Shakey Steven's, Trembling Trevor, Wibbly Willie... it's not uncommon for dogs to shake or tremble. But why?
Excitement Have you ever experienced a dog tremble or shiver when you arrive home, or right before dinner? It may look odd, but it’s nothing to worry about. Shaking when excited is completely normal and healthy for dogs — it just a way of lowering that excess energy.
Solution: If this happens to your pooch, work on ignoring hyperactivity and rewarding calm behaviour. This will help curb any hyper behaviour from developing or getting worse.
Intelligence (or playing you like a violin) Many dogs pick up on the fact you offer love and attention when the shiver or shake and use it as a tool to get attention on demand!
Solution: It may be a sign that fido is actually pretty smart but, it’s not really a great behaviour to reinforce. If you think your being played for a fool try ignoring the behaviour and only giving affection when your dog is calm. Eventually they will get the message and stop.
When should I worry about my dog shivering or trembling?
Dogs feel the cold just like us. As the weather cools down your dog may shake simply because its cold. Just like us they prefer to be cosy and warm and some dogs feel the cold more than others.
Solution: Make sure your dog has a warm cosy environment and if out and about comfortable clothing options like jackets, sweaters or knits.
Our dog Willie was always shaking in the evenings when we sat outside at the pub which is why we first made his denim battle vest and how Pethaus was born! Now we've expanded his wardrobe to include cosy hoodie layers for really cold days / nights or just snuggling around the house.
Stress Just like people, dogs can get stressed out and become anxious. Also just like people, there are many reasons why this may happen: riding in a car, beeping alarms, fireworks, trips to the vet, and so on. Worse, different stressors can develop over time based on negative experiences. When faced with these stressors, many dogs may tremble or shake, and some even engage in bad behaviours such as chewing on furniture, or being aggressive.
Solution: Most dogs can alleviate their anxiety through training. If that doesn’t work, you may want to talk to your vet about medications that can help.
Old age As your dog gets older, you may notice that he develops tremors in his legs. While a certain amount of age-induced shaking is to be expected, don’t simply assume that everything is proceeding normally. Shaking in senior dogs can also be a sign of pain, particularly joint pain and discomfort.
Solution: Work with your vet and nutritionist to see if there are any foods, treatments or therapies that may alleviate any pain or deterioration your dog is going through. Additionally, it’s important to remember that older dogs simply aren’t as physically able as younger dogs, and you should adjust your exercise routines accordingly.
Solution: If your in doubt get off the internet and down to the vet!
The bottom line is not to ignore it when your dog shakes, shivers, or trembles. While the reason behind it may be completely benign, it’s important that you pay attention so you can make sure your pooch gets help if they need it.
If you've got shakey dog stories or things to look out for share them in the comments below
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