Why Does my Dog Shake So Much?

2 mins read

There are many possible reasons your dog might be shaking. While your vet may decide whether you should seek treatment, keep in mind some of the causes of dogs shaking.

Cold Weather

Dobermans and Greyhounds alike can easily get cold from their thin coats. Some dogs can get cold even though it’s only 50 to 60 degrees outside. Humidity and rain can make your dog feel colder.

If your dog keeps shaking after you’ve warmed him up, talk to your vet.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Some small dogs “just seem to tremble,” anyone who has seen a few Chihuahuas/Miniature Pinschers will know that many of these little dogs tremble a lot. Experts can’t pinpoint exactly why small dogs tremble, but it could mean that they are colder or more anxious.

Consider whether the trembling is a new behavior, or if it occurs with other changes in your dog’s behavior. Ask your vet about trembling in small dogs.

Your vet may assess muscle tone and examine other possible reasons your dog might be shaking. Your vet could diagnose Generalized Tremor Syndrome for your dog (GTS), which can then be treated with corticosteroids.

Signs of muscle weakness or injury

You’ve probably ever felt your muscles get a little numb from exercise. Did you notice that your pulled muscles vibrate when you move in a wrong direction? It can also happen to dogs. Quivering may be a sign that you are experiencing pain, injury, or weakness.

Your vet should be consulted if shaking is restricted to one particular area (e.g. the right hind legs), has occurred after intense exercise or is associated with a decrease of activity. If you feel the muscle tremor getting worse, then try to massage the area or give your dog exercise. Stressed dogs may also tremble in pain or weakness.


Dogs will often shake when they’re excited or anticipating something. You may have noticed your dog shake when you are playing with them or when they spot something on a walk. Younger dogs may exhibit a tendency to shake with excitement. You don’t need to worry if your dog occasionally shakes with excitement. They should calm down and stop shaking once they become calm again. To calm down your dog’s excitement, try to make them feel more relaxed.

Fear, stress, and anxiety

If your dog isn’t feeling safe, adrenaline can prepare it to run or defend itself. It floods through the dog’s system and causes it to shake or tremble. This is often due to trips to the vet, thunderstorms, fireworks, and other stressful situations. Panting, whimpering or hiding are other signs that your pet is anxious. While this is not something to worry about, it’s a sign your dog may be stressed. You can help them feel happier by taking away stress-causing factors or by managing their stress levels. Consider talking to your vet about anti anxiety medications if your dog is anxious at frequent events.

Their environment may cause them to shake.

All living things have evolved over millions of years to develop physical and behavioral traits that will help them survive. Dogs don’t differ from other animals. Sometimes, a dog might shake for evolutionary reasons. This could be to dry off, or to keep warm.

Water should be drained.

After a bath and a swim in the puddle or river, your dog will shake off any excess water. But, why not let their coat dry naturally? While dog fur is great at trapping heat to keep them warm while keeping them dry, it also holds water well. The energy-efficient method of drying is shaking the water off. This takes about 5,000 times as much energy as drying it with body heat. Dogs are so skilled at shaking that they can get rid of 70% of the water on their fur within four seconds. Sometimes, this is done while soaking in close friends and family.

I am a contributing author and co-founder of animalsanswers.com. Every now and then i find myself hooked to my laptop researching and trying to discover new species of animals.

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