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14 Reasons Whippets Shake, Shiver & Tremble (#5 Is Weird)

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When you see how often your whippet shakes it can make you feel a little uneasy. You’ve heard they can get scared more easily, and they don’t have a super thick coat to keep them warm, but is it normal for them to shake so much?

Why Do Whippets Shake:

Whippets shake because they have very little body fat, have a thin coat and tend to get scared of things more easily than other dogs. Other situations that make whippets shake are when they’re feeling excited, anxious or extremely sad. Underlying health conditions can also cause a whippet to shake.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 14 reasons why whippets shake and shiver (Most people miss reasons #6 & 10…)
  • When your whippets shaking becomes something to worry about
  • Tips to help your whippet shake far less often
  • And much more

Let’s dive in.

why do whippets shake

The 14 Reasons A Whippet Shakes, Shivers, & Trembles

1) They’re Really Happy

Shaking from being overly excited is nothing to worry about.

It is hard for dogs to relax when they are filled with joy and excitement.

If shaking happens when you walk in the door, before they get food or a treat, when they see another dog, before you give them a favorite toy, they’re shaking out of excitement.

If your whippet is only shaking during times when they are excited about something there’s nothing to worry about.

2) Fearful & Scared

Fear is an overwhelming feeling that causes “fight or flights” responses in animals.

When experiencing fear, the body will secrete mass amounts of adrenaline.

This will increase tension, blood pressure, heart rate, contract muscles, and prep the body to respond accordingly.

Also, part of the reason dogs shake when scared is because once the muscle contractions releases from this adrenaline response, muscles tend to shake.

Similarly to when humans lift heavy weights and muscles shake after the workout. 

If you can find a trigger that may have put your dog into a state of fear, then they are likely shaking and trembling due to fear.

Some example of triggers would be:
– Thunder
– Loud noises or voices
– Alarms
– Cars
– Fireworks
– In some cases other dogs

If you can find the trigger to their fear, do your best to avoid putting them in situations with it.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why Your Whippet Is Always Nervous + 3 Tips

3) It’s Too Cold

Whippets do not contain a ton of fur like some other dogs. This makes it easier for them to get cold resulting in shaking and shivering to warm up.

If you keep the temperature in your house relatively cold, or you live in an area that is cold most of the time, your Whippet may just be cold.

We all know the saying “hot air rises” and because of this phenomena when it’s cold, the ground stays much colder than the air above.

Since dog’s are closer to the ground it’d be much colder for them. So your Whippet will be experiencing a colder environment then you will, even if you are in the same area.

Also, due to a whippet’s high metabolism and energy level, they tend to burn off body heat much quicker than other dogs.

This can make their body shake and shiver in order to warm themselves back up. The vibration caused from shivering and shaking actually heats up the body.

It’s a natural process that helps with temperature regulation.

If you live in a colder area or like the temperature in your house cold, it might benefit your Whippet to get them a jacket or sweater to help keep them warm.

Related Reading: 7 Reasons Why Whippets Burrow (Quick Answers + 4 Tips!)

4) They Have Anxiety

Similarly to whippets shaking due to fear, anxiety can cause similar responses.

The major difference here is fear is them feeling like they may get harmed versus anxiety which is more emotional (and sometimes irrational).

For example, thunder can scare doggos because of the loud noise that shocks them and makes them feel like they may get hurt.

But after a few minutes or so they calm down.

Anxiety on the other hand is more of a lasting emotional feeling.

It’s responding to a worry or fear that is not necessarily there. Both of these responses cause a rush of adrenaline.

This increases your whippet’s heart rate, blood pressure, and causes their muscles to contract.

After this response when your pup relaxes again it can cause shaking.

The most common anxiety experienced by dogs is separation anxiety.

This is a dog’s emotional response where they may feel stressed and nervous about you leaving them, even though there is no real physical danger (like thunder).

If your Whippet has begun shaking more often and you believe it’s anxiety, seek professional advice.

Here are some additional signs of anxiety:

  • Whining or trembling when you are about to leave.
  • Barking or howling very loudly and for long periods of time while you’re absent. 
  • Scratching furniture, walls, doors, or anything nearby. 
  • Some chew everything in sight to bits.

Related Reading: Is Separation Anxiety Common In Whippets? The Truth + Tips

5) Warming & Building Muscles

Whippets are a crossbreed with a unique build compared to other dog breeds.

They have a slender, athletic body, and most of their muscle resides in their flanks.

Due to their uniqueness they may shake often to warm and build their muscles. Dog shaking is common and is usually not a cause for concern.

Whippets tend to shake more noticeably due to their build, however, If your whippet is constantly shaking, then get this looked at. 

6) They Have Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is caused by low blood sugar levels and can cause whippets to shake.

Medium size dogs like whippets may become hypoglycemic because they’re not eating enough.

Whippets have a fast metabolism and are known for their athleticism and high energy.

This high energy can be an indicator of a fast metabolism.

Which makes them susceptible to hypoglycemia when they’re not eating enough calories.

This can result in tremors, seizures, and shaking.

7) Upset Tummy

Whippets that experience stomach sickness may shake in response.

This can be due to parasites, lack of nutrients, allergies, something they ate is not sitting right, etc.

When a dog is deficient in certain nutrients, this can cause their bodies to shake.

Furthermore, if your Whippet is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, this could cause shaking as well.

If your Whippet seems lethargic, is vomiting, has diarrhea, shaking, and has been experiencing this for more than 48 hours, they should be taken to the vet.

8) Seizures

If your whippet is excessively shaking, it could indicate a seizure.

Seizures can be caused by poisoning, kidney disease, head injury, low or high blood sugar, and many other things.

In addition, sometimes dogs can have micro seizures that are harder to see.

Usually seizures only last for a little and then things calm down.

However, even after a dog has a seizure you may still notice slight shaking. This shaking should be much less though.

If you think your whippet is having seizures, take them to the vet for the proper guidance on caring for your whippet.

9) Discomfort Or Pain

If your whippet is in pain or discomfort they may shake and tremble.

This can be caused by things that shock the central nervous system.

Some examples could be, pulled or torn muscle, being attacked by a dog,  falling, cutting their paw, etc.

Anything that may cause an increase in their adrenaline may cause them to shake.

Pain and injury both externally or internally can cause shaking.

10) They Have Tremors

If you think your dog is shaking due to anxiety or low body temperature then you might be wrong.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) is a central nervous system disease that causes a dog’s entire body to shake.

It’s also known as the “shaker” syndrome.

PetMD says that GTS is often mistaken for being cold or anxious.

Which means if your whippet is shaking but it’s warm outside, and they haven’t shown signs of anxiety in the past, it’s a good idea to take them for a check up.

11) Virus Exposure

If your Whippet’s not fully updated on their vaccinations, shaking could be a symptom of stage 2 canine distemper.

Canine distemper is a virus that affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, skin, immune, and central nervous systems.

Stage 2 of this virus can cause muscle twitching or seizures and can be fatal to your whippet.

So if you know your whippet is missing some vaccinations and is shaking, it could be due to this virus.

12) Weakening Muscles / Old Age

Old age is inevitable and with it, comes muscle degeneration.

When this occurs, our muscles don’t work the same way they used to.

This leads to shaking and trembling in certain body parts of your dog.

For example, old dogs trying to stand up after laying down, may experience tremors or shaking.

It may appear like their whole body is shaking but in reality it could just be the muscles in their legs shaking and radiating across their body.

If your whippet is a senior you may notice this more often right after they’ve done a faster paced activity.

So if you’re noticing their shaking is more apparent after a walk, this is completely normal.

As a dog ages their energy throughout the day depletes a lot quicker.

This leaves them with less energy overall, especially after exercise.

This results in more shaking and trembling to occur when they are lacking in energy.

13) Bathing & Grooming

Not all dogs love being groomed and bathed. This can lead them to shaking and trembling before, during or after these events.

If you notice that your Whippet is shaking after grooming or bathing, it’s likely those things make them uncomfortable and anxious.

14) Addison’s Disease

This medical condition frequently affects young dogs and can result in muscular weakness.

This can be shown from a dog experiencing difficulty walking, sitting up after laying down, jumping onto beds or sofas etc.

Another result of this muscle weakness is twitches and tremors.

These appear to be very similar to what you can see in aging dogs that also experience muscular weakness.

This can be easily misconstrued for your whippet shaking, trembling, or shivering.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Why Are Whippets So Skinny? The Truth + 8 Reasons & Tips

Top 6 Reasons Why Whippets Tuck Their Tails + 4 Tips

9 Reasons Why Your Whippet Farts So Much + Helpful Tips


Addison’s Disease in Dogs
Addison’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Why Is My Dog Shaking? It’s Not Always out of Fear
Canine Distemper
Shaker Syndrome in Dogs
Distemper in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
Separation Anxiety