can definitely enjoy hours of playtime with this active canine, whether it’s running around the backyard, chasing a frisbee at the dog park, or snapping on a leash for a long walk. Like many dogs, if a golden retriever does not get adequate exercise, it can lead to undesirable behavior and an unhappy pup.
A golden retriever is eager to please, friendly, and loyal, all traits that make this breed fairly easy to train. Since a golden takes so well to training, this makes him a fun dog for kids since he can learn some entertaining tricks, like how to catch a flying disc or “toss” a ball. Of course, no matter what type of dog you get, early training and proper socialization are essential to the development of a well-rounded and happy pup.
Golden Retrievers and Kids
Although some dog breeds are better suited for households with children more than others, no matter what type of pup you bring home, it’s important that everyone (humans and dogs alike) know how they are expected to behave and interact with each other. It’s always important to prepare your children for the new doggy addition to the home, teaching your kids the appropriate way to interact with animals and also setting expectations ahead of time.
Give some of the responsibility of caring for your new pup to the kids who are old enough to handle it. For example, young children can help feed the family dog, older children can be in charge of dog walks, and children of any age can be expected to participate in playtime and picking up after their new furry friend.
If you’re looking for a great family dog, a golden retriever is an excellent choice. Do you think you might want to look into adopting a dog or rescuing a golden? The Golden Retriever Club of America National Rescue Committee is a great starting point, plus petfinder.com provides resources about various rescue and adoption organizations across the US. When you’re ready to add a canine companion to your family, make sure to check out the rest of our blogs for helpful tips and resources. At Neater Pets, our top priority is to provide pet parents with all of the tools you need to do the very best for your pets.
- Fernando Becattini
5 Fun Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Obedience training is important but once your dog knows the basics, it’s time to have some fun with these clever tricks
Pets add so much to our lives; they become our best friends, they can decrease stress, and even in many cases, make us healthier - something known as the “pet effect.” Building a strong relationship with your canine companion is key to forming a lasting bond with your pup, and training your dog plays a large role in the bonding experience. Essential basic commands like sit, stay, come, and lie down are the foundation for raising a well-behaved, well-adjusted pooch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach your pup some fun dog tricks too.
Once your pal can consistently and correctly perform the above mentioned basic commands, you can start to add some more quirky tricks into the mix, like shake, high-five, rollover, and even dance. Before you start working with your pup on these extra tricks, consider his personality. If he took very well to training when you worked with him on the basics, and you enjoyed the experience, then teaching your pup some bonus commands can be a lot of fun. However, if you were frequently frustrated during the training process, or your pup has a big stubborn streak, you might want to call it a day.
If you decide to press on with teaching your furry friend some fun dog tricks, then keep it simple in the beginning. The tips and advice that go along with training your pup in the basic commands also apply to any extra tricks you decide to teach him. In other words, have lots of treats and rewards ready, use positive reinforcement, and stay consistent throughout the process.
Fun Dog Tricks To Teach Your Pup
Whether you have dreams of your pup being in the Westminster Dog Show or participating in a simple local pet-talent competition, teaching him some entertaining commands can create quite the conversation starter.
Here are a few simple tricks you can add to your pup’s repertoire to make him the life of the dog park:
First, have your dog sit. (If you haven’t taught your dog to sit yet, remember, he needs a strong foundation in the basics before you start teaching him fun tricks). Hold a treat in one hand, let your pup see and smell it but don’t let him get it. If he tries to grab it, close your fist.
Next, with your fist closed around the treat, give the command “Shake,” (or “paw” if you prefer), and your dog should naturally attempt to raise his paw or even paw at your hand since he knows you are hiding a treat. Reward any small movements like this with a treat and praise and lots of enthusiasm. Start to shift your reward response to only giving your pup the treat when he places his paw on your hand. Then, start to only give the verbal command when your pup actually touches your hand, as soon as he does, say “Shake,” and reward your pup.
Once you are confident that your dog is associating the command with placing his paw on your hand, then start to deliver the verbal cue a little sooner. As you move your hand toward your pooch, deliver the command so that he meets your hand with his paw, and reward him accordingly.
Once your pup is sitting and understands the shake command, you can give the high-five trick a try. As you are doing the shake command, start to raise your hand higher until your pup has to reach for it. Don’t make it really hard for your pup, just enough so he has to stretch for the treat. As soon as his paw reaches the appropriate height, say “High-five!” and reward your pup. Continue to do this until your pup can perform the command simply from hearing the verbal cue.
The first thing that you need to do to teach your pup to roll over is to ensure that he correctly performs the “lie down” command. When your pup is lying down, squat down in front of him and hold a treat in front of his nose, where he can see and smell it but not grab it.
Move the treat up and around your pup’s head as you move it toward his tail, making his nose follow the treat and his body rotate until he rolls over. If necessary, using your free hand you can give a gentle assist to help your dog complete the action. While your pup is in the process of rolling over, say the command, “Rollover,” so your dog can associate it with the movement and reward him immediately with a treat and praise when he performs the behavior.
Start with your pooch standing next to you, at your side, and hold a treat in your hand. Make sure he notices the treat and begin to slowly move your hand to encourage your pup to walk in a circle around your legs. Keep your hand close to your body, and as your pup starts to circle, reward, and praise him at different moments. Deliver the command, “Dance” or whatever similar verbal command you choose (just make sure you always use the same command to avoid any confusion).
You can also start to raise the treat up so your pup stands on his hind legs. Move the treat in a circular motion so your pup’s nose follows it, and he starts to turn in a circle. As your dog spins, deliver the appropriate verbal command and reward and praise him. Eventually, you can remove the motion and have your pup dance simply by giving him the verbal cue.
Hold a treat and get your pup’s attention by saying his name in an excited voice. Keep your attitude very upbeat and positive; the idea is to make your pup excited so he will bark. As soon as he barks, say, “Speak!” and give your dog the treat and praise him. Repeat this several times until your pup starts to associate the verbal cue with the appropriate behavior and is able to bark upon command.
With all of these tricks, as your dog becomes more successful with each one, remember to keep practicing. When you start with visual signals, the goal is to progress to using only a verbal command. The more you do it, the easier it will be for your dog and the more quickly he will respond to your verbal commands.
Tips for Successful Dog Training
Again, whether you’re training your dog in the basics, or prepping him for an audition to be the next doggy star, the proper technique and attitude is always a must. Stay positive with your pooch, and if you find yourself losing patience, either end the training session for the day, rethink your plan or get help from a pro.
Before you progress into more complicated tricks, make sure your pup has learned all of the basics and can execute them consistently. In other words, don’t expect him to run before he can walk, and build up to the more complicated commands.
Ensure that your dog can stay focused and engaged during training by providing ample opportunities for play and exercise, as well as proper mental stimulation. Your pup should have regular activity sessions throughout the day, as well as a collection of interactive toys, like the Rolly Cannoli, to help keep her occupied when you are unable to participate or are away from home.
Have all of your supplies at the ready; you don’t want to end up with a half-hearted training lesson because you came ill-prepared. Gather up lots of your pup’s favorite treats, have a quality harness or collar and leash if needed, and ensure that you have set aside a designated time to work with your pup so you don’t have to deal with any distractions.
Above all, consistency and follow-through are of the utmost importance when it comes to successfully training your dog. Don’t give up, stay calm, and stay determined. If you find you need a helping hand, you can check out the Association of Professional Dog Trainers to find an expert trainer near you.Now you’re ready to take your pup out and let him wow people with his amazing new abilities! For more tips on training your dog, and to find some other great resources that can help you be a great pet parent, make sure to check out the rest of our blog! Our goal at Neater Pets is to make sure that pet owners have the information they need to do the very best for their furry friends.
- Fernando Becattini
14 Ways To Puppy Proof Your Home
Bringing home a new puppy? Make sure your home is safe and ready to welcome your new furry family member
Just like parents expecting a baby, if you’re about to bring home a brand new fluffy puppy, it’s important to make sure your home is safe and properly prepared. Puppies are naturally curious creatures, and they learn and discover new things by investigating through licking, scratching, chewing, and crawling into all sorts of interesting looking places.
This inquisitive nature can get your pup into a lot of trouble if you're not careful, but the good news is, you can take proactive steps to reduce the mischief and mayhem. To puppy proof your home, you just need to include several key items on your puppy checklist, take a few precautions with how your home is set up, and most importantly, be ready to keep a close eye on your new furry friend.
9 Items To Puppy Proof Your House
Of course, every home is different, and your expectations and limits for your puppy will differ from other pup parents. However, there are several puppy essentials that every dog owner should plan on using to create a safe environment for his pooch.
What You Need To Keep Your Puppy Safe
A lot of the ways you can make sure your pup stays safe are proactive, meaning you implement them before your puppy has the chance to get hurt or into trouble.
Here are the items that can help ensure your dog’s safety, especially since you really can’t watch him all of the time:
Another option is to use a series of puppy gates to create a designated area for your dog. There are a number of different gates on the market, so make sure to choose a style that works well for you and your pup. If he’s a jumper make sure the gate is tall enough; if he’s a chewer opt for one made from metal, and if you don’t want to constantly step over a dog gate, then go for one that has a functioning door built into it.
What You Need To Keep Your Home Clean
A puppy’s mischievous ways not only can bring him harm, but they also can wreak havoc on your home. Before you know it, this cute furball can destroy your furniture, rip up your baseboards, stain your carpets, and leave a number of other messes in his wake. It might seem inconceivable that something so small and sweet can cause such big damage, but it is completely possible when the proper practices aren’t put into place.
When you gather the products meant to shield your dog from harm, don’t forget to build your arsenal of protective gear for your home. The bitter apple spray mentioned above is a perfect example, since you can use it to discourage your pet from putting holes in your carpet, shoes, and a variety of other items you would rather keep in one piece.
Here are a few other items that you should keep on hand when you know a puppy is about to move into your house:
What You Need To Keep Your Puppy Happy
Often, just like a bored toddler, a puppy can get into trouble simply because he has nothing better to do. Prepping your home and having the right supplies on hand is important, but so is providing your pup with the items he needs to stay engaged and happy.
Make sure your puppy has access to the following items:
Five Steps To Ensure Your Home Is Safe for Your Puppy
In addition to the various supplies you'll use to puppy proof your home, it's also important that you perform a few necessary tasks to further increase your pup's safety. These activities range from quick actions you do by yourself to more thorough ones that will include your dog:
Bring a notebook around with you and jot down anything that needs to be addressed, such as hanging wires and curtain cords, small spaces where your puppy could potentially get stuck, and small items that your puppy could ingest leading to choking or obstruction issues. You might want to also do this “crawl test” on occasion after you bring your puppy home to keep things in tip-top shape.
Instilling good habits in your puppy from the beginning, being firm and clear with limits and boundaries, and knowing how to properly puppy proof your home goes a long way in keeping your dog safe and sound. It’s also important to follow the proper precautions for certain activities, such as swim safety and being in public places with your dog, to further ensure his well-being. For more great resources on how to care for your pets, check out the rest of our blogs. Wishing you all the best with your new playful puppy!
- Fernando Becattini
What Are the “Zoomies”?
If you have a dog, then you’ve most likely witnessed the sudden burst of energy that sends him running in circles at super speed, but why does he do it?
If you are a proud pup parent, then even if you don’t know what the zoomies are, you’ve most likely experienced them. See if this situation rings a bell: you’re sitting on the couch with your dog when suddenly he leaps onto the floor and starts zipping around the house at lightning speed, seeming to follow the same pattern, until just as suddenly he stops and resumes his former resting pose. Sound familiar? This unusual, and often entertaining, dog behavior is one that can catch you off guard, but it’s not usually a major cause for concern. It can happen at any time, for a number of reasons, but what exactly is it?
Does Your Dog Have the Zoomies?
There he goes again, your dog is tearing through the house like a wild animal with tunnel vision, oblivious to everything and everyone around him. To you it appears as if your pup has suddenly gone mad, racing around the house or yard at top speed until he stops and acts as if nothing happened. In fact, your pup might even collapse right after his energetic display and take a nap. These seemingly unpredictable explosions of energy are called Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs), sometimes referred to as frapping, or more casually, the zoomies. Some dog breeds even have their own name for it, like the Bichon Buzz.
Why Does Your Dog Start Running in Circles?
Most of the time, the occasional case of the zoomies is nothing to be concerned about, it’s just part of being a dog, but why does your pup do it? Your pooch can start running in super circles for a number of reasons, including pent up energy, stress, excitement, or even before or after having to poop. Really, there aren’t any definitive causes for the zoomies, and not all dogs get them, it’s more of a pattern for individual dogs. In other words, a dog might get the zoomies after a certain situation, like being in a crate all day if you’re crate training, while another dog gets the zoomies after a bath. Still, another pup might never get the zoomies, even in these same situations.
Should You Be Concerned about the Zoomies?
The zoomies are not a signal that your pup is sick, or unhappy, or about to attack from sudden aggression. In fact, many times, it can be quite a fun show to watch as your pooch zips around in absolute bliss. Most of the time, the zoomies themselves are nothing to be worried about, but they can cause a few secondary problems depending on the situation.
During a case of the zoomies, your pup has a one-track-mind; run, run, run. He doesn’t see you or anyone else around him, he probably doesn’t respond to you, and he has no clue what kind of destruction he might be leaving in his wake. If your pup is small, this might not be a big issue, but if your 200-pound Mastiff or other large dog starts to run like a maniac through your house, well, let’s just say you might want to get out of the way.
If your pup regularly partakes in the occasional case of zoomies, take precautions for these secondary issues, but otherwise, you most likely do not need to be concerned. However, it is important to pay attention to any unusual patterns that surface. For example, if your dog never has the zoomies and all of a sudden he’s engaging in them all of the time, this sudden change in behavior could signal something deeper at play. Your pup might be experiencing a larger behavioral issue, such as boredom, significant stress or anxiety, or lack of mental stimulation.
If you suspect one of these factors could be causing your pup’s random bouts of energy, then talk with your vet about possible solutions. You will most likely need to make some changes in your daily schedule and your dog’s habits.
Which Dogs Get the Zoomies?
Although this phenomenon seems to be a more common behavior in younger pups, it can happen to older dogs and puppies alike. Sometimes, you might notice that throughout your dog’s bout of craziness, he is engaging in a play bow, where his front half goes down to the ground and his butt sticks up in the air. This could be a signal that your pup really wants to play, especially if he is a younger dog or a puppy.
Should You Stop Your Dog’s Zoomies?
If your pup is not causing any harm to himself or anyone else, you can let the zoomies run their course. In fact, trying to engage your dog during his energetic outburst might actually prolong the activity, or lead to more unwanted consequences like broken vases or worse, broken bones (when you end up tripping over the furniture trying to get out of your pup’s way). You especially want to be careful if you have other animals or small children in the house, and at least get your kids and other pets to safety when the zoomies begin.
If you are worried about your dog’s frapping, you can always try to put certain practices into place to try and reduce the occurrences. For example, you can always provide your pup with some interactive toys, like the Roly Cannoli, to help him stay more stimulated and engaged during the day when you are not at home. If you notice that your pup usually gets the zoomies after a bath, you might want to make sure he is outside immediately after so he has more room to run. You can also snap on his leash and take him for an extra walk if you think lack of exercise might be to blame.
However, if your pup only has the zoomies on occasion, or seems to be otherwise healthy and happy, there’s no real reason to make him stop. In fact, the zoomies can even be helpful in letting your pup express his doggy emotions. If you are concerned about your dog’s behavior you can always discuss the situation with your vet. If your pup’s sudden laps are frequent and caused by a larger issue such as lack of mental stimulation or a need for more exercise, your vet can help you come up with a plan for getting your dog on a more regular and healthy routine.
Basically, your dog’s random acts of speed, as startling as they might be at first, are rarely a cause for alarm. However, it’s important to monitor your pup during his frantic episode so you can try to limit the amount of potential destruction. To find out more interesting tidbits about dog ownership, check out the rest of our blog! You can find all sorts of great resources from how to care for your pets, what to feed them, how to keep them safe, and much more! Neater Pets is all about providing you with the tools and tips you need to be the best pet parent that you can be!
- Fernando Becattini