Dogs shake for a number of reasons, the most common being when they’re drying off or scratching. However, there are a few reasons your dog might be continually shaking, some of which aren’t normal or healthy. If you have to ask yourself, “Why is my dog shaking?” you may want to look into underlying issues.
Not all types of shaking are bad and most times it’s nothing to worry about. Your dog may just be expressing some emotions.
When dogs get excited, they show it by shaking their body because they’re so excited and have a lot of energy they can’t hold in.
They’re Anxious or Afraid
Sometimes when dogs get anxious or afraid, they may shake out of fear caused by a fight or flight reaction. This may be because they’re too stressed about something, such as trauma, and it’s released by shaking.
Like humans, dogs also shiver when they’re cold. If you’re cold, you may want to check on your dog because they may be as cold as you, and they can’t get a blanket or jacket as you can.
They’re in Pain
Dogs can be in pain without an obvious physical cause, or without verbally expressing this feeling. Your dog may instead try to endure the pain and shake as a response.
Sometimes medical issues are the cause of your dog’s shaking. These issues can start as early as birth or come around later. Some conditions only affect certain dog breeds, so you may never have to worry about a few of these issues depending on what breed your dog is.
Shaking Puppy Syndrome
Shaking Puppy Syndrome can occur after two weeks of birth and happens when their nerves aren’t properly covered by a protective tissue called myelin. If you notice a puppy in your litter is having difficulty walking, staying balanced, or is shaking, you may need to look into taking them to your local vet.
Cerebellar Hypoplasia is caused by the incomplete development of a puppy’s cerebellum, which is responsible for coordination and muscle movement. You’ll be able to notice this in puppies early on due to tremors, falling over, and head bobbing.
Addison’s Disease is an endocrine disorder which can cause shaking, lethargy, and vomiting in dogs.
HYpoglycemia is when dogs, like humans, get low blood sugar. This can be denoted by shaking and tremors when their blood sugar is low.
Hypocalcemia is when your dog has too low of a calcium concentrate and can cause shaking, muscle tremors, and even seizures.
Distemper is a viral disease infection your dog may get and can cause shaking, discharge from their nasal passages and eyes, vomiting, and lethargy. Distemper is not recoverable, so try to make your dog as comfortable as possible.
Medication or Toxin Reactions
Some dogs have reactions to medications or certain toxins and it’s always best to be aware of what may happen if you need to medicate your dog. Make sure to talk with your vet if they’re giving you any medications or and read all the side effects if you’re going to be treating your dog. Be aware that certain foods or other substances may also cause adverse effects.
Anesthesia is a medication which may leave your dog shaking for a while as the effects wear off. This usually isn’t a cause for concern.
If a dog ingests too much marijuana, they may experience tremors as a side effect. It is best not to get your dog high off of marijuana, and you should keep any edibles out of reach.
Flea and Tick Medications
Sensitivity may occur in some dogs to flea or tick medications that can leave them with tremors/shaking and even seizures. If you notice this happening, remove the medication if possible, and call your local vet as it may be an allergic reaction.
Chocolate should be kept away from your dog as it contains toxins that are harmful to them and can cause shaking and other issues.
When you notice your dog shaking a lot and ask yourself, “Why is my dog shaking?” be sure to check around you for environmental factors. If none are apparent, you may want to look into an appointment with your vet to make sure they are healthy.