Why Do Little Dogs Shake

Your small dog shakes, shivers, or trembles. Small dogs frequently exhibit this behavior, therefore there is typically no cause for fear. When they are nervous, your dog may be attempting to tell you one of the following things:

They’re cold

Larger dogs take longer to warm up than smaller ones do. They lose more heat through the surface of their skin because they have a larger skin to body volume ratio. Like humans, dogs shiver in the cold. They are able to burn off energy and increase their body temperature thanks to this uncontrollable biological reaction. It’s beneficial to wrap your dog in a blanket or a sweater. Bring your dog near for a cuddle to halt the shivering using your own body heat.

They’re anxious or scared

You’ll usually see your tiny dog’s ears pinned back when they quiver out of worry, and they may want to escape whatever is upsetting them. Your dog can be scared of visitors, thunder, or the sound of fireworks. If your dog is a recent adoption, they might not yet feel at ease in your house; nevertheless, the shaking should stop in a few weeks. Dogs are calmed by the aroma of lavender; to create a tranquil environment, sprinkle a drop of lavender oil on their bedding or use Medipet Natural Calming Spray. Aromatherapy is most effective in very small dosages because a dog’s nose is up to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.

They can’t contain their anticipation

Your dog may be able to see, smell, or hear a squirrel thousands of meters away if they are trembling and gazing off into the distance. Additionally, your dog can quiver in the car and as you prepare to go for a walk.

Never let your dog stick their head out the window; instead, keep them restrained in a carrier or with a seatbelt harness.

Their blood sugar is low

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is more common in small dogs. With puppies under three months old, exercise particular caution as their bodies might not yet be able to control their blood sugar levels. A mild case of hypoglycemia might result in symptoms like shaking, tiredness, and weakness, while a severe case can result in seizures. You can give your dog some food if you think their trembling is a result of low blood sugar, especially if it has been several hours since they last ate or if they have been highly active. You might need to apply a small bit of anything sweet on their gums (such honey or plain vanilla ice cream) if your hypoglycemia-related loss of appetite persists. Puppies of small breeds should eat at least three times daily. To maintain a constant blood sugar level between meals, small adult dogs can receive a treat or snack.

They need to go out

An extreme urge to urinate or poop might occasionally make someone tremble. Your dog needs to go outside if they are whimpering, attempting to attract your attention, or scratching at the door. Some dogs, who tremble and appear utterly uncomfortable, may refuse to go outside when it’s raining or snowing. Your dog may only require a raincoat, or you may need to carry an umbrella while you take them outside. You might wish to lay down wee-wee pads as a final option. Small dogs can have problems controlling their urine and intestines for long periods of time and are famously more difficult to housebreak than larger dogs. An accident or putting your dog at risk for a urinary tract infection may be preferable to cleaning up a pad.

When is trembling a sign of something more serious?

The best course of action is to consult a veterinarian for additional help if your dog appears to have very chronic or strange trembling patterns. When combined with trembling, head tilting, confusion, apparent dizziness, and uncontrollable eye movements can all be symptoms of neurological disorders like White Dog Shaker Syndrome, which is common in breeds like the Maltese or West Highland White Terrier but can affect any kind of dog. Additionally, when they are in discomfort, dogs can tremble. You should watch your dog to see if you can identify the cause of their discomfort if they are stooped over, avoid being touched, have watery eyes, or exhibit other signs of illness. You should notify your veterinarian of any strange behavior that lasts longer than 12 hours or is particularly severe. Consult an after-hours veterinarian.

Is a little dog shaking a lot normal?

For dogs, shaking is not particularly typical behavior. If the shaking occurs regularly, or even nonstop, it may be an indication that your dog is stressed, afraid, or afflicted with a medical issue. Overexcitement and a response to the cold are two less concerning factors (though if your dog has recently experienced a change in attitude or stamina toward the cold, that could also be worth talking to your vet about). Other factors that might produce shaking include stress, motion sickness, the flu, generalized tremor syndrome, and others.


Although it’s not “natural,” anxiety in dogs is surprisingly prevalent. In fact, whether it be separation anxiety or another type of anxiety, more than 70% of canines experience it, according to Medical News Today. If your dog is prone to anxiety, this, as well as general fear and tension, may be the cause of their trembling.

According to Dr. Bonk, “the emotions of fear, worry, or anxiety can be just as severe in dogs as they are in humans and can appear as shaking.” “That’s because when a dog feels worried, afraid, or frightened, stress hormones like cortisolar are released, which can induce muscular trembling as the body gears up for fight or flight. In addition, if your dog is experiencing these intense emotions, you can notice that they are acting aggressively, hiding, or becoming jumpy.”

Not sure what to do if your dog is trembling because of anxiety? Dr. Bonk advises getting to the root of the problem because in this instance, the shaking is merely a symptom.

“Investigate the source of your dog’s tension or fear. It might be a storm that’s coming, fireworks, an unusual dog in the neighborhood, or a visitor in the house “suggested by Dr. Bonk. “Try to lessen these pressures or provide a secure place for them to be. Dogs who experience prolonged stress or anxiety may benefit from behavioral therapy or prescription drugs.”

If my dog is trembling, should I be concerned?

A trip to the vet is necessary if the shaking is present in addition to other worrying signs. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, shaking for an extended period of time especially when combined with other symptoms like vomiting might be a sign of a serious medical issue.


The virus that causes canine distemper most frequently strikes pups and young dogs who have not received all of their vaccinations. It targets the respiratory, neurological, and digestive systems. It usually ends in death.

A common symptom of distemper is shaking and shivering, along with other symptoms like:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • diminished appetite
  • Vomiting
  • eye sludge

A veterinarian must treat distemper. Contact your veterinarian right away if you think your dog may have canine distemper.


The feeling of nausea can indicate a variety of different issues. most prominently

  • feeling dizzy
  • a negative drug reaction
  • Overeating
  • administering a toxin by injection
  • kidney illness
  • liver illness

You can spot nausea by:

  • Lip-smacking
  • Salivating
  • frequently swallowing

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

Shaker syndrome and steroid responsive tremors are other names for generalized tremor syndrome. This manifests as rhythmic, continuous, and involuntary tremors. It might only affect a single part of the body or the whole thing might quake.

GTS is assumed to have an autoimmune component, while the exact cause is uncertain. This is a “diagnosis of exclusion,” which means the veterinarian for your pet will rule out every alternative possibility.

Seizure Disorders

Epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes collapse and jerking, affects certain dogs. This could appear as a dog falling and paddling its legs like it’s swimming.

Even though seizures may not physically hurt the dog, they can nonetheless result in injury if the dog falls or knocks things over and into themselves while having a seizure.

If your dog starts to experience seizure episodes, call your vet right away. Seizure-controlling medicines can be used to treat this.


While there are many different poisoning symptoms, tremors and seizures are common ones. Even things that are not necessarily dangerous to humans can poison dogs. Cigarettes, xylitol, and chocolate are all significant carcinogens.

Contact your veterinarian or transport your pet to the closest emergency veterinary clinic right away if you think they may have consumed something harmful.

Drying Off

Although this was already noted, it bears repeating that there is absolutely no harm in your dog shaking off extra water after becoming wet—other than, of course, getting your house and yourself wet! Since all of that water can make dogs feel extremely cold if it just sits around in their fur, this reflex actually helps dogs avoid hypothermia. Animals like dogs and other species have honed their shaking skills to the point that they can use it to remove 70% of the water from their coats.

There is no workaround for this problem other than to keep the water’s spray away from items you don’t want to get wet.


Have you ever seen a dog shake or shudder in the middle of a fetch game or when you were petting them? Although it may seem strange, there is no need for concern. When dogs get enthusiastic, shaking is perfectly normal and healthy—just it’s a method to release that extra energy.

Remedy: A solution isn’t always necessary because physical displays like these can sometimes make a dog more energetic and make her become hyper. Work on ignoring hyperactivity and rewarding calm behavior if this occurs with your dog.


When they detect their dog trembling or shivering, many pet owners show their dog love and affection. Some dogs are able to sense this and can tremble or shiver to get your attention. What a perceptive dog, huh?

While this may be an accurate reflection of your dog’s intelligence, it’s not the best behavior to reward. Reduce it by only petting your dog when they are calm and submissive and ignoring them when they start to tremble for attention. They will eventually understand the message and stop.

Why does my Chihuahua always shake?

Your Chihuahua may be shaking for a variety of causes, such as low blood sugar, being chilly, having a high metabolism, being unhappy, enthusiastic, apprehensive, or nervous. Generalized tremor syndrome (GTS), an allergy, or an injury are some additional potential reasons of trembling.

In order to determine if your Chihuahua shakes, shivers, or trembles normally or not, it is critical that you pinpoint the precise cause of the shaking.

Exercise Your Dog

Never leaving your dog alone is the apparent solution if they suffer from separation anxiety. For most pet owners, it is not a reality, therefore using exercise to tire out your pet and strengthen your bond is frequently a simple solution!

It can be beneficial to take your dog for a long walk or game of ball before you leave because nervousness can result in excessive activity. It’s also a good idea to chat to them and make lots of physical touch with them during this time. Additionally, exercise can help reduce stress by releasing calming endorphins, just like its human counterpart.

How can I put a halt to my Chihuahua’s trembling?

The simple fact that Chihuahuas shiver and shake is one of the most frequent causes. Chihuahuas are among the smallest dog breeds in the world, weighing just 2-4 pounds on average. As a result, they are more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. Chihuahuas shiver automatically in chilly weather, just like humans do. It’s their way of accelerating the blood flow throughout their bodies to prevent hypothermia.

When the fall and winter months arrive, you should pay attention to how comfortable your Chihuahua is. You have to read their body language because they obviously can’t speak to you to let you know when they’re cold. Your Chihuahua likely shivers and shakes in the morning, evening, or when you take them outside because they are cold. By warming them up and providing some thermal protection against the bitter cold weather, you can halt this behavior.

You can do the following things to keep your Chihuahua warm and stop them from shivering:

Why do dogs tremble so violently?

Your dog is anxious or stressed out. Your dog may tremble and behave abnormally due to fear, tension, and anxiety. Fireworks, significant environmental changes, or a fear of bodily danger are some common stress tremor inducers.

Why is my dog suddenly shivering and acting strangely?

In the first section of this essay, we covered the frequent complaints of vomiting, diarrhea, and limping as well as whether or not you should become alarmed when you notice these symptoms in your pet. We shall talk about the frequent complaints of shaking and lethargy in this, the second half.

What should I do if my dog or cat is trembling? When a pet owner notices that his or her animal is shivering and/or shaking violently, we frequently receive calls from worried people. Pets may tremble or shiver for a variety of causes, including discomfort from the cold or simple nervousness. Additionally, Addison’s disease, an endocrine ailment, can lead to severe shivering. Dogs frequently tremble and quiver when there is a thunderstorm or July 4th fireworks. Some people will act in this manner even if there is a lot of odd noise in the area, such as from construction or sirens.

If the shivering is actually caused by the temperature (which it typically isn’t), you’re either already a touch too cold or you’ve just brought your fuzzy dog inside from the bitterly cold outside. If neither of these apply, then the shivering is probably not due to being too cold.

The last possible explanation for shaking or shivering is pain, which is a fairly frequent cause. The challenge here is trying to decide whether or not the intensity or source of the pain should be cause for alarm, prompting you to rush your dog or cat to the vet or to an emergency clinic. There are some rules below, though this is frequently a judgment call. If there is significant panting along with the trembling and shaking, this is typically an indication of stress and more severe pain or discomfort. A herniated disc or a muscle problem along the spine may be indicated by an obvious problem, grossly abnormal limb that may indicate a fracture, an extremely bloated or tense abdomen that may indicate bloat, pancreatitis, or other intestinal pain, or extreme stiffness (as if your pet doesn’t want to move), particularly in the neck or back with or without abnormal gait patterns or ataxia (appearing as though your pet is drunk and wobbly). sooner is preferable.

If none of the aforementioned symptoms appear, you might try giving your pet an animal-specific pain reliever or anti-inflammatory from your home’s “pet medical cabinet” that has been approved by a veterinarian. In a pinch, you can give dogs a baby aspirin for every 15 to 20 pounds of body weight or an adult aspirin or Ascriptin for every 60 to 80 pounds of body weight. Use only once, and see your veterinarian before administering any additional “pain meds” to your dog or cat. Keep in mind that acetaminophen, the main component of Tylenol, can be fatal to cats! Consult your veterinarian for more precise diagnosis or more vigorous treatment if the modest pain signs continue.

What about sluggishness or weakness? Due to the symptom’s frequently mild and ambiguous presentation, this is one of the more difficult ones to diagnose. We often try to rule out the other obvious signs we’ve already covered if your pet suddenly exhibits “ADR (Ain’t Doin’ Right). It’s always a good idea to take your pet’s temperature first. Get a pet thermometer if you don’t already have one! Your pet’s normal body temperature ranges from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (up to 103 degrees if they are nervous or stressed). You ought to think about taking your pet to the clinic if their temperature is higher than 103.5 degrees. In general, I advise my clients to wait a day or two before panicking if their pet’s temperature is normal, they aren’t displaying any other more serious symptoms (vomiting/diarrhea, limping, shivering/shaking, obvious pain, etc.), and you don’t notice a bloated abdomen or white gums (which could indicate blood loss or blood cell destruction from an acute bleed, a clotting disorder, or an immune system disease It’s time to take your pet to the doctor or an emergency clinic if there is no evident cause and, after 24 hours, they are still lethargic, refusing to eat, or wanting to go for walks.

We frequently observe animals, especially dogs, becoming a little lethargic as a result of muscle discomfort from overexerting themselves at the dog park or doggie daycare center. We also observe animals acting a little too subdued due to psychological problems (a change in their routines or schedules, changes in your routine or schedule, the loss of another family pet, etc). Lethargy is a common symptom of depression in dogs and cats, which can be seen in both species. Make an appointment to visit your veterinarian if the problem persists despite some extra care and a bit of time for this more subtle kind of weakness or lethargy, which is typically not a cause for immediate alarm.

I’m hoping that this knowledge and these recommendations will help you assess your pet’s symptoms and issues more accurately, soothe your concerns, and, possibly, save you some time and money.

Always visit or call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns; they are your best resource for ensuring the health and welfare of your pets.