March 12, 2010

What does it mean when my dog is shaking?

Filed under: dog chills,dog shaking,dog shivering,Uncategorized — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:26 am

Dog shaking is actually relatively common. Most dogs will shake when they are wet or cold, and this is as normal a response to weather as human shivering. Obviously, exposure to extreme cold for prolonged periods is hazardous to health, but shaking can indicate a variety of medical conditions in dogs as well. To ensure that your dog is not ill or injured, it is important to take shaking seriously. If there is no obvious reason for your dog’s shaking, you need to visit a veterinarian.

Among the top causes of shaking in dogs is hypoglycemia. Commonly known as low blood sugar, hypoglycemia occurs when your dog has not eaten for an extended length of time. In addition, hypoglycemia is related to a number of metabolic conditions and digestive problems like vomiting that prevent dogs from eating. Low blood sugar causes muscle weakness and trembling and can be treated by giving your dog a quick dose of sugar. A teaspoon of honey or maple syrup for small dogs or two to three teaspoons for medium and large sized dogs can help restore blood sugar. Usually, dogs will be happy to lick this sweet treat off a spoon.

Another cause of dog shaking is an increased body temperature. Your dog’s normal body temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5°F. Viruses, infection, and other illnesses can cause fever increasing body temperature and just like humans, dogs will experience “chills.” The resulting shaking is cause for concern as fevers can be very dangerous. Visit a veterinarian immediately as medical conditions can go from stable to critical very quickly. For this reason, any time you cannot identify the cause of shaking, you need to get to the vet. Trying to self-diagnose your pet’s illnesses is never a good idea.

About Dr. Amber Reed

has written 281 posts in this blog.


  1. This is the best website, i’ve ever seen, bookmarked

    Comment by 830Taguchi — August 17, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  2. My dog is shaking but he has diabeties what is that normal?

    Comment by Jessica — February 12, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  3. Got home from work and as I was sitting on my couch my matize-poodle began shacking while sitting next to me. I gave him some dog food, he devoured every bit and no more shacking. He is back laying next to me sound asleep and I am watching Dancing with The Stars. Thank you so much for your great advise of low blood sugar.

    Comment by Patti — September 24, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  4. my female dog is in heat and my male dog is very agresive during this time to the point of shaking is this normal?

    Comment by mercedes — October 1, 2012 @ 1:53 am

  5. My dog is 7 years old and has cancer. Is it normal for him to shake?

    Comment by Mackenzie — November 21, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  6. what does it mean when my dog is shaking and he eats preety well I took him to a doctor they said hell be fine but im worried its already 2 days and he kind of get hurt when I pick him up I do not understand what is wrong please help me… massage me to my email.

    Comment by vardan — November 27, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  7. My dog started to shake out of nowhere…i gave him some sugar but i dont feel like that worked

    Comment by Sheila — February 5, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  8. My dog started to shake out of no where….i gabe hom sugar but i dont feel like that worked

    Comment by Sheila — February 5, 2013 @ 1:43 pm

  9. I have a 13 yr old pit bull . She shakes a lot. And I have noticed lumps in different spots. Could this be cancer , and would this cause her to shake?

    Comment by Amber — February 18, 2013 @ 1:23 am

  10. Hi Amber,

    There are various reasons as to why she has lumps on her skin and why she is shaking. Whether one is a side effect of another is hard to determine. Since your dog is a senior, you should definitely get a vet’s professional opinion as soon as possible.

    Comment by Critter Cures — March 4, 2013 @ 1:19 am

  11. Thank you soooo much gave him some honey…30 minutes late no more shaking. Omg he had me soo worried. THANKS A MILLLL

    Comment by kennysmom — February 24, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  12. My dog has had hypoglycemia her whole life. As she gets older it happens less and less. But when it does happen its still scary… but giving her honey or sugar water really works….. and so quickly

    Comment by Heidi — March 1, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  13. my dog started shivering last night, when i went to pick him up he yelled. i can’t touch his spine above the tail. he’s not eating or drinking. what should i do?

    Comment by kitty — March 15, 2013 @ 2:26 am

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.