Why Does My Shih Tzu Shake? 29 Reasons Why!

Why Does My Shih Tzu Shake?

A lot of dogs tend to shake from time to time. Shaking is very common in smaller dogs such as Shih Tzu. Your Shih Tzu may be shaking because of something temporary that only lasts for a few minutes, but sometimes, it may last for hours or even days.

If your Shih Tzu is shaking severely for hours, then you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible because it can be a sign of a chronic health condition. Some Shih Tzu owners also confuse shaking with seizures which is another severe sign of an emergency.

It is never wrong to get an expert opinion if you feel like your Shih Tzu is not okay especially when you yourself are unable to figure out the cause. You can also stay in contact with the veterinarian online so that you can get an immediate response.

If your Shih Tzu is shaking and is it unusual along with heavy panting, vomiting, anxiety, pain, or is avoiding food then it is mandatory to visit the vet as soon as possible because these are the severe indicators of a health problem.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Shake?

One of the most obvious reasons your Shih Tzu is shaking is that it may feel cold due to weather changes. Other reasons can be that it is feeling extreme stress and anxiety or any type of severe pain in its body. Your Shih Tzu may be having a seizure and you should be able to identify the difference between shaking and a seizure. You need to identify whether it is normal shivering or a cry for help.

What Are The Causes Of Shih Tzu Shivering?

1. Cold

Smaller dogs like Shih Tzu shiver more than bigger dogs when they are cold. It is because they lack body mass and insulation. Shivering is a natural way to prevent their body to get cold and keep their blood pumping.

If your Shih Tzu cannot control the cold, try not to take it out and limit its exposure to the cold. You can also cover your Shih Tzu with any warm coat or sweater. Make sure you provide them with a warm place to sleep and rest.

A good option may be getting a warm jacket like the below:

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02/25/2023 01:12 am GMT

2. Excitement

You may find your Shih Tzu shivering when it is too overwhelmed with happiness or excitement. Shivering is a way to show extreme emotions for them in this way. If this is the reason for its shivering, then no need to worry because it will stop as soon as it gets calm.

3. Stress or Anxiety

Shivering can also be a sign of stress or anxiety. You may not notice this, but your Shih Tzu can also shiver because of fear of something. It can be due to reasons that are not harmful at all.

For example, if your Shih Tzu gets afraid of storms and loud noises, try to help it with this and be there for it whenever there are chances that it can get afraid. Try to distract them with other lively and fun things.

If your take too much stress or have fears that are too obvious, your Shih Tzu may adapt to your behavior and learn from it. So, you need to be careful whether you are being too sensitive, harsh or ignorant, etc.

4. Attention Seeking

If you always have concern for your Shih Tzu and always try to protect it from harm, your Shih Tzu may try to use it to get your attention more often. If your Shih Tzu gets your attention every time it shivers, there are chances that it may start doing this just to be the center of your attention.

Sometimes, some Shih Tzu start shivering when they want something such as food so that they can get your attention and sympathy resulting in more food.

If your Shih Tzu is only shivering to get your attention every time, then you do not need to worry about it and you can also ignore it so that your Shih Tzu can learn.

5. Pain or Illness

Shivering can also be a sign of severe pain or illness in your Shih Tzu. This type of shivering can lead to distemper, Addison’s disease, inflammatory brain disease, hypoglycemia, etc.

Your Shih Tzu may also be dealing with shaker syndrome. It is a chronic type of sickness but can have proper treatment and can get well by only taking medications. However, if there are some other severe signs then take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

6. Age

Age plays a very important role when we talk about shaking. When your Shih Tzu is getting older, its legs start weakening. However, arthritis and joint pain can also be hidden factors behind age that causes shivering.

Why Does My Shih Tzu Shake All The Time?

If your Shih Tzu is sometimes shaking, it can be due to normal reasons, but if it is shaking continuously without stopping, there is something wrong. You need to take your Shih Tzu to the vet as soon as possible because constant shivering can also be a sign of severe muscle injury.

Your Shih Tzu may be in a lot of pain and its shivering shows how much help it needs. It can also be shivering constantly because it has constant stress in its mind and is going through anxiety. You can take it to the veterinarian and get some anxiety medications for your Shih Tzu so that it can feel better.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking After A Haircut?

When you take your Shih Tzu for a haircut, it may not be comfortable with the person cutting its hair. It may get afraid of the scissors and other tools because of the fact that a stranger is cutting its hair.

It shows a sign of intense fear from that person or the tools. Haircuts can be a very stressful experience for your Shih Tzu. However, if your Shih Tzu is still shaking after getting home for about three to four hours, you need to take it to the vet to see if something is wrong. Otherwise, you can also find a new hair groomer for your Shih Tzu.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking Its Head?

If you notice your Shih Tzu shaking its head instead of its complete body, then you know the problem is somewhere around the head area. There can be an ear infection due to which it is bound to shake its head.

You can verify this by looking at their ears or by noticing that it is constantly touching its ear from their paws. There can also be some smell coming from its ear area, which will assure you that there is an infection.

You may also find ticks, allergies, ear mites, toxins, or even an imbalance in your Shih Tzu’s head which is leading to constant shaking. An imbalance of the head usually occurs in old age. If you can still not find the cause behind its head shaking, you must take your Shih Tzu to the vet.

Why Is My Pregnant Shih Tzu Shaking?

If your Shih Tzu is pregnant and expecting to deliver soon, it can experience restlessness and panting, causing shaking. Provide your Shih Tzu comfort and help it as much as you can. Stay in contact with the vet and be ready for the safe delivery of your Shih Tzus puppies.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking And Vomiting?

Shaking can be due to many reasons, but if your Shih Tzu is also vomiting and shaking, it is a serious issue. Your Shih Tzu may have an upset stomach, pancreatitis, bloating, or even kidney disease.

Keep checking whenever they are vomiting so that you know if it was just for once or is happening continuously. In case of constant throwing up, you may visit the vet and seek help immediately.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking And Crying?

If your Shih Tzu is crying and shaking, it may need you. It may be looking for your attention because it is sad or feeling lonely. It can also be hungry and can be its feeding time. But if it is not stopping and is constantly crying, then it may be concerning. You need to take it to the veterinarian.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking While Sleeping?

Oreo, photo submitted by Irene

If your Shih Tzu is shaking while sleeping, it may be watching a dream which is causing it to shake or twitch again and again. It does not mean that they are dreaming about something serious. It can be a very fun dream, and your Shih Tzu may be playing with its favorite toys in it.

But if you are trying to wake your Shih Tzu up and it is still shaking and not waking up easily, this is a serious situation. Your concern is justifiable because this can be a sign that your Shih Tzu is having a seizure.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking And Not Eating?

If your Shih Tzu is not eating and constantly shaking, it may be a serious health issue. You need to take your Shih Tzu to the vet if it takes a day or two that your Shih Tzu has not eaten. It may lead to complete loss of appetite and weight loss.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking After Eating?

If your Shih Tzu is shaking after eating food, this may be due to the food they are eating. Your Shih Tzus stomach may be sensitive to some ingredients in the food it is eating. Your Shih Tzu may be nauseous after eating that food.

Sometimes, eating food can decrease the body temperature of your Shih Tzu, which can lead to shaking. You can also check their portion size and see if they are overeating because overeating can also cause shaking.

Your Shih Tzu can also start shaking after eating because they are very happy, and shaking can signify their excitement for the food they eat. Another reason can be that it has some severe life-threatening disease which is called distemper, because it is too young to have vaccines and is shaking after eating food.

If your Shih Tzu is vomiting after eating or is releasing a discharge from its face and avoiding food, you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Why Is My Shih Tzu Shaking After A Bath?

Your Shih Tzu may be shaking after a bath because it is feeling cold. Shih Tzu’s body temperature takes time to get to normal, and during this time, it shakes in order to fasten the process of increasing body temperature.

Why Should I Worry If My Shih Tzu Is Shaking?

If your ShihTzu is shaking, then there is no need to worry. But worrying is necessary if it is constantly shaking and you cannot find the cause for its shaking. If you notice your Shih Tzu is not acting like itself and is not normal, you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Serious Reasons Why Your Shih Tzu Is Shaking:

  1. Distemper
  2. Poisoning
  3. GTS- generalized tremor syndrome
  4. Muscle weakness
  5. Muscle injury
  6. Shih Tzu Puppy: Everything You Need To Know
  7. Seeking attention
  8. Allergies
  9. Sickness
  10. Excitement
  11. Stress or anxiety
  12. Fear
  13. Toxins

How To Know If Shih Tzu Is Shaking Or Having A Seizure?

Shaking and seizures are two completely different things, but judging if someone else is going through them is not easy. During seizures, your Shih Tzu loses complete mobility and becomes unconscious of its surroundings. Its muscles seize up, making it difficult for them to do anything. Whereas shaking is obvious and may stop in some time.

However, both require seeing the vet as soon as possible. Seizures are not something you should ignore, and if your Shih Tzu is constantly shaking and acting differently, this is also serious and requires a visit to the vet.


In conclusion, whenever you see that your Shih Tzu is constantly shaking and you cannot find the reason, you need to visit the veterinarian. Shaking is normal, but not always. Identifying why your Shih Tzu is shaking unusually will make everything easy for you and your Shih Tzu.

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