May is Responsible Animal Guardian Month
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Cats and dogs both experience the zoomies, but typically for different reasons. Cats are notorious for their middle-of-the-night crazies, while dogs usually take a frenetic victory lap around the house after bath time. Believe it or not, there are perfectly good reasons for both of these phenomena.
Many people believe that when cats get the zoomies, they’re practicing hunting practices long rendered obsolete by domestication. The fact that this evolutionary throwback behavior happens at the most inconvenient, late-night hour is simple: cats are nocturnal creatures.
There is merit to this theory; cats still exhibit many of the hunting and escape techniques of their ancestors. However, it’s very likely that your modern, spoiled house cat terrorizes your sleeping patterns because he’s simply bored. While you’re away at work, your cat probably sleeps all day. By the time you’re home, he begins his day, then as you settle down to sleep, he’s ready to interact.
To get some sleep at night, provide him with plenty of stimulation while you’re away. Toys, treat puzzles, Whirly Birds, interactive DVDs, bird feeders, even another pet can help keep kitty stimulated (and awake!) during your workday. Continue playtime and feed kitty when you arrive home from work, then spend about 20 minutes playing with him right before bedtime. This will help to run out some of his energy and move his sleep cycle to sync up with yours.
Dog zoomies look just a small bit different from cat zoomies. Dogs are generally happy to leave you out of their extracurricular cardio escapades. They bounce from the couch to the chair to the floor and — post bath — roll around on every available surface. Dogs can experience random bursts of energy at any point if they’re bored or unstimulated, but you’ve probably noticed she does this after every bath — or even after a dip in the local creek. Primarily, this is a calming measure. Baths can be stressful for dogs, and shaking, running, and rolling can help her relieve some of the anxiety incurred during bath time.
Once your dog has zoomied enough to get over the bath, he may just keep on zoomy-ing. Wish we had a better explanation for this, but it’s likely simply because it’s fun! If you could leap ten feet from the couch to the dining room table, you probably would, too!
Another part of the reason why dogs zoomie post-bath is because — to them — they smell horrible. Dogs have an incredibly well-developed sense of smell, and what smells lovely to us smells overwhelming to them. They roll around on their smelly dog beds, blankets, even the floor or ground trying to roll off the “stink” of the bath and smell like a normal dog again.
Zoomies are a part of life when you have pets. Mostly, just keeping your pets exercised, stimulated, and engaged will helpminimize the interruption of the zoomies. Keeping them busy throughout the day ensures they’re good and tired when you’re tired, so you can get some pounce-free sleep.
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