3 min. read

Why is my dog shaking?

Sien Vanmoerkerke (Content creator)
Picture of dog lying on the ground, shaking his body

Just like us humans, your dog can sometimes get the shakes too. But what does it mean for your four-legged friend? Here are the 6 most common reasons why your dog might tremble, and what you can do to help ease their quivers.

Too cold

When it comes to feeling chilly, our furry friends respond the same way as we do and will start to tremble. Smaller breeds, or dogs with a thin coat can be very sensitive to the cold and shivering actually helps to raise their body temperature. If you notice your dog shivering during their winter walks, you could treat them to a cosy new coat. Then you can both snuggle up in a warm blanket when you get home. Ahh bliss.

Sheer excitement

There’s nothing better than a big fluffy welcome when you get home. If your dog shakes as you walk in the door, it simply means they’re super happy to see you. Lots of dogs shake from pure enthusiasm and high energy. The trembling should stop once they’ve calmed down a bit, but keep a check on it in case there’s something else going on.

Fear or stress

Some dogs will tremble when they’re scared or stressed. It’s quite common if they’ve gone through a tough puppyhood, or experienced a specific traumatic event. Nervous dogs might even tremble when someone new pets them. Other common causes of stress include loud bangs, such as fireworks or thunder.

Try and calm your dog as much as possible when they’re anxious. If you know exactly what makes them stressed, you can distract them during these times. Try playing with them or giving them a long-lasting treat, to help them associate stress triggers with fun stuff and happiness, rather than fear.

Is your dog afraid of fireworks? Ready our 6 tips for calming your pet.
Read now

If you’re pretty sure that the trembling is caused by a past trauma and/or you find it impossible to calm your dog down, it’s worth speaking to an experienced behaviourist for tips on how to put your dog at ease.

Dog and owner cuddling in sofa with heart doodles on the picture.


Trembling can sometimes indicate that your pooch is feeling poorly. It could be something as simple as nausea, or it may be due to a more serious condition, like epilepsy, poisoning, or distemper. Other illnesses to rule out are hypoglycemia, Addison’s disease, and inflammatory brain disease.

If you’re dog is sick, they’ll usually show other symptoms that are out of character, so make sure you look out for these. And if you do notice anything unusual, it’s always best to call your vet straight away and get your dog checked over.


Trembling can also be a response to pain. If your dog has something stuck in his paw, or if they’ve been stung by a wasp it can bring on the shakes. Ouch! Usually this type of trembling is accompanied by whining or squeaking, and your dog might be unwilling to move. It’s always best to pay a visit to the vet to investigate where the pain is coming from.


If your pooch is enjoying his/her senior years (8 years plus) then the shaking could also be due to age. When dogs gets older their muscles weaken, which sometimes leads to trembly legs. If your old friend is shaking violently, or seems to be experiencing pain alongside the tremors, it's a good idea to get a check-up at the vet.

Our senior recipes contain glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep older joints flexible.
Discover now

By now, you should know the reason behind your dog’s shivers and shakes. But if you’re in any doubt – or if they just seem out of sorts – it's always a good idea to get a professional opinion from your vet.

Also read: How to spot if your pet has fleas

Also read: How to spot if your pet has fleas

Like what you see?

Join thousands of other dog and cat lovers in the pet food revolution


About Edgard & Cooper


Joyful pet food

Eating is one of life’s simple joys, so why overcomplicate things? Unlike most other pet foods, we treat nature’s ingredients with respect and make food that’s naturally healthy and full of flavour.


Play nice with nature

We’re on a mission to become the world’s most sustainable pet food. We love nature, so we pledge to make real, lasting change through our targets of zero carbon, fully sustainable packaging and ethically sourced ingredients.


Friends stick together

We donate 1% of our sales to the Edgard & Cooper Foundation, which works with charities that improve the lives of cats and dogs today, while protecting them tomorrow.