Dog Health: What Does Shivering Mean?

List: Posted: 02/10/11

When you have a pet, you likely know what all of his or her behaviors mean without running to the vet every time your dog sneezes.  Whenever anything new develops, it is an owner’s instinct to start worrying.  Let's look at shivering and what it means for your dog.  Is it an indicator of health problems or a sign of something less worrisome?  

Shivering is a common symptom for people to notice in their dogs, and there are actually many reasons why it can occur.  The biggest reason, of course, is that the animal is simply cold.  But if your dog is shivering in the summer or in a warm environment, this can be easily ruled out.

Another thing to consider is fear or stress.  Have there been recent loud noises?  Have people in the house been arguing or is there a great deal of tension and stress in the home?  A dog picks up on all these things, and the more sensitive dogs such as greyhounds, Chihuahuas and Border Collies can usually tell just from your body language whether you have had a good day or a bad day at work, and will react by either jumping around in happy greeting or slinking away after one look at you.


Dogs can also shiver from anxiety if he or she senses that you are about to go on vacation.  Dogs are not psychic, however - they know this simply by getting a glimpse of your suitcase or overnight bag, and remember from experience that when they see this object you disappear for several days and leave them alone or with strangers.  Even positive anticipation regarding an upcoming treat, meal, or walk can cause your dog to shake.

Of course, health problems can also lead to shivering in your dog.  In the absence of fear, anxiety, and cold, you may need to consider a trip to the veterinarian.  Spine, nerve, muscle, and neurological problems can all cause shivering.  These can range from mild to severe, and many causes can be treated, but prompt action is always the key.


Remember that your dog picks up on your stress and try not to panic if you suspect a medical cause.  Your veterinarian will be able to quickly assess the situation and treat it as needed.

Veterinarians (Vets) & Veterinary Clinics

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        If you live in Ashburn or the surrounding area in VA, then you have picked the perfect site to find a veterinarian. Dr. Rupinderjit Singh is a licensed veterinarian, treating dogs and cats working in the Ashburn area for the last 8 years. Your pet's health and well being is very important to us and we will take every step to give your pet the best possible care. Loudoun Valley Animal Hospital is a full service animal hospital and will take both emergency cases as well as less urgent medical, surgical, and dental issues. Dr. Rupinderjit Singh is experienced in all types of conditions and treatments. Beyond first rate pet care, we make our clinic comfortable, kid-friendly, and a very calm environment so your pet can relax in the waiting room and look forward to meeting his or her own Ashburn veterinarian. We have a number of resources for you to learn about how to take better care of your pets. Browse around and look at our articles and pet videos. The best veterinary care for animals is ongoing nutrition and problem prevention. If you want to ask a question, give us a call or email us and we'll promptly get back to you. Our Ashburn veterinarian office is very easy to get to, and you can find directions on our Contact Us page. You can also subscribe to our newsletter which is created especially for Ashburn pet owners. In between your veterinary visits, your pet will benefit from you reading these free informative articles. Vaccine & Wellness Clinics (no office visit fee for vaccine updates & wellness exams) Monday - Saturday 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

        • 22556 Amendola Ter Ste 120
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        • 22556 Amendola Ter Ste 120
        • Ashburn, VA 20148
        • (571) 442-8765

        The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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