Why dogs shiver: the reasons can be very serious

Alina MilsentLife
Why dogs shiver: the reasons can be very serious

Dogs have one very specific symptom that pet owners often ignore. Shivering can be attributed to a feeling of fear or cold, or even to a kind of characteristic feature of the breed.

In fact, shivering can be a sign of very serious health problems. The Inverse publication told us more about it.


Let's start with a general and simple explanation.

"Trembling can indicate that a dog is nervous or anxious, scared or excited," said Chirl Bonk, a veterinarian at PetKeen.

"One of the most common reasons a dog may shake is fear," added Katherine Pankratz, a certified veterinary behaviorist.

There are a number of additional signs that can tell if your pet is scared. These are, in particular, dilated pupils, hunched posture, and flattened ears.

Anxiety or stress

"Just as our anxiety or stress can cause our hands or body to tremble, dogs can have very similar feelings," said Karling Matejka, a veterinary representative of the pet food company Solid Gold.

The dog's muscles become overstretched and start to twitch and shake. Try to provide your pet with maximum comfort by talking to him in a soothing voice and creating a safe space for him.

External factors

"Puppies can shiver in the cold, just like humans," said biologist Lorraine Rhodes. Small breeds with smooth coats are more susceptible to temperature changes.

In addition, dogs are very sensitive to sounds, so shivering can be caused by trigger noises.

"Triggers that cause dogs to have a strong reaction would be gunshots, thunderstorms, or fireworks, for example," explained Lee Siegfried, founder of Opportunity Barks.

New situations or people are another cause of temporary trepidation.

"Certain places can make dogs afraid, especially new places or places where they have experienced something scary in the past," Pankratz said.

Health problems

Regular trembling of your pet is a reason to see a doctor immediately. It can take the form of convulsions or less noticeable trembling.

There are a number of warning signs that should be taken very seriously:

  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • whining
  • weakness/pain
  • lethargy / fatigue
  • unreasonable barking
  • heavy breathing
  • stomach upset
  • changes in behavior
  • physical wounds
  • poor spatial orientation.

Muscle twitching can be disguised as a normal tremor, but it is actually a sign of more complex medical conditions:

  • neurological disorders
  • metabolic disorders
  • infectious diseases
  • the presence of toxins in the body.

Uncontrolled tremors indicate that your dog may be having a seizure, and you should call an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Your dog may have ingested an unknown substance during a walk that could be poisonous.

"If you notice any other symptoms, such as vomiting or labored breathing, call your veterinarian or emergency vet immediately. These could be symptoms of poisoning," Rhodes warned.

In addition, dogs can develop hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when pets have low blood sugar.

Muscle twitching due to low sugar usually looks different than normal shaking. It is often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms

  • increased hunger
  • visual disturbances
  • lack of coordination
  • general weakness
  • lethargy
  • convulsions
  • loss of consciousness
  • heart palpitations.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you what cereals are dangerous to feed dogs.

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