Shaking is a common symptom in dogs. There are many possible reasons for this behavior, including seizures, epilepsy, and more. Here are 14 of the most common causes of shaking in dogs.

The my dog is shaking and acting scared is a common question that people have. There are 14 possible reasons for this behavior, such as the animal being sick, injured, or suffering from separation anxiety.

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You’ve probably seen your dog tremble and shake when it’s thrilled as a dog owner.

It’s possible that such endearing conduct made you chuckle. If you’ve ever witnessed your dog’s trembling combined with out-of-the-ordinary behavior, you know it’s not amusing. 

What makes a dog quiver and behave oddly? Is there anything you can do if your dog is shaking and behaving strangely? When should you take your dog to the veterinarian?

As you see your beloved pet display unusual behavior, you may be asking yourself these things. 

We go through 14 reasons why your dog may be shaking and behaving strangely, what to do if you detect any tremors, and when it’s time to take your dog to the doctor in this post.

We aren’t veterinary surgeons. If you suspect your dog is suffering from a health problem, you should contact your veterinarian right once.

Less Serious Causes of Your Dog’s Shaking 

1. Your dog is excited or has been active recently.

The most common cause of shaking in dogs is excitement. Shaking from excitement is a normal response that occurs when the dog releases any extra energy, whether it occurs when a new acquaintance comes by the home or after a particularly great game of fetch.

If you have an 8-week-old puppy, over-excitement may be a frequent occurrence for both the dog and anybody who comes to visit. Even people may shiver with delight when they view a new puppy.

2. Your Dog Is Anxious Or Stressed

Fear, tension, and worry may cause your dog to tremble and behave in unusual ways. Fireworks, major environmental changes, and the threat of physical injury are all common stress tremor triggers. 

An arched back, the tail between the hind legs, hiding in a confined area, and whining are all common signs of stress shaking. 

If your dog is prone to anxiety, it’s a good idea to get advice from your veterinarian. When you know something unpleasant is going to happen, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medicine for you to give to your pet.  

3. Your dog is “on the mend” 

When female dogs that have not been spayed undergo ovulation and become receptive to mating, they are said to be “in heat.” Trembling, restlessness, more frequent urination, and anxious behavior are all symptoms of this condition, which happens twice a year on average.  

There is no need to see a veterinarian if your dog is in heat and trembling. Longer walks and more exercise may help her burn off some of that excess energy, while treats and toys can keep her occupied. 

4. Your Dog Is Shivering

Dogs, like people, feel chilly and shudder when it happens. If your dog is shivering but not showing any other severe symptoms, you may be fairly sure it’s cold. 

Starting at approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit, dogs will get chilly. If your dog must go outdoors in such temperatures, a coat and/or a pair of doggie booties may be worthwhile investments. 

When the temperature drops below freezing, it’s critical to bring your dog indoors. Despite the fact that “cold” is on our list of less important causes, dogs left outdoors in low temperatures for extended periods of time risk hypothermia. If you discover a dog shivering from exposure, the dog will almost certainly need medical care.   

More Serious Causes of Your Dog’s Shaking

5. Your Dog Isn’t Feeling Well

Medication, motion sickness, or eating too much or the wrong item may cause nausea in dogs, just as it does in people. We’ve put nausea on the list of more severe reasons your dog may be shaking since it may be a sign of a more serious disease. 

Excessive salivation, lip smacking, listlessness, and vomiting are all indications that your dog is sick.  

If your dog is showing symptoms of nausea for a prolonged period of time, you should see your veterinarian. 

6. Your Dog Is Exhausted Due To The Heat

Heat exhaustion is a serious threat to dogs, particularly those who are big, have thick coats, flat faces, are fat, or are old. 

If your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, you may observe shivering and trembling. Heat stroke in dogs is also characterized by excessive panting and salivation.  

The body temperature of a dog should never exceed 104 degrees. Humidity and heated confined places, such as a vehicle, are particularly hazardous because they prevent the dog from cooling off through panting. 

When your dog is outdoors, always provide plenty of water and shade, and never leave your dog in the vehicle on a hot day to prevent heat exhaustion.     

7. Your Dog Is Getting Older And/Or In Pain

Some trembling is unavoidable when a dog’s body weakens with age. Shaking caused by old age usually happens in a dog’s pelvic region or throughout his rear legs. The manner the dog walks and moves is generally unaffected by this kind of shaking. 

While most trembling in an elderly dog is innocuous, they are more susceptible to injury and arthritis, both of which may cause trembling. As a result, elderly dogs experiencing the tremors should see their veterinarian. If it is discovered that the dog is shaking because of discomfort, the veterinarian may offer further suggestions.  

8. You’ve Poisoned Your Dog

Your dog’s trembling and unpredictable behavior are clear indications that he or she has consumed something toxic. Vomiting, excessive salivation, dry heaving, a racing heart, and pale gums are some of the additional symptoms. 

Aside from chemicals, ordinary household products such as chocolate, cigarettes, and xylitol may poison dogs (a common sugar substitute, especially for chewing gum). Mouse and rat poison, lawn fertilizer, and snail bait, the latter of which may induce severe convulsions and muscular tremors, are all dangerous things stored outside where an inquisitive dog could come upon them.  

If you think your dog has been poisoned, you should take him to an emergency veterinarian as quickly as possible. You may also contact the Animal Poison Control Center of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

9. Your Dog Is Infected With Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly severe disease that affects unvaccinated pups and young dogs. It is frequently deadly and is caused by a virus. Those dogs and pups that do survive usually have lasting nervous system impairment. 

Distemper is transmitted via the air by infected animals coughing or sneezing. The distemper virus may also be passed from one dog to another through sharing bowls or toys. Fortunately, pups may be protected against distemper by receiving the DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) vaccination.

Distemper may be the cause of your dog’s shaking if he or she is an unvaccinated puppy or teenage dog. Fever, coughing, and drainage from the eyes and nose are some symptoms of distemper.      

10. Your dog is suffering from Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) (GTS)

Steroid responsive tremor syndrome and white shaker dog syndrome are other names for generalized tremor syndrome. The latter is named from the fact that it was initially observed in dogs such as West Highland terriers and Maltese, but it may affect any breed, size, or color of dog. 

Repetitive, rhythmic, and uncontrollable shaking is a symptom of GTS. The dog’s whole body, or just one region, such as its head or rear end, may tremble.

The exact etiology of GTS is unknown, but some vets think it is autoimmune in nature. GTS is diagnosed using a “exclusionary” approach, which means that if your veterinarian suspects GTS, they will first rule out all other options. 

Seizures are number eleven. 

Seizures, such as epilepsy, are unfortunately quite frequent in dogs. If your dog is having a seizure, it will fall on its side and begin moving its legs as if it were running or swimming. 

Seizures are not unpleasant for dogs, but they are hazardous because they may lead them to fall and strike something. If you see your dog suffering a seizure, you should immediately call your veterinarian. Once your dog has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will most likely prescribe seizure medicines such as phenobarbital, keppra, or potassium bromide. 

12. Is Your Dog Bloated?

Bloat isn’t usually a major problem in people. Bloat, on the other hand, is a medical emergency for your dog. 

Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or stomach torsion are the medical terms for bloating. It’s a painful and distressing condition in which the dog’s stomach coils around itself and bends at both ends. This restricts blood flow and prevents gas and other stomach contents from escaping, resulting in severe bloating. GDV may result from a variety of factors, the most frequent of which are heart failure, internal hemorrhage, and liver disease. 

A dog with bloat will be restless and unable to lay down, in addition to shaking. It may be dry heaving or a failed attempt to vomit. Other symptoms include rapid, shallow breathing and gnawing at its stomach. 

If your dog seems swollen in any way, you should take it to the closest emergency vet as soon as possible. If possible, contact the veterinarian while you’re driving so they can prepare for your dog’s arrival. 

13. Is Your Dog Suffering From Cushing’s Disease? 

When a dog’s adrenal glands generate too much cortisol, it develops Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism. Cortisol overproduction raises the dog’s risk of developing a number of diseases, including diabetes and renal impairment. Cushing’s illness is very dangerous, and most dogs only survive for two years after being diagnosed.  

Cushing’s disease mostly affects dogs that are middle-aged or older. You’ll probably notice some additional symptoms if your dog develops a tremor as a result of Cushing’s illness. Cushing’s illness leads dogs to consume much more food, drink, and pee than normal. You’ll also notice a lot of sluggishness.  

14. Is Your Dog Suffering From Addison’s Disease? 

Addison’s illness is the polar opposite of Cushing’s disease. Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, arises when the dog’s adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol. The internal organs of a dog cannot function correctly without this essential steroid. 

The symptoms of Addison’s disease are similar to those of Cushing’s disease, despite the fact that the mechanism is distinct. Diarrhea, a weak pulse, and weight loss are all frequent symptoms, as are shaking, tiredness, and excessive urination.   

What Should You Do If Your Dog Is Shaking And Acting Strangely?

You know your dog best, so follow your instincts when it comes to determining whether or not your dog is behaving abnormally. 

If you see your dog acting strangely or shaking, the first thing you should do is stay calm and reasonable. In case you need to inform your veterinarian about the issue, you’ll need to be able to accurately assess any symptoms. 

Next, make a list of any additional unusual symptoms you’re experiencing. Shaking may cause a variety of other symptoms, including: 

  • breathing that is labored  
  • Lethargy
  • Ataxia is a condition in which a person’ (loss of coordination)
  • Drooling and excessive swallowing
  • Nausea 
  • Listlessness
  • Vomiting

Make a brief assessment of your immediate surroundings. Is there a storm on the horizon? Have you gotten a bag out to pack for a trip? Is there anything there that your dog may be worried about? 

Consider your previous actions. Is your dog eating and drinking less lately? Has it been as enthusiastic about walks, vehicle trips, and toys as it usually is? 

Consider your previous actions. Have you ever seen your dog trembling? If that’s the case, do you notice something now that you didn’t notice before? 

Make a quick sweep of the room to check if there are any foods or other poisons that your dog may have ingested. 

Take a video of your dog shaking and behaving weird using your phone. If you decide to take your dog to the vet, having a video of the behavior may be very useful.

When Should You Take Your Shaking Dog To The Vet?

There are much more serious causes for a dog’s trembling than there are non-serious ones. It should be pretty easy to tell if your dog is trembling because it is enthusiastic (is its tail wagging as well?) or because it is nervous. If you have a strong suspicion that it is anything else, you should see your veterinarian. 

If you don’t notice any other symptoms right away, such as nausea, listlessness, ataxia, or difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian to see what they suggest. It’s likely that they’ll want you to come in as soon as possible, but it’s worth double-checking. 

If you detect any quick secondary signs, particularly if your dog’s stomach is stretched or bloated, you should stop what you’re doing and take your dog to an emergency veterinarian right away. 

Don’t be hesitant to contact the emergency animal hospital while you’re leaving the home or on your way to inform them that your dog has been trembling and behaving oddly. If the vets are given a heads-up, they can be ready to treat the animal right away. 

Most Commonly Asked Questions

What should I do if my dog begins to tremble? 

If your dog is trembling, the first thing you should do is stay cool and think about possible causes of worry, such as thunderstorms. 

Shaking may be a symptom of something more serious if your dog isn’t frightened or scared. If your dog’s shaking started out of nowhere and you observe signs like an enlarged belly, vomiting, or diarrhea, it’s time to see a vet.  

Why is my dog trembling but behaving normally?

There are a variety of reasons why a dog may begin to shake, some of which are more severe than others. If you see your dog trembling but no other symptoms, it’s probable he’s enthusiastic or worried about something. 

If your dog continues to shake, or if he or she vomits, has diarrhea, is sluggish, or exhibits any other unusual behavior, you should see your veterinarian. 

How can I keep my anxious dog from shaking? 

Dogs, like people, are influenced by stressful and frightening circumstances. If your dog starts to shake during a rainstorm, when you leave, or in any other anxiety-inducing circumstance, there are a few things you can do to help it relax: 

  • As a diversion or kind of “companion,” turn on the television or radio.
  • Contact with the body 
  • A soothing cloak or a t-shirt with your scent
  • Anti-anxiety medicine given by a veterinarian

Final Thoughts  

When it comes to our beloved pets, the difference between natural trembles of enthusiasm and ominous trembling is razor thin. Seizures, bloat, poisoning, and different illnesses including Cushing’s syndrome and distemper are just a few of the emergency circumstances that may cause your dog to tremble and behave oddly. 

If you think your dog is shaking for reasons other than excitement, sexual arousal, or fear, it’s a good idea to take a step back and assess the situation, including the dog’s immediate surroundings, any other symptoms, and any threats. Taking a video of your dog’s conduct with your phone and sending it to your doctor for evaluation may save your life. 

Most cases of shaking should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. In certain cases, a simple phone call to your regular veterinarian for advice may sufficient. If you observe urgent signs like shaking and vomiting, stomach bloating, hard breathing, ataxia, or lethargy, you should stop what you’re doing, contact your nearest emergency veterinarian, and get help right away. 

Shaking and unusual behavior in dogs may be very dangerous, even life-threatening. Careful observation and fast action on your side may very well save your pet’s life in far too many instances for comfort.


The my dog is shivering is a symptom of many different illnesses and disorders. There are 14 possible reasons for this behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog Acting bad all of a sudden?

Unfortunately, this is a difficult question to answer.

Why do 13 year olds dogs shake?

They shake because their muscles are not yet fully developed and they cannot control them.

What are the signs of poisoning in a dog?

Signs of poisoning in a dog include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and weakness.

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