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Why Is My Dog Shaking When He Breathes In? Top Reasons And Treatment

When your dog shakes, trembles, or shivers frequently, you may be concerned about its health. Many things can cause dogs to shake, from benign causes such as coldness and overexcitement to more serious ones, such as viruses or nausea, but it can be difficult to figure out what’s going on.

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Possible Reasons Why A Dog Shakes When Breathing Inwards

It is common for dogs to shake after a bath or when they shake off water. However, other reasons may be obscure.

Some breeds may struggle to breathe due to their short, pushed-in faces, causing them anxiety and shaking. It is harmless to shake when breathing inwards, but don’t ignore it because it could indicate an underlying illness.

Excitation and Hyperactivity

A dog’s excitement levels when he starts playing a game at home or on a trip will be familiar to you as a dog owner. They live in the moment, give their all, and are great adventure starters. Their excitement can sometimes cause them to shake, breathe heavily, and even almost pass out.

Stress and Fear

Anxiety or stress may cause your dog to shake. There are many triggers for anxiety, including riding a car, visiting a vet, seeing intruders, being in scary situations, or feeling alone.


If your dog feels poorly or in pain, he may shake while breathing inward due to a fever or nausea.


It is well-known that dogs tend to get into things that shouldn’t be. They also use their mouths to test new items. You might find your dog chewing on rat poison, chocolate, or poisonous plants, ingesting pills that they may find, or sampling chemicals.


Symptoms such as shaking when breathing in can appear as certain diseases develop. As a symptom of chronic kidney disease, Addison’s disease, canine hypoadrenocorticism (a reduction in corticosteroid secretions from the adrenal glands), and distemper, dogs shake and tremor. Although not a disease, old age can cause shaking and tremors due to disorders.

GTS (Generalized Tremor Syndrome)

GTS is also known as corticosteroid-responsive tremor syndrome or white dog shaker syndrome. Initially observed in small white dogs, this condition manifests as full-body shaking in dogs of all sizes and colors. There is no known cause for this syndrome.

The Canine Distemper Virus

Canine distemper is a virus that causes shaking and trembling in dogs. The most at risk are unvaccinated dogs and puppies. A dog infected with the virus should be separated from other dogs until it has run its course and is no longer contagious.

A Low Blood Sugar Level

A sudden change in blood chemistry may cause shaking. The condition is most prevalent in puppies and small-breed dogs. A well-balanced diet and a regular feeding schedule can help prevent hypoglycemia in your dog.

The Epilepsy Syndrome

One in 130 dogs in the UK has epilepsy, the most common neurological disorder in dogs. Chronic epilepsy causes repeated seizures and often requires long-term medication. The effects of epilepsy range from shivering, shaking, restlessness, or rhythmic blinking to stiffness, jerking, collapse, and loss of consciousness, depending on the type and severity.

The Right Time to See a Vet

When your dog suddenly starts trembling or shivering, you should take note of other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping.

Regular veterinarian visits can prevent food poisoning, old age, GTS, and other diseases. Watch your dog’s behavior if they begin to shiver without explanation. However, X-rays or other tests may be required to identify the shaking. It would help to take your pup to the vet immediately.

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Preventive Measures

  • Shivering will be treated differently depending on the cause. Keeping your dog warm, relaxed, up-to-date on preventive care, well-exercised, and away from toxic “snacks” can prevent shaking.
  • It is often possible to alleviate anxiety and increase your dog’s self-confidence through training. Providing reassurance and spending time together can also help, especially if you are away from your dog during the day.
  • You must be aware if your dog seems to tremble and shiver and take action to relieve any suffering your dog is experiencing.
  • Keep all chemicals, small parts of toys, and medications out of reach of dogs. The dogs are curious, so we must protect them from themselves.
  • Is something stressing your dog out? Are there strangers in the house, fireworks outside, or storms? Has your dog picked up on a stimulus? When an owner goes on vacation, bringing out their suitcases can trigger an attack. In such situations, shaking can be a psychological response.
  • You should seek medical attention if your dog’s shaking is accompanied by behavior changes or other symptoms or started after eating something new.
  • Using your dog’s video, describe vague symptoms like “shaking” or “trembling” with your vet.

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What is the difference between shaking and seizures?

Shaking and seizures in dogs involve abnormal muscle contractions, so sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between them. In contrast to seizures, shaking does not occur due to abnormal brain activity. Additionally, shaking does not render dogs unconscious.

When my dog shakes, should I be concerned?

Your dog may start shaking or shivering suddenly. Take note of other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping. Get in touch with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Why is my dog trembling?

It is common for dogs to tremble for many reasons, including excitement, pain, old age, or even nausea. There are different reasons why your dog might tremble and shiver, including poisoning, kidney disease, and injuries.


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