Why is My Dog Shaking?

If you’ve noticed your dog shaking lately, you’ll probably be worried. The good news is that the cause is rarely as serious as it looks, though there are situations where you might want to take your dog to a doctor. The important thing is that you check your dog's symptoms to determine what the most likely cause of shaking is. Depending on the symptoms, it could be anything from a simple cold to a dangerous disease. The trick is that you know which symptoms mean which condition. Below is some information from UK Best Essays on what might be the cause of shaking in a dog.

Does shaking mean your dog is in pain?

Shaking might be a sign of pain, but that is not the only possibility, and not all kinds of shaking indicate a dog in pain. In fact, when a dog is in pain, it’s usually only the hind legs that shake. This is especially common in older dogs, which might be suffering from joint pain. Dogs are just as vulnerable to arthritis as humans.

When I worked for an admission essay writing service, I had a nice dog that I got from the pound. He was already 6 years old. 7 years later, he was very old and exhibited shaking in the hind legs. It was later revealed to be arthritis, and a visit to the vet helped get medication for him. He passed on knowing he was loved and valued. If you notice your dog’s hind legs often shaking, especially if it is an older dog, you should take him or her to see a vet. The vet can determine what the best solution is.

As mentioned above, pain isn’t the only possible reason why your dog might be shaking. Below are some other possibilities:

Benign Causes for Shaking


Shaking isn’t always caused by a negative reason. Sometimes it just might be that your dog is excited. When a dog gets excited, such as when you’re playing a game of catch with them, they will often shake. This is a perfectly natural reaction of the body, allowing them to let out all that extra energy they have. Sometimes your dog might be shaking out of anticipation, such as when you’re getting their dinner ready or when they’ve seen a small animal that they want to pursue. In such instances, you shouldn’t be worried at all.


Your dog may also shake out of anxiety. This may happen when your dog hears especially loud noises, such as fireworks or thunder. Your dog may also shake when there is an uncomfortable and unexpected change in its environment. Dogs, like humans, like to keep their space familiar, so they can get anxious when things change too drastically.

If the anxiety is severe and your dog won’t calm down, you may want to see a vet. They may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your dog, so they can deal better with stressful situations.


If your dog doesn’t have any other serious symptoms, and there isn’t anything in the environment to make them anxious, then all that shaking might simply be due to cold weather.  Dogs shiver in cold weather, much like humans.

If your dog has an especially thin coat of fur, or you live in a very cold area, then it might be a good idea to buy a coat for your dog, or a pair of boots at least. You’ll also want to limit the amount of time your dog stays outside, so they don’t get exposed to the cold for too long.

There are extreme cases when your dog may develop hypothermia from overexposure to the dog. If that happens, you need to contact a vet immediately for their sake.

Severe Causes for Shaking

There are times when the shaking might be a symptom of something serious, especially when coupled with other worrisome symptoms. In such cases, it is imperative that you take your dog to the vet, even if you think it might not be that serious. Prolonged shaking, combined with other symptoms like vomiting, might mean your dog has a serious medical condition that needs attention.


Distemper is a type of canine virus common among younger dogs that haven’t been fully vaccinated. This virus mainly attacks the respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems and is often fatal. Dogs with distemper often shiver and shake, as well as exhibit other symptoms like eye discharge, vomiting, a reduced appetite, lethargy, fever, coughing, and nasal discharge.

If you suspect your dog may have distemper, it’s important that you take it to a vet immediately.


Nausea isn’t really a medical condition in itself but more of a symptom indicating other conditions. Below are some conditions that might cause nausea in your dog:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Poison
  • Bloating from overeating
  • It might be a side effect of medication
  • It might be caused by motion sickness.

Telltale signs that your dog has nausea include vomiting, frequent swallowing, salivating, smacking of the lips, and, of course, shaking. If you note these symptoms in your dog, take it to a vet immediately.


Dogs can also suffer from epilepsy, which causes victims to collapse and have spasms. An epileptic attack may involve your dog falling on the ground and paddling with its legs as if it were swimming.

Seizures aren’t physically painful for the victim, but they can lead to injury as the victim knocks things onto themselves or falls on hard ground. If your dog has seizures, it is important to take it to a vet and get it treated immediately.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Generalized Tremor Syndrome, or GTS, is also often called shaker syndrome. It occurs when a dog has involuntary, repetitive, and rhythmic tremors. It can occur in a single area or all over the body. Nobody quite knows the cause of GTS, though experts suspect it might be an autoimmune condition. You can read more about this condition at Best Essay Writing Services. If your dog exhibits GTS, take it to a vet to have it properly diagnosed.


To keep your dog safe, it is important that you take preventive measures, such as keeping it warm, fully vaccinated, and well-fed on a healthy diet. Try to keep it away from any toxic substances as well. In case you see any suspicious symptoms, take your doctor to the vet for a proper diagnosis and prescription.

Author Bio: Jessie Chapman is a writing editor from Chicago who currently works at UK Best Essays, a professional writing services agency. She has also worked with other paper writing websites, providing quality research on various topics.

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