Last Updated on November 30, 2020 by Woody Pet
Why does dog shake? It may not be normal
Picture this. You get out from a pool with not so warm water and a cold breeze passes by. You probably would start to tremble, right? It is a natural response from our body to cold temperatures, in a way to make some heat to prevent hypothermia. Well, in dogs can mean way more than that.
Dogs seem to be masters at knowing how we’re feeling. They can tell if we’re happy or sad by a simple change in the tone of our voice or an adjustment of our body language. However, we often find it hard to interpret how dogs are feeling and we can feel at a loss as to how we can help them.
One thing in particular that’s difficult to decipher is when your dog trembles or shakes. Dog trembling can be due to numerous factors, including everything from excitement to something more serious such as sickness. Let’s find out why does dog shake?
Why do dogs shake when they are wet?
In a part of an answer for why does dog shake, we must ask themselves why do dogs shake when they are wet. This is a behavior we may know well, especially when bathing a dog (and then bathing us with all that water)
If your dog has just been for a swim or has gotten wet out on their walk, they’ll shake themselves to get rid of the excess water. In this case, shaking is completely normal and is actually good for your dog as it can help to prevent hypothermia. They can remove up to 70 percent of the water from their fur just by shaking. That is far more effective than attempts to towel dry our pups.
Other reasons that may explain shaking in dogs are: Cold (yes, they can feel cold), old age (Sometimes dog trembling is due to old age. It’s not unusual for this to occur as they get older), excitement (Your dog may shake when they’re playing with you, if you’ve just got home and they’re happy to see you or if you’re just about to go for a walk)
Muscle weakness (This will usually be displayed as their legs shaking, particularly their rear legs), sickness (due to eating foods that are toxic to dogs or due to medication), canine distemper (a contagious virus that’s most common in puppies who haven’t yet been vaccinated. A visit to your vet is very advisable), seizures (your dog may shake, foam at the mouth, collapse or even bite their tongue), generalised tremor syndrome (It mostly occurs in younger dogs and is easily treated) and stress.
Can stress be a reason for my dog to shake?
Yes. Stress can be a reason for your dog to shake, among other reasons why does dog shake. Dogs may also shake due to stress or fear, which is most commonly seen at the vets or when fireworks are going off.
Dog trembling may also be paired with signs like whining, whimpering, growling, panting and they may pin their ears back and hide. If your dog gives a whole-body shake for no obvious reason, like a bath or a good roll in the dirt, it could be stress related.
Shaking is a classic symptom of stress in dogs. When your dog shakes after hopping off an examination table at the veterinarian’s office or following an encounter with a stranger, he is trying to relieve tension.
You may have even noticed that your dog shakes after a hug. As it turns out, most dogs don’t particularly enjoy hugs, and learning how to identify stress symptoms can help you make your dog more comfortable and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
If they seem anxious quite often, it’s a good idea to monitor any possible triggers that make them feel that way. Then, if possible, remove these triggers from their lives, or consider enlisting the help of a dog behaviourist.
Why do chihuahuas shake a lot?
You have probably seen them. These tiny terror creatures that do not look so terrifying because of their uneasiness. So, why do chihuahuas shake a lot?
First off, it is because their size. Chihuahuas and many other tiny (or toy) breeds of dogs do shake normally. They usually weigh less than six pounds and are tiny in stature, so they tend to feel the cold more than larger breeds.
Chihuahua shaking is extremely common and they’re one of the breeds that shake and tremble the most. There are numerous reasons why your chihuahua might shake, but one of the main ones is because of their small size.
Additionally, chihuahuas possess a fast metabolism and are high energy, therefore they burn energy faster and lose heater much quicker.
According to a research project by the University of Sydney in 2013, lighter toy breeds are more excitable and hyperactive, therefore more likely to tremble with excitement. Also, they tend to be more prone to issues that cause shaking such as attachment issues, anxiety and fear.
So, in short, why does dog shake? It is because of many reasons, variants and possibilities. Sometimes is something as simple as being cold, being too wet or being a chihuahua (lol) Or get a little more complex like when they are sick, be stressed or even seizures happening.
Whatever it is, you should have a close eye in your pet’s behaviour to see what may be causing this behaviour in the first place. A dog that is shaking when you are getting it bathed is very normal, but what is not normal is a dog that trembles when it sees something or somebody, or after eating something.
In the case of the medical related ones, like seizures, you should always take your dog to your nearest and trusted vet to see what could possibly be causing this behaviour. As said before, sometimes is caused for something as simple as excitement but sometimes can also mean there is something happening with your dog that may need treatment.