Why Is My Dog Shaking? From Over-Excitement to Medical Issues, Experts Break Down the Reasons Dogs Tremble 

If you’ve noticed your dog is shaking, shaking or shaking frequently it is possible that you are concerned about the health of your pet. There are a myriad of things that can trigger shaking in dogs, from the harmless symptoms, such as coldness or excessive excitement to medical conditions, such as an illness as well as nausea–it isn’t always easy to pinpoint what’s behind your dog’s discomfort.

“There are many reasons why a dog might shake, some more serious than others,” Dr. Chyrle Bonk, DVM and veterinarian expert for SeniorTailWaggers.com, tells Parade. “You’ll know that your dog’s shaking needs immediate attention if they are showing any other signs.”

Are you not sure what is that makes your dog shake? Read on for the medical and other reasons why dogs may be shaking according to vet experts.

Why Do Dogs Shake?

Shaking isn’t the norm behavior in dogs. If your dog’s shaking occurs often or continuously is it an indication you dog might be anxious or anxious, or suffers from a medical illness that causes the shaking. Other causes that aren’t so alarming include excessive excitement and an aversion to cold (though should your dog have recently noticed a change in mood or endurance towards cold weather, it could be something to talk to your veterinarian regarding). Other causes of shaking can be anxiety or nausea and distemper Generalized Tremor Syndrome, and many more.


Anxiety isn’t “normal” for dogs, however, it is common. In fact, as per Medical News Today More than 70 percent of dog owners suffer from a form of anxiety. It could be separation anxiety or not. In the event that your pet is susceptible to anxiety, this or general stress and fear, may be the cause of the shaking in your pet.”The emotions of fear, stress, or anxiety can be just as intense in dogs as they are in humans and they can manifest as shaking,” Dr. Bonk explains. “That’s because stress hormones–such as cortisol–are released when a dog is anxious, fearful, or stressed, which can lead to muscle-shaking as the body prepares itself for fight or flight. You may also notice that your dog seems jumpy, is hiding, not eating, or has become aggressive if they are feeling these strong emotions.”Are you not sure how to proceed If your dog is suffering from anxiety-related shaking? Find the cause and find out what Dr. Bonk says; after all, the shaking in this instance is merely a sign of a problem.”Try to find out what is causing your dog’s fear or stress. It may be an approaching storm, fireworks, a strange dog in the neighborhood, or a houseguest,” Dr. Bonk suggests. “Try to alleviate these anxieties or give them a secure place to rest in. For dogs who suffer from anxiety or stress that is chronic and behavioral therapy, or medications might be needed.


We all shake when we’re frozen. It’s our body’s response to a temperature that’s not what we want. It’s the same for dogs who naturally react to temperatures too.”A very common reason behind why a dog is shaking is they’re cold,” Dr. Bonk says. “This is especially true in smaller and shorter-haired breeds. They just don’t have the body mass or insulation to stay warm when the temperature drops, and shivering is the body’s way of getting their blood flowing in an effort to warm up.”


It is recommended that all dogs get an annual distemper vaccination in the office of their veterinarian at least every three years from when they’re puppies. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association the canine distemper virus can be described as “a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.” It can be a severe illness, which is the reason that most vets are vaccinated against it in advance.”Distemper results from a viral infection and is most common in dogs that haven’t been properly vaccinated,” Dr. Bonk explains. “It can attack the nervous system, causing continual shaking, lethargy, a runny nose and eyes, and a fever. Distemper is most commonly fatal once signs appear.”
Generalized Tremor SyndromeGeneralized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) is sometimes referred to as steroid responsive Tremor Syndrome or White Shaker Dog Syndrome. The exact reason for this condition is not yet understood. It is believed by the Animal Neurology & Imaging Center (ANIC)theorizes that it’s result of “mild inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (meninges) that produces fine tremors of the head and whole body.” Most often, you’ll notice GTS in white, small dogs that are susceptible to the disease (particularly Maltese, poodles, and West Highland white terriers).”This may show up as localized tremors or full-body shaking,” Dr. Bonk says. “Either way, GTS is thought to be an immune-mediated issue and should be treated by a veterinarian.”If your dog’s showing shaking, it’s crucial to rule out the possibility of a medical reason. Dogs suffering from GTS may also show other signs including excessive stepping, incoordination of gait, irregular eye movements, and seizures. There is also the possibility that the shaking comes to a stop during sleeping. Whatever the case, make sure to talk to your veterinarian in the event that you suspect this to be the reason for your dog’s shaking. Or, just to rule out the reason.
NauseaThere is a reason for this, an upset stomach can result in shaking dogs. Most often the signs of shaking or a nauseated stomach is often associated with other signs to be aware of.”Nausea may come from something as simple as an upset stomach or as complex as kidney disease,” Dr. Bonk says. “Along with shaking, a dog may also drool, lick their lips, not eat, or vomit. See your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog is nauseous.”

Old age

Although we love our our paw-rents may be reluctant for it to be admitted, our pets get older just like we do. It’s true that old age could cause unusual modifications in the behavior of your pet. It is essential to keep an eye on and note any changes that appear to be significant , and keep your vet up to date.”Old age brings about many changes in dogs, including weakness and arthritis,” Dr. Bonk says. “Both of these issues can be why a dog is shaking. You may notice that shaking only occurs in the hindlegs, after a long walk, or when your dog stands up.

Shaking in older dogs should be checked out by a veterinarian to ensure that your senior pup is healthy and comfortable.”Over-excitementEvery dog lover or pet owner is aware that when dogs get very excited, they can be able to pee a bit. This is perfectly normal and, especially for puppies that are learning to control their bladders it’s completely normal! Dogs who are excited too much may shake.”Some dogs simply exude energy and never as much as when they’re excited,” Dr. Bonk says. “Shaking in some dogs can occur when they’re so happy to see you, anticipating dinner or a tug-of-war match, or when the neighbor dog comes for a visit. No one’s quite sure why excitement may be the reason that a dog is shaking; just know that it’s OK. The shaking is likely to stop once they’ve calmed down.”It’s fairly simple to determine if excitement is the reason why your dog shakes. In the end, shaking can only occur at obvious times such as the ones it was mentioned by Dr. Bonk mentioned: when there is another dog around and when you get home, or as you wait for food to be placed in their bowl.


If a dog is suffering discomfort due to an illness or injury almost any indications could indicate of a problem, doctor. Bonk says. The dog’s body could release the stress hormone excessively in response to trauma the injury. The result could be a bizarre shaking.”The release of cortisol related to an injury or illness can also be why a dog is shaking,” Dr. Bonk says. Take care to inspect your dog for superficial injuries, and be aware of any other behaviors that could be a painful response, such as a decreased appetite or aggression, a slouched posture or flat ears, panting crying, obsessive licking , scratching or limping, stiffness or a general change in behavior and refusal to participate in activities that they typically enjoy like exercise, walking or playing.

PoisoningOne of the most serious reasons for shaking dogs is the possibility of poisoning. If you suspect your dog may have been involved in something that isn’t his, or is being poisoned, consult your veterinarian immediately. You can also make a call to at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at”Sometimes eating something toxic can lead to shaking in dogs,” Dr. Bonk explains. “This can either be because the toxin is affecting the nervous system or because it is causing nausea. Common toxins include chocolate, xylitol, household cleaners, and lawn treatments. Other signs may include drooling, vomiting, open containers or wrappers, and seizures. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog is shaking because of poison.”Since poisoning can cause death in dogs based on the poison and the amount that is ingested, it is essential to act swiftly in the event that you suspect this is the cause.Seizure DisordersSeizures are extremely uncommon in dogs, and thus they are usually a sign of the presence of a serious medical problem. Seizures are, of course, are as common as shaking, but there are some key distinctions according to the vet Dr. Bonk says.”Epilepsy can occur in dogs and cause seizures that will look similar to shaking. However, dogs that are seizing won’t be aware of their surroundings,” Dr. Bonk explains. “Contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has had a seizure as medication may be necessary to prevent future issues.”The most prevalent seizures in dogs is epilepsy idiopathic–a genetic disorder, the reason for which is unknown. Other medical conditions can trigger seizures as well such as kidney failure, liver disease brain tumors or brain trauma as well as exposure to toxic substances. It is important to contact your veterinarian right away in the event that you suspect your dog may be experiencing seizures.

When to Consult the Veterinarian About Your Shaking Dog

There isn’t an obvious cause which is causing your dog to shake, such as when your pet has just come out of the cold or is a bit exuberant when you open the door–dogs shaking typically indicates a medical problem which requires a vet’s opinion and attention. Particularly if your dog is showing other symptoms that are concerning in the midst of to shaking, you should contact your vet right away as Doctor. Bonk recommends.”[Symptoms like] vomiting, restlessness, not eating, fevers, or seizures all warrant a veterinary visit,” Dr. Bonk explains. “Don’t hesitate to contact your vet if you think your dog is shaking because they are stressed or fearful. This is especially important if this has been a long-term issue that you just can’t seem to get a handle on.”The Dr. Bonk adds, “You might also want to talk with your veterinarian in case your dog’s reaction for colds has changed. It could be that they were once an avid lover of winter snow and ice, but they today they are shaking and don’t want to move away from the heater. This could be a sign of an illness.”

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