why is my shih tzu shaking

Common Causes And Solutions: Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking

Noticed your furry friend acting strange? Let’s find out why is my shih tzu shaking and possible causes behind it.


Shih Tzu is a popular toy dog breed that originated in China over 1,000 years ago. They are known for their long and silky hair, round faces, and gentle demeanor. Shih Tzus make great pets for families as they are affectionate, loyal, and don’t require a lot of exercise. However, like any other dog breed, Shih Tzus can experience health issues that owners should be aware of. One common problem that many Shih Tzu owners encounter is their dog shaking. While it may seem like a harmless behavior at first glance, shaking can be an indication of an underlying issue that requires attention.

Explanation of Shih Tzu breed

Shih Tzus are small dogs with a weight range of 9-16 pounds and a height range of 8-11 inches. They have a luxurious coat that comes in different colors such as black, white, gray, gold or brown. Their round faces have large eyes and floppy ears which gives them an adorable look. This breed was originally bred to be companion dogs for Chinese royals back in the Tang Dynasty. Today they continue to be popular pets all over the world due to their friendly nature.

Importance of understanding why a Shih Tzu shakes

While it may seem like shaking is just another quirky behavior for this adorable breed it’s important not to ignore this symptom as it may hide underlying health problems or behavioral issues. By understanding why your Shih Tzu shakes you can take necessary action to address the issue promptly before things get worse. It’s also worth noting that some illnesses or conditions causing shaking can be life-threatening if not treated early enough hence the importance of being vigilant when you notice your pet shake often.

Overview of possible causes

There are different reasons why your Shih Tzu can shake ranging from normal to abnormal behavior. Some of the normal reasons include excitement and anticipation, cold weather or temperature changes, fear or anxiety, and stretching or shaking off excess energy. However, shaking can also be an indication of medical issues such as hypoglycemia, seizures, or pain. Behavioral causes like separation anxiety and overstimulation may also lead to shaking. In the next sections of this article, we will take a closer look at each cause in detail to help you understand what symptoms to watch out for and how best to address each issue.

Normal Reasons for Shaking in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are loving and energetic dogs, and they have lots of different reasons for shaking or shivering. Some of these reasons are entirely natural, while others can be a sign of a more serious medical condition that requires attention from a veterinarian. Understanding what is causing your Shih Tzu to shake is the first step towards helping them feel more comfortable.

Excitement or Anticipation

One common reason that your Shih Tzu may shake is because they’re excited or anticipating something fun happening. This could happen if they hear you coming home or if you’re about to give them their favorite toy. In this case, the shaking is usually accompanied by tail wagging, barking, and general excitement. While this type of shaking is generally harmless, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and make sure they’re not getting too worked up. Overexcitement can lead to other behavioral issues, like barking excessively or chewing on things they shouldn’t.

Cold Weather or Temperature Changes

Another reason your Shih Tzu might shake is simply because they’re cold. This breed has long hair but can still get chilly in cooler weather or air conditioning. If you notice your dog shaking after being outside on a cold day or after turning up the air conditioning in your home, consider providing them with a warm blanket to snuggle under. It’s important not to leave your dog outside in cold weather for extended periods as this can lead to other health issues such as hypothermia which can be life-threatening.

Fear or Anxiety

Shaking can also be a sign that your dog is experiencing fear or anxiety. For example, if you take them somewhere new (like the vet) where there are unfamiliar smells and sounds, they may become nervous and start shaking. This could also happen if they hear a loud noise like thunder or fireworks. If you notice your dog shaking and acting fearful, try to identify the cause of their anxiety and remove them from the situation if appropriate. Comforting your dog with soothing words or touch may help reduce their anxiety.

Stretching or Shaking Off Excess Energy

Dogs will often shake as a way of stretching and releasing excess energy. This type of shaking is typically accompanied by other physical movements like stretching or yawning. If your Shih Tzu has been sitting for a while, they may stand up and shake as a way of getting their blood flowing again. In this case, there’s usually nothing to worry about, and you don’t need to do anything to intervene. However, it’s always important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior in case there are any underlying health issues that need addressing.

Medical Causes for Shaking in Shih Tzus

Hypoglycemia: Understanding the Definition and Explanation of This Condition

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a condition that affects Shih Tzus due to their small size and high metabolism. This condition occurs when the body is not able to properly regulate blood sugar levels, leading to a drop in glucose levels below normal range. Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if left untreated, making it important for pet owners to monitor their furry friend’s health closely.

The Symptoms and Treatment Options for Hypoglycemia in Shih Tzus

The symptoms of hypoglycemia include shaking or trembling, lethargy, disorientation, loss of appetite, and seizures. If you suspect your Shih Tzu has hypoglycemia, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately. Treatment options may include glucose supplementation or medication to regulate blood sugar levels. Owners can prevent hypoglycemic episodes by providing frequent meals throughout the day and ensuring their pet is getting enough rest.

Seizures: Understanding the Definition and Explanation of This Condition

Seizures are another medical cause of shaking in Shih Tzus. A seizure occurs when there is abnormal activity in the brain, which can be caused by various factors such as epilepsy or head trauma. Seizures can be frightening for both pets and their owners.

The Symptoms and Treatment Options for Seizures in Shih Tzus

The symptoms of seizures include shaking or convulsions, loss of consciousness, drooling, urination or defecation during the episode. If your dog experiences a seizure episode lasting longer than five minutes contact an emergency veterinary hospital immediately as it could be life-threatening. Treatment options for seizures may include medication to control the episodes and a change in diet.

Pain or Discomfort: Understanding the Common Pain Sources in Shih Tzus

Pain and discomfort can be another medical cause of shaking in Shih Tzus. These symptoms can be caused by various factors such as joint pain, ear infections, dental problems, or digestive issues.

The Symptoms and Treatment Options for Pain or Discomfort in Shih Tzus

The symptoms of pain or discomfort include shaking, restlessness, whimpering, lethargy, and changes in behavior. If you suspect your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately. Treatment options may include medication to manage pain levels or antibiotics to treat infections. In some cases, surgery may be necessary depending on the underlying issue. Understanding the medical causes of shaking in Shih Tzus is important for every pet owner. Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening if left untreated while seizures and pain/discomfort can severely impact their quality of life. It’s crucial for pet owners to monitor their furry friend’s health closely and seek veterinary care if they suspect any underlying medical conditions affecting their pet’s well-being.

Behavioral Causes for Shaking in Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are known to be affectionate and loving dogs that crave human attention. However, like all other pets, they too can experience behavioral issues that can cause them to shake excessively. Understanding these causes is essential as it helps pet owners know how to manage or prevent these behaviors. Two common behavioral causes of shaking in Shih Tzus are separation anxiety and overstimulation.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common problem experienced by many dogs, especially those that live with one person or family. When a dog experiences separation anxiety, they become anxious and distressed when left alone. The condition is often characterized by excessive barking, howling, destructive behavior (like chewing on furniture), defecating or urinating indoors, pacing back and forth or scratching on doors. When it comes to Shih Tzus specifically, separation anxiety can cause them to shake uncontrollably once their owner leaves the house. This shaking may be accompanied by panting and sweating excessively from the paws or nose. As a pet owner, if you notice such signs in your furry friend, it’s important to seek help from a vet or animal behaviorist as soon as possible. Treatment options for separation anxiety in Shih Tzus involve training the dog not to associate being alone with fear or distress. This was done through desensitization using techniques such as counterconditioning. Counterconditioning involves teaching your dog that being alone does not necessarily mean their owner will never come back.


Another primary cause of shaking in Shih Tzus is overstimulation caused by excessive excitement around strangers or other dogs/pets. Overstimulated dogs tend to shake uncontrollably and may even run around aimlessly without any specific direction. Some of the symptoms of overstimulation in Shih Tzus include excessive barking, jumping up and down, wagging their tails uncontrollably, or licking themselves excessively. These behaviors are often accompanied by shaking and trembling. As a pet owner, if you notice these behaviors in your Shih Tzu, it’s best to remove them from the overstimulating environment and let them calm down on their own. Once they have calmed down, provide reassurance with soft words or petting them gently. Overall, behavioral causes of shaking in Shih Tzus can be managed with patience and consistency in training. Pet owners should seek help from trained professionals when necessary to prevent long-term negative effects on their furry friend’s overall health and wellbeing.

Environmental Causes

Shih Tzus are highly sensitive dogs, and their shaking behavior can be affected by various environmental factors. Understanding these factors can help pet owners prevent or minimize the episodes of shaking in their furry friends. One common cause of shaking in Shih Tzus is exposure to loud or sudden noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction sounds. These sounds can trigger anxiety and fear in dogs and make them shake uncontrollably. Another environmental factor that can cause shaking in Shih Tzus is exposure to toxic substances or allergens. Certain cleaning products, pesticides, and plants can cause allergic reactions and lead to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itching, and shaking. Pet owners should be careful when using chemicals around their pets and avoid exposing them to potential allergens. The quality of air inside a home or apartment can also affect a Shih Tzu’s well-being. Poor air quality due to mold spores or other pollutants can cause respiratory problems and make a dog more susceptible to anxiety and stress-related behaviors like shaking. Pet owners should ensure that they use high-quality air filters in their homes and keep the environment clean and free from potential irritants.


Understanding why your Shih Tzu shakes is crucial for ensuring his well-being and happiness. The causes of shaking in these dogs are varied, ranging from normal behavioral responses to medical conditions or environmental factors. By closely observing your pet’s behavior patterns and consulting with a veterinarian if needed, you can identify the underlying causes behind your dog’s trembling episodes and take appropriate measures to address them. Remember that every dog is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. Be patient with your pet as you try different solutions to alleviate his discomfort or anxiety. With proper care and attention from his human family members, a Shih Tzu can live a healthy and happy life free from excessive shaking or behavior problems.

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