Dog Is Shaking And Acting Strange: 4 Causes And Tips

If the dog is shaking all over, it is a sad sight that raises questions among some dog owners.

What does it mean when the dog is shaking and panting? What can be the reason for your dog shaking when resting or sleeping?

We’ll explain why your dog is shaking and behaving strangely and when you should call a veterinarian.

In a nutshell: Why is my dog ​​shaking?

Tremors in dogs can indicate a variety of causes. In addition to stress, fear, exertion, tension or insecurity, joy and excitement can also be reasons for the dog to tremble. However, it can also indicate serious illnesses such as epilepsy or distemper! If you are unsure why your dog is shaking, be sure to contact a vet!

4 reasons why your dog is shaking and acting weird

Above all, it should be said that trembling in dogs can have many reasons. This is especially common in smaller dog breeds, but why is that?

Behavioral tremors

A trigger for your dog to tremble all over his body could be that he is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in a situation. Stress, fear, tension and insecurity are often expressed in a trembling canine body.

By shaking, the dog reduces stress or tension.

But excitement, euphoria and joy can also cause your dog to tremble and pant. In this case it is a matter of joyful anticipation, for example with regard to the next toss of the favorite ball.

Health-related tremors

If you can’t see your dog trembling in an exciting situation (regardless of whether it’s fear or joy), health reasons can also be behind it.

Frequent, persistent, or sudden tremors can indicate some diseases, such as:

  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Damaged nervous system
  • renal insufficiency
  • Addison’s disease
  • epilepsy
  • gastric torsion
  • distemper
  • heart defect
  • pain (e.g. abdominal pain)
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome
  • tremor

All of these diseases are of course accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhoea, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, restlessness, thirst, circulatory problems, coughing, smacking, seizures and others.

The tremor is just one of several symptoms.

Attention danger!

Please contact a vet before trying to guess why your dog is shaking!

Age-related tremors

Tremors are more common in older dogs. Here, too, harmless or serious reasons can be behind it, which is why it is particularly important to have your senior checked by the vet regularly.

As we age, muscles weaken, just like in humans. A trembling hindquarters can also be caused by the breakdown of muscles.

However, older dogs in particular are at risk of a heart attack or cardiovascular problems, both of which manifest themselves in severe tremors, among other things.

Why do small dogs tremble?

Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, Yorkshire Terriers or Bolognese, small dogs can often be seen just standing, sitting, lying and trembling all over.

This is simply because they react more sensitively to external stimuli and temperature. They are more excited, stressed, insecure or scared and freeze faster than their larger conspecifics.

Nevertheless, even small dogs can have the same health problems as large dogs, so it is better to have your vibrating mini checked by a vet.

Good to know:

Does your dog tremble when resting or when sleeping? Then it can easily be that he is dreaming! Dreaming dogs sometimes make very interesting noises, “walk” in their sleep, growl, bark or tremble.

When to go to the vet for tremors?

It’s actually pretty easy to see why your dog is shaking. At least you can tell if the tremor is behavior-related or health-related.

Your dog is shaking and panting while you are walking with him in the shopping area or he is waiting with you in front of the supermarket for his master to return, then excitement, tension, or stress could be behind it.

If your dog is trembling all the time, if it only shakes its head, if there are other symptoms, or if you already have previous illnesses, you should not hesitate and contact a veterinarian in any case!

What can I do for my dog?

In any case, the first thing you should do is determine the cause of your dog’s shaking!

You can get behavioral tremors under control with targeted training. Or much more the excitement, nervousness, insecurity or fear hiding behind it.

It is well known that practice makes perfect, which is why you should train with him regularly and build positively on situations in which your dog usually starts to shake.

Feel free to consult a dog trainer here!

If the tremor is health related, you will need to await a diagnosis before you can support your dog at home.

For some diseases, healing can be supported by changing your diet, giving feed additives or making small changes in everyday life.

Even your trembling old dog can use support in the form of muscle building training (physical therapy) or nutritional supplements. Here you should inform yourself again specifically!


There are many reasons why our dogs tremble.

From fear, stress and insecurity to excitement, joy, and euphoria to serious illnesses.

So it’s important to distinguish between behavioral and health-related tremors.

Please do not take it lightly, because in an emergency, the tremors can indicate a damaged nervous system, cardiovascular problems, ingestion of a poison bait, or a tremor.

If you’re not sure if your little dog is just shaking from tension or if there’s something really wrong with him, it’s better to contact a veterinarian.

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