Have you ever wondered why dogs tremble, sometimes even for no apparent reason? We got to the bottom of this question and introduce you to ten situations that cause our furry friends to tremble.
1. Anxiety - The most common trigger
Shaking in dogs is the most common sign of fear. Whether in unfamiliar situations, suddenly occurring stress or during fireworks. Dogs also show their emotions through physical reactions such as tremors. Although we cannot always protect our furry friend from stress or unforeseen events, we can support them to deal with such moments in a more relaxed manner. In addition to socialization during the sensitive puppy period, but also with adult dogs, we can provide more relaxation with soothing herbs or Bach flowers. The effect of these essences builds up over a longer period of time and is particularly gentle on the dog’s organism.
Proximity of the caregivers is very important if the dog is afraid. Don’t encourage trembling, but don’t ignore it either, just be there for your dog to lend support.
2. Dogs tremble when they are cold
Despite all rumours: yes, dogs also freeze and they also show that by trembling. Especially dogs that have little or no undercoat get cold faster than warmly wrapped dog breeds. Typical breeds that tend to freeze in the cold and have little undercoat include the Chinese Crested Dog, Havanese, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers and Greyhounds. A warm winter coat and lots of exercise can help.'
3. Tail wagging, barking and trembling - an expression of joy in dogs?
The dog wags his tail, he barks and trembles when greeting his mistress or master. What many dog owners identify as joy in their furry friend is actually just excitement. This can be positive or negative excitement. In both cases, the dog will show physical reactions similar to tremors. If the dog is also petted and given a treat, it motivates him to repeat the same behavior over and over again. Therefore, be careful not to pay too much attention to your dogs when they are shaking "joyfully."
4. Trembling during sleep - processing intense experiences
Exhausting activities, excessive strain on muscles or particularly exciting experiences can also cause our furry friends to tremble briefly. This usually subsides after a few minutes. However, dogs can also process their experiences in their sleep, often twitching their legs or wagging their tails. If the tremor subsides after a few minutes, this reaction is completely harmless.
5. Age tremors - weakening muscles and joints
We humans know that in old age our muscles weaken and we are no longer used to a lot of exertion, and exhaustion can sometimes be noticeable through shaky legs. It's no different with our dogs. In addition, tremors in dogs as they age can indicate osteoarthritis. Have your vet check your senior dog regularly.
6. Dog is in pain
Unfortunately, our furry friends cannot tell us what is bothering them and where they experience pain. They express this through physical signs. Trembling can be a sign of pain. If your dog is in pain, there may be other physical symptoms:
- rapid breathing and panting
- loss of appetite
- changed posture: arched back, pinched tail
- excessive licking of the painful area
If you observe these symptoms in your friend, it’s time for a visit at the veterinarian, who can determine the cause and administer pain relieving medication.
7. Tremors as a symptom of fever
Does your dog seem beaten, shivering and not touching their food? Then he may have a fever. A temperature between 38.5 and 39° C is perfectly normal for dogs. Anything above that should be watched. With a thermometer, you can quickly find out whether your dog has a fever and this is where the tremors originate.
Elevated temperature and fever can have different causes, from infection to Lyme’s disease. If your dog's fever cannot be reduced quickly, you should visit the vet.
Discomfort can often manifest as tremors in dogs, accompanied by cramps and vomiting. This can indicate poisoning, which in dogs is not rare. Your dog may have eaten something bad, ingested poison bait, or eaten plants poisonous for dogs.
Other signs of poisoning in dogs include:
- increased salivation
- blood in the feces and vomit
If you observe these symptoms in addition to the tremors, you should quickly make your way to the vet and have your dog examined. With poisoning, every minute counts.
9. Heat stroke
Heat stroke in dogs is also accompanied by tremors. Since dogs hardly have any sweat glands, the accumulated heat in the body is compensated and cannot be broken down easily. Panting is the only way the dog can cool his body down a bit.
Other symptoms of heat stroke in dogs:
- excessive panting
- excessive salivation
- gasping for air
- glassy eyes
- dark red gums
- diarrhoea and vomiting
Dogs should never be left alone in the car in warm temperatures. A car can heat up to over 40 degrees from an outside temperature of 25 degrees!
Strenuous movement on hot days, extensive jogging or lingering in the sun without shade can trigger heat stroke in your dog.
The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog has suffered from heat stroke is to provide cooling. First cool the dog's legs with damp towels and slowly work your way towards the thighs, back and stomach. Very important: your furry friend should urgently drink water. If the symptoms have subsided somewhat, you should see a vet.
10. Tremors and cramps from epilepsy
Dogs also suffer from epilepsy. However, a seizure in dogs shows up in a similar way as in humans through convulsions, and the dog may also not be responsive. If the dog only trembles, he can still react and perceive what is happening around him. It is a little different with epileptic seizures. There is a strong excitation of the nerve cells in the brain and the dog begins to cramp. Dachshunds, poodles, boxers and shepherds tend to develop epilepsy. The disease usually manifests for the first time between the ages of 1 and 5, but it can be managed with the right medication.
At a Glance - Why Do Dogs Tremble?
Dogs tremble for a variety of reasons. This physical reaction in our furry friends can have both harmless and serious causes. If you are not sure why your dog is shaking, it is best to speak to your veterinarian, who can better assess your dog's situation.