Why Does My Old Dog Tremble?

When you chance upon your elderly dog shaking or shivering, this could be the first thought that springs to mind: “Why does my old dog tremble?” Dog trembling refers to “involuntary movements of a dog’s body,” and while the trembling may look scary, it’s often not a cause for panic. Dog trembling occurs when your dog is excited, anxious, or nervous about something. The shakes also occur when your dog feels cold.

Old dog trembles could be serious | photo by Bob MacInnes

Old dog trembles could be serious | photo by Bob MacInnes

When you find your dog shivering, check if any of these circumstances are present. Perhaps he’s excited to see you after you had a long day at work, or perhaps the area where your dog hangs out has become significantly cooler. If your dog is trembling because of these factors, don’t worry. The trembling should disappear as soon as your dog calms down or the room temperature has been adjusted.

If the above-mentioned factors aren’t present, however, it’s time to take a closer look at your dog. Trembling in an old dog might be more serious. Your dog could be in pain. Your dog may be having an allergic reaction from insect bites, vaccines, or medications. It could be that your dog has a fever or infection. Your dog could have ingested toxic substances, such as poisonous plants or chemicals.

Other reasons that cause your old dog to shake are blood-salt imbalances and neurological disorders. In this case, take your pet dog to the vet pronto. Immediate treatment is the key to a speedy recovery here. Treatment depends on the cause, so pay attention to what your vet has to say.

Dog trembling is a common scenario in elderly dogs. If your dog isn’t excited or fearful and he’s  healthy, the trembling could be a physiological thing. “Why does my old dog tremble?” you ask. It’s because your dog is getting older. Tremors in elderly dogs aren’t an unusual sight. You could find the tremors in either their front or hind legs. The tremors don’t affect your dog’s gait or movement, though.

But don’t throw caution to the wind by thinking that your dog’s trembling are simply due to the fact that your dog is getting older. While this may ring true, dog trembling is also a sign that your dog is in pain. It’s best to take your dog to the vet the second you spot some trembling in your loyal pal. The older your dog gets, the more reason for you to schedule those trips to the vet. Never medicate your dog on your own. Your vet knows best, and your dog deserves only the best.


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