What Does It Mean When Dogs Shake?

What Does It Mean When Dogs Shake?

Do you ever see your dog shaking and wonder what’s going on?

Many pet owners are curious about this behavior, and for a good reason – it can be a sign of something going on with your pup’s health.

This article will take a comprehensive look at what dog shaking means.

We’ll discuss what could be causing your dog to shake and when you should be concerned.

We’ll also cover typical reasons for shaking, such as excitement or cold weather, to better distinguish between healthy and unhealthy shaking in your pup.

What shaking means in dogs

When your dog is shaking, it can mean a variety of things. Here are some of the most common causes of shaking in dogs:

Anxiety or fear

Dogs may shake when they’re anxious or afraid of something.

This could be due to a traumatic experience, such as being in a car accident or something currently happening, such as fireworks.

Anxiety or fear can cause a dog to shake for several reasons.

Some dogs may shake when experiencing general anxiety, while others may shake in response to specific stimuli.

For example, a dog may become anxious when hearing loud noises, such as fireworks or thunderstorms.


Dogs may shake when they’re in pain. This could be due to several different issues, such as joint pain, dental problems, or even cancer.

If you think your dog is shaking due to pain, take it to the veterinarian for a check-up.

Many different health problems can cause dogs to shake, and many of them require treatment from a professional.

Nausea or vomiting

Dogs may shake when they’re feeling sick to their stomach, which could signify that your pup is experiencing nausea or vomiting.

If your dog is shaking and you suspect that they are experiencing nausea or vomiting, you can do a few things to help.

Make sure your pup has plenty of water to drink and isn’t eating anything, as this could make the situation worse.

You may also consider taking your dog to the vet for further evaluation and treatment.

Temperature change

Dogs may shake when there’s a sudden change in temperature, such as going from a warm house into the cold outdoors.

If your dog is shaking because of a sudden temperature change, you can help them adjust by gradually bringing them to the area they’re supposed to be in.

For example, if you’re taking them outside, open the door and let them slowly explore the outdoor space.

You can also put a jacket on them or bring them near a heat source.

Water intoxication

Dogs may shake after drinking too much water too quickly, which can cause water intoxication.

This occurs when dogs drink so much water that it dilutes the sodium levels in their blood, leading to dangerous side effects like seizures and coma.

If your dog is shaking after drinking water, it’s essential to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn’t drink any more.

If your dog seems to be having any other symptoms of water intoxication, like vomiting or seizures, take him to the vet immediately.


Dogs may shake when they’re dehydrated. This is often seen in dogs who are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

When a dog is dehydrated, its body doesn’t have enough water to function correctly, and this can cause them to shake and appear lethargic.

If your dog is shaking and vomiting or has diarrhea, they’re likely dehydrated and need treatment.


Dogs may shake when they’re experiencing heatstroke.

If your dog is stunning and you suspect that he might be experiencing heatstroke, get him to a vet as soon as possible.

Heatstroke can cause serious health problems and can even be fatal.

Some of the signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, and, most notably, shaking.

This is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.


Dogs might shake when they are excited because they want to play and run and whatnot, and it could simply be them trying to get your attention.

If this is the only time your dog shakes, there is likely nothing to worry about.

When to worry

If your dog is shaking for any of the reasons above, there are some things you should be concerned about. Here are a few things to look out for:

If your dog is shaking due to fear or anxiety, it may also be panting excessively or salivating.

This could signify that your dog is in distress and needs help.

If your dog is shaking for any other reason, it’s essential to monitor it closely and take it to the vet if you notice any changes.

Shaking is often a sign that something isn’t right with your dog.

While some shaking is normal, any significant or sudden change in how much your dog shakes could be a warning sign of an underlying issue.

Here are some of the most common things to watch out for:

Tremors or seizures

If your dog starts trembling or having seizures, it’s a sign something is wrong, and you should immediately take your dog to the vet.


If your dog has a fever, it could signify many different illnesses or health conditions. Take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis.

Joint pain

Dogs can experience joint pain for many reasons, including arthritis, infection, or injury.

If your dog is shaking and seems in pain, take it to the vet for a diagnosis.


Dogs can become dehydrated for many reasons, including vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive panting.

If your dog is shaking and has any other symptoms, it may be thirsty and need fluids.


If you think your dog may have been poisoned, take it to the vet immediately.

Some signs of poisoning include shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and take your dog to the vet if it is shaking.

The vet can diagnose the problem and help your dog get back to feeling better.

How to be safe

Although shaking in dogs is nothing to worry about most of the time, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Here are a few tips for being extra cautious:

  1. Keep a close eye on your dog when it’s shaking, and if it seems to be in pain, has trouble walking, or is vomiting or diarrhea, take it to the vet right away.
  2. If you’re not sure what’s causing your dog to shake, err on the side of caution and take them to the vet. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Ensure your dog has a comfortable place to rest and isn’t overworked or stressed. This can help reduce the likelihood of shaking in dogs.
  4. If it’s cold outside, make sure your dog has dressed appropriately and has a warm place to sleep. Shivering is one-way dogs generate heat, so if they’re shaking from the cold, make sure they have a way to warm up.
  5. Keep your dog away from situations that may cause it anxiety or fear, such as fireworks or loud noises. This can help prevent shaking in dogs due to these stimuli.


Shaking is a normal behavior in dogs, but it can also signify an illness or injury.

If your dog is shaking, it’s essential to take them to the vet to get them checked out.

You should also be extra cautious if your dog is shaking for an unknown reason or if it’s a new behavior.

By being vigilant and knowing what to look for, you can help keep your dog healthy and safe.

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