Why is My Dog Shaking, Shivering, or Trembling

by The Pets Pampering
Why is My Dog Shaking, Shivering, or Trembling

Panic may be your first instinct when you notice your dog shaking. The issue of “why is my dog trembling” is a difficult one to answer because shaking in dogs can range from something that necessitates emergency veterinarian attention to something absolutely benign.

Shivering, shaking, and trembling in our four-legged pals can occur for a variety of causes. While some of the causes are completely unrelated to health, behavioral problems, or overall well-being, others are. So, when is it appropriate to sound the alarm and seek assistance from a veterinarian? Let’s have a look.

Harmless reasons why dogs shiver

Why do dogs tremble, shake, or shiver? There is no single explanation to this topic. In actuality, similar actions might occur for a variety of causes, starting with the most common and typically innocuous ones. Others are more complicated, spanning from tension to terror, and are triggered by excitement or coldness. Let’s look at some of the causes of dog shivers that don’t necessitate a trip to the clinic and how to deal with them.

Being cold

You’re probably aware of how chilly weather can make you shiver, and dogs are no exception. Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans (100 to 102.5°F vs. 98.6°F) and a considerably faster metabolic rate.

When dogs become cold, they must produce more heat in order to keep warm. It causes dogs to shiver, and their bodies produce heat by contracting muscles to elevate their body temperature.

Your dog will be the first to alert you if it is extremely chilly outside. If the dog’s ears are low or flat to the head, look for symptoms of panting and shaking. When your dog trembles on the inside, it’s a sign that they need assistance. Increase the temperature in the room or bring additional blankets to keep your dog warm.

So, what’s the bottom line? Shivering in dogs is common and natural, but if your dog continues to shiver after warming up, there could be another explanation.


Another thing that could cause dog shivers is anxiety. Puppies’ anxiety can show up in a variety of ways, from excessive barking to pacing or destroying furniture. Another indicator of anxiety is shivering, which can occur when your dog is adjusting to a new environment, meeting new people, or dealing with other stressful situations.

If your dog becomes agitated while you aren’t present, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. You can take care of it by hiring a pet sitter, leaving the radio or TV on, or using a pet camera to communicate with your dog remotely.

Fear and Stress

When dogs are terrified or stressed, they may shake, much as they do when they are anxious. It can happen when puppies are left alone in the dark, when they are startled by other dogs or humans, or when thunderstorms cause them to get disoriented. They may also tremble in response to a loud noise or quick movement.

Helping your dog feel confident and safe is the best thing you can do. If your dog is trembling around other dogs, try giving them their favorite treats until another dog comes around to change their negative emotional response. If your dog is terrified of fireworks, take them on a few outings on days when they are going off so they can become accustomed to them, and lavishly treat them for any progress they make in overcoming their anxiety.


It’s just plain old excitement at times. When dogs are really excited about something, their bodies may shake as their bodies try to cope with their emotions. You don’t have to do much to get your dog thrilled; simply come home after a long day at work and watch your dog yelp, hop, and even tremble with delight.

The truth is that a shivering, delighted puppy is no better than a fearful or worried one. Even in the happiest parts of the day, you should encourage your Fido to be more calm. Teach your four-legged friend to relax and reward them for being calm.

Old age

Your dog’s rear legs jerking could be due to his age. While some dogs acquire normal tremors as they age, others develop shivering as well as joint or muscular pain. Although these tremors rarely prevent dogs from moving and running as they formerly did, you never know if they are in pain.

Remember that caring for an older dog is a big job, so make sure you go to the vet on a frequent basis.

Attention-seeking behavior

Shivering and shaking aren’t the only ways dogs try to get people’s attention. Some dogs will bark, growl, or beg for food in order to gain a fraction of your time and attention. However, if your dog is a true drama queen, shivering may be part of their act.

What can you do to stop shaking from being an attention-getting behavior? It’s quite straightforward: ignore them and try not to reinforce their conduct. While it works for the majority of dogs, others require more physical activity and playtime to keep them entertained. If the problem persists, a visit with a certified dog behaviorist is the best course of action.

We’ve just covered all of the common causes of your dog shaking that don’t require a vet visit, but you can always speak with one of our online vets using Petcube Online Vet. It’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to licensed veterinarians who can provide you with timely professional guidance.

Serious concerns behind dog trembling

Alright, but what if your dog continues to shake even after you’ve eliminated all of the possible causes? Tremors in dogs can be alarming symptoms of sickness, immune system problems, or even food poisoning. When your dog’s tremors persist for an extended period of time, you should be aware of the signs of danger and how to respond. Check out some of the more serious causes of dog shaking and how to deal with them.

Food poisoning

If your dog gets the shivers, it’s likely that they ate something they shouldn’t have. Canines, on the other hand, cannot safely consume hundreds of different foods. There are a slew of common human meals that are poisonous to pets. Some of them, such as chocolate and macadamia nuts, appear harmless but can be fatal to your dog.

Vomiting, lethargy, diminished appetite, gastrointestinal pain, and shaking are the most typical food poisoning symptoms in dogs. When your dog has food poisoning, the best thing you can do is give them water, not food. If your dog continues to vomit, tremble, or show signs of lethargy, take him to the veterinarian right once.

Why is My Dog Shaking, Shivering, or Trembling

Generalized tremor syndrome

Shaking in dogs that isn’t caused by excitement, fear, or stress could indicate generalized tremor syndrome (GTS). It was first noticed in small breeds like Maltese and Poodles, and was dubbed “white dog shaker syndrome.” Since then, it has been established that this illness can affect any dog of any breed, color, or size.

White shaker dog syndrome causes tremors in the form of shivering-like shaking movements in dogs. Puppies may have difficulty walking in severe circumstances. GTS also produces repetitive shaking, which isn’t necessarily noticeable to the naked eye.

Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord is the cause of such dog tremors. GTS is idiopathic, meaning that the underlying cause of inflammation has yet to be established, according to study conducted at the University of Sydney. If you see any unusual shaking motions in your dog’s head or body, contact your veterinarian right once.

In addition to reducing inflammation, the treatment may need the administration of drugs that suppress the immune system. As a result, you should contact a veterinarian right once to begin treatment and hasten your puppy’s recovery.


As you now know, there are a variety of responses to the question “why do dogs shake.” Dogs shake or tremble for a variety of reasons, including being chilly, excited, worried, frightened, or scared. Furthermore, your dog may simply be attempting to get your attention.

When it comes to health-related problems, the situation with dog shivering is rather different. Food poisoning, old age, GTS, and other diseases are among them, and in many cases, immunization and frequent vet visits can help avoid them. When your dogs begin to shiver for no apparent reason other than cold or excitement, keep an eye on them.

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