Dog Shaking Symptoms

Dog shaking or trembling often occurs when the dog is cold or wet. Shaking or trembling can also occur for no apparent reason. Such shaking develops when the dog is awake and it's generally characterized by involuntary movements that are rhythmic in nature. Shaking can occur due to a disease or due to fear, anxiety or excitement. Dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages can be affected by tremors that occur in the head, the pelvic area, in the rear legs or throughout the entire body.

Head Tremors

Head tremors are generally considered to be dangerous and could be due to congenital factors, ear infections, encephalitis, trauma, immune system disorders or diseases of the vestibular system.

Tremors of the Pelvic Limbs

Tremors in the pelvic limbs are due to metabolic diseases such as kidney failure, tumors in the spine, neuromuscular diseases or low blood sugar. Low blood sugar can be due to poor nutrition and generally affects puppies.

Generalized Tremors

If the whole body is shaking, the tremors are termed as generalized tremors. These could be caused by a degenerative neurologic disease, toxins such as fertilizers and pesticides or fungal infections.

White Shaker Syndrome

The cause for this syndrome is idiopathic in nature and affects small breeds that are mostly white in color. Pets that develop this syndrome shake and tremble for no apparent reason.

Causes of Shaking in Dogs:

  • Low blood sugar can occur when a dog has gone without food for a long period and this can result in trembling.
  • Digestive problems can cause vomiting and also can result in shaking.
  • Shaking is often a symptom of fever.
  • Ear infections due to mites, ticks or hair inside the ear can cause dogs to shake their heads vigorously.
  • Dogs shouldn't be exposed to the cold, as they can shake and tremble when they're feeling cold.
  • Loss of balance can also trigger tremors in dogs.
  • One of the symptoms of Addison's disease in dogs is shaking. 
  • A feeling of fear, anxiety or stress can also cause your pet to shake and tremble.


Pets usually exhibit symptoms like shivering or uncontrolled movements. Such tremors may appear repeatedly for a few seconds at a time and may be accompanied by twitching of the eyes. Other abnormal behavior that accompanies tremors can be changes in mood, loss of house training, excessive barking, excessive panting, aggression, lethargy and restlessness.


The primary cause for trembling in dogs should be diagnosed in time so that the correct treatment can be administered. Treatment can be simple such as regular exercise, dietary modification and prevention of stressful situations.

You should feed your pet a nutritious diet so that he maintains regular weight. Give him plenty of water and exercise and keep him away from chemicals and preservatives to ensure that he doesn't get intoxicated. If he does have tremors, you should conduct a vet check and have his eyes, heart and rate of respiration checked to identify the cause of the shaking and treat it accordingly.