Why Do Dogs Shake? This Is Why Dogs Shake Their Bodies

why do dogs shake

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Dogs shake their bodies for all kinds of reasons, including excitement, pain, old age and being cold. While shaking, shivering and trembling are all natural responses to how they are feeling, you should always contact your vet if your dog is behaving in a strange way.

Are you wondering why do dogs shake? From shivering and trembling in dogs to leg shaking, we speak to the vets about everything pet parents need to know. Keep reading for all of their advice:

1. Shivering and trembling in dogs

Many dogs shiver and tremble, but what exactly does it mean? Much like humans shivering is a natural response for dogs to try and warm up if they are cold or wet — and, in most cases, it is harmless.

“There are some more serious causes to be aware of,” PDSA Vet Claire Roberts tells Country Living. “Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), can cause dogs to be cold — so if your dog is shivering a lot or generally unwell it’s best to visit your vet.”

Shivering could also be a sign that your dog is in pain, so do pay close attention to any symptoms that may arise. “Most of the time, serious causes of shivering will have lots of other symptoms as well. For example, dogs with a neurological (nervous system) issue may tremble but are also likely to have other symptoms like pain, general weakness or difficulty walking. “

2. Leg shaking

It can be easy to assume that your dog’s leg shaking may be due to them getting older, but it can be a sign of pain among other reasons.

Claire tells us: “If your dog’s legs are shaking, they may be painful, which could be caused by arthritis, especially in older dogs. If you think your dog might be in pain then it is always best to consult your vet.”

3. Head shaking

dog shaking his head

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Head shaking is normal dog behavior, often done to relieve discomfort, itchiness, irritation or remove excess water after swimming. If you notice your pup is doing it more regularly, then this could indicate there is a problem.

“Occasional head shaking is normal, but if your dog is shaking their head regularly it could be a sign of an ear issue, such as ear mites or an infection,” Claire adds. “This will require a visit to your vet to diagnose and treat. You can see more information on this at our Pet Health Hub.”

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