You may wrap your furry best friend in the comfiest outfits of the world and they may still appear to be shivering. While the reason for that may be the cold weather, our furry best friends, like us, may shiver for a lot of different reasons that do not have anything to do with the weather around us.
Oftentimes, the reasons why dogs shiver may be entirely harmless but some of those times, their shivering may be a cry for help or a sign of a potential health concern. How much shivering is normal and when should you go talk to the vet? Let us find out some of the reasons why dogs shiver so that you can determine easily whether or not your pooch’s shivering is stemming from a harmless reason or something more complicated.
One of the most common causes for dog shivering is simply because of the cold weather. Dogs shiver in frigid temperatures as an involuntary response curated to keep the blood pumping to regulate body temperatures and prevent hypothermia. Smaller-sized dogs may be more prone to shivering than the smaller breeds owing to their lack of body mass and insulation.
What to do: You can try limiting your dog’s exposure to the cold if they don’t fare too well in frigid climates. You can also use a dog sweater or jacket to keep them snug and warm. You can also give them a warm and comfortable place to curl up at night. A nice dog bed near the heating vent can just be exactly what you need for your dog.
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Some pooches have a tendency to shiver or shake when they are super excited about something. Reports have said that this is a physical manifestation of the intense emotions experienced by your dog. This sort of shivering is harmless as it will possibly stop once the excitement tides over and your pooch is again calm.
What to do: This kind of shivering can be ignored as they are relatively harmless. However, Caesar Millan, a dog behavioral expert warns that this kind of shivering stemming from too much excitement can lead to hyperactivity if not reigned in.
3. Stress, Anxiety, & Fear
Other intense emotions that may trigger shivering in your dogs are stress, anxiety, or fear. While this, in itself, may not be fatal for your dog, constant stress and exposure to stressful environments may harm your dog sooner or later.
What to do: Do whatever you can to identify and remove the source of the stress. This will help calm your dog down a lot. If they are scared of thunderstorms, try distracting them with soothing toys and sounds when there is a storm outside. In general, if you find one specific thing that causes your pooch to shiver, try to redirect their attention from that object. Dogs are also very emotionally perceptive so if you are stressed, anxious, or scared yourself, chances are your pooch will mimic those emotions to be able to resonate better with you. If your pooch sees you remain calm even in the face of a stressful situation or element, they too will learn to behave in the same manner.
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4. Seeking Attention
Dogs can be seen shaking often to attract their human parents’ attention. However, if you make the mistake of rushing to them every time you see them shiver, it may become a pattern and they may shiver whenever they are craving attention. Some dogs even use this as a trick when begging for their favorite treats.
What to do: According to Millan, this act is not harmful but indulging in it constantly may cause behavioral problems later. If there is no apparent or physical cause why your dog is shivering, you should let it be and ignore them.
5. Pain Or Illness
If your pooch is shivering too much, chances are that they are in pain or suffering from a particular ailment. Frequent shivering or muscle tremors can be indicative of fatal conditions such as distemper, hypoglycemia, Addison’s disease, and other inflammatory brain infections or more common ailments like digestive problems. It could also be a sign of something known as generalized tremor syndrome or shaker syndrome, a chronic condition that can be helped with medication.
What to do: In these cases, check for other signs of illness or injury. If the shivering is accompanied by other behavioral or physical changes, contact your vet immediately.
6. Old Age
It is common for older dogs to develop a habit of shivering or it could also be a sign of weakening bones or arthritis.
What to do: If you find your aging dog developing tremors, have them checked out by a vet immediately. While most of the causes behind why a dog is shivering are harmless, it may be wise to consult a vet if you notice them shivering too much or too often. They can uncover underlying causes and even if it is nothing, you will at least enjoy your peace of mind after a thorough assessment by the vet.
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