Why is My Dog Shaking? 10 Reasons Dogs Shake Shiver Tremble

Why is my dog shaking? Featured

Before I start, it is important to note that if your dog ingested something that it shouldn’t have and is shaking along with vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsing after ingesting this substance, please call Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435 or your local veterinarian to get medical advice and help immediately.

It’s not that so why is my dog shaking? If you don’t believe that is why your dog is shaking and your dog’s shaking isn’t due to it being wet and trying to dry off, there may be many other reasons your dog is shaking.

It is hard to say why your dog is shaking without knowing more about your dog.

Let’s go over most of the common reasons dogs shake and see if any of these reasons match your dog so you can try and get a better understanding of what might be going on with your dog shaking.

Why is my dog shaking?

There are many different reasons that your dog may be shaking. Factors that can contribute to shaking include poisons, illness, injuries, temperature, age, and others.

Your dog may be sick, cold, afraid, anxious, or even excited. The reason depends on the situation and the dog.

Some factors to consider when your dog is shaking are your dog’s environment, physical and psychological health, access to toxins, and history of shaking.

Does your dog have a history of shaking? Is this the first time you’ve noticed your dog shaking? Has your dog had access to any toxic chemicals that it could have ingested, such as toxic plants or chocolate? Is it storming outside?

These are some of the questions that may be able to give you a better idea as to why your dog is shaking. It is important to look for signs related to a serious issue that could affect your dog’s health.

Let’s look at the possible reasons your dog could be shaking. I would like to point out that these reasons are in no particular order.

10 Possible Reasons Your Dog is Shaking

These are some of the more common reasons that cause dog shaking. It is important to note any other symptoms your dog may have when determining why your dog might be shaking.

1. Just Because

Some dogs shake for no reason at all. It’s known as “Generalized Tremor Syndrome“. Based on medical literature, this is seen more commonly in dogs with a white coat but can affect dogs of any coat color.

You can also see shaking in smaller dogs compared to bigger dogs. Experts haven’t been able to pinpoint why this happens, but have theorized it may be just because small dogs tend to get colder than big dogs.

However, shaking would be something you would usually notice when your dog becomes a part of your family or as your dog gets older.

I have a dog that shakes a lot. He is about 7 years old and he has always been a shaker. He is a smaller, white dog. He has been cleared of any disease by the vets and doesn’t show any signs to be concerned about.

He just shakes, so I understand that sometimes a dog just shakes for no reason because I have one of those dogs.

2. Your Dog is Cold

Just like we shake when we get cold or chilly, dogs will do the same. If it is cold outside and you take your dog for a walk, it won’t be uncommon to see your dog shake due to the cold weather.

Even inside the house, your dog can shake if the temperature is cold enough. Short hair dogs will be more sensitive to cold weather in comparison to long hair dogs.

Older dogs and dogs with existing health problems are also more likely to get colder than younger, healthier dogs.

3. Learned Behavior

Dog shaking can be a learned behavior. If your dog associates its shaking with something positive like attention or a treat, it may shake to get that again.

Some dogs just learn that shaking can get them something they want. So just pay attention if your dog is shaking right before you do something for them such as giving them a treat or attention.

4. Anxiety & Stress

Some dogs have anxiety and stress issues. I have one of these dogs too. My little chihuahua, Lily, is a prime example of a dog with anxiety issues.

She always reacts to anything and everything even when it doesn’t involve her. When kids are around it is the worst. She usually just runs and hides under the bed if there is too much going on. She just can’t handle the noise and the activity, so she finds a safe place to be more comfortable.

I wish I could do something to help her but it is just a part of who she is. I see this behavior a lot in chihuahuas.

5. Fear

Many dogs will shake when they are afraid. If it is storming outside and your dog is shaking, it is likely due to the thunder. My dog shakes all the time anyway, but he shakes, even more, when there is a thunderstorm going on outside.

Other things that may make a dog afraid include punishment time. If they did a mess in the house and are afraid they may get punished because of it, they can tremble due to the fear or anxiety

You may also see this when you take your dog to the vet. If something happened that your dog didn’t like when you took them to the vet, they will remember that and know the next time.

So, they could be afraid because they are associating going to the vet with getting sick or getting a shot or similar.

6. Excitement

Sometimes dogs will shake when they get excited. If you are playing with them and showing them attention, they may get overly excited and sometimes this can cause dogs to shake.

It is nothing to worry about in this case. It just means that your dog is trying to expend all that extra energy by shaking it off.

7. Toxins

If you notice your dog shaking after ingesting something or if you just gave your dog something new that it hasn’t eaten before, your dog could be suffering from poisoning.

It is important to get your dog medical help immediately if you notice your dog is shaking along with other sighs including but not limited to:

  • behavioral changes
  • convulsing
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting.

Shaking with no other noticeable symptoms will likely not be poisoning but if you have ANY doubt, give Animal Poison Control a call at 888-426-4435 or seek medical advice from your vet.

8. Medical Problem

Dog shaking can be a sign of a medical problem or a disease. It could be an injury that is causing muscle or joint weakness. Your dog could also be in some sort of pain that is causing it to shake.

It is important to get your dog checked out by a vet immediately if you suspect your dog may be having a medical issue. Here are some common diseases that could cause a dog to shake.

Kidney Disease

Dog shaking can be a symptom of kidney disease. Kidney disease that is in a progressive stage can start showing symptoms once the damage has already been done and without much warning.

If you notice that your dog seems to be drinking a lot more water than usual and is having to go to the bathroom more, your dog could have chronic kidney disease.

There is no cure for kidney disease, but there are medications that can help give your dog some comfort.

Addison’s Disease

This is a disease that could cause dog shaking. Addison’s disease is caused by a lack of production of adrenal gland hormones, aldosterone, and cortisol.

Adrenal glands are responsible for creating aldosterone and cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid that helps your dog deal with stress while aldosterone helps regulate electrolytes and water in the dog’s body.

If your dog is deficient in these necessary processes in its body, it can cause your dog to shake. If there are other symptoms present, such as your dog isn’t eating or doesn’t have any energy, then your dog should get a checkup from your vet.

This is the best course of action if you suspect your dog may be suffering from Addison’s disease because your vet can run some tests to determine if your dog has the disease.

9. Psychological Problem

Some dogs may shake due to psychological problems. If your dog has strong emotions, this may cause your dog to shake.

If your dog only shakes during certain actions or events such as when you take them for a vet visit or when you have friends over, then your dog could be suffering from some psychological condition and the shaking could be caused by your dog’s emotions.

If you think your dog has a psychological issue, schedule an appointment with your vet for the best course of action.

10. Old Age

Sometimes it just comes down to old age. As dogs get older, they have more of a tendency to shake.

This is just a part of life and it isn’t much you can do if your dog is starting to shake because they are getting older. But let’s discuss why older dogs tend to shake more.

Why is my old dog shaking?

Why is my old dog shaking?

As your dog gets up there in age, it is not uncommon for your dog to start shaking. Many factors can play into this.

  • An older dog can develop arthritis which will weaken joints and cause dog shaking
  • Older dogs can be more prone to pain that can cause dog shaking
  • Other disorders associated with age can cause dog shaking
  • Weakened muscles due to aging can cause dog shaking
  • Degeneration of the nervous system can cause dog shaking

These are just some of the reasons that can cause dog shaking. It is important to point out that you shouldn’t just assume your dog has something.

It is always best to get your dog checked out by your vet if you suspect anything is out of the ordinary and if your dog just starts shaking for no apparent reason.

How do I stop my dog from shaking?

If you believe your dog’s shaking has anything to do with a potential medical issue, it is best to contact your local veterinarian and ask them about the best course of action.

The truth is that there may not be much you can do about your dog shaking. You first have to understand why your dog is shaking to give you a better idea of how to handle the situation.

If your dog has any other symptoms besides shaking, it could be a serious issue. Don’t just assume your dog is shaking just because unless you know your dog has a history of shaking for no apparent reason.

If your dog’s shaking has anything to do with a medical issue, your vet will be able to determine if there is any medication or any treatment that may be available for your dog to help with the shaking.

If your dog is just shaking and no medical issue can be found, it could just mean that your dog is a shaker. I have one and he has no medical issues, but he is a white dog so he is more prone to shaking based on medical studies.

Final Thoughts

I hope the information in this article was able to give you some comfort. I know it can be difficult when your pet is shaking and you aren’t sure why.

I went through it with my pup until I got him checked out and determined there were no medical issues behind his shaking syndrome.

I’ve listed the majority of the common reasons that dogs shake, but no dog is the same. So just be mindful of that.

If you have any doubt, please seek medical attention for your dog to determine what may be causing your dog to shake.

That’s all I have for now. If your dog is shaking and you haven’t figured out why I hope that this article gave you some general ideas of what it could be. Good luck with your pooch. I hope all turns out well.

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