If you’ve ever seen a dog shaking or trembling, you may be wondering what is causing this behavior. While it can sometimes be normal for dogs to shake or tremble, it could also be a sign of an underlying medical or behavioral issue. In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes and solutions for dog shaking so that you can determine the best course of action for your pup.
Dog Shaking Behavior
Dog shaking or trembling is a common behavior among dogs that can have numerous causes. It can be caused by fear, excitement, anxiety, pain, cold temperatures, old age, and even certain medical conditions. The trembling may look like shivering or quivering and could be accompanied by other signs such as panting or pacing.
Understanding the cause of a dog’s shaking is important in order to determine the best course of action for your pup. If the trembling is due to an underlying medical condition, it’s important to get your pet to the vet right away.
Normal Dog Shaking
It is normal for dogs to shake after becoming wet or cold, as it helps them dry off and warm up. This kind of trembling does not typically last long, but can be more pronounced in certain breeds such as hounds and retrievers.
It is also normal for dogs to shake or tremble when they are playing or excited. This type of shaking is usually not accompanied by other signs such as panting, and should not last longer than a few minutes. It can look similar to shivering but is usually more rapid and sudden in nature.
Medical Causes of Dog Shaking
Shaking or trembling can be caused by a variety of medical conditions in dogs including allergies, arthritis, hypoglycemia, fever, poisoning, and even seizures.
Pain or discomfort
Pain or discomfort can cause a dog to shake or tremble in an attempt to relieve the pain. This type of shaking is often accompanied by cries or whimpering, pawing at the area that is causing discomfort, as well as other signs such as licking or biting the area in question.
Anxiety or fear
Anxiety or fear can cause a dog to shake or tremble, as their body is preparing for the potential of danger. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as panting, pacing, cowering, and hiding. If your pup is showing these signs alongside trembling, it could be due to anxiety or fear.
Ear infections or allergies
Ear infections or allergies can cause a dog to shake or tremble, as the discomfort can be quite severe. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as pawing at the ears, head shaking, and an absence of balance.
Neurological disorders such as canine distemper, encephalitis, and epilepsy can cause a dog to shake or tremble. This type of trembling is often accompanied by other signs such as loss of coordination, seizures, disorientation or confusion, and even paralysis.
Poisoning or toxins
Poisoning or toxins can cause a dog to shake or tremble, as the body is working to remove the toxins from its system. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, and even seizures.
Importance of seeking veterinary assistance for proper diagnosis
It is important to seek veterinary assistance if your dog’s shaking or trembling lasts longer than a few minutes, is accompanied by other signs such as panting, or is happening more frequently. An experienced vet can provide the necessary evaluation and diagnose the underlying cause so that an appropriate treatment plan can be put in place.
Behavioral Causes of Dog Shaking
Behavioral causes of shaking
1. Nervousness or anxiety
Nervousness or anxiety can cause a dog to shake or tremble, as their body is preparing for the potential of danger. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as panting, pacing, cowering, and hiding.
2. Stress or overstimulation
Stress or overstimulation can cause a dog to shake or tremble, as the body is overwhelmed by too much stimulation at once. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as excessive panting, drooling, and wide eyes.
3. Learned behavior or attention-seeking
Dogs can learn to shake or tremble as a means of eliciting attention from their owners. This type of trembling is often accompanied by signs such as whining, jumping, and pawing at the owner. If your pup is showing these signs alongside trembling, it could be due to learned behavior or attention-seeking.
Strategies for addressing behavioral causes through training and behavior modification
Training and behavior modification are effective strategies for addressing behavioral causes of dog shaking or trembling, such as anxiety, stress, and learned behavior. Positive reinforcement training can help teach dogs to remain calm in situations that may have previously caused them to shake or tremble.
Remedies for Dog Shaking
Non-medical remedies for mild shaking
1. Providing a safe and secure environment
Providing a safe and secure environment is one of the most important remedies for mild dog shaking or trembling. This means creating an area that is free of loud noises, strangers, or unfamiliar animals.
2. Regular exercise and mental stimulation
Regular exercise and mental stimulation are effective remedies for mild dog shaking or trembling. Exercise helps to burn off excess energy, while mental stimulation can help keep a pup’s mind occupied and reduce feelings of anxiety or stress.
3. Calming techniques like massage or aromatherapy
Massage and aromatherapy are effective calming techniques for mild dog shaking or trembling. Massage is a gentle, noninvasive way to soothe tension in the muscles, while aromatherapy can help reduce stress levels by using essential oils with calming effects like lavender.
Medical interventions for severe or persistent shaking
1. Medications prescribed by a veterinarian
In cases of severe or persistent shaking, a veterinarian may prescribe medications to help reduce the symptoms. These medications may include anti-anxiety drugs, anti-seizure medications, or other types of psychotropic drugs.
2. Behavioral therapy or training sessions with a professional
Behavioral therapy or training sessions with a professional can be an effective remedy for dog shaking or trembling. A trained behaviorist can help identify the underlying cause of the behavior and develop strategies to reduce the frequency and intensity of shaking episodes.
Maintenance care to prevent future episodes of shaking
Once the underlying cause of a dog’s shaking or trembling has been addressed, it is important to provide maintenance care in order to prevent future episodes. This includes providing regular exercise and mental stimulation, as well as maintaining a safe and secure environment for your pup.
It is important to remember that shaking or trembling in a dog can be a sign of anxiety or stress, and should not be treated as a problem. In cases where the shaking is severe or persistent, a veterinarian may prescribe medications to help reduce symptoms. Establishing a consistent daily routine can help prevent future episodes of dog shaking or trembling. This includes providing regular meal times, generous play sessions, and scheduling outdoor activities at the same time each day.