Why Is My Dog Shaking?

Observing your dog shaking or trembling can be a disconcerting experience.

It’s a behavior that can leave pet owners puzzled and even anxious.

Is it excitement, fear, or a sign of something more serious?

Why is my dog shaking?

The reasons can range from fairly innocuous ones like a good old shake-off after a nap, to more complex emotional states, and even potentially significant health concerns.

In this article, we’ll explore the diverse causes behind your dog’s shakes, helping you discern when it’s a simple quirk or a cue to call your vet

Common Reasons Why Dogs Shake

Ever caught yourself wondering, ‘Why does my dog shake?’

You’re not alone.

Dogs shake for a myriad of reasons – some ordinary, others potentially concerning.

In the following lines, we’ll delve into the common reasons behind your furry friend’s shaking, providing insights that could help you better understand and care for your canine companion

Physical Exertion And Excitement

Just as humans can shake or tremble from an adrenaline rush, dogs too can shake out of sheer excitement or physical exertion.

Maybe they’re amped up about their daily walk or a playdate with their canine best friend.

This type of shaking is usually harmless and should cease once they’ve calmed down.

Cold Temperatures And Shaking In Dogs

Another common, yet often overlooked, reason for shaking in dogs is cold temperatures.

Just like humans shiver to increase their body’s metabolic rate and generate heat, dogs do the same.

An important takeaway here is that, despite their fur, dogs can feel cold too, and pet owners need to ensure their pets are adequately protected from low temperatures, especially during winter months.

Fear, Anxiety, And Stress-Related Shaking

Fear or anxiety can also cause shaking in dogs.

Similar to the way people might shake or fidget when they’re nervous, dogs can shake when they’re scared or anxious.

This can happen during thunderstorms, fireworks, or even a trip to the vet.

If your dog shakes during potentially anxiety-inducing situations, consider ways to calm them down or seek advice from a vet or a dog behaviorist.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause Dog Shaking

The last, and perhaps most concerning reason, is shaking due to underlying medical conditions.

Pain, neurological disorders, or certain diseases like distemper or Addison’s disease can cause your dog to shake.

Notably, these conditions often come with other symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, or changes in behavior.

If your dog’s shaking is accompanied by any of these signs, it’s crucial to consult with a vet immediately.

How to Comfort a Shaking Dog

Techniques For Calming An Anxious Or Stressed Dog

Techniques for calming a shaking dog can be as varied as the reasons behind the shaking.

Gentle petting, soothing words, calming music, and even specially designed products like anxiety wraps or pet diffusers can all help in calming an anxious or scared dog.

These techniques reinforce the fact that a little extra love and care can go a long way in comforting your shaking pet.

Home Remedies For Minor Shaking Causes

Home remedies like providing a warm blanket, drying your dog thoroughly after a bath, or offering a familiar toy can help soothe a dog shaking due to benign causes.

However, it’s vital to keep monitoring your pet closely and seek professional help if the shaking persists or worsens.

The Role Of Proper Nutrition And Exercise

Just as proper nutrition and regular exercise are key to maintaining human health, they are equally important for our pets.

Ensuring your dog gets a balanced diet and sufficient exercise can boost their immune system, strengthen their muscles and bones, and reduce the risk of health conditions that may cause shaking.

Preventing Dog Shaking

The Importance Of Preventative Health Care

The old saying “prevention is better than cure” holds true when it comes to dog health.

Regular vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick control are all crucial aspects of preventative healthcare for dogs.

Moreover, routine health screenings can detect potential health issues before they escalate into serious problems, illustrating the importance of preventative care.

Reducing Stress For Your Dog

The impact of stress on dogs is often underestimated.

A consistent routine, a safe and quiet space, and regular calming techniques can all help minimize your pet’s stress levels.

In this way, you can prevent shaking or trembling that arises from stress or anxiety.

Proper Grooming And Parasite Control

Grooming is more than just maintaining your pet’s appearance.

Regular grooming can prevent skin conditions that may cause your dog discomfort and result in shaking.

Also, proper parasite control is essential in preventing infestations that can lead to serious infections and shaking.

Recognizing Medical Conditions Behind Dog Shaking

General Sickness Or Discomfort

Dog owners are often surprised to learn that persistent shaking can be an indication of general sickness or discomfort.

Consider Barbara’s story: when her once active Labrador started shaking, she initially brushed it off as a response to the chilly weather.

However, when shaking turned into lethargy and loss of appetite, she realized something more serious might be going on.

And she was right; a trip to the vet revealed that her Labrador was suffering from a stomach infection.

By associating shaking with potential illness, Barbara was able to get her pet timely help.

Neurological Issues And Shaking

Neurological issues are a lesser-known yet prevalent cause of dog shaking.

Disturbingly, many owners remain unaware of this fact.

These disorders, ranging from epilepsy to inflammatory brain diseases, interfere with the brain’s normal functioning, causing symptoms like shaking.

This understanding underscores the importance of not ignoring persistent, unexplained shaking in your pet.

Pain-Induced Shaking

How often have we wished our pets could simply tell us when they’re in pain?

Sadly, they can’t, and it’s up to us to pick up on their silent signals.

Persistent shaking can be one such signal.

A dog may shake due to pain from an unseen injury, arthritis, or even internal health issues.

These instances highlight the need for dog owners to be observant and respond swiftly to unexplained shaking.

Old Age And Shaking

Old age in dogs, just like in humans, often comes with its share of health problems.

With age, dogs may experience muscle weakness, joint pain, or cognitive decline, all of which can manifest as shaking.

The takeaway here is that shaking in older dogs should never be dismissed as just a symptom of old age.

Instead, it should be viewed as a potential sign of underlying health issues needing attention.

Defining What Shaking Behavior Is In Dogs

Dog shaking can vary widely in its manifestation, with some dogs displaying a barely noticeable quiver, others experiencing intermittent shudders, and yet others exhibiting full-body tremors.

These variations can be so slight as to be invisible or so extreme that they can’t be ignored.

While the sight of your dog shaking can be alarming, it’s crucial to understand that not all shaking indicates a problem.

Interestingly, shaking in dogs can also be a form of communication, much like a wagging tail or a playful bark.

Therefore, it’s important for dog owners to recognize the different types of shaking and their potential meanings.

Understanding Dog Body Language

Importance Of Dog Body Language

Much like humans, dogs use body language to express their emotions.

A wagging tail, a raised ear, a playful jump, or even a shake can all be part of your dog’s way of communicating with you.

The more you understand their body language, the better you can meet their needs and provide them a safe and comfortable environment.

Something that’s often overlooked, however, is that this form of communication can also provide invaluable insights into your dog’s health.

General Signs Of Stress Or Discomfort In Dogs

Stress in dogs can manifest in a number of ways.

It might appear as excessive panting, frequent yawning, loss of appetite, or unusual aggression.

Changes in their body posture, such as crouching low to the ground, tucking their tail, or even having their hair stand up, are also signs to watch for.

Interestingly, one often overlooked sign of stress is shaking.

If your dog is shaking in a situation that’s different from their norm, it could be a sign of stress or discomfort.

How Shaking Fits Into A Dog’s Body Language

Shaking can be a powerful form of communication in a dog’s body language toolkit.

It can serve as a mechanism for relieving stress, a way of expressing fear, or a signal of discomfort.

Notably, shaking can also be a physical response to certain health conditions, such as neurological issues or pain.

Thus, if your dog’s shaking seems out of the ordinary or persistent, it’s vital to explore its root cause.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

Monitoring Your Dog’s Behavior And Symptoms

Monitoring your dog’s behavior is akin to putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle.

Each behavior, from their eating patterns to their sleep habits, forms a crucial piece of this puzzle.

Keeping an eye on these behaviors and documenting any changes, no matter how minor they seem, can alert you to potential health issues early, allowing for prompt treatment.

Understanding When Shaking Is A Medical Emergency

One important yet often overlooked fact is that shaking, when combined with other symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, or changes in behavior, can indicate a serious health problem.

If shaking is severe or lasts longer than usual, consider it a medical emergency and seek veterinary assistance immediately.

The Importance Of Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Despite their pets appearing perfectly healthy, responsible dog owners understand the importance of regular veterinary check-ups.

These routine visits not only ensure your pet’s well-being but can also catch potential health issues early, making treatment more effective.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs shake.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.