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One moment a pup is peacefully eating kibble, and the next it’s running around the house like there’s a fire burning under its tail. These episodes of “zoomies” last for up to several minutes, but they can feel much longer when a dog bulldozes through a crowded home.

So, why do dogs, cats and other pets dash around for no apparent reason?

“They’re just having fun,” said José Arce, president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association. These bursts of energy, technically called frenetic random activity periods (FRAPs), are natural and seen in many domesticated and wild animal species.