Why Do Dogs Shake Their Body?

When it comes to communication, dogs are significantly better at interpreting our body language than we are theirs. Humans rely on verbal language more heavily than body language, whereas dogs are just the opposite.

When your dog shakes after hopping off an examination table at the veterinarians office or following an encounter with a stranger, he is trying to relieve tension.

Why do dogs randomly shake their bodies?

Shivering and Trembling. This kind of shivering can be a sign of anxiety, cold, fear, pain, or even muscle weakness. If your dog has started to shake, and you don’t know why, contact your veterinarian to make sure there isn’t a more serious issue.

Why do dogs shake themselves when they are not wet?

First and foremost, they are shaking off stress. Humans do the same thing after scary or worrisome encounters; they take deep breaths while saying “phew.” “Shake off” behavior is your dog’s response to dealing with stress.

When we talk about shaking in dogs, we dont mean the whole-body shake that you see when a dog shakes their body to dry off after theyve had a bath or been in water.

Dogs do not always vocalize when they are experiencing pain; they may simply endure it, and the only visible sign might be the body tremors. Shaker syndrome causes the whole body to shake, and it is associated with inflammation of the central nervous system.

The signs include body tremors, issues with balance and coordination, and having trouble walking. Breeds affected by this disease include male Welsh Springer Spaniels, male Samoyeds, Chow Chows, Weimaraners, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers, and lurchers. The ingestion of certain substances, such as marijuana or chocolate , can lead to dogs shaking, in addition to a variety of other clinical signs.

Dogs with hypocalcemia, which is low calcium concentration, can experience muscle trembling and seizures. Dogs with hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, can experience muscle twitching and seizures. When a threatening trigger occurs, information is sent to the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that processes emotions.

Cortisol and adrenaline are released, which aid a dogs body in fight or flight. They cause increased respiratory and heart rate, dilation of the pupils, relaxation of the bladder, constriction of many blood vessels, slowed digestion, and shaking. When your puppy or adult dog starts to shake, make sure that they are kept in a warm location and that they are not cold to the touch.

If your adult dog exhibits shaking along with other physical signs, like lethargy, vomiting, discharge from the eyes or nose, or leaking urine, they should be examined by your veterinarian.

After a Nap Benson notes that dogs sometimes shake-off when they stand up after a nap, often accompanied by a full-body stretch. This is likely similar to what you do when you get up off your office chair: a quick stretch to get the muscles moving again. Related: Sleep Tight: 6 of the Best Orthopedic Dog Beds on the Market In this case, your dog is shaking off the grogginess of sleep in order to wake up, reinvigorate their body and get ready for action. The shake-off after a nap acts like a dogs cup of coffee.

Efficient Blow-Dry

You may have wondered why dogs feel the need to shake when they are wet. That shaking, however, is surprisingly efficient. Wet dogs can shake off 70 percent of the water on their fur in just four seconds. That is far more effective than attempts to towel dry our pups — though not as great for our bathrooms.

Shake off the Stress

Dry dogs shake, too. If your dog gives a whole-body shake for no obvious reason, like a bath or a good roll in the dirt, it could be stress related.Shaking is a classic symptom of stress in dogs. When your dog shakes after hopping off an examination table at the veterinarian’s office or following an encounter with a stranger, he is trying to relieve tension.You may have even noticed that your dog shakes after a hug. As it turns out, most dogs don’t particularly enjoy hugs, and learning how to identify stress symptoms can help you make your dog more comfortable and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Shivering and Trembling

Shivering and trembling are also used interchangeably with shaking to describe upset pups. Certain toy and small terrier breeds shiver more than others. This kind of shivering can be a sign of anxiety, cold, fear, pain, or even muscle weakness. If your dog has started to shake, and you don’t know why, contact your veterinarian to make sure there isn’t a more serious issue.

Physical Conditions That Cause Shaking in Dogs

We separate the shaking in dogs into two broad categories:

Neurological Diseases That Cause Dogs to Shake

There are several neurological conditions that cause shaking in dogs.Dogs with a seizure-related disorder can experience mild body tremors to whole-body convulsions. Seizures can occur in any breed of dogs.Certain neurological disorders are congenital (present at birth), such as cerebellar hypoplasia, shaker syndrome, and shaking puppy syndrome.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Cerebellar hypoplasia is caused by the incomplete development of the cerebellum (the part of the brain that is responsible for the coordination and regulation of voluntary muscular movement). This condition is usually seen in puppies when they first start to stand and walk.The clinical signs include head bobbing, falling over, and tremors in their limbs. There is a hereditary component noted in certain breeds such as Chow Chows, Airedale Terriers, Boston Terriers, and Bull Terriers.

Shaker Syndrome

Shaker syndrome, also known as generalized tremor syndrome (GTS), often occurs in dogs with white fur, such as Maltese and West Highland White Terriers. This condition has also been diagnosed in other dogs with different coat colors.Shaker syndrome causes the whole body to shake, and it is associated with inflammation of the central nervous system. It is typically noted in young to middle aged dogs.

Shaking Puppy Syndrome

Shaking puppy syndrome, also known as hypomyelination, typically occurs in puppies, even as early as 2 weeks of age. The signs include body tremors, issues with balance and coordination, and having trouble walking.In this condition, not enough myelin is produced, which is the protective sheath that covers the nerves. Breeds affected by this disease include male Welsh Springer Spaniels, male Samoyeds, Chow Chows, Weimaraners, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers, and lurchers.Only the male Samoyed and Springer spaniel puppies are affected by this condition. The female puppies of these two breeds do not experience the physical signs of this condition.

Medication/Toxin-Induced Shaking

The ingestion of certain substances, such as marijuana or chocolate, can lead to dogs shaking, in addition to a variety of other clinical signs.Some dogs are sensitive to certain flea and tick medications, and they may experience body tremors and seizures when these medications are used.Some dogs may shake when they are recovering from anesthesia after a dental or surgical procedure. Other dogs may experience shaking when placed on psychotropic medications.