Why is My Dog Shaking?
Have you ever watched your dog shake, tremble or shiver in warm weather and wondered why? While it’s tempting to think that trembling or shivering is a result of being too cold, there are many other causes to consider.
Thermoregulation (temperature control)
Shivering is a very effective means of creating body heat, and is a normal response to decreasing body temperature. When a dog has a fever the body’s thermostat is reset to a higher temperature. When the temperature attempts to drop back down to normal, shivering occurs in order to restore the new, elevated temperature set point.
All of these emotional responses are capable of evoking trembling in some dogs. Without the help of medication, Quinn, one of my dogs becomes a quaking, quivering mess during thunderstorms.
Trembling can accompany pain, whether due to acute trauma or a more chronic painful condition. Be aware that not all dogs demonstrate trembling in response to pain- trembling is simply one of several symptoms a painful dog may exhibit.
A variety of underlying medical issues, ranging from kidney failure to hormonal imbalances, can produce trembling. [Editor’s note: Learn about chronic kidney disease here.] Neurological disorders and muscle diseases commonly cause trembling as well.