Understanding Why Dogs Shake: From Playful Wiggles to Anxious Trembles

September 8, 2023

Dogs have an incredible knack for expressing themselves, even without saying a word. If you're a proud dog owner, you've probably noticed your furry companion shaking occasionally. Sometimes, it's after an exhilarating game of fetch, and other times, it might happen during a thunderstorm. 

But why do dogs shake? This comprehensive guide will explore the various reasons behind this behavior, from joyful wiggles to anxious trembles. By the end, you'll understand what makes your canine friend tick and how to ensure their health and happiness.

Normal Causes of Shaking

Dogs are wonderful companions, and as responsible pet owners, it's essential to understand their behaviors. One typical behavior you may notice in your furry friend is shaking. You've probably seen your dog shake it off after a playdate at the park or a fun game of fetch. This is entirely normal. Shaking after exercise or when they're happy is a way for dogs to relax their muscles and calm down. Think of it as their way of saying, "Wow, that was fun!"

Dogs can't tell us when they feel too hot or cold, so they use shaking to help themselves feel better. Their bodies shake to generate warmth when they're cold, like how we shiver. On the other hand, dogs might shake to release pent-up energy after some vigorous play or when they're excited. It's similar to how we might jump around when excited – dogs do it differently!

A dog laying down on a mat in front of a front door

Shaking Caused by Anxiety or Stress

Dogs, much like us, experience moments of anxiety and stress. While they can't express their feelings in words, they have their way of communicating these emotions, and one common sign is shaking. In this section, we'll delve into the world of canine emotions, exploring why your furry friend might shake when feeling anxious or stressed. By understanding these signs and learning how to support your dog through challenging moments, you can strengthen the bond between you and provide the comfort your loyal companion needs.

Just like people, dogs can feel anxious or stressed in certain situations. When they're anxious, you might notice them trembling or shaking. This could happen during thunderstorms, fireworks, or when they're in new or unfamiliar places. Keep an eye out for these signs, as it's your dog's way of telling you they're uncomfortable.

Shaking can be a coping mechanism for dogs when they're anxious. It's like taking a deep breath or counting to ten when nervous. If your dog is shaking due to anxiety, there are ways to help them feel more secure. Providing a quiet, safe space and comforting them with gentle petting can go a long way toward making your furry friend feel better.

Veterinarian examining a cute dog

Not sure why your dog is shaking?

Shaking Caused by Medical Conditions

Sometimes, dogs might shake because they're in pain or discomfort. Like how we wince or rub a sore spot, dogs might shake to let us know something's wrong. Common causes of pain-related shaking in dogs can include arthritis or an injury.

Sometimes, dogs might shake because they're in pain or discomfort. Like how we wince or rub a sore spot, dogs might shake to let us know they are experiencing pain. Common causes of pain-related shaking in dogs can include arthritis or an injury.

In some cases, shaking might be due to neurological issues. These are problems with the brain or nervous system. While this is less common, it's important to mention. If your dog experiences persistent or severe shaking, it's essential to consult a veterinarian to rule out any neurological problems.

Shaking Caused by Medications or Treatments

If your dog is on medication, it's possible that the medication itself can cause shaking as a side effect. Some dogs are more sensitive to medications than others. If you suspect that medication might be causing the shaking, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian. They can adjust the treatment plan if needed.

Treatment for shaking in dogs depends on the underlying cause. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination to determine the issue and recommend the appropriate treatment. Early intervention is crucial, so always contact your vet if you're concerned about your dog's shaking.

cropped view of veterinarian with stethoscope

Can You Prevent Dog Shaking?

Regular checkups with your veterinarian are essential to catch potential issues early. These visits help ensure your dog's overall health and allow your vet to guide you on keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your dog is vital. If your dog is prone to anxiety-related shaking, try to identify and minimize triggers. Providing a cozy space and offering gentle reassurance during stressful times can make a big difference in helping your dog feel secure.

Understanding why dogs shake is vital to being a responsible pet owner. While some shaking is normal and harmless, it's crucial to recognize when it might indicate an underlying problem. By watching your dog's behavior and seeking veterinary care when needed, you can ensure that your furry companion lives a happy and healthy life.

Seeking Expert Care at Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital

While this article provides valuable insights into why dogs shake and what you can do to help, it's important to remember that each dog is unique. If your canine companion's shaking persists and becomes severe, or if you're struggling to identify the cause or find a suitable treatment option, it's time to seek the expertise of a veterinarian.

At Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital, we understand the deep bond you share with your dog and are committed to ensuring their health and well-being. Our experienced and compassionate veterinarians specialize in diagnosing and treating various canine health issues, including those that may cause shaking.

Why Choose Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital?

  • Expertise:

    Our veterinarians are highly trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions in dogs, including those that may result in shaking or trembling.

  • State-of-the-Art Facilities:

    We are equipped with advanced diagnostic tools and a modern facility to provide the best possible care for your furry friend.

  • Individualized Treatment:

    We understand that every dog is different and tailor our treatment plans to address your dog's unique needs.

  • Compassionate Care:

    Your dog's comfort and well-being are our top priorities. We provide compassionate care and support for you and your pet throughout treatment.

  • Collaborative Approach:

    We work closely with you to ensure you fully understand your dog's condition and treatment options, empowering you to make informed decisions about their care.

Remember, your dog's health is too important to leave to guesswork. If you're concerned about your dog's shaking or any other health issue, don't hesitate to contact Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital. We're here to help ensure your beloved pet leads a happy, healthy, and vibrant life. Schedule an appointment today to get the answers and care your dog deserves.