Why is My Dog Shaking and Panting?

Why is My Dog Shaking and Panting?


Did you know shaking and panting are two symptoms that a lot of dogs exhibit from time to time?  Sometimes, too, you will see your furry friend doing both simultaneously.  Often, these symptoms aren’t any reason for concern, but once in a while, they might be your dog’s way of sending you the message that they need some more advanced care.

What is Shaking and Panting When it Comes to Dogs?

Shaking and panting are two forms of body language that your dog will exhibit.  Shaking is self-explanatory, and hence, can range from just some mild twitches to head-to-toe body tremors.  Panting is when your dog is breathing through their mouth with their tongue hanging out and is often associated with a dog that’s just exerted themselves, or is feeling hot and is trying to cool down.  

Panting and shaking can happen to dogs of any age, but are more common among aging dogs, as nervous system responses slow down and they become more susceptible to things like fatigue and discomfort, both of which can cause them to pant and shake.  

So, why do these symptoms occur simultaneously in some dogs?  Well, here are some reasons why.

Reason #1: Dogs are Excited

Dogs get excited easily, especially when they see us after we’ve been at work all day.  If your dog briefly shakes and pants when we get home every day, or, say, when they’re chasing a rabbit in the yard, it’s safe to assume that they’re just excited.  Both shaking and panting can indicate an overabundance of excitement that causes all kinds of physical responses, including tail wagging, drooling, jumping, running around and trying to climb on you.

Reason #2: Your Dog Might Have Infection

Shaking and panting can also indicate that they’ve contracted some kind of illness.  Not only that but could be a sign of a fever.  As a fever gets higher, your dog may shake and pant even more.  In this case, the symptoms can be accompanied by lethargy, refusal to eat and whimpering.  

One of the more serious infections that can bring about these symptoms is canine distemper.  First symptoms of canine distemper is tremors, along with panting, as both their respiratory and nervous systems are seriously affected.  The virus requires immediate treatment, so if your dog is showing signs of being sick, take them to their veterinarian pronto.

Reason #3: Feeling Stressed or Anxious 

Many dog owners already know that shaking and panting can both be signs of acute stress or anxiety.  In fact, a lot of us are so in tune with our dogs that we know instantly if these symptoms are anxiety or stress-related, since we know our furry friends’ triggers and the signs that they display when they’re feeling uneasy.  

Reason #4: Cushing’s Disease 

Cushing’s Disease is a condition in which a dog’s cortisol levels are unusually elevated due to an overproduction in the adrenal glands.  And, panting and shaking are two of the most common symptoms.  If your canine’s shaking and panting are abnormally frequent, you’ll want to get them tested as this may be the culprit.  Cushing’s Disease is treatable, but if left untreated, it can be very serious, causing a number of complications such as bone loss (osteoporosis) – resulting in unusual bone fractures, like rib fractures and fractures of the bones in the feet, high blood pressure (hypertension), Type 2 diabetes, frequent/unusual infections, or even loss of muscle mass and strength, that can all be dangerous.

Reason #5: They’re in Pain

A dog that’s in pain may demonstrate panting and shaking, as well as disinterest in food and a lack of mobility.  If you suspect that your dog might be panting and shaking to pain, then please see a veterinarian as soon as you can.  Shaking and panting often indicates that the pain has become quite severe.

Reason #6: Dealing with an Upset Stomach

If shaking and panting is accompanied by refusal to eat, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, then they may have an upset stomach.  Dogs get upset stomachs just like humans, and the reason can range from ultimately harmless gas pain to eating something poisonous to them – which brings us to our next section.

Reason #7: Having a Reaction to Something 

Shaking and panting may be a sign that your dog is having a reaction to something they’ve consumed or come into contact with – for instance, an allergic reaction to a plant they ate outside, or a poisonous reaction to something that was lying around the house.  If you’ve a suspicion that your dog is reacting to something, again, they should see a veterinarian promptly.

Reason #8: Having a Seizure

Both panting and shaking can occur during or after a seizure, and a seizure is generally classified as a medical emergency for dogs.  A seizure is also quite easy to recognize, so in this case, you will know the culprit right away.

Reason #9: They Have Heatstroke 

If a dog overheats, and potentially develops heatstroke, shaking and panting are two of the most common symptoms.  If your pup has been exposed to excessive heat and is now reacting to that heat by shaking and panting, that is considered a medical emergency, so get them to a vet ASAP. 

When Might CBD Be Able to Help?

Both shaking and panting are symptoms that can indicate a wide variety of issues – like something as simple as your dog happy to see you home, or something as serious as toxic poisoning.  Ruling out any conditions that require urgent medical care, you may find that cannabidiol (CBD) is extremely useful should they show these symptoms due to something like anxiety, some joint or muscle discomfort, or overexcitement.  

Your canine’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) uses CBD, the primary cannabinoid in the hemp plant, to regulate all kinds of physiological processes including stress and excitement levels, along with pain and neurological function.  A daily serving of CBD might be quite helpful at controlling underlying causes for shaking and panting.  Fortunately, it’s also well-tolerated by dogs, and nontoxic as well as nonintoxicating.  Of course, if your dog does shake and pant beyond what’s considered normal for canines, again, you should have them see their veterinarian to make sure that there are no serious underlying conditions.

Now, if you’re looking into giving your dog CBD to regulate their bodies and alleviate shaking and panting, then explore the selection of products at Chill Paws, all of which are formulated specifically for your dog’s body.  Our fully lab-tested CBD oils and treats are made with natural, dog-friendly ingredients, and come in milligram strengths that reflect the needs of canines.  Dog owners swear by our products as part of their pup’s daily routines.  Check out our formulas and find the correct option for your furry companion.

Know the Signs and Don’t Dismiss Your Dogs Shaking or Panting

Bottom line, no dog owner wants to see their precious pup panting or shaking, and the good news is that in most cases these symptoms are mild, short-lived and benign.  Of course, in some cases they may require more medical attention, so always keep an eye on your canine’s body language, which can tell you a whole lot about what’s going on inside.  Shaking and panting are your dog’s way of communicating with you, so start looking into these symptoms more closely to find out what they want you to know.


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