5 min read

Why Do Dogs Go Batshit After Their Bath?

If you've ever given a dog a bath, you know that the minute the bath ends, things get crazy. And wet. Really, really wet.

Flickr/Oleg.

Your dog doesn't simply shake off the water. No, that would be too civilized and boring. Your dog runs around the entire house like a maniac, as if getting out of the bath is the best thing to ever happen to him in the history of all things that have ever happened to him.

But why does he do it? What makes a dog feel the need to go batshit crazy and run all over the house, rubbing himself all over everything?

"While there is no scientific evidence to explain this behavior, there are several thoughts as to why dogs go through what some refer to as Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAPs, also known as the 'zoomies' after bathing," Dr. Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Emergency Hospital, told The Dodo.

"Rolling around, shaking off and bouncing off furniture after an invigorating bath may be a canine instinct to keep his protective fur dry and warm," she added. "He may also find the sensation of being weighed down by water to be unpleasant."

Your dog may also want to get the stink off. And by stink, we mean shampoo.

"With 300 million olfactory sensors in their noses, and 40 times the smelling capability of humans, perhaps dogs are merely reacting - or vigorously trying to evade - the smell of all the scented soap and shampoo you've scrubbed into their fur," Mohammad-Zadeh said.

Flickr/MCA/Mike Allyn

What smells delightful to you my be overwhelming for your dog, according to Laura VanArendonk Baugh, the author of "Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out."

"Just imagine being dipped into a bath that pungent," she wrote in her book. "(Imagine Bath and Body Works times ten. All over your body). Yuck. And that's how your dog probably feels."

Plus, a bath riles them up, both mentally and physically. Seeking out a release is only natural, Dr. Erick Mears, a medical director at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, told The Dodo.

"It's a lot of stimulation," Mears said. "There's the physical stimulation of the water and getting dried off with a towel. Plus there's emotional stimulation. It's positive for some, while others don't enjoy it as much."

For those who do hate it, the zoomies might be a form of stress relief.

"Many dogs are not fond of baths, and they may be burning off built-up adrenaline," Mohammad-Zadeh said.

Flickr/jeffreyw

But for those dogs who do enjoy their time in the tub, post-bath zoomies may be a way of saying, "Woohoo!"

"Some dogs love attention, and when they're getting a bath, it's all about them," Mohammad-Zadeh said. "When it's all over, they may be compelled to let loose their inner excitement in a spontaneous FRAP."

But let's be real - aren't we all sometimes compelled to let loose in a spontaneous FRAP?