When a dog trembles, it is normal for its owners to worry and think that something is wrong. But, the truth is that tremors can be due to many different causes, without the need to treat something serious. Some of these causes are completely natural and temporary, others may need veterinary review. So first of all, find out why your dog is trembling. Here are some common reasons why this may be happening.
What are tremors in dogs?
First of all it is important to distinguish tremors from seizures. When a dog suffers a seizure, it loses all control of its body, shaking legs and rigidly spasming.
When we talk about trembling, we refer to a physical response due to another external stimulus, it is subtle, arrhythmic and continuous movements, but the dog still has control over his body. Small breed dogs are the most prone to tremors, such as Chihuahuas, Bichon Maltese, or Poodles.
Why do dogs tremble? 6 possible causes
1) The most common reason a dog trembles is because it is cold. A dog’s normal temperature ranges from 37.8 degrees to 39.2 degrees. Since a dog’s body is warmer than a person’s, just touching your dog won’t let you know precisely if it’s cold or not. So be careful during the winter months with dogs outside, especially smaller ones.
2) Dogs can tremble due to anxiety or fear. Thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or any type of environmental change can cause anxiety or fear in dogs. If your dog has strong chills and anxiety in these situations, he may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication during stressful periods. Your vet can help you evaluate the best options.
3) Dogs also tremble with excitement. For example, there may be a mouse in the garden that you want to chase. Or before being fed, watch the food in the bowl and start trembling with anticipation from the thrill of going for it.
4) Dogs tremble because it is a learned behavior. This occurs when a dog trembles and results in a desired response. For example, every time a dog trembles, and its owner says: “poor thing” expressing pity. Then they pick it up and wrap it in a blanket, filling it with attention. This dog will quickly realize that just by trembling you get the attention you want.
5) Tremors can be the result of medical and physiological problems. Pain or illness can make dogs tremble. Finding the underlying problem is important in order to address it. In addition to trembling from pain, it can induce anxiety in the dog, causing more tremors.
6) There are also some toxins that can cause a response in the form of tremors in the animal, although with more rigid movements, such as seizures. This behavior could be misinterpreted as tremors, when in fact it can be a much more serious problem.
If your dog’s tremors seem somewhat out of the ordinary, or as a result of a serious problem, you should visit the vet.