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In concept, the idea of zoomies might seem cute to non-dog owners. After all, your little guy is just so excited all he can do is race around! That’s adorable!
Well, as all dog owners know, those zoomies can get old really fast! Especially if they happen right before bedtime.
There are few things more frustrating than trying to get yourself and your puppy ready for bed while he’s refusing to stop running around…
My Mini Poodle Baloo used to have the zoomies pretty much 24/7. The only time he didn’t run around like crazy was when he was in his crate (unsurprisingly).
If you’re looking for ways to help your puppy settle down so you can both get some much-needed shut-eye, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll answer the question: why do puppies get the zoomies before bed?
Why Do Puppies Get the Zoomies Before Bed?
Alright, so let’s first look at why puppies get the zoomies before bed. After that, we’ll go over some options that helps your pupper calm down for bed more easily.
Pent Up Energy
Your puppy spends a lot of time sleeping. If you’re wondering if a puppy can sleep too much, then consider that young puppies (should) spend about 18 to 20 hours asleep every 24-hour cycle.
But that doesn’t mean that puppies don’t have any energy at all. In fact, as puppy parents will know, when they’re not sleeping, puppies tend to be super, super energetic.
And all that energy needs to go somewhere! If your puppy doesn’t get enough of an outlet during the day, then he’ll let it all out before he goes to bed.
Having a clear daily routine can help with this. Make sure to download my free puppy schedule planner to get started.
While having too much built-up energy will result in zoomies, the opposite could be the cause too. This may seem confusing, but when puppies get overtired, they start losing awareness of the world around them. This can result in a big burst of energy.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a puppy that’s overtired and a puppy that’s under stimulated. However, there are ways to know what’s going on.
Here are a few related articles that will help you understand if your puppy is indeed overtired:
- 10 overtired puppy symptoms and what to do about it
- My overtired puppy won’t sleep – what can I do?
- Overtired puppy biting – change your little shark into a loving puppy
He Doesn’t Know How to Calm Down
Calming down may not seem like something you’d have to learn. But learning how to settle down is really important for your puppy!
You can help your puppy learn how to be calm by using positive reinforcement dog training. Whenever your puppy is getting the zoomies, completely ignore that behavior.
But if your puppy is choosing to go lie down quietly somewhere, you should reward that! With practice and consistency, you’ll help your puppy learn how to calm himself down.
Separation anxiety is a really challenging problem to deal with—both for you, and your dog. It’s especially common among young puppies who have just been taken away from their mama and littermates.
Rescue dogs are also more prone to separation anxiety.
So how does this result in the zoomies?
Well, if you’ve ever been anxious yourself, then you have probably experienced that big boost of energy you can get. This is because when you’re stressed, your brain secretes a hormone called cortisol. This is your “fight or flight” hormone, and gives your body the energy it needs to get out of the danger your brain perceives.
The same thing happens to your dog! If your dog experiences separation anxiety, then he’ll have a big build-up of energy and needs to release it somehow.
For more help, here are 9 signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.
How Do You Calm a Hyper Puppy with the Zoomies at Night?
We’ve gone over the reasons why your puppy is getting the zoomies before bed. Now we can get into how to help!
Establish a Daily Routine
Dogs thrive when they have routine. Routines reduce anxiety, because then your dog knows what to expect and when to expect it.
Having a routine will also help you make sure that you’re giving your dog everything he needs during the day.
You may need to experiment a little while you’re finding what works for you and your puppy. But once you find the right schedule for you, you’ll be surprised by how helpful it is!
To help you get started, I’ve created this free puppy schedule planner. Download it now and find the perfect routine for you and your dog.
Crate Train Your Puppy
Many owners avoid crate training because they consider it to be cruel. But the reality is that like your dog’s leash, his crate is a just a tool. It all depends on you—and how you use it.
Crate training a puppy can take a lot of work. But his crate can be a place where he knows he can go to get away and relax by himself. It’s also a good place to put him if he needs a time out to settle down.
If you’re thinking of crate training your puppy, then you’ll want to look into how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.
You should also check out what makes a good crate training schedule for a puppy!
Make Sure He Gets the Right Amount of Exercise
Over exercising and under exercising your puppy can both lead to problems. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your puppy is getting the right amount of exercise for him.
If you’re looking for ways to make sure that your puppy isn’t under stimulated, then check out these 11 tips for a tired, happy dog.
If you plan on walking your puppy once he’s vaccinated, make sure to read up on how long a dog can walk.
Let Him Go Potty Right Before Bedtime
Some dogs get the zoomies because they need to relieve themselves. It’s a good idea to always take your dog for one last trip outside to go potty right before settling down for the night.
Also remember that young puppies won’t be able to hold their bladders all night long. Set your alarms for his bathroom breaks, and stay calm and quiet while you bring him out.
As soon as he’s done, bring him back inside and straight to bed to prevent him from getting excited again.
Related article: Can a 10-week old puppy sleep through the night?
Take His Food and Water Away One Hour Before Bedtime
Related to the last point, you should also take away his food and water about an hour before bed.
While it’s important to make sure your puppy has access to clean water and food during the day, preventing him from filling up before bed will help him settle down easier.
You should also be mindful of the ingredients in your dog’s food. Some ingredients may actually make your dog even more hyper. The AKC has a good guide that will help you determine what you should be looking for in your dog’s food.
If you feed your dog late at night, then feeding him earlier in the evening may help reduce his energy levels before bedtime.
Give Him Something to Chew or Lick
Dogs love having things to chew or lick. That’s because they explore the whole world through their mouths.
If your puppy is having a hard time settling down at night, then giving him something to keep his mouth busy could help. This will distract him from his zoomies.
Chewing and licking has another major benefit. When your dog uses his mouth, his brain produces the hormone serotonin. This hormone encourages feelings of well-being and relaxation. That, of course, will help your puppy settle down faster!
Why Does My Dog Go Crazy When I Lay Down?
If your dog starts getting super hyper as soon as you lay down, then the most likely explanation is that he’s under stimulated.
It’s important to make sure that your dog is getting a healthy amount of exercise during the day. This will help prevent him from getting super hyper and crazy if he sees you lie down.
You should also be mindful of your own response to your dog’s craziness when you lie down. If you pet and talk to your dog while this is happening, that will only encourage the behavior.
This is one example where crate training your dog may also be beneficial.
What Can I Do If My Dog Gets Aggressive When Tired?
Some dogs’ exhaustion goes beyond the zoomies. If your dog is acting aggressive if he gets overtired, then the number one thing is to make sure you and your dog stay safe.
Crate train your dog and make sure that he gets enough sleep during the day and at night to prevent aggression from happening in the first place.
You should also consider speaking to your vet to make sure your dog’s aggression isn’t coming from another medical problem. Reaching out to a local dog trainer can also help you find safe, healthy ways to manage your dog’s aggression problems.
You love your puppy so much—until he starts getting super hyper right before bed. If your puppy just doesn’t seem to be able to control his zoomies at nighttime, then learning about why the zoomies happen will help.
Once you determine why your dog is so hyper at night, you can find the right solutions for you and your puppy.
So give the above tips a try, find what works for you, and you and your puppy can start getting the rest that both of you need!
Don’t forget to download my free puppy schedule planner to find the perfect schedule for you and your pup.