Why Is My Dog Shaking? | A Complete Guide

March 3, 2020
Shivering Corgi Under Table

Dogs shake, shiver or tremble a lot, and you would have found out by now if you are a dog owner. Shaking or shivering in dogs could be because of several reasons but not to worry as it is not pointing towards any danger to your dog. This is the case, especially with small-size dog breeds. However, there are a few causes for shivering in dogs about which you should be concerned.

You might be here because you want to find out why your dog is shaking, and you are concerned because of his condition. We will try to give you all the information you need about shivering, shaking and trembling in dogs and how you can deal with it.

Reasons for Shaking and Shivering in Dogs

Let’s dig in and find out what could be the reasons for trembling or shaking in dogs.

Cold Weather

You might know, but dogs can get cold just like humans. Dog breeds that have thin coats on their body and low fat, such as Dobermans and Greyhounds, are most likely to be affected by cold weather. You should not be surprised when you see a dog shivering from these breeds in cold weather. Fifty to Sixty degrees Fahrenheit temperature is enough to affect them.

The situation can get dangerous if the weather turns freezing. You should always observe your dog, especially when it is raining or snowing. Make sure to keep him warm in these conditions. Even after doing everything, the shaking or shivering is not stopping, then do not waste any time to visit the vet.

Muscle Weakness or Injury

The wrong body posture or movement, especially in exercise, can cause a muscle to shake or vibrate a lot in humans. You may have also experienced that when we try to position our bodies in specific ways, a pulled muscle will vibrate uncontrollably. In the same way, a dog muscle can tremble as well.

This shaking could be because of the pain from an injury or due to weakness. First of all, observe the dog’s body and try to find out if shaking is occurring in a specific part of the body. For example, one of its legs could be shaking, and the other body parts remain still.

Once you have found out that the shaking is occurring only in one part, do not waste any time and consult with the vet immediately. Lack of rest and stress can cause pain in dogs as well, which can lead to shaking or shivering.

Fear, Anxiety or Excitement

Strong emotions can cause shivering in dogs as well. You might have noticed; when you come home after a long day, your dog starts to shake because of excitement. Sometimes your dog will shiver when he is visiting the vet.

Shaking could be because of different emotions, and you might not be able to find out what exactly is the cause of it.  But the situations mentioned above are enough to cause shaking. When you notice these kinds of shivering, you need to teach your dog to be calm in these situations. A good way to calm your dog is continuously pat or stroke him to make him realize your presence.

If nothing helps, then take your dog to the vet, or consulting with the specialist in dog behavior might be the best idea. Please note that bringing dog trainers to get help will be useless as they can only teach how to obey commands, and emotional problems are out of their expertise.

Diseases and Medical Conditions

Shivering and shaking are common in human beings because of various health conditions and diseases. It goes the same for your dog as well. Shivering and trembling can be noticed in a dog, and the reason could be a health condition. Kidney related diseases and mild to severe seizures could be causing the problem to your dog.

An excellent way to deal with these circumstances is to take your dog to the vet so he can diagnose the problem. However, you can try some methods at home to make sure if your dog is suffering from health risks. Pay attention to your dog’s physical appearance, and make sure you keep track of his behavior. Keeping track of his eating habits and activities will help too.

If you notice any changes in his appetite or a sudden drop in activity level, then something is wrong. Other signs to look out for include, discoloration of urine, bad odor, watery stools, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not try to use home remedies on your dog as you might not know the cause of these problems. Take your dog to the vet so he can treat your dog correctly.

Tremor Syndrome

Tremor Syndrome is mostly associated with puppies or small-sized dog breeds. Small dogs tend to shave and shiver a lot. Unfortunately, we still do not the reason for it and experts are trying to find out the cause. Some have said that small dogs get cold easily because of their size as compared to grown or large breed dogs.

Generally, there is nothing to worry about if your puppy is shaking or your small-sized dog is trembling a lot. However, if you notice some heavy shaking that is nonstop then make sure to take your dog to the vet.


To sum it up, shivering, shaking, and trembling in dogs is not dangerous, and most of the time, you do not have to worry, and the condition does not need attention. However, you should take notice of shaking when some other conditions are associated with it. Lack of appetite, vomit, and change in color of urine and stool, and diarrhea are common signs of some health risk. Do not forget that puppies and small sized dog breeds will shiver and shake, and it is quite normal.

Keep track of your dog's health, activity, and eating habits so that you can notice any sudden change in his behavior. If there is something not usual, then do not waste time in home remedies and consult a vet at your earliest. If your dog is shaking because of emotions, then try to pat him slowly to calm him down.

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