7 Reasons Why Do Puppies Shake and What To Do About It!

Dogs and puppies shake or shiver for various reasons. Pet parents often notice this behavior with their new puppies. If you are new to puppy care, you might worry and ask why do puppies shake? Is it normal, or are they sick?

Many dogs shake or tremble, even when it’s the surrounding is not cold. It is prevalent in small dogs like Chihuahuas. Shivering can be just a simple fact of life for some dogs. But it can also be a warning sign that something is amiss.

There is a considerable adjustment period for puppies when you take them home to start a new life with your family. But once our puppy becomes more comfortable, it will start exploring the surroundings.

This behavior is more common than you imagine. Yet many pet parents worry too much when they see puppies shaking. Thus, you need to know the reasons behind why puppies shake to determine the solutions.

Common Reasons Why Puppies Shake

Many things can cause shaking and trembling in puppies. It can be because it is happy that you are around or from an underlying sickness. The reasons can range from mundane to severe, so it’s best to observe your puppies.

When you understand what causes your puppy to shake, you can easily find solutions to make them stop. It will help you provide them comfort and avoid serious injuries. Thus, read on for some of the common reasons why dogs shake and shiver!

1. Your Puppy is Too Cold

Puppies are more sensitive to cold than adult dogs. It may tremble or shiver when the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, please don’t leave them out in the cold for too long.

Puppies that are lean, short-haired, and petite are more susceptible to the cold. It is essential to consider how they will keep warm at night when you leave them on their bed.

Ideally, you should keep the temperature above 60 degrees for your puppy. Also, you should provide warm bedding for your pet to curl up in a cozy corner.

2. Puppy is Scared

Puppies often tremble or shake when they are scared and feel threatened. Fear can be due to a new environment, people, and other pets. Some puppies are more sensitive compared to adult dogs. They are more likely to be fearful and nervous.

During the first year, puppies experience a lot of things. It is a steep learning curve for them, and they will have their long line of “first.” Some of these may be scary for them until they get used to them.

Apart from shaking, you may also notice other signs that they are scared, such as:

  • Moving very little or frozen stiff
  • Yawning even when not tired or sleepy
  • Tucking their tail
  • Crouching and cowering
  • Panting when not hot
  • Having whale eyes

It is best to comfort your puppy during such situations and help them overcome their fear with positive reinforcement and coaxing.

3. Your Puppy is Hungry

Another possible reason why a puppy shakes is hunger. It feels colder when hungry. Thus, it starts to shiver and shake.

Additionally, a hungry puppy does not have enough energy to regulate its body temperature. So, try to feed your puppy when it is shaking because of hunger. Most puppies become more active after meals.

More so, if your puppy walks drunkenly when they are hungry, it may have low blood sugar. It is dangerous for puppies to be in this condition.

If your puppy cannot eat properly, rub some honey or Karo syrup on their gums. It will give them an immediate energy boost.

If you have problems with your dog’s low blood sugar and continued trembling, contact your veterinarian.

4. Your Puppy is Dreaming

If your puppy is twitching or shaking when they sleep, they could be reacting to a dream. Studies show that dogs dream like humans and also have a REM sleep cycle.

There are also instances when dogs “sleep on the fly.” It means that they fall asleep and dream even when they are standing or moving around. Your puppy is unconscious when they fall asleep. Thus they are not aware of what is happening around them.

If your puppy keeps shivering and having goosebumps when they are sleeping, try not to worry. It may indicate that they had a frightening dream. It may look like they are in distress, but it’s okay to let them dream.

You can choose to wake them up gently, but dogs do not remember their nightmares. Whatever they dream about should not cause any long-term worries to your puppy.

5. Your Puppy is Excited

It takes little effort to make puppies happy. When you come home at night after work, your puppy will bark, shake and even pee in excitement. Some dogs may grow out of these traits, but it helps if you greet them calmly and briefly. Some dog owners also train their puppies to sit before offering a greeting in return.

6. Puppy Have some Inherited Illness

There are a few breeds of dogs that are genetically prone to trembling and progressive shaking.

It could be due to an underlying neurologic disorder such as Generalized Tremor Syndrome. These conditions can affect any breed but often occurs in certain ones like the Basset Hound. Likewise, it is also common for the Scottish Terrier to suffer from canine shaking syndrome.

Puppies as young as nine months to two years old are prone to experience GTS. They are often treated with steroids such as prednisone to manage the trembling and shivering. Most puppies also outgrow this condition and become healthy and vibrant adult dogs.

7. Puppy is Sick

If your puppy seems lethargic and shivering, it could be sick and feeling unwell. Puppies without a complete set of vaccines may shake as a result of an illness. One of the most common causes of shivering is a viral infection called distemper.

Likewise, puppies are also prone to ear infections – they might not just shake their head, so they shake their whole body. More so, if you notice your puppy shaking after shots, it can be due to a fever.

Sometimes, the food you give your puppy does not sit well with their system. Similarly, food poisoning can cause shivers when your puppy ingests something toxic. Your puppy may shake and feel nauseous in these cases.

Shaking and twitching may also be due to seizure disorders. So best to have them checked by a veterinarian if you suspect that your puppy’s shaking is due to an illness.

Tips to Stop Puppies from Shaking

Shaking puppies can bring panic to pet owners. But don’t worry. Once you have ruled out illnesses as a reason for your pet’s shaking, it is easier to determine the cause of their behavior.

Here are some tips to help keep your puppy comfortable, unafraid and happy.

Keep Your Puppy Warm

If the cause of your puppy’s shaking is the cold, make sure to keep them cozy and toasty. Puppies shake instinctively to stay warm. Keep them inside in a warm room or invest in a dog sweater, especially short-haired breeds.

You may also provide a cozy bed and place it in a warm spot inside your home.

Feed Them Appropriately

Puppies who were trembling because they are scared or cold may not feel strong enough to eat. They may also be shaking because they are starving. Try to offer milk or treats, especially for younger puppies.

Once they have eaten, puppies soon become energetic and active again. The trembling automatically goes away when your puppy is well-fed, warm, and comfortable.

Keep Your Puppy Comfortable

Another possible reason why your puppy is shaking is that it is not comfortable. Your floor may feel too cold or hard for a young puppy.

Your new pet might still be exploring your home, and they are uncomfortable in some areas. Try to keep them attended in a warm, soft and comfortable space in your home.

If you have air conditioning running, be sure to provide a warm blanket or a cushion for them to rest after playing.

Give Attention to Your Pet

Puppies may still cry out for their mother and littermates. They feel scared and overwhelmed now that they are with you.

Instead of worrying, give your puppy lots of love and attention. If they feel loved and comforted, the shaking will stop.

Keep Your Puppy Indoors

Puppies can quickly get sick from their explorations. While they are still too young to fight off infections, keep them indoors.

It would be best if you also got vaccines to protect them from viral infections. Soon as they are bigger and healthier, you can enjoy playing with your dog outdoors.


A new puppy brings a lot of happiness and excitement. But unlike humans, puppies need a lot of adjustment in their new home. You may notice them shaking or shivering in their new environment. But don’t worry. The reasons why puppies shake may be more common than you would imagine.

Shaking is a natural behavior to generate heat. But there are other reasons why puppies shake. Your puppy could be shaking because they are scared, excited, or sick.

Puppies may also shake in excitement, especially when they see you coming home. It is the shaking in puppies that should not worry you.

If you see your dog trembling or shivering more frequently, it may be time to visit your veterinarian for some medical attention. Being aware of the reasons why puppies shake makes caring for them more accessible and more fun!


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