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Why is my dog shaking? Reasons & how to cure

Why is my dog shaking? Reasons & how to cure

November 24, 2022

Dog Shivering can be because of Toxins, Nausea, Infections, any Disorders, or even stress. Read more about why dogs shiver and what should you do if your dog is shaking

Your dog may not speak the same tongue as you but their behavior is a big talker! So much communication and non-verbal exchange lie in the way your pet’s body reacts to things and situations. As pet parents, we’re left trying to decipher what these movements – head tilts, tails wags, droopy faces, zoomies – actually mean! 

There’s one physical cue that every pet parent witnesses, which leads them to ask this question: Why is my dog shivering? What should I do if my dog is shaking? Is dog shivering even normal?  

For starters, know that dog shivering or dog shaking is quite common. It happens to many canines due to a variety of reasons that are largely explicable. 


What are the symptoms of a dog shivering? What does it look like?

Dog shivering is quite easily identifiable. It resembles muscle tremors or physical vibrations that will become apparent in your pet’s movements. Depending on the situation, a shaking dog may also show other signs like fearful eyes, vomiting, loss of appetite, and a burst of energy (or the lack of it). You’ll understand each symptom better once we discuss situations that show where and why dogs shiver ahead in the blog!  


My dog is shivering: What should I do?

The very first thing to do if you see your dog shivering or shaking is to pause and think back on any recent changes in their life or any unusual situations they were in before the tremors began. A dog doesn’t act without reason – and you’ll find that there’s always an underlying reason for any behavioral changes your pet shows. 


Here are 8 reasons why your dog may be trembling:

  1. Stress

Just as stress/anxiety shows up physically in humans, so does in dogs. Stress often manifests by way of body shivering in dogs and could be caused by certain stimuli in their environment. Fear, for instance. Your floof may be frightened of larger animals in the vicinity or be affected by separation anxiety. Try to eliminate the stimuli causing fear to calm your pet down. 

Believe it or not, your dog may also be stressed because you are stressed! Dogs are empathetic beings and can sense when someone they love is anxious. A stress-free you is a stress-free pet!  


  1. Excitement

You may have seen your dog charge up with excitement at the sight of you coming home after a long day of absence. The tail will wag a mile a minute, the zoomies will take over, and the woofs of love just won’t stop. Yup, that’s just your dog showing happiness! 

Often, shivering of the body can also show up in situations where your dog is bursting with joy or eagerness about something – such as when exploring new territories or socializing with humans they love –  and this is no cause for worry! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for ways to keep your pet busy when they’re home alone till you return, here are 6 useful tips!  


  1. Nausea

Being nauseous is not the most comfortable state to be in. Even dogs suffer from this condition – on account of being anxious or facing internal upset – and it’s not really a pleasant experience. Nausea may even result in your dog shivering and not eating, while showing symptoms like sickness, vomiting, restlessness, etc. Gastroenteritis is a leading cause of doggie nausea too, as are infections and issues like kidney or liver failure. Consult a vet immediately if the symptoms, along with tremors in the body, appear serious.  


  1. Weather

A simple explanation for a trembling canine could be a change in the weather. The weather affects everyone’s general well-being – including dogs’. A dip in the temperature and a nip in the air outside gets us all shivering. There’s no cause for alarm here! Just make sure your pooch is well-loaded with the number of winter essentials they need to keep warm. With the variety of dog couture options available today, you can invest in some cute booties or winter jackets for your pet to keep them safe and cozy in the cold. (Snuggles help too! ❤️) 


  1. Infections 

Tremors in your pet’s body could be caused by health troubles stemming from canine infections. Dogs are often affected by ear infections, with breeds like golden retrievers and cocker spaniels more prone to the condition. It could also be a stomach bug or a case of food poisoning, or overeating/undereating. A vet consultation in any of the above-mentioned situations is recommended to determine the further course of action! 

To prevent infections of the ear, always make sure to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry them off well to prevent viruses from taking root. And with food, need we tell you what’s best? :) Food that’s fresh and pawfectly made from real ingredients will always keep your floof healthy: shop now!   


  1. Disorders

Disorders and chronic health issues affect dogs and often inflict pain on them – and seeing our furbabies in discomfort is no fun! Canine distemper is another common cause of shivering in dogs and typically occurs if the pet hasn’t received the necessary vaccinations they should get starting 6 weeks of age – refer to our guide on vaccination schedules for puppies! Distemper, a highly infectious viral disease, can show up as seizures or issues like pneumonia in dogs and make living difficult for your furbaby. Since no cure exists for distemper, it is absolutely imperative that you get your dog’s vaccinations done when they’re a puppy. 

Conditions like shaker syndrome also cause generalized tremors in dogs. It occurs due to changes in the brain – and no explanation exists as to why! Steroid treatments can cure the syndrome within a few days. A vet will be able to assist you during the procedure. 


  1. Toxins

Though our forever-hungry furballs will eat whatever they find, certain foods are off-limits for dogs. Chocolate, for instance, is a well-known toxin for canines. This sweet treat contains xylitol and caffeine, which are highly dangerous if consumed by dogs. A little bit of chocolate may not have a significant effect but if your dog eats a considerable amount, it could show up as tremors or induce vomiting/sickness in the pet. Onions, garlic, and grapes are some other foods dogs should never eat – here’s a list!  


  1. Old age

It is heartbreaking to witness, but old age in dogs is inevitable. Seeing our companions grapple with the complications of ascending years is not easy. Afflictions like arthritis begin affecting senior dogs, with issues like joint pain or loss of muscle mass resulting in trembling, shivering, or weakness – especially in the hind legs while walking or making other movements. While we cannot stop natural processes, the best we can do is try to make aging a comfortable process for our pets, as much as possible. Consult a vet to see how best you can assist your senior pet, and remember to spend loads of time with your furry companion! 💕

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