Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Dr. Alisha Barnes

Three Important Things to Know If Your Dog Is Shaking

Have you ever looked at your dog and realized that they are shaking? Dogs shake for a variety of reasons, and it can be disturbing to see that your dog is appearing to shiver or shake without any definite reason why. If you’ve noticed that your dog is shaking, and you want more information, read on: here are three important things to know if your dog is shaking.

#1: Your dog might be scared, nervous, or anxious


Just like humans, our furry friends get scared, too. There are many things that can scare your pup, and depending on your dog’s individual history, personality, and health, they may respond differently. For some dogs, being scared moves them to hide, display aggression, or cower. For other dogs, fear may manifest itself as shaking.

If you find yourself asking “why is my dog shaking,” examine the environment and the situation to see if it’s possible that your dog is being scared. Dogs can be scared by loud noises, busy environments, both children and adults, changes to their environment, raised voices, and the overall mood of any given space. Dogs are highly sensitive to the moods and emotional states of the other animals and humans in their proximity. If you are scared or uncomfortable, there’s a good chance that your dog may be, too.

If you suspect that your dog may be scared, attempt to determine the cause of their fear, and eliminate it when appropriate. Once the stimulus is eliminated, it may take a little while for your dog to stop shaking (depending on how severe the scare), but your ability to help them calm down will assist them in relaxing.


Dogs can shake when they are nervous!

Irrespective of age, dogs often express their nervousness through their body language, which may include shaking. If your dog knows that they are going to the veterinarian’s office, for instance, there is a good chance that they will express some nervousness in the form of shaking. Additionally, if your dog feels like they are in an uncomfortable situation, they may shake from nervousness. These situations can include being surrounded by groups of other dogs, adults, or children, visiting a location they’ve never visited before, interacting with other animals (of any size), or simply picking up on their owner’s emotions of nervousness and discomfort.

To determine if your dog is nervous, try placing them in a familiar, calm environment with only people and other animals they already know and are comfortable with. If your dog’s shaking stops, there is a good chance that they were nervous.


Anxiousness is different from nervousness in dogs in that dogs often feel nervous in a new or uncomfortable situation, but they may feel anxious before a new situation arises. Dogs that experience separation anxiety may shake or exhibit other signs of anxiety (hiding, whining, hunched posture) before their owner leaves. Dogs that dislike the veterinarian or leaving the house may shake or exhibit signs of anxiety before it’s even time to leave.

If you suspect that your dog is anxious, place your dog in a familiar, safe environment and determine how they respond. If your dog relaxes and the shaking ceases, then it’s likely that they were anxiously anticipating an uncomfortable or unpleasant event.

#2: Your dog might be excited.

Another reason your dog may shake is because of excitement!

Particularly in puppies and young dogs (under the age of 5 years old), your dog may exhibit signs of shaking when they are excited and feeling energetic. This kind of shaking often accompanies visits to the park, leaving the house (if they enjoy trips and visits), new environments, social interactions with people and other animals, and the anticipation of food and treats.

If your dog appears to shake before generally positive interactions and experiences, then it’s likely that they are excited. To determine if this is the case, watch your dog’s behavior before and during a new event and see if the shaking subsides once your furry friend is returned to a calm, safe environment. If your dog relaxes and is no longer shaking once they are in familiar space, there’s a good chance that they were simply excited.

#3: Your dog may need to see an expert

If your dog’s shaking continues, or appears erratically without coinciding with a specific event, it may be time to take your dog to an expert.

Your expert veterinarian is able to determine the overall health of your dog, as well as run a series of comprehensive tests to analyze your pet’s biometrics and markers.

Your expert pet chiropractor is able to review your pet’s overall health and history, provide soothing and wellness-supporting treatment, and look for any pain your pet may be experiencing.

If you’re ready to book an appointment with your expert pet chiropractor at Tails Chiropractic Care, contact us today!

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