As a dog owner, your dog’s body language is often the only way to tell how your furry family member is feeling. From tail wags to paw shakes, the way dogs behave shows their different emotions. When they tremble, it can be stressful as you cannot ask them what is wrong.
Sometimes a dog’s shaking can be a sign of excitement when you walk through the door or if they’re getting ready for a walk. Other times, it can be a cause for concern. You might need to seek medical care.
Here are signs to look out for when your dog starts to shake, what might be causing it and what you can do to help.
Reasons your dog may be shaking or trembling
Dogs shake often. It is a natural canine behavior – from drying off after getting wet to an excited tail wag. Trembling can also be a sign of underlying health issues or stress. Here are some of the reasons your dog may be shaking.
- Excitement – Furry best friends often get so excited when they see you that they can’t help but shake with happiness. If your dog is shaking when you are about to go to the park, give them a treat, or even just give them lots of love – it is likely no cause for concern. This is normal behavior when something exciting happens, so don’t fret!
- Stress and Anxiety – Like humans, sometimes dogs get stressed out and experience anxiety. Shaking is one of the symptoms of stress in dogs and can be a natural reaction to a stressful situation. There are multiple ways to help your dog if they are anxious and specific signs to look out for to see if your dog needs further treatment for anxiety.
- Nausea – Dogs get sick like the rest of us, but it can be hard to tell if your canine is not feeling well. Sickness in dogs can be caused by many things, such as eating foods that are not safe for them, if they are taking medication with side effects, or even motion sickness. In this case, it is important to look out for other nausea symptoms such as laziness, lip-smacking, swallowing or salivating more than usual, hiding, yawning, and vomiting. If these symptoms do not stop and your dog stops eating or drinking water, it might be time to take your dog to get medical attention.
- Ear Problems – Ear infections are common in dogs, and certain breeds are more prone to ear problems. Dog owners should look out for excessive head shaking and even pawing at the ears as this could indicate an ear infection. Ear infections or irritation require medical attention as soon as possible to relieve any discomfort.
- Low Blood Sugar – Shaking can be a symptom of hypoglycemia in dogs. Keeping your dog on a balanced and routine diet is essential to prevent low blood sugar; notably, smaller breeds and puppies are more susceptible to this condition. This can be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.
- Seizures – If your dog is violently and uncontrollably shaking, foaming at the mouth, or having muscle paralysis, it might be a seizure. There are different types of seizures, some that affect the entire body or even just a seizure in a specific body part of your dog, like the face. Seizures are typically caused by epilepsy and abnormal brain activity in your dog. They are often brief, and it is crucial to remain calm and keep your dog cool. Gently hold them during it to prevent injury from nearby objects, and note the length of the seizure to tell your dog’s veterinarian afterward. After the seizure, take your dog to the vet or emergency vet as they might need further medical attention or diagnosis.
All of these reasons and more can cause shaking in your dog. Watching your beloved furry friend tremble can be disheartening.
When is shaking a cause for concern, and what can you do to help?
Firstly, it is important to note if there are any other symptoms accompanying the shaking. This can be a helpful indicator of what is causing it – and what you can do to stop it.
Although shaking is a normal reaction to being cold, wet or excited, paying attention to other symptoms might reveal a larger underlying medical issue that could need emergency attention.
If your dog has minimal other symptoms indicating a general medical issue, the shaking could simply be stress. In this case, it is best to comfort your furry family member just as you would any human family member and try to alleviate your dog’s anxiety. Visiting your dog’s vet is the best first step. They will be able to properly diagnose any causes of trembling. Spot offers different dog insurance plans that cover eligible vet bills for accidents and illnesses. So if your dog is trembling because of an underlying illness, then an accident & illness pet insurance plan provided by Spot can cover the eligible costs of the treatments for that illness.
Ways to prevent shaking
Often, a shaking dog is no reason to sweat but rather just a natural display of how they’re feeling. There are times when excessive or unexplainable shaking warrants concern. Staying alert and aware can help you treat any medical issues quickly and help remedy whatever is making your pooch shake.
These are some ways to prevent shaking and any medical conditions that might cause your dog to shake.
- Maintain a balanced and routine diet – This can contribute to your dog’s overall health and prevent low blood sugar.
- Feed your dog the best food – Paying attention to what’s in your dog’s food can help make sure they have good nutrition and help prevent stomach issues.
- Keep your canine active – Making sure your dog gets enough activity is crucial to their health and happiness and can increase their mood and fight off anxiety or other health issues.
- Stay up to date on vaccinations – Your dog’s vaccinations can protect them from various diseases. Preventative care coverage options provided by Spot cover select vaccines and an annual wellness exam. You can add preventative care coverage to any pet insurance plan provided by Spot for an extra cost.
These steps will work to prevent shaking and health issues and promote a happy and healthy lifestyle for your beloved canine!
- Signs Your Dog is Stressed and How to Relieve It | VCA Animal Hospital
- Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Nausea in Dogs | PetPlace
- Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention | (akc.org)
- Why Is My Dog Shaking? Causes & Solutions | (akc.org)
- Hypoglycemia in Dogs | Pet Health Network
- Dog Seizures: What to Do When Your Pup Has One | (akc.org)
- Canine Epilepsy: Demystifying The Myths | (akc.org)