Top reasons why your dog is trembling
Our dogs are our constant, and arguably our best, companions. Some aspects of dog behaviour are easy to interpret, like that happy tail wag as you gather their leash before heading out for a walk. But others can have you scratching your head, such as: why is my dog shaking? Could they be trembling with dog anxiety or shivering because of dog depression? No one wants their dog to be distressed, and a symptom like quivering or shaking can be a cause for concern in some cases. However, if you notice your dog shaking, the first thing to do is to examine the context.
“Reading your dog’s body language and taking the situation into consideration usually helps determine what is causing the shaking,” says veterinarian, Dr Nicole Fulcher. Often, there’s no reason to worry, but it’s always worth calling your vet if you’re really concerned or if the shaking is prolonged. Here are the top reasons that your dog may be shaking – and what you should do.
1. Your dog is shaking from excitement
“Many things that cause dogs to shake are no cause for worry – they can shake for all kinds of reasons,” says veterinarian, Dr Rachel Barrack. “Joy and excitement is a big one. Seeing you walk through the door after a long day out is often reason enough to shake with excitement.”
If you’ve ever had some really exciting news and felt the fizzy, shivery buzz of an adrenaline rush, then you know how your dog feels. You might be more used to your pooch jumping up and down or barking when they see you come home, but it turns out that many dogs will shake when they become very excited, or when they know something exciting is going to happen – like the end of your work day! Actually, if you see humans trembling a bit on Friday afternoons, it’s for the same reasons. You might notice your dog getting the shakes when you come home if you’ve been away longer than usual, as well.
2. Your dog is reacting to the weather
If the answer to “why is my dog shaking?” is the same as “why am I shaking?” it must be winter. Dogs get cold, just like people. Toy breeds, in particular, tend to shake and tremble more than other types of dogs; this especially happens with Chihuahuas.
“This can be due to their small size, so they tend to feel colder than larger dogs do, and this can cause them to shiver,” explains Dr Barrack. Because of their small size, their whole bodies tend to shake. Breeds that have short or sparse coats, like greyhounds and whippets, also have a higher sensitivity to cold and will probably shake if it’s chilly out. Making sure to dress your fur baby in a sweater or jacket on cold days can go a long way, suggests veterinarian, Dr Christie Long.