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Is Your Dog Shivering or Trembling? Find Causes and Solutions

Dogs shiver or tremble due to variety of reasons. Most commonly, dogs shiver when they feel hungry, cold, anxious, or frightened. Some dogs also shiver when their blood sugar is quite low or before a seizure attack.


Often, dog owners unable to distinguish between dog seizure attack and shiver. Here is the difference between the two:

Seizure- Seizure attack occurs when dog all of a sudden loses all its body control, paddling its legs, convulsing or jerking. The attack can last for one or two minutes.

Shivering– Shivering happens when dog is able to make eye contact with you and respond to you, but its body is continuously shaking. It can vary from one minute, to several minutes; but the dog still has control of its body.

Let’s learn more about the causes of dogs shivering:

  • Causes of Dog Shivering

There are mainly seven reasons for shivering in a dog. These reasons include:

  1. Anxiety: It can happen due to loud noises (like fireworks) or separation from the owner (also called separation anxiety). Further, it may happen due to fear as a result of previous abuse.
  2. Pain: It can include neck, back or abdominal pain.

Stay InformedWhat Can You Give Your Dog For Pain?

  1. Muscular or Joint Problems: Muscular or joint problems are rare in dogs, but can cause severe shivering or shaking. Degenerative joint diseases like arthritis can cause shaking in the affected limbs. Therefore, you should be well aware with joint care products and should apply these products on the affected limbs regularly.
  2. Toxic Poisoning: Shivering in dogs can also happen due to food poisoning. Certain doses of snail bait, nicotine, xylitol (found in sugarless gum) and chocolate can cause shiver in dogs because of their toxicity. You should be well aware with toxic food items for dogs and should avoid giving these products to your canine companion.
  3. Viruses or neurological conditions– Distemper (viral disease of some animals, especially dogs, causing coughing, fever, and catarrh) can lead to neurological symptoms including tremor. All dogs should be vaccinated against these viruses. Neurological conditions like brain tumors, seizures, encephalitis or strokes can also cause shivering in dogs.
  4. Heart Problems- If your dog is shaking; he may have a cardiovascular problem. In dogs with cardiovascular disease, it may happen that the heart is enlarged, which press the lungs making it difficult for dog to breathe. In this condition, shaking may also occur
  5. Other reasons– Adrenal failure (Addison’s disease), chronic renal (kidney) failure or overheating can also cause shaking, seizures and shivering in dogs.



Hailing from Delhi, Kritesh is an ardent pet lover. He has two canine companions: Basenji and Bull Dog. With rich knowledge of nutritious pet food, pet care and pet accessories, he likes to share his knowledge with other pet lovers through his well-researched and informative articles.

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