why is my dog shaking Trembling: Causes and Treatments 2022

why is my dog shaking Trembling: Causes and Treatments 2022


Shivering could signify that your dog is in pain or suffering from an illness. Shivering and muscle tremors can be symptoms of serious conditions such as distemper, hypoglycemia, Addison’s disease, inflammatory brain disease, and more common ailments like an upset stomach.

At this time of year, it can be pretty damn cold. For us, it’s easy, a big sweater and you’re done! Fortunately, our canine friends are already covered with a good hair coat. Of course, there are exceptions depending on the thickness of the fur and the breed of the dog. When my dog ​​is shaking (he’s a Yorkshire), I put a little dog coat on him.

Nevertheless, you will see that the cause is rarely the cold, except in extreme situations or depending on the breed. So why do dogs shiver? Here are the different reasons for tremors in dogs.

Why is my dog ​​shaking?


Know your dog’s tolerance to be cold. 

Some breeds of dogs suffer from the cold.

Despite their fur, some dog breeds are still sensitive to the cold and require a coat to go out in winter. These breeds generally have no undercoat and very thin skin.

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The following breeds can suffer from the cold: 

  • Greyhounds (Italian, Whippet, English, Spanish Galgo)
  • Chinese Crested Dogs
  • French bulldogs
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Chihuahuas
  • pugs

Remember that older dogs, young puppies, and dogs in poor health are also likely to get cold, as well as short-legged dogs like Dachshunds, as their bellies can get wet quickly.

The feeling of cold also varies from dog to dog. It is therefore important to pay attention to your dog’s cold tolerance.

The stress

Stress and anxiety can cause tremors in dogs. Situations like noisy parties with fireworks, a car trip, or a new environment can be a source of stress for our canine friends. Some dogs also tend to be naturally more anxious than others.

The best way to calm your dog and reassure him and pet him appropriately.


Symptoms of poisoning vary from cause to cause. One of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs is Xylitol, a sugar substitute used in many human products such as chewing gum and diet products ( more information here ). Xylitol is very toxic to dogs, even in very small amounts, and is unfortunately increasingly found in human foods.

Other foods that can poison your dog are chocolate or caffeine.

If you think your dog may have poisoned himself:

  • Keep calm.
  • Isolate your dog from the potential cause of the poisoning.
  • Contact your veterinarian or a 24-hour emergency clinic.


What an adorable senior Pug. 

Quite simply, age may be the reason your dog won’t stop shaking. Older dogs can suffer from conditions like Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) which can cause tremors. Unfortunately, just like us, dog’s age. To help a senior dog live better, we advise you to consult your veterinarian to talk about it.

Kidney function 

Frequent tremors can indicate severe kidney problems.

Other symptoms indicating a kidney problem are:

  • Tremors
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Loss of sense of orientation
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Pale and white gums
  • Red eyes
  • Intense thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss
  • Urine/ammonia-smelling breath

If your dog seems to have kidney problems, don’t wait any longer and contact your veterinarian right away.

why is my dog shaking Trembling: Causes and Treatments 2022


This viral disease is highly contagious and is transmitted through the air and body secretions. This disease can affect the breathing, digestive, and nervous systems. Fortunately, a properly vaccinated dog is protected from this disease. So make sure your dog is always up to date on these vaccines.

Symptoms of distemper are:

  • Tremors
  • Cough (not to be confused with kennel cough ).
  • Diarrhea,
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Secretions from the eyes and nose

If your dog keeps shaking and you think he might have this disease, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Know the symptoms of distemper. 

Shaker dog syndrome

This disease was first detected in Maltese Bichons but can affect any breed or size of the dog.

Dogs suffering from this syndrome tremble constantly. They have trouble getting up and walking properly. No one knows what causes this disease, but experts believe it is inflammation of the brainstem, possibly linked to an autoimmune attack.

Symptoms of shaky dog ​​syndrome are: 

  • Tremors
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor coordination of movements
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Head tilted to the side
  • Abnormal eye movements

Contact your veterinarian if your dog keeps shaking and thinks he might have this disease.

Addison’s disease

Also known as primary chronic adrenal insufficiency, this disease is caused by a hormonal deficiency in the adrenal glands.

It is a rather rare condition  that is mostly found in dogs of the following breeds:

  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Rottweilers
  • West Highland White Terrier (Or Westie)
  • Bearded Collie
  • Poodles
  • Wheaten Terriers

Symptoms of Addison’s disease are:

  • Tremors
  • Weightloss
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in stool
  • Alopecia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy

If your dog won’t stop shaking and is one of the above breeds, he may have Addison’s disease. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Any dog ​​can be affected by this disease.

Learned behavior 

Some smart dogs learn that shaking will get them attention, a big hug, and maybe even a treat.

It may seem fun, but avoid encouraging this kind of behavior, which can become obsessive. If you think your dog is shaking on purpose, we recommend contacting a qualified dog trainer for help.


The dogs are always happy to see us. It’s part of their charm! But overexcitement can be a real problem for some dogs who start shaking or urinating. The owner of a Golden Retriever tells us: “When I come home, my dog ​​is shaking, starts jumping around, and is so excited to see us again that he urinates on the floor. We went to see a dog trainer, and with a lot of patience, his behavior calmed down, and he acts like this more than a few times.»

You can work with a dog trainer to manage these behaviors and teach your dog to be more relaxed.

Don’t forget to share this article on social networks with your family and friends who may need it!

trembling dog: reasons and treatments

Do you notice that your dog is shaking, and that worries you? While tremors are usually caused by stress or cold, they can also signify illnesses. Bio canna helps you recognize the different types of tremors and adopt the right attitude for the wellbeing of your companion.  

Your dog is shaking from stress.

Hectic environment, abnormal or intense noise (storm, fireworks, firecrackers, etc.), a distressing situation such as a waiting room at the veterinarian, the arrival of a new resident, moving, So many events that can disrupt the serenity of your dog. If he is stressed or frightened, he can then manifest it with, among other things, tremors.

The solutions? Start by calming him down with a soft voice and reassuring gestures. Caresses and hugs are an excellent remedy! Also, try to create a calming environment where he feels safe and, if possible, distance him from the source of the stress.

There are also complementary anti-stress foods like Alphacalm Tasty. This delicious dog product is given as a treat and contains magnesium to help your pet calm down. Without habituation, it is thus a precious (and greedy) ally to reduce the anxiety of your companion. You can also find calming diffusers for dogs to install in their environment.

> To read also: Stress and barking in dogs

Your dog is shivering from the cold.

Like humans, dogs can be chilly. If your companion is in a cold environment, it is normal to see him shaking continuously, even if he has long, thick hair. A dog can also catch pathologies such as a cold snap, bronchitis, and laryngitis. It is therefore important to protect him.

For this, you can cover it with a blanket. If he usually sleeps outdoors, it may be worth moving his sleeping space indoors when temperatures drop. There are also warm clothes, even dog coats, which are both practical and comfortable. This solution is particularly interesting in autumn and winter if your dog has short hair. Be careful to choose clothes adapted to the outside temperatures and not overprotect him at the risk of causing his hot flashes.

Your dog is shaking due to illness.

Tremors can be a sign of a disease, especially if accompanied by other disturbing symptoms such as abnormal fatigue, lack of appetite, urinary incontinence, excessive salivation, vomiting, moaning, etc. If your dog starts shaking for no apparent reason, it is strongly advised to consult your veterinarian. Only he can determine the cause of the tremor. In the most serious cases, this can signify a canine pathology (distemper, tetanus, etc.), intoxication, or even poisoning.

Good to know: products for the maintenance of the house or the garden have a high degree of toxicity for our companions, such as rat poison and phytosanitary products (herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, etc.). Certain foods are also dangerous for dogs, including chocolate, raisins, caffeine, and raw potatoes.

Your dog is shaking because he is happy.

Intense emotions like joy can also cause your dog to shake. If, for example, your dog shows tremors when you come home, it’s usually a good sign: he’s probably excited to see you.  

Your dog is shaking due to his age.

If your dog is young, between one and three years old, it is common to observe a few small tremors. It then concerns this whole body. Conversely, it can also start shaking with age. As with humans, this is usually caused by muscle aging and lack of tone.

> To read also: Little tips for a successful life with your pet

Tremors in dogs have a wide variety of causes. Generally, it is a cold or strong emotion (excitement, stress, fear). However, if the tremors persist, are frequent, or are particularly violent, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

Finally, it should be noted that your dog may also tremble for no apparent reason. It is not uncommon to observe idiopathic head tremors (or Head Bobbing) in certain breeds of a dog.

A tremor in dogs: definition

The dog’s tremors are characterized by mini-muscle contractions inducing small oscillations of the limbs and the head. The dogs are unaware of this. And they do not prevent voluntary movements. They should, therefore, not be confused with partial convulsive seizures (apart from the body undergoing very localized contractions or affecting an entire limb) or total (the animal loses consciousness), which does not allow voluntary movements. Tremors can often be stopped by diverting the dog’s attention.

Why is my dog ​​shaking?

The pathological causes of tremors are quite varied. Diseases causing metabolic disorders are the most frequently involved in the onset of pathological tremors.

  • Hypoglycemia: it is a drop in the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Hypoglycemia may appear if the dog does not eat enough and does not have a reserve. It happens in toy breed puppies or small breeds such as the Yorkshire, often following long periods of play without eating. The tremor begins with the head swaying slightly; the puppy is brutally put down. If nothing is done, he may lose consciousness, fall into a coma, and die. Hypoglycemia can also occur in dogs treated for diabetes with insulin injections if too much insulin is injected or if he does not eat after the injection. There can be the same consequences as for puppy hypoglycemia.

why is my dog shaking Trembling: Causes and Treatments 2022

  • The portosystemic shunt: is a vascular disease of the liver. The blood vessels in the liver have an abnormality (congenital or acquired), the wrong vessels are connected, and the liver cannot properly filter and transform nutrients and toxins from digestion. The toxins are then directly released into the normal bloodstream and affect all the organs of the body and, in particular, the brain. Thus the intoxicated brain will manifest neurological symptoms, including head tremors, which can occur after meals.
  • Nervous degeneration in older dogs (see the article entitled “old dog”)
  • All nerve conditions can have as a symptom a dog that shakes continuously or alternately. In the same way, pain can make the painful limb tremble. For example, a herniated disc can cause the hind legs to tremble.
  • Electrolyte disorders include hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood), low magnesium in the blood, or hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood. These electrolyte disorders can appear during intense gastroenteritis or kidney failure.
  • Idiopathic head tremors: this is a disease appearing in dogs of certain breeds such as Pinscher, Bulldog, Labrador, or Boxer. The dog that is shaky due to this idiopathic condition (the cause of which is not known) does not suffer from other symptoms. In most cases, the tremors are of short duration and can be stopped by distracting the dog.

Why is my dog ​​constantly shaking, and what should I do?

Fortunately, not all dogs that shiver have a disease. The dog may be shaking for several other inconsequential reasons. He may tremble out of excitement, for example, or out of fear that punishment is too severe; the dog trembles with fear and frustration. When you hold a ball before throwing it, your dog, tense, waits, trembling with impatience to be able to chase after it. The trembling dog thus expresses intense emotion. Obviously, like us, the dog can shiver when it is cold. On the other hand, it is quite rare to see the dog shaking when he has a fever (see the article on the dog’s temperature).

Dog shaking: what to do?

If your dog’s tremors occur during excitement, there is nothing to worry about except to continue playing with your dog.

Talk to your veterinarian if your dog is shaking when he hears fireworks or firecrackers. There are mild or anxiolytic treatments that can help him, in addition to behavioral therapy, to get used to noises, people, and situations that scare him.

If he shakes during a punishment, try changing it. Maybe she’s too harsh. Your dog understands very quickly when you are angry; as soon as he shows signs of submission (bent back, lowered head), stop your punishment. Besides, rather than punishing him, why not send him to his basket to tell him to stay calm? Ask your veterinarian or a behaviorist how to keep your dog from getting into too much trouble. Avoiding conflict and maintaining a good relationship with your dog is always best.

Why is my dog ​​constantly shaking, and what should I do?

Suppose the shaking dog exhibits other neurological or digestive symptoms or seems painful; contact your veterinarian to explore the cause of these tremors. He may take a blood test to look for a metabolic cause and will do a complete neurological examination.

If it’s a puppy or an animal being treated with insulin for diabetes, rub honey or sweet syrup on his gums and rush him to your veterinarian.

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why is my dog shaking Trembling: Causes and Treatments 2022