Why Is My Dog Shaking? Causes and Treatments - NibbleyPets


Why Is My Dog Shaking? Causes and Treatments

February 25, 2021

Why Is My Dog Shaking? Causes and Treatments

Many owners are often alarmed by their dogs shivering or trembling as they may describe it. The problem with diagnosing shaking or shivering is that it is a typical bodily response to various stimuli, including excitement, the effect of toxic foods, etc.

In this article, we'll list and briefly discuss the most common causes for a dog shivering or shaking and how you can treat it!

When Should You Visit a Vet?

You should see a vet if the dog suddenly starts shivering or trembling. You also want to make sure that they aren't displaying other symptoms like vomiting, limping, or diarrhea. If so, that too means you should take the dog to a vet right away.

We know that can be quite hard with the COVID-19 restrictions, but we’d recommend seeking some type of professional help, for example, over the phone. They should be able to advise you further so that you know how to deal with it. 

Common causes and treatment for shivering


 Now, this is the most common cause of shivering, i.e., they are happy to see you come home after a hard day at work or maybe being out all day. 

They may bark, shake, and even in some cases, urinate with all the excitement. Though some dogs will grow out of these traits, the best way to treat this issue is to calm them down.


Distemper is most common in puppies, but it isn't as uncommon as some may believe in adolescent dogs which aren't entirely vaccinated. It’s usually caused by a virus

The viral attack can cause dogs to tremble or shake. However, other signs of distemper include fever, nasal discharge, coughing, etc. Treating distemper requires caring for your dog as their immune system fights the virus. 

The treatment may also include a cocktail of antibiotics, physical therapy, fluids, and airway dilators.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) 

Generalized Tremor Syndrome was often referred to as steroid responsive tremor syndrome or even white shaker dog syndrome. It was first noticed in small, usually white dogs. 

Breeds like the West Highland and Maltese white terriers are mainly affected, but it has been noticed in dogs of all sizes, colors, and breeds since then.

Although GTS's exact cause is unsubstantiated to date, what we do know is it starts at around nine months to 2 years of age. Treatment consists of prednisone. Results from the treatment are usually seen within a week.


Similar to humans, dogs too can suffer from motion sickness, overeating, the wrong medication, or maybe ingesting a toxic plant. 

Nausea can also be caused by liver disease or kidney problems. Shaking is a sign that the dog is nauseous. Other symptoms include lip-smacking, salivating more than usual, vomiting, hiding, and often yawning.

The treatment can vary depending on what may be causing the problem. 

Poisoning can also cause nausea. That's why if you notice that a dog is vomiting or is nauseous, then call a doctor right away.

Old Age 

 It isn't uncommon for dogs to develop tremors, especially in the hind legs. However, the tremors may also be in the front paws. 

The tremors may not affect how the dog moves, but they are certainly visible. However, trembling can also be caused by pain. 

That's why you always want to visit a vet to make sure that there is an accurate diagnosis of the problem.


 Many toxins can cause dogs to tremble or shake. While some may be harmless to people, they are very harmful to dogs. 

Everyday items like chocolate or cigarettes can be very harmful. That's why you'll want to take your dog to a vet immediately because the more time you waste, the worst things can get for them.


In addition to the above, there are many reasons for a dog shaking or trembling. However, instead of guessing why they are trembling, it is best to see a vet. 

If you would like to read more on dogs, you can check out some of our related articles below. 

6 Benefits of Owning a Pet

Why Are Elevated Dog Bowls Better? 

6 Tips For Grooming Your Dog At Home

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