If you have noticed your dog shaking, you might be uncertain whether this should be cause for concern or not. It can be hard to tell if your dog is shaking because they are cold or if there is something else going on that should worry you. Dog shaking can be normal in some breeds all the time, and there are some situations where dog shaking is not of concern. However, there are other reasons that your dog is shaking that could be cause for concern.
Knowing why your dog is shaking can help you to take better care of them. The more that you know about the reasons that your dog could be shaking can help you to be informed about their health and behavior. Your dog’s shaking might be a symptom of many different health concerns, or it could be a sign that your pet is simply cold or a bit nervous.
Reasons Your Dog Might be Shaking
If you are ready to learn some more about why your dog might be shaking, you need to keep reading.
1. Their Breed
Some dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, can shake all the time without being sick or cold. This is just part of their normal behavior, but it can get worse if your dog gets cold or stressed. These are small dogs with very thin coats, so their normal shivering might be improved by putting them in a dog coat or sweater unless it is hot out. Chihuahuas often feel happiest and most comfortable when they are in a little sweater or when they are held due to their light coat and thin skin.
Some dogs are more prone to shivering when excited than others. This kind of shivering is just from excitement and is not related to any health condition or being too cold. Excited dogs that shiver will usually stop shivering when they have calmed down, which indicates that their shivering is only due to their emotions and nothing more serious. You can help your dog to handle times of excitement by training them to focus on you when they are overwhelmed and by making sure that they get enough exercise each day.
3. Stress or Fear
When your dog is scared or stressed, they might shiver. This kind of shivering might be accompanied by fearful body language, unwillingness to be touched, or hiding. This reason for shivering can be resolved by changes to your dog’s environment or elimination of the thing that is causing their fear. If your dog is struggling with anxiety and fear consistently, you might need to take them to the veterinarian to be assessed for supportive calming medications or other treatments. Fearful dogs can be hard to manage, and you will want to eliminate this problem if possible.
Dogs that are in pain might shiver as an expression of their discomfort. This kind of shivering can be quite fitful and might be violent in some cases. Your dog might be experiencing pain in waves, so the shivering might not be consistent. If you are not aware of any injury that your dog might have suffered, you should examine them to see if you can see cuts or find painful areas that might be the reason for the shivering they are displaying. Make sure to take your dog to the vet if they are in so much pain that they are shivering.
When your dog is sick, it might have a fever or be uncomfortable, which can cause shivering. Shivering due to illness can be accompanied by a dry nose and hot pads of the feet, as well as a dehydrated appearance or other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms necessitate a trip to the vet to make sure that your pet can get the treatment that they need for the illness. Shivering related to illness is not common unless your dog is quite ill, so you will not want to ignore this symptom if you think your dog is not feeling well.
6. Old Age
Some dogs will start to appear to shiver as they age. This can be related to weakness in the limbs or pain from arthritis. Your dog might also get tired easily when getting around, which can lead to shivering as well. If your dog is older, this can be a normal part of their daily experience, but you should consider taking them to the vet to be assessed for arthritis or other treatable conditions related to age. Many of the conditions that cause shaking in older dogs can be managed effectively with some help from your veterinarian.
Seizures do not look anything like shivering in most cases, but the first part of the seizure might resemble shivering. Seizures are usually much more violent than simple shivering, and you will need to take your dog to the vet right away if your dog is showing signs of seizures. There are many reasons that your dog might be having seizures, and all of them necessitate a visit to the vet.
Dog Shaking Might be Normal or Could be a Cause for Concern
Depending on the breed of dog that you have and their personality, dog shaking might not be of major concern. However, there are times when you should be worried about your dog shaking and might need to take them to the vet. Being able to identify symptoms that might indicate health concerns is important and making sure that your dog is not cold or nervous can also help to determine whether you need to be worried.
Dogs can show signs of shaking for many reasons that are not of serious concern, but you should always make sure to check on their overall well-being before you assume there is nothing wrong. The more detailed you are about checking on your dog’s needs, the more likely it will be that you will avoid needing to treat your dog for a serious illness.
Need to talk with a vet about your dog’s shaking? Call 412-373-8580 to talk with your veterinarian at Northern Pike Veterinary Hospital!