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My Dog Is Shaking And Acting Weird! [Why? And What Can I Do?]

Since our beloved dogs can’t speak to us, they have to find other ways to express themselves.

Sometimes, they express themselves by shaking.

Sometimes, this shaking is a good thing, and it’s a dog’s way of showing happiness.

Other times, it could be evidence of a severe condition.

Why Is My Dog Shaking and Acting Weird?

If you find yourself saying, “my dog is shaking and acting weird,” read on as we discuss a variety of reasons why that may be the case.

The Good Shakes

It isn’t uncommon for your dog’s shaking to be a normal response to their environment.

Dogs often shake as a way to express their excitement.

It’s common to see a dog shaking when they’re excited to play with other dogs, see people they love, or meet new people.

If your dog is shaking or acting weird, see if it can be explained away by the dog’s general excitement before you start to worry about something more serious.

They’re Stressed or Anxious

Dogs will often shake or tremble if they’re stressed or anxious about their environment.

If your dog doesn’t like being around other dogs or is easily frightened of new people or places, it’s common for the dog to shake.

While this isn’t ideal, it isn’t necessarily evidence of a more significant issue. In almost all cases, your dog will stop shaking and return to normal as soon as they’re back in an environment they feel comfortable in.

Your Dog is in Heat

When a female dog is in heat, it will often exhibit erratic behavior, such as shaking, frequent urination, and general anxiety.

If you’re wondering why my dog is shaking and acting weird, this could be the reason.

Female dogs that aren’t spayed typically enter heat twice a year, and during this time, it isn’t uncommon for the dog to shake or act oddly.

You can usually combat this behavior by giving your dog more exercise so they can burn off their excess energy while in heat.

Your Dog is Suffering From Heat Exhaustion

If your dog is shaking or acting weird in the summer months, heat exhaustion may be the root cause.

If your dog is playing outside in the hot sun, it’s common for them to shake and pant, which are clear signs that the dog is overheating.

Be sure to provide your dog plenty of cool water to drink when they’re playing outside, and make sure they have a shady area to relax to avoid heat exhaustion.

White Dog Shaker Syndrome

White Dog Shaker Syndrome is a serious condition that can be easily treated when properly diagnosed by your vet.

This condition is most common in smaller breeds, but it can occur in larger breeds as well.

White Dog Shaker Syndrome, also known as Generalized Tremor Syndrome, causes uncontrollable full-body tremors, and it can be very serious if not treated immediately.

Thankfully, it’s easily treatable with corticosteroids, and your dog should be back to normal in a week or so once they begin treatment.


Distemper is a common condition, especially for puppies that have yet to be fully vaccinated.

Distemper is a virus, and symptoms include tremors, seizures, coughing, fever, and nasal discharge.

While there is no cure for distemper, your veterinarian will be able to provide a course of treatment to minimize your dog’s symptoms and help prevent additional infections until their immune system can destroy the virus.


One of the scariest and most common answers to the question of why my dog is shaking and acting weird is poison.

Many completely innocent foods or medications are highly toxic to dogs and can cause severe reactions and even death.

One of the tell-tale symptoms that your dog has eaten something poisonous, such as chocolate, is shaking or tremors.

If you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic, call the ASCPA poison control center right away at (888) 426-4435.

Natural Aging

Sadly, our beloved pets age the same way we do, albeit at a much faster pace.

If you have a senior dog and notice that they’re shaking or behaving strangely, it may just be a natural effect of the aging process.

Inflammation and arthritis are common among older dogs, and they’re a common reason for shaking.

There are many treatments and supplements you can provide your senior pup to help bring them relief.

Consult with your vet on which supplements might be a smart choice for your dog.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a condition that affects many dogs, and it often comes as a surprise to owners because dogs can behave normally for years before symptoms begin to present themselves.

Common symptoms of kidney disease include frequent urination, drinking lots of water, and shaking or trembling.

While there’s no cure for kidney disease, there are several treatments that can help you care for your dog through this challenging condition.

Final Word

If you’re wondering, “why is my dog shaking and acting weird,” you’ll want answers as quickly as possible.

The causes above are among the most common reasons for a dog to shake or behave strangely.

If you’re unsure why your dog is shaking, consult with your vet immediately so you can get to the root of the issue.

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National Canine Research Association of America