Many dog owners attest that their dogs get the "zoomies" after a bath. What causes these frenetic periods of activity after being bathed remains for the most part a mystery. Spared from the gift of speech, canines cannot reveal what may be exactly going through their minds. However, a dog's behavioral history and accompanying body language may help give some clues.
Whew! Glad That's Over!
While humans may feel relaxed after a soothing, warm bath, some dogs just get stressed out. Whether they fear the water, are not comfortable being touched in certain ways or dread the noisy dryer, a bath can be a far cry from a tranquil event. In such a circumstance, your pampered pooch may simply be glad the bath is over and may be releasing stress and celebrating the event. If your dog feels trapped or restrained during the bath, the moment you let him go will make him appreciative of regaining his freedom, which may provide the exhilaration that send him running.
Feeling wet, being exposed to the odd smell of shampoos and soaps, and sensing the added weight of water on their fur can be unusual sensations for many dogs. That "post-bath berserk syndrome" you may witness could be simply your dog's way of getting dry faster. Shaking off the water, rolling on the ground, rubbing their bodies on things like upholstered furniture, and running so the air moves across their wet bodies are plausibly attempts at getting their fur dry.
Avoidance and Escaping
If your dog is not too eager to be bathed and can't wait for the whole ordeal to be over, what you may perceive as craziness may simply be your dog's way of saying he's done. The cliche goes like this: Your dog knows it's bath time, so the moment he sees you grab the towel and shampoo he is likely already taking cover under the bed. You get him to come out and then proceed as normal. Then, as soon as you open the bathroom door, he runs out so fast that his legs can't keep up. As soon as you move in his direction, he runs the opposite way in fear of another bath.
Not all dogs get stressed from baths. Some dogs, such as those that love water, may get the zoomies after swimming in the pool, jumping in the lake or walking in the rain. In these cases, the dogs just seem to enjoy running and playing when wet. If two wet dogs are put together, very likely a vigorous after-bath party will follow. In these cases, it almost seems as if the mere fact of being wet makes some dogs feel refreshed and positively gleeful.
By Adrienne Farricelli
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog; Sheila Webster Boneham
Vetstreet: Simple Tricks to Make Dog's Bath Time Easier, Faster and Neater
Perfect Puppy Care: Why do Dogs get Excited After a Bath?
About the Author
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.