Why does my dog shake?

May 23, 2022 | 0 comments

Why does my dog shake

Dogs may shake, shiver, or tremble when they’re old, cold or in pain, afraid or sick, or simply due to the need to dry up after splashing in a pool. Dogs shake for various reasons, but why is your dog shaking? Should you be concerned, and what can you do?

Why does my dog shake?

Dogs shake for many different reasons, and they can be classified into three categories:

  • Behavioral (they’re afraid, anxious, or exuberant)
  • In response to their surroundings (they’re cold or wet)
  • Medical: they’re suffering, or they’re like they’re sick, or it could be an indication of a health issue like epilepsy or generalized tremor syndrome. weak muscles, ear issues, or poisoning

Suppose you’re not sure what’s causing your dog’s shaking. You must consult with your veterinarian, particularly when you’re worried about shaking, if the vibration is sudden or severe, or has other symptoms. Keeping your dog warm, calm, dry, up-to-date on vaccinations, and away from poisons could help avoid the most common causes that your dog shakes.

Behavioral reasons why dogs shake

Sometimes, dogs shake because they feel a strong emotion. It could be due to a positive feeling, such as excitement, or even a negative one, fear. In both cases, an abrupt release of hormones could cause an impact on the body, causing it to shake.


Dogs tend to shake when they’re enthusiastic or realize that there will be something exciting. You might have seen your dog shake when they play with you and when they notice something thrilling on their walks, or when they meet you at the door after having been out. The shaking that occurs when they are excited is typically observed in younger dogs as a typical response to an overwhelming sense of joy. There’s nothing to worry about if your dog shakes out of excitement, and the shaking should cease when they’re calm. Making sure that they are comfortable when they’re exuberant will allow them to calm down and aid in easing the shaking.

Stress, fear, or anxiety

If your dog doesn’t feel secure, adrenaline surges aid in preparing its body to defend itself or escape danger. As adrenaline flows throughout bodies, it makes their muscles prepared for action and frequently causes the dog to shake or shake. The effects of fireworks, thunderstorms, and visits to the veterinarian are all common reasons behind this kind of reaction. Other indications that your pet is anxious or stressed are panting, whimpering, closing their ears, or hiding. While this kind of shaking isn’t something to be worried about, there are ways to make your dog happier by eliminating the source of stress or helping them manage its stress levels. Should your dog be worried over frequent or regular events, you might consider calling an expert in behavior or talking to your vet regarding anti-anxiety medication.

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Shaking to respond to their surroundings

The evolution of millions of years has provided all living creatures with physical and behavioral responses that aid in their survival and thriving. Dogs aren’t any different. Sometimes, dogs may be shaking because of an evolutionary cause like shaking to get rid of their mud or shivering to keep warm.

Shaking off water

After an exercise, splash in a puddle or swim in a river, your pet will typically shake dry. But why don’t they let their coats dry naturally? A dog’s fur is adept at capturing warmth for warmth. However, one disadvantage is that it’s also efficient at holding on to water. Shaking off the water is a much more efficient method of drying. It consumes 5,000% less energy than drying it off using their body heat. Dogs are so efficient in shaking that they can shake off about 70% of the water on their fur in just four seconds, often soaking by family and friends.


Like us, Dogs shiver when they are cold. The shivering they experience is an involuntary reaction to aid in warming up. When your dog shakes, its muscles go through a cycle of tightening and relaxing, helping to create heat and increase the body temperature. Smaller dogs, those with shorter coats, and those with smaller bodies may most likely shake during cold weather since they lose heat faster. If your dog is shaking while out on walks, make sure you get home and find an area with a cozy temperature to stay warm. Suppose the dog you have is susceptible to freezing. In that case, you should consider buying a jacket or booties to help retain the warmth of your body.

Medical conditions that can trigger shaking

While the reason for shaking in your dog is usually normal and non-threatening shaking and muscle tremors, they may be an indication of medical issues, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Distemper
  • Pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Ear problems
  • poisoning

If you’re worried about your dog’s health, or behavior, you must always talk with your veterinarian.


Like humans, dogs are prone to shake or shake or shiver when they’re feeling unwell, particularly when they feel like they’re about to get sick. It usually occurs when they’ve had a large amount of food or are suffering from motion sickness, eaten something toxic, or have other medical conditions. Some signs that they could feel nauseated are frequently salivating, drinking, or dribbling.

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The cause of the disease is an infection that targets organs of the body. Young dogs and puppies, especially those who aren’t fully vaccinated, are at greater risk. It is common for animals affected to shake or exhibit shakes or tremors. Other symptoms include:

  • A runny nose
  • High temperature
  • Coughing
  • Tiredness
  • Sickness
  • There is no desire to eat

It is a fatal disease, and you should consult your veterinarian right away if you believe your dog could be affected. Thanks to the distemper vaccination, it is now a rare illness. Dogs need to receive vaccinations to make this horrible disease from occurring.


Different poisons can have other effects. However, certain toxins can cause your dog to shake, shake or even twitch. The most common poisons that trigger these reactions include:

  • Chocolate
  • Slug baits that have metaldehyde
  • Cannabis
  • Some food items that contain mold
  • Nicotine butts, cigarettes, or patches
  • A xylitol
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Caffeine

The poisons listed above could be highly hazardous. If you suspect your dog was poisoned by one of these poisons, immediately bring your pet to the vet.


They are very adept at hiding their pain. They might not be able to tell you when they’re suffering. One of the signs that your dog could be suffering is shivering or shaking. Other signs include:

  • Ears that are flattened
  • Seeming down or grumpy
  • Scratching or licking the area of the body that is hurting
  • Limping
  • Stiffness
  • Food poisoning

If you suspect that your dog may be in discomfort, call your veterinarian to determine why. Your dog is hurting and whether it is an acute or a long-term condition injury.


Epilepsy is among the most prevalent dog-related neurological disorder. It is found in around one out of 130 canines in the UK. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that triggers frequent seizures and is often long-term treatment. The effects can vary based on the severity and type of epilepsy. They can range from head shakes and restlessness, or a rhythmic blinking, stiffness, collapse, jerking, and loss of consciousness.

Muscle fatigue, weakness, and the effects of

If your dog’s shaking in one spot, particularly in their legs, this could indicate fatigue or muscle weakness. If your dog has gone on a long walk and run, it might be because they’re not used to the amount of activity, and allowing them to rest will aid. Should your dog’s feet often shake, your veterinarian might be able to advise you on ways to improve the strength of the legs of your pet? The tendency to shake your legs is common in older dogs. It could be an indication of muscle weakness. However, it could also indicate the dog may be suffering from pain or suffering from joint pain or arthritis.

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Head shaking

Ear infections are commonplace in dogs, especially those with long ears. If your dog keeps moving their heads, that could indicate an ear issue. It could mean they’ve suffered an injury or something in the ear (such as grass seeds) or ear mites, or it could be an ear problem.

Find out more about ear infections.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

The reason for GTS, which is also known as shaker syndrome, isn’t well understood but is thought to be an autoimmune condition in its origin. This disorder was first observed in small white dogs. Still, it is possible to occur in any dog, regardless of size, breed, or color. The signs typically appear between 9 months and two years old and could be specific to one body area or appear across the entire body.

Shaking puppies

If your puppy is shaking, it is best to consult your veterinarian to seek guidance. There are a variety of reasons that could cause puppies to be shocked, such as:

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a disorder caused by the brain area responsible for coordination that isn’t developing correctly. The most common symptoms are tremors in the legs of patients, falling frequently, and head bobbing
  • Hypomyelination, often referred to as shake puppy syndrome is caused by problems with the nerves of the puppy. It can manifest as early as two weeks old and include shaking, difficulty balancing, and walking.

Other causes of trembling and shaking in dogs

Other less well-known reasons for shaking in the medical field be:

  • Kidney failure
  • Brain inflammation
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Hypoglycemia, also known as lower blood sugar levels
  • Hypocalcaemia Low calcium levels

The dog I have is shaking; when should I visit my vet?

There are a variety of reasons dogs shake. It could be a natural reaction to their feelings and keeping their bodies dry or warm or because they are sick. Other more serious issues could trigger your pet to shake. It is essential to consult your veterinarian if your dog’s behavior is in a bizarre manner or if you’re concerned about their condition. If your dog has other symptoms, is often shaking, or has been shaking for a long time, it is best to consult your veterinarian immediately.

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