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Why Does My Beagle Shake and Shiver? 9 Possible Reasons

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

beagle dog shaking face on the lawn

When your dog starts to shake and/or shiver, it can be a frightening experience—especially if you don’t know what’s causing it. If your Beagle is shaky, trembly, or shivery, the potential causes range from the innocent like being too excited to the more severe, like a serious health condition.

In this post, we’ll explore possible reasons why your Beagle might be shaking and shivering.

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The 9 Possible Reasons Your Beagle Shakes and Shivers

1. Excitement

It’s true—some dogs get so excited to see their owners when they return home after being out for a while that they tremble and even pee themselves in some cases—hey, at least you can take this one as a compliment of sorts!

Your Beagle might also shiver with excitement when it’s time to go for a walk or when they meet new people or canine friends. They’re generally super friendly, extraverted dogs, so this doesn’t really come as a surprise.

one year old female beagle dog
Image credit: Bhoomi Jangid, Shutterstock

2. Nausea

In many ways, dogs aren’t so different from us. If they’re feeling a bit nauseous, they might go all shivery for a while. Nausea can be caused by a variety of things, like medication, illness, or eating something toxic.

If your Beagle is nauseous, they may also drool, smack their lips, vomit, swallow more, yawn more, and/or withdraw. Please contact your vet if you suspect that your Beagle is unwell or has eaten something they shouldn’t.

3. Toxicity

Leading on from our previous point, eating something toxic can cause your dog to become sick, of which shivering and shaking are symptoms. Other symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, blood in the stool, lethargy, unsteadiness, and bruising on the gums or inside the ear.

There is a huge list of things poisonous to dogs, but examples include:
  • Chocolate
  • Insecticides
  • Antifreeze
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Cigarettes
  • Xylitol
  • Grapes and raisins
a sick beagle dog lying on the floor
Image Credit: Elena Loza, Shutterstock

4. Anxiety

If your Beagle suffers from canine anxiety, they may shake and shiver when feeling nervous or afraid. Even if they don’t typically suffer from anxiety, they might display symptoms of it during certain events, like when fireworks are going off nearby or there’s thunder.

If your Beagle is especially anxious when loud noises go off, you might want to try desensitizing them by playing the sound effect at home—very quietly at first and gradually increasing the volume over the coming days and weeks until it no longer bothers your dog. There are also ear coverings made just for dogs that might be worth considering.

5. Cold Weather

If it’s a particularly frosty day, your Beagle might shiver from the cold. Consider fitting them with a doggy sweater or coat for especially cold days.

beagle dog lying on the bed covered with a blanket
Image Credit: Kuznetsov Alexey, Shutterstock

6. Distemper

Canine distemper is a very serious and contagious condition that occurs when dogs haven’t received their full set of vaccinations. In addition to shaking and shivering, your Beagle may show signs like fever, difficulty breathing, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivating, diarrhea, vomiting, appetite loss, and even muscle twitching and seizures among other symptoms.

7. Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Also known as shaker syndrome, generalized tremor syndrome causes dogs to experience frequent tremors. It’s especially common in small, white dogs but is not limited to them—any breed can have the condition. The cause is unknown, though is possibly an autoimmune condition. Luckily, it’s treatable and the prognosis is excellent following treatment.

beagle dog lying on sofa
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

8. Pain and Aging

Dogs may shiver due to being in pain. Senior dogs in particular may develop tremors in their legs due to conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia. If your Beagle has trembling legs, it’s best to contact a vet as this could signal that they’re not feeling comfortable.

9. Seizure Disorders

Seizure disorders like epilepsy can cause a dog to shiver and shake. In addition, dogs with seizure disorders might lose consciousness, jerk, collapse, become stiff, chew their tongue, twitch, drool, and/or lay on their side and “paddle” the air.

senior beagle dog lying on the carpet
Image Credit: masch, Pixabay

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Other Conditions That May Cause Dogs to Shake

  • Kidney disease
  • Inflammatory brain disease
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy

Should I Take My Beagle to a Vet?

It depends on the situation. If your Beagle only shakes and shivers when you come home or when there’s something interesting going on, they’re likely just excited and haven’t calmed down yet.

On the other hand, if your Beagle shakes and shivers a lot or displays other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and collapsing, or just seems generally unwell in any way, contact your vet as there may be an underlying health condition at play. If your Beagle frequently shakes due to anxiety, consult your vet or a dog behaviorist to find out how to treat it.

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Final Thoughts

The potential causes of a Beagle shaking, shivering, or trembling are extensive. It can be caused by illness, poisoning, or something harmless like overexcitement. Hopefully, your Beagle is just trembling with excitement at the sight of you, but if they tremble regularly or show other signs of being unwell, please contact your vet for advice.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Suptar, Shutterstock

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