We’re not talking about the “Sit. Shake.” kind of shake. Nor the fun way they shake off water starting from their nose all the way to the end of their tail. (FYI, dogs can shake off 70% of the water on their fur in just four seconds!)
No, we’re talking about that full-body trembling you’ve likely seen your pooch do from time to time. Why do they do it? And is it something you should be worried about? Let’s shake a leg and find out.
Why do dogs shake?
A majority of dog owners in an IAMS™ survey* (64%) think dogs shake because they’re cold. Other top responses were because they’re scared (57%) or anxious (54%).
High-fives all around because it turns out there are a number of reasons dogs shake, and all those are possible correct answers.
Just like their owners, dogs will often shiver when cold.
Opens a new windowDr. Tammie King, Applied Behavior Technical Leader at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, says: “Dogs shiver in response to falling temperatures. Dogs with short or no hair are especially susceptible. You should get them warm, put coats on them or bring them inside.” Same goes for you.
They're anxious or scared
“Shaking is a response to epinephrine or adrenaline secretion — a sign of anxiety where the dog is on high alert,” says
Opens a new windowJames Serpell, B.S., Ph.D., Professor of Humane Ethics & Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. You may notice this when you’re at the vet or there’s a situation where they feel threatened. Dr. Serpell also offers a way to help in some cases: “Identify what’s triggering the behavior. Provide them comfort. Going forward, you can gradually desensitize your pet to the thing it’s afraid of.” Unless it’s clowns. Those are always scary.
They're not feeling well
Trembling can also be a sign of serious issues like injury, poisoning or kidney disease. Opens a new windowDr. Jo Gale, BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS, Senior Manager, Global Science Advocacy at Waltham Petcare Science Institute urges pet owners to be vigilant: “If a pet is unwell in another way, they could be trembling.” If their shaking is accompanied by symptoms like diarrhea, limping or vomiting, you should consult your vet straight away.
*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+
Sample Size: n=201
Fielded May 8-10, 2020
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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