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Why Does My Dog Shake? Top Common Causes for Shivering, Trembling, and Seizuring

What you will know after reading this post:

  • Dogs can shake for a variety of causes, which can be categorized into two primary groups: behavior and medical.
  • Dog shivering and trembling might be signs of a dangerous condition, such as poisoning, kidney failure, an accident, etc.
  • If your dog begins to shake or shiver out of the blue, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for additional signs, then get in touch with your vet immediately.

5 Behavioral Reasons Why Is My Dog Shaking

Dogs may shake when they are experiencing strong emotions or are affected by external influence. This could be the result of a good sensation, like joy, or a bad one, like panic. A sudden hormone release can have a significant influence on their body in both of these scenarios, causing them to tremble. 

Here are 5 common factors that might answer the question “Why do dogs shake?”

Shaking Off the Water

After taking a bath, splashing in a puddle, or swimming in a river, it is obvious that dogs can let their coat dry naturally. Then why is my dog shivering and trembling?

my dog is shaking off water
Why do dogs shiver after taking a shower?

The negative of a dog’s hair is that it is excellent at holding onto water, which makes it difficult for them to stay warm. It uses 5,000 times less energy to shake the water off than it does to dry it using body heat. It can be seen as a remarkable improvement in energy efficiency. 

Dogs are so good at shaking that they can remove 70% of the water from their fur in four seconds, which makes our furry friends feel much better.

Shaking in Reaction to The Surroundings

All living species have developed physical and behavioral traits over millions of years of development, and dogs are no exception. A dog may occasionally shake for evolutionary reasons, such as to dry off after bathing or to maintain body heat. Maybe you won’t have to ask “why is my dog trembling” after reading this information.

Feeling Cold 

Dogs shake in cold weather uncontrollably to help themselves warm up. Shaking causes your dog’s muscles to alternately contract and relax, which helps them produce heat and raise their body temperature. 

Smaller dogs, or the pet with thinner coats and slim body are more likely to shake when feeling cold. If you find your dog shaking when going for a walk, make sure to find a cozy place for them to warm up at home, or consider getting them a dog coat or booties to help them keep hold of their body warmth.

Happily Shaking with Excitement

When they are aroused or when they anticipate something exciting, many dogs may tremble happily. Dog shaking action can happen when you play with a dog, when they see something interesting while out on a walk, or when they welcome you at the door after you have left. 

Younger dogs are more likely to exhibit shaking with excitement, which is a typical physical response to an intensely happy experience. There is no need to be concerned if your dog sometimes shakes with enthusiasm; the shaking should stop once they are quiet once more. 

When the puppies are thus eager, keeping things a bit more laid-back can help them calm down and should lessen their trembling.

Stress, Fear, or Worry

Adrenaline rushes to assist your dog’s body get ready to protect itself or flee from danger when they don’t feel comfortable. Their muscles get poised for action as adrenaline rushes their system, frequently causing them to shiver or shudder. This kind of response is frequently brought on by thunderstorms, pyrotechnics, and visits to the veterinarian. 

your dog shakes with excitement
Your puppy might shake sometimes because of stress.

Other symptoms of stress or anxiety in dogs include panting, whining, floppy ears, or hiding. Even while this particular shaking is nothing to be concerned about, you may make your dog happier by removing the stressor or by supporting them in managing their stress levels.

Consider consulting a behaviorist or asking your veterinarian about anxiety meds if your dog is stressed out by routine activities.

9 Medical Reasons Why Is My Dog Shivering and Trembling

Dog shivering and dog trembling actions might be caused by some typical medical problems. Take time to read through these 9 health reasons below.

Shaking Because of the Old Age

Some dogs get tremors in their rear legs as they age. The front legs may occasionally experience tremors as well. Typically, these tremors have little impact on how your dog moves or strolls.

It’s simple to believe that signs like shaky legs in your dog are the result of him “simply getting older.”

Shaker Condition

Any dog can have shaker syndrome, and tiny dogs are most frequently affected. Because many instances affect little, white-furred dogs like the Maltese, poodle, and Maltipoo breeds, it is frequently called “little white shaker syndrome.”

The nerve system of dogs is impacted by this inherited condition. Although there is no known cause for this condition, it can be treated with medicine once it has been identified.

When Dogs Feel Not Good

a dog shakes when feeling not good
Being sick can be the reason why your dog is shaking.

Like humans, dogs experience trembling or shaking when they are ill, especially if they anticipate becoming ill. They may be licking their lips, dribbling, or frequently swallowing as symptoms of nausea. Typically, this occurs when a dog has consumed too much food, is motion ill, has consumed poison, or has some other medical condition.

When Dogs Feel Painful

Dogs are typically quite skilled at masking their suffering, so they might not express their anguish to you. Shivering or shaking is one of the typical indications that your dog may be in pain. Other indications can be:

  • Rounded ears;
  • being depressed or irritable;
  • licking or scratching at the sore spot;
  • Limping;
  • Stiffness;
  • Being deprived of food.

Contact your veterinarian if you believe your dog is in pain so you can determine the cause of the discomfort and determine if it is a chronic ailment or an acute accident.

When Dogs Have Distemper

A virus that affects several bodily organs is the cause of distemper. Puppies and young dogs are more susceptible, especially those who have not had all of their vaccinations. Affected dogs with distemper may shiver or tremble. Other indications can be:

  • A blocked nose;
  • A high degree;
  • Coughing;
  • Tiredness;
  • Sickness;
  • No desire to eat.

If you suspect your dog may have distemper, you should call your veterinarian right once. Fortunately, due to the introduction of the distemper vaccine, the illness is now quite uncommon. To keep this terrible disease uncommon, it is crucial that dogs continue to receive their vaccinations.

When Dogs Being Poisoned

dogs tremble when being posioned
Their poisoned food can cause dogs to shake.

The symptoms of various poisons can vary, but some can make your dog shiver, tremble, or twitch. The following are some of the more typical toxins that can have these effects:

  • Metaldehyde-laced chocolate slug bait Cannabis;
  • A few rotten foods;
  • Nicotine patches or cigarette butts;
  • Macadamia nuts xylitol;
  • Caffeine.

Many of the above-mentioned toxins can be quite hazardous. You should take your dog to the veterinarian right away if you think that it may have been poisoned with any of these items.

When Dogs Have Epilepsy

The most prevalent neurological condition affecting dogs is epilepsy, which affects about one in 130 dogs in the UK. 

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that frequently needs long-term treatment and produces frequent seizures. Effects might range from head shaking, restlessness, or periodic blinking to stiffness, jerking, collapsing, and loss of consciousness, depending on the kind and severity of epilepsy.

When Dogs Have Head Trembling

Your dog’s head shaking can indicate an ear issue if it happens frequently. They could have an injury, ear mites, an ear infection, or there may be anything inside their ear, like grass seed. Dogs frequently develop ear infections, especially those with long ears.

When Dogs Have Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Although this syndrome was initially identified in white puppies, any dog, regardless of breed, size, or color, can develop this illness. 

It is unknown what causes Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS), also known as steroid-responsive tremor or shaker syndrome, although it is thought to have autoimmune roots. Symptoms often emerge between the ages of 9 months and 2 years and can be localized to one area of the body or generalized.

Other Causes of Dog Shivering and Trembling

Dog shaking may also have other, less frequent medical reasons, such as:

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia: a disorder brought on by improper development of the portion of the brain that regulates coordination. Leg tremors, frequent falling over, and head bobbing are typical symptoms.
  • Hypomyelination: often known as shaking puppy syndrome, is a neurological disorder that affects puppies. Shaking, balance issues, and walking issues are warning signs that can start to emerge around two weeks of age.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Brain inflammation disorders.
  • Addison’s illness.
  • Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
  • Low amounts of calcium, or hypocalcemia.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Shaking?

Consider the total circumstances before determining why your dog is trembling. You should visit a vet right away if you think your pet may have had access to potentially hazardous chemicals. If not, begin by acclimating your pet and getting rid of any stresses.

New people or animals, an unfamiliar atmosphere, loud noises like fireworks, or odd things might all be potential stresses. It’s time to visit the vet if trying to calm your dog down with a blanket and removing potential stressors from their environment doesn’t help.

How to Prevent Shaking in Dogs

Depending on the reason for your dog’s shaking, preventive measures. You are doing everything you can to stop your dog from shaking by making sure they are warm, its shots are current, they are a healthy weight, and they are kept away from any possibly harmful chemicals.

how to get rid of shaking in dogs
How to help your dog stop and remove shaking? That is dog vaccinations

If your dog shakes for a lengthy period or when paired with other worrying symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately since shaking can indicate a serious medical issue.

Should I See The Vet When My Dog is Shaking

If your dog is acting oddly or you are worried about its health, you should always call your veterinarian. Contact your veterinarian right once if your dog is exhibiting further symptoms, is shaking a lot, or has been shaking for some time.


In general, should I be worried if my dog is shaking? The answer is it might depend on the specific reason.

The majority of the time, a dog’s shivering is just an indication of nervousness or fright. However, it could also point to more serious health problems. The most frequent causes of dog shaking may be avoided by keeping your dog warm, dry, content, immunized, and out of harm’s way from toxins.

Always consult your veterinarian if you’re unclear about the cause of your dog’s trembling, especially if you’re worried about them, the trembling is recent, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms.

Camp Canine Florida
Camp Canine Florida
We are special people who love pets, especially dogs. Over the past 3 years, we have accumulated a lot of experience in how to care for and train dogs. Now, what we're doing is building an in-depth blog to share knowledge that will help you get to know your dogs better, making you and your dog best friends.

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