​What to Do for a Shaking, Shivering, or Trembling Dog

Shaking, shivering, and trembling are all ways a dog’s body can respond when they’re cold, frightened, anxious, or excited. Some dogs will also tremble or shake when they have pain. While these behaviors might sometimes seem like cause for concern, chances are that if your dog is shaking he’s feeling perfectly fine. Here are some of the reasons why your dog might be shaking:

Shaking, shivering, trembling — these are all ways a dog’s body can respond when they’re feeling cold, frightened, anxious, or excited.

Shaking, shivering, trembling — these are all ways a dog’s body can respond when they’re feeling cold, frightened, anxious or excited. Shaking can be caused by any of these emotions and more.

If your dog is shaking when they’re lying down or standing still, then it’s probably because they’re cold. If you see this behavior while playing with your pooch outside in the winter time or after bathing them (which also makes them feel cooler), then chances are it’s just because they’re chilly. In other words: there’s nothing to worry about here!

A dog who’s cold

The first thing to look at when you see a trembling dog is whether or not he’s cold. Dogs don’t have good insulation, so their body temperatures can drop much more quickly than ours. They also lack good blood circulation, which makes it harder for their bodies to warm up when they’re cold and maintain heat when they aren’t. Finally, dogs don’t have fur—which means that even if your pet seems comfortable in an 80-degree room with you and other people, he may be freezing if the air conditioning kicks on while you’re away from home.

If your dog trembles because of coldness, here are some things you can do:

A dog who’s excited and happy

A dog who’s excited and happy might shake, shiver, or tremble. This is a normal bodily response to excitement, but it can be a sign of something more serious if your dog shakes because he’s cold or frightened (see below).

If your dog is shaking because he’s happy, there are things you can do to make him feel even better:

  • Don’t reward him by giving him attention or treats when he starts shaking. You’ll encourage this behavior!
  • Don’t punish him for being excited; punishing an excited dog will only cause confusion and make things worse later on. He doesn’t mean anything by it; he just wants to play with you!
  • Don’t try to stop your dog from shaking if he’s doing so because of excitement—he won’t understand why you’re stopping him from doing something that feels good.

A dog who’s nervous or scared

Remember that your dog is not shaking because he or she is scared of you. It’s not because they’re angry with you or trying to show dominance. Your dog is simply nervous and trying to cope in the best way they know how. So, try not to respond with any action that might be perceived as threatening by your pooch—for example, don’t pet or talk to them when they’re shaking, don’t try hugging or cuddling them when they’re shivering, and don’t touch their ears or tail (unless it’s something that you’ve trained them specifically for).

Also remember: dogs are good at hiding their true feelings so if your pup seems calm on the surface but still shows signs of anxiety underneath (like trembling), it might be worth talking with a vet about medication options available for dogs with anxiety disorders.

A dog who’s in pain

A dog who’s in pain might shake, shiver, or tremble. This is a normal biological response to stress and discomfort. When your dog is cold, he may shake more than usual because his body is trying to generate heat with movement. He may also feel better after you’ve warmed him up by wrapping him in a blanket or towel. If your dog has a medical condition such as arthritis that can cause him pain when he moves around too much, try giving him an extra warm bath to see if it helps ease his discomfort and make sure he stays warm throughout the day.

If your dog seems perfectly fine except for the fact that he trembles from time-to-time, but doesn’t have any obvious symptoms of illness (such as sneezing), then don’t worry about it! You can always speak with your vet about what’s going on if you’re curious about why this happens at all—but usually there isn’t anything wrong with dogs who tremble from time-to-time!


If your dog is trembling, shivering, or shaking for reasons other than being cold, it’s important to pay attention to his behavior. If a dog shivers because he’s feeling scared or anxious, it’s always good to have him checked by a veterinarian. After all, the best way we can help our dogs feel calm and happy is to make sure they’re healthy!