Why Is My Dog Shaking? Is It A Good or A Bad Sign?

Why is my dog shaking?

Why is my dog shaking? It can be sign of many things, on the good side simply cleaning off after a bath or a walk in the rain. But when the shivering or trembling occurs for no apparent reason, it’s time to investigate other more troublesome reasons for the shaking.

Quick NavigationWhy Is My Dog Shaking: Positive or Happy Shaking and ShiveringDrying offExcitementIntelligenceWhy Is My Dog Shaking: Bad Shakes to Watch Out ForFeeling ColdSickness or PainPoisoningStressOld ageWhy Is My Dog Shaking? Specific Illnesses to Be Aware OfWhite Dog Shaker SyndromeDistemperKidney DiseaseAddison’s DiseaseWhy Is My Dog Shaking? Don’t Just Ignore It

Why Is My Dog Shaking: Positive or Happy Shaking and Shivering

Drying off

This is one of the most obvious ones. This is a natural reflex to help your dog not suffer from hypothermia with all the excess water so close to its skin. Your dog can remove up to 70% of the water from its fur with just this one swift action. You’ll have to keep this habit in mind after you give your dog a bath to not get water all over your house where you don’t want it.


Another normal doggy behavior moment. You might notice your dog getting so hyped up while playing fetch with you, that it starts trembling or shivering. This is just your dog’s way of getting rid of excess energy. Best to simply ignore it, if you make a big fuss of your dog in this moment, the hyperactivity will simply become worse.


Why is my dog shaking? Some dogs are master manipulators and soon figure out that strange shivering or shaking, will get them attention. This is the same as a child falling into the habit of craving attention regardless of a positive or negative connotation. Best way to break your four-footed child out of this habit, is to ignore it when it starts with odd shivers for no apparent reason, and give it lots of attention when it is calm and collected.

Why Is My Dog Shaking: Bad Shakes to Watch Out For

Feeling Cold

Why is my dog shaking? It could just be a normal sign of feeling cold. If the temperatures is dropping dramatically and your dog has to spend extended periods outside, consider investing in a nice doggy sweater. You could even buy some booties to also make sure its paws are not freezing.

Sickness or Pain

If you can’t see any obvious reason for the shaking, it could be a symptom of something more serious. Same as humans, dogs can tremble because of a fever. A few sicknesses associated with strange shaking: kidney disease, distemper, Addison’s disease, seizures, nausea, inflammatory brain diseases, and generalized tremor syndrome (GTS). Make sure you don’t simply ignore the shaking, rather visit your vet to rule out the possibility of it being a sign of a serious sickness.


The other signs of poisoning are diarrhea and vomiting but uncontrollable shaking can be another indication that your dog has ingested something poisonous. This could include eating too much chocolate, accidentally chewing on a poisonous plant or exposure to harmful chemicals. You need to take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect it has eaten something harmful.


Dogs are surprisingly similar to people in their reaction to stressful situations. Your dog’s shaking could be an indication of feeling stressed out or anxious. This could be triggered by fireworks, a trip to the vet, beeping alarms or having to ride in the car if your dog’s not used to it. The shaking reaction can be alleviated by training your dog how to manage stress.

Old age

Why is my dog shaking? The older your dog gets, the more its body will undergo various changes. One of these could include developing tremors in its legs. In senior dogs this can often be a sign of joint pain or discomfort. It’s best to regularly take your dog for a veterinarian checkup to make sure that the shaking is not a sign of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Why is my dog shaking?

Why Is My Dog Shaking? Specific Illnesses to Be Aware Of

White Dog Shaker Syndrome

Also known as Generalized Tremor Syndrome or responsive tremor syndrome. Once you’ve ruled out other possibilities for your dog’s shaking or trembling, such as excitement or nervousness, you need to visit your vet to rule out it being this serious syndrome. It was first noticed in small breeds such as the Terriers or Maltese, but any breed can suffer from it, it usually occurs in young dogs. The syndrome can be treated with corticosteroids and you will notice improvements within a week.

Distemper Virus

Other symptoms of the virus include nasal discharge, coughing and fever. But it can also cause tremors and seizures. You can vaccinate your puppy against this dangerous virus. There is no specific cure for it, so exposure to the virus will mean that your dog’s immune system must fight it off. Your vet will only be able to manage the symptoms with medication.

Why is my dog shaking?

Kidney Disease

Why is my dog shaking? Your dog might be symptom-free for a long time and all of a sudden the signs of chronic kidney disease or renal failure will start popping up. These include excessive drinking and urinating more often. And another sign of kidney problems is shaking. If this starts occurring it means the disease has progressed rapidly. Your vet won’t be able to reverse the kidney damage, but you can manage the disease with treatments such as furosemide, offering your dog a better life quality.

Addison’s Disease

This disease is caused by a lack of cortisol. Oftentimes it’s misdiagnosed, so you need to make sure that your vet rules out all other possibilities when you start noticing your dog trembling strangely. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, little or no appetite as well as a loss of energy and strength.

Why Is My Dog Shaking? Don’t Just Ignore It

Unless there is a very obvious reason for the shaking, don’t just ignore this activity that could be a sign of a bigger hidden problem. You will get to know your dog over the years and become more attuned to its behavior. As soon as you notice something out of the ordinary, rather book that vet appointment.

Have you ever noticed your dog shaking oddly, was it due to a bigger problem you didn’t know about?