Before we get started, we need to clarify the difference between shivering and a seizure as we will be talking about shivering only in this piece.
A seizure will leave your dog with no body control with constant jerking and convulsing. This can last a few minutes and you’ll get no reaction from your pet.
When your dog is shivering, they’ll still react to you in the vast majority of cases when you get their attention as usual but the body will be visibly shaking anywhere from a little to a lot.
Reasons Your Dog Might Be Shivering
Coldness: Just like us, your dog will shiver when cold. A dog’s body temperature is higher than a human’s so just because they don’t feel cold when you touch them doesn’t mean they aren’t. In winter, keep this in mind if they’re sleeping outside.
Excitement: This one is fun to see and probably brings a joy to your face. Not all dogs will shiver with excitement but you’ll quickly recognize the triggers if you do such food being on the way or you mention the magic word ‘walk’
Manipulation (intelligence): Your dogs aren’t silly and they may be scheming to get what they want from you. If they were shivering once and got some attention they really liked, they can simply pretend to shiver if they want that to happen again.
Old Age: As your dog enters the senior years a slight shiver could almost be permanent and nothing to be concerned about. On the other hand, there may be joint pain or discomfort which is a cause for concern.
Stress and anxiety: Going to the vet is scary for your dog so seeing them shiver in times of stress in normal and while unpreventable, heartbreaking. Other common causes of stress include bad weather, fireworks and sudden changes in their environment (moving house).
Nauseousness: Motion sickness is real, as is eating too much which we humans know all about with shaking a common symptom. Dogs suffer from motion sickness also.
Injury: Not all injuries are obvious to the eye. If the shivering is ongoing, there may be some kind of chronic pain or bruising etc. If you can’t figure out the source of the injury but feel as though something is wrong, call the vet.
As you can see, your dog will be shivering for more or less the same reasons as you. N the majority of these cases a little bit of logical thinking will help you figure out the reasons why your dog is shivering. In most cases, there’s no need to worry unless your dog is in obvious pain or discomfort for an extended period of time.
Why is my dog shivering? In theory, the above six reasons above cover most cases of the shivers.