Has your dog ever gotten the zoomies after the dreaded bath time? While they’re spreading water everywhere, you may wonder, “why do dogs go crazy after a bath?”
The post-shower doggy frenzy is expected behavior in most dogs, but why do dogs go crazy after a bath? Your dog’s pure joy after baths is as endearing as it can get unless they aren’t dry and make a wet mess everywhere. But let’s take a look at why so many dogs get the zoomies after bathtime.
Why Do Dogs Go Wild After a Bath?
There isn’t a scientific reason for dogs going crazy after a bath, but from observation, they’re just relieved it’s all over. Baths are therapeutic for humans but stressful for most dogs who dread showers. The rolling around and shaking are your dog’s way of drying themselves like you’d have reached for a towel. In fact, although dogs shake to dry themselves off, some experts believe that animals shake after a stressful event to regulate their nervous system.
Here are a few more reasons your dog goes temporarily crazy after baths.
Your dog is happy the bath is over
If your dog goes pleasantly insane after baths, one reason is they’re happy shower time is up. Some call these sudden bursts of energy in dogs “zoomies”, “rips”, or the more scientific name, “FRAPS” (frantic random activity periods). Racing around, rolling, and hyperactivity characterize these unmistakable episodes.
You can make your dog’s baths more fragrant and long-lasting by topping up with the PawSafe Dog Cologne. This product detangles the fur and leaves it smelling fresh without repeated washing. That way, your dog doesn’t have to repeatedly undergo stressful cleaning sessions but still smells good between baths.
If your dog gets truly stressed during baths, distract them with quality treats or a small amount of peanut butter. This helps dogs anxious about baths realize that they can be pleasant experiences. However, even if your dog doesn’t get nervous and tolerates baths well, they’ll may still be ecstatic when shower time ends.
They’re trying to get rid of that weird smell (shampoo)
When dogs rub on the floor and carpet, it’s an attempt to get rid of the unfamiliar smell of the cleaning products. With over 300 million olfactory receptors, some after-shower smells can be overwhelming and unnatural for your dog. Your dog’s hyperactivity may be a result of them trying to get their old smell back. This is also linked to their instinct to roll in stinky things.
Dog owners delight in how fresh their dogs smell after showers, but we can’t say the same about their dogs. Using gentle shampoos as opposed to harsh ones goes a long way in reducing your dog’s olfactory repulsion towards their scent after showers. Also, ensure you use dog shampoos because human shampoos aren’t specific to dogs’ skin PH, making them too harsh.
A dog’s coat releases sebum which is partly responsible for the distinct scent your dog tries to restore. Overbathing your dog with low-quality shampoos strips your dog’s skin of its natural oils, drying them up. Therefore, learning how to get rid of dog smell without a bath is essential.
Post-shower zoomies help them dry off
Being caught off-guard by a shaking wet dog is nothing new to canine parents. A good shake eliminates most of the excess moisture on the dog’s coat. Running about and rolling is also a great way to dry the coat.
But shaking off doesn’t dry your fur baby completely. It’s best to invest in a high-velocity dog dryer for maximum drying benefits. This dryer blows off warm air that isn’t as hot as a regular dryer’s and at a higher pressure. Many pups dread blow dryers and their sound, but they eventually get the hang of it.
Oddly enough, most pet parents don’t report their doggos getting the zoomies after a swim, after a much-need drying shake. The best explanation is dogs that love to swim don’t feel constrained when performing the activity. On the contrary, they get zoomies along with the water-eliminating shakes after baths because it’s a taste of freedom when the shower ends.
Your dog may also be restless after showers because they have water in the ears. Take care when bathing to keep water from running into the ear canal. If you notice your dog burying their head under towels and shaking their head, help them dry the ears. Don’t forget to check the paw pads because moisture remains in these areas too.
Dogs are releasing pent-up nervous energy and feel refreshed
As we mentioned, bath times aren’t the most joyful times for dogs. Even if your dog is a big water lover, they usually still despise bath times, despite water being the common denominator. Our dogs sit through the ordeal entirely due to their trust in us. The result is plenty of bottled-up energy from when they had to sit still and wet.
Most dogs get hyper after baths because they’re relieved the session is over, while the anxious ones get to release pent-up nervous energy. Try to make baths as stress-free as possible, especially if your dog doesn’t take the sessions very well. You can do this by smearing a little peanut butter on the wall during baths as a distraction for your canine companion.
Another point is that if it is hot and humid, having a wet coat may feel refreshing. This can inspire a bout of the zoomies simply because your dog is happy to feel cooled down.
Releasing nervous energy can be followed closely by rolling in the dirt, effectively countering all your cleaning efforts. You may want to know why dogs roll in stinky stuff before raising a brow at your dog. For most pups, moving in stench material, also known as scent rolling, is an instinctual behavior, so they can’t help themselves.
They are happy to have some quality time with you
Some dogs are nothing short of attention-seeking divas — in the best way possible — and post-bath crazies are one of their tactics. You focus all your attention on your pet during wash days for them to run smoothly, and some dogs live for this kind of undivided attention.
The running and rolling after showers can express the elation your dog feels from spending quality time with their human. Post-shower zoomies don’t always show release of nervousness; they may also tell your dog’s joy. Your attention-loving dog can bring the circus right to your home with zoomies to keep you focused on them even after the bath.
Try tiring your dog out before baths to reduce how hectic grooming your dog can get. Taking your dog out for a brisk walk or even a run, if possible, will likely keep them calmer than usual. They’ll have already burned some energy they’d have used to make bath times a task while outside.
Dogs need to stay clean, and after-bath dog insanity is a thing in most dogs. Your dog may be relieved the whole wet ordeal is finally over. Additionally, they may be trying to shake the excess moisture off or release pent-up energy during the bath in this time of hyperactivity.
Most dogs do well with monthly showers to avoid overbathing your dog, which could strip the coat’s sebum. Shampoos can overwhelm your dog’s sense of smell, causing them to roll around your house. This is in an effort to restore their old scent by eliminating the new weird cleaning product smell on the fur.
Physical activity like taking your dog for a brisk walk isn’t a foolproof way of keeping them calm during and after baths, but it sure does help. A tired dog is likely to stay put during and after showers, saving you lots of time, especially when you have tons of work to do.
Tamsin De La HarpeAuthor
Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.
Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.