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Dog Shivering or Trembling: Here’s What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Dogs are adorable and fluffy creatures who have the power to warm up their human friends. It feels so satisfying to stroke their soft and warm fur. But sometimes, dogs start to shake or shiver. As we’ll discuss, the cold weather or other plausible reasons could induce it. There is often nothing to worry about, but in many cases, you must identify why is my dog shaking or shivering.

Why is My Dog Shaking So Much?

If your dog is shaking, it could be a sign of anxiety, fear, pain or even excitement. While it is normal for dogs to shake occasionally, if your dog is shaking more often than usual, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Here we will explore the reasons why your dog might be shaking and what you can do to help them feel better. We will also discuss when it’s important to seek medical attention and how you can prevent future episodes of shaking in your pet. Here are a few common reasons for why is my dog shaking so much:

#1 Cold

Chilly weather is one of the most obvious answers to why do dogs shake. No human is immune to the cold winds, so how can we expect our furball friends to stay warm all the time? Shivering and shaking is an involuntary response to cold weather in dogs. It signals their body to start pumping blood to generate heat to prevent them from getting cold or hypothermia in severe cold cases. This behavior is more common in smaller dogs because they don’t have enough body mass, hence less insulation to protect them from the signs of hypothermia in dogs.

#2 Anxiety or Fear

Like humans, dogs, too, undergo many emotions daily. It is natural for them to feel anxious or stressed about certain circumstances around them. If they are afraid of anything or feel any of the feelings mentioned before, they are prone to shaking and shivering. Shivering is not harmful to them in this case, but feeling anxious or stressed is not good for them.

#3 Pain or Sickness

Shivering can clearly indicate any pain or illness your dog is going through. Your dog could be suffering from ailments you are not aware of, in which case it is always advisable to consult a vet if you find any signs of sickness or injury.  

#4 Excitement

They observed it in many hyperactive dogs that they shiver and shake whenever they are excited. It is a harmless kind of shivering and usually stops when they calm down. The reason for this kind of behavior in dogs is not yet known, but it could be their way of showing intense emotions for their human friends.

#5 Old Age

As a dog gets old, its legs start to weaken. It could be due to arthritis or joint pain due to old age, and as a result, they may start shaking. If your dog is aging, you should take them to a vet.

#6 Attention

Many dogs think it is a game to them when it comes to puppy shaking, and you rush to comfort them every time. They now feel that shaking or shivering would get them your precious attention. And whenever they think they are not getting enough attention from you, they automatically activate the shakes. 

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Dog Shivering Vs Seizures

There is a difference between shivering and seizures, and many people get confused between the two many times. The reasons for my dog is shivering is mostly harmless and are caused by uncomfortableness. It is a coping mechanism in dogs to raise their body temperature and warm themselves up. On the other hand, a dog seizure symptoms affects the forebrain. Various things that can affect a dog’s brain from the outside and inside usually trigger seizures. They include brain tumors, strokes, trauma, metabolic issues, or inflammatory conditions. So, better use seizure medicines for dogs at the earliest.

If you need to differentiate between seizures and shivers, try to warm up your dog or move them away from agonizing. Dogs are responsive when shaking or shivering, so you may even try to interact with them.

On the other hand, seizures make dogs unresponsive, and it affects their whole body. So if you try talking to your dog and they are not responding, they are likely to suffer from a seizure. Seizures mostly last for a minute or two, but if it exceeds five minutes, you must rush to the vet with your dog and check them.  

What Causes a Dog to Tremble?

#1 Nausea

What causes a dog to tremble? Like humans, dogs also experience motion sickness and get nauseated. It could also be because of over-eating, medications, or in severe cases, liver or kidney diseases. So trembling or violent shaking could be because of nausea. Your dog can be nauseous if you find them continually smacking their lips or drooling and swallowing more than they usually do. And if you find them vomiting, attend to them immediately in hospital for better anti nausea medication for dogs.

#2 Distemper

A virus causes it in puppies that are usually not fully vaccinated. It is commonly called a ‘canine distemper’ in the medical world. It is one of the common causes of tremors in dogs. To identify a distemper, you may look for any nose and eye discharge, constant coughing, and fever.

#3 Seizure Disorders

Some dogs suffer from epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes collapse and twitching. It can show as a dog falling and paddling its legs like swimming. So, what causes seizures in dogs? Well, seizures are not physically painful for the dog, they can cause injury if it falls or knocks.

#4 Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

It is also known as GTS as white shaker dog syndrome. The root cause of why GTS happens is still unknown, but it can affect dogs of any color, breed, or size. It usually affects dogs aged between nine months to two years. It is a treatable syndrome, and you should consult the vet on any signs.

#5 Poisoning

The most common things that would not affect humans, like chocolates or cigarettes easily poisoned dogs. Violent shaking or seizures indicate poisoning and you must consult a dog vet as soon as possible.

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What Should I Do if My Dog is Shaking?

If you find your dog shaking and shivering, how you approach them initially is very important. They may be shaking due to any of the reasons discussed above. It could be just them adapting to the climate and their natural surroundings or out of pain or sickness. It would help if you first tried to comfort your dog with the most basic steps, like trying to warm them up or removing any uncomfortable things from their environment which you think might be disturbing them. In any case, if this does not help, then you should immediately contact your vet. Your dog might be behaving strangely, and you must see signs of distress in them and tend to them at the earliest. 

How to Stop My Dog from Shaking?

Like every disease needs a different kind of medical attention, similar is the case with a shivering or shaking dog. It depends upon the reason why your dog is shaking. Finding a solution becomes easier if you can identify the problem. However, here are a few things for how to stop my dog from shaking in the most common cases.

  • If you have a dog with a small stature or a history of not faring too well with the cold, consider limiting its exposure. There are many dog products available in the market you can invest in, like dog blankets or dog sweaters. It could help your dog to keep themselves warm. Another thing you can do to prevent them from the cold is to use heaters or warm blowers. This would keep the dog’s body and its surrounding environment warm.
  • Suppose your dog resorts to shaking and shivering whenever they are excited or trying to seek your attention. It is for the best that you ignore this kind of behavior. Do not fuel their bad habits out of love as it, in turn, may make them hyperactive and thus hard to curb. As their human friends, it isn’t easy to see them in that state, but reinforcing such behaviors is not wise. You should consult a dog trainer or a vet if this is the case.
  • In cases where the dog is experiencing any stress or pain, you should talk to your dog and give them the emotional support they need. Small things like utensils clanging or thunder may make them anxious. In such cases, you should be with your pet and try to calm down your dog. Many times they have noticed that dogs identify their emotions with that of their owners. So if you are prone to projecting your anxiety or nervousness onto others, your dog can start mimicking you. In that case, reassure your dog with actions that there is nothing to be stressed about, as these feelings are not good for them.

If the case is not any of those above, you should consult your dog’s vet. They even seen it in aging dogs that they shiver; this is where they would require medical attention at the earliest. Some medical problems cause shivering and are treatable, while some are not. But you will find them once you get your dog check with the vet. There is no harm in getting a consultation with your vet, as it will only give you peace of mind after the vet’s assessment. So, if you find your dog shivering or shaking. You should uncover the reason behind it and get a consultation from your trusted vet.


If your dog is shaking and you can’t figure out why, it’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up. There could be many reasons for why is my dog shaking, and only a professional can give you an accurate diagnosis. In the meantime, keep your dog calm and comfortable, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet if you have any concerns.