Why Is My Dog Shaking?

July 14, 2022by DOGuide1

Is your dog shivering and you don’t know why? Well, you came to the right spot. There are many common reasons why your dog may be shaking and it is a good idea to figure out why so that you can give them the exact care they need. Shivering/shaking can be caused by many things.

  • Behavioral reasons
  • Physical reasons
  • Emotional reasons

We are our dogs’ voices and we must stand up for them when they cannot stand up for themselves.


why is my dog shaking


Why Is My Dog Shaking?

There are a lot of simple answers as to why your dog may be shaking. Here is a list of some of the most common causes and how you can help your pooch feel his/her best.



If your dog’s shaking it is most likely just cold. Like humans, dogs don’t enjoy cold weather and require a certain temperature to be comfortable. They shiver to get their blood pumping to try and raise their body temperature. If you observe that your pup tends to get cold often you may want to invest in a dog sweater or coat. You may also want to consider purchasing a nice warm dog bed and blanket for your pouch to use on cold nights.



Another common reason for a dog to shiver is excitement. Sometimes when they experience an extreme wave of emotion their body doesn’t know how to deal with it all, so they respond with shaking. This shaking tends to be harmless and will stop once they calm down. If you see that their shaking continues for a long period after and you are worried try calling your local veterinarian for an opinion. However, more times than not they should be okay.


Stress/Anxiety & Fear

All things that live and breathe including dogs can become stressed or scared. Many different reasons can influence their emotions. Just like excitement, if your pup starts to experience an intense situation that causes him/her to feel overly stressed him/her body responds with shaking.

Loud noises such as thunder (CBD can help with thunderstorm anxiety) can cause your pooch to shake because of fear. If you notice fur sticking up they are most likely just scared. This type of shaking is also not harmless and shouldn’t cause you to worry.

To help your pet move through their emotions, you can try calming them and removing them from the source of their anxiety or that environment.


Seeking Attention

Your pet may use your emotions to its advantage. If they see that you get nervous when they start shaking and show them attention when they do they will learn that all they have to do is shake for you to pay attention to them.

A sign of this is if they start to shiver when begging for food. They think that if they shake you will give in to their desires. To help stop this kind of behavior you can try ignoring their shaking unless you believe there is something truly wrong. If you are ever unsure you can always call your pet’s veterinarian and ask.


Pain or Illness

A more serious reason as to why your dog’s shaking is in response to some sort of pain or sickness. Shivering can be a response to different illnesses such as Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, distemper, and inflammatory brain disease. If you notice your dog shivering constantly for a long period they may have Shaker syndrome also known as generalized tremor syndrome.

This specific syndrome normally appears in small white dogs. It may sound scary, but Shaker syndrome (generalized tremor syndrome) can be treated with medication. So, if you notice that your dog seems different and out of their normal you may want to contact your pet’s veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your dog recently went to a grooming appointment, read this: Dog Shaking Head After Grooming


Old Age

As much as we hate to see our furry friends grow up, we can’t do much about it. Oddly shivering does come with old age and is very common. As our pups reach a certain age their muscles tend to lose strength and walking can cause tremors in their legs.

Shivering can also be a sign of arthritis or joint pain (CBD can help with arthritis and joint pain). If you observe that your pooch is tending to sleep more often it may be because of this lack of energy. Do not worry and just try to be there for them as long as you can.


Separation Anxiety

Our dogs love us just as much as we love them. They are family. If we are away from them for a while their head tells them that you may never come back for them. This anxiety can result in shivering.

Make sure you reassure your furry friend and spend some extra time with them when you return home.



A serious cause of why your dog is shaking is poisoning. If you suspect that your pup has gotten into something they weren’t supposed to and ingested it you need to call your vet right away. I also recommend calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435.


Small Dogs Shake More Often than Larger Dogs

If you are thinking about getting yourself a lovable small pup just be aware that they do tend to shake more than larger dogs do. Smaller dogs’ hormones react faster to anxiety and fear. Also resulting in smaller dogs’ size they tend to feel more vulnerable and use shaking as a defense mechanism. They also don’t have as much body mass and insulation as older dogs.


Actively Dreaming

Have you ever noticed your pup shaking or twitching in their sleep? This is probably because they are dreaming. Just like how we snore and talk in our sleep this is their reaction to something happening in their dream. This is nothing to worry about and is completely normal.


Shaking off Water

A very common reason why your dog is shaking is that there is water in its fur. Whether they just got out of the pool or ocean, just took a bath, or even just came inside after it was raining, dogs have the instinct to get rid of the water on their bodies and dry themselves off.


shaking dog


Pet Care is the Best Care

We hope these answers to the question: why is my dog shaking help calm your nerves about your pet’s shaking. If you ever are unsure about whether your dog is okay or not it is always a safe bet to call your local vet and double-check. You know what’s right for your pup and your instinct is most important.

If you’re dog is shaking after a grooming appointment, you may want to read: Dog Traumatized After Haircut


by DOGuide

Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Leave a comment, contact us, or learn more about the founder.

One comment

  • Brandy Cutlip

    November 23, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    I’m worried about my dog and I don’t have money to get the best of care for her but I’m in a financial HARDSHIP AND NEED HELP TO GET HER HEALTHY AND GROOMED AND HEART WORMING ETC PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN DO? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH OUT HER SO I CAN’T REHOME HER! THIS IS A SMALL TOWN AND I AM BAD IN SO MANY WAYS FINANCIALLY. I haven’t even had the haircut in 6 years! She just got one and her anal glands relieved and it was $70 which the lady gave me a big big discount but I need help with her food because she’s not healthy and eating healthy food because I can’t afford it so she has some problems I need some help please


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