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Shaking, trembling, and quivering. Whatever you call it, it’s an occurrence you’ll more than likely observe with dogs; perhaps even with your dogs. 

Seeing your dog shake can definitely be unsettling and strike paranoia and fear into your heart. You start to worry about your dog’s health and you’re not sure of what they need. In this blog post, we examine the different causes of dogs shaking so that you’re in the know.

We’ll start with the most obvious causes for dogs shaking and work our way towards the more concerning causes. Let’s begin!


Your dog is cold. 

There are various dog breeds that don’t have the same insulation from their fur coat that other dog breeds have. This lack of warmth can cause your dog to quiver and shake, and it’s commonly seen with smaller dog breeds like chihuahuas. Thankfully, there are solutions for dogs who are having trouble withstanding cold temperatures. The market for dog parent consumers has grown to include clothing to keep your dog warm and comfortable, cozy bedding, and more. 

Your dog is anxious or afraid.

Dogs who experience anxiety can develop various triggers. For example, if your dog has separation anxiety, the sound of you grabbing the keys may cause them alarm and trigger their anxiety because they associate it with you leaving the house. The best course of action is to determine what’s causing stress or anxiety for your dog so that you can properly comfort your dog. In the case of grabbing your keys, it’s all about conditioning your dog to not associate it with you leaving. Start with grabbing your keys and putting them in your pocket or purse one hour before you plan on leaving, spend time with your dog, and narrow that time frame down when you see your dog getting more comfortable. (e.g. First few times, grab the key one hour before you leave and then work your way to 30 minutes before you leave, etc.)

Your dog knows you’ll give them attention.

They’re smart! If they shake and you immediately give them attention, they might say, “Oh hey! This is how I get their attention?” It’s hard to just assume that’s what the case is, but pay attention to how quickly they stop shivering and shaking and if there are other factors encouraging this.

Your dog is excited.

According to Purina, “ Your dog may shake when they’re playing with you, if you’ve just got home and they’re happy to see you or if you’re just about to go for a walk. When dogs shake due to excitement it helps to lower their excess energy and keep them more contained. Most commonly it’s seen in younger dogs as they tend to have weaker impulse control, and it’s usually a good idea to pay less attention to them until they calm down, then reward them with a calm stroke.”

Your dog is getting older.

Dogs’ bodies become frailer as they age, just like most mammals. Their muscles weaken, often leading to developing tremors. It’s also possible that your dog has arthritis. Keep reading for a recommended course of action.

At what point should I take my dog to the vet for shivering?

Shaking and shivering can also indicate larger health issues, and at some times, it can be confused with seizures. Be very observant of your dog’s behavior, and if their shivering and shaking are making you nervous, it’s best to seek professional advice and assistance from your local, trusted veterinarian. 

What you’ve just read is a sampling of blog posts we offer at Joyride Harness. We cover current events, informational posts, interviews, and more! You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section.
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