What Causes a 14 Year Old Dog to Shake?

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Shaking or tremors in dogs can be common, especially for older or small dogs. A 14-year-old dog could be shaking for several reasons, many that are completely benign. However, if you notice abnormal, frequent shaking, take your dog to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis.

You could treat the causes for these shakes with some help or suggestions from your vet.


Your 14-year-old dog could be shaking because he is cold. It is not uncommon for dogs to shiver or shake if they are cold or wet, much like humans. A good way to gauge whether your dog is shaking because she is cold is to notice your own temperature. If you are cold or have several blankets or sweaters on, your dog may just be reacting to the temperature in the house or outside. If your dog is shaking because it is cold, resolve the issue by adjusting the thermostat or putting a sweater on your dog.


Some dogs shake as a reaction to pain. Observe the dog's behaviour carefully, noting if it is limping or seems stiffer than normal. After a trip to the vet, you may find out your 14-year-old friend has arthritis and that you can control his shaking with prescribed pain medicine.


Over the years, your 14-year-old dog may have developed anxiety. Many dogs shake when they are experiencing anxiety. Thunderstorms, car rides or simply leaving your dog home alone can cause anxiety. You can use several techniques to calm overly anxious dogs and keep them from shaking. For example, you could purchase a Thundershirt anti-anxiety dog vest or a DAP collar.

Serious Illness

Unfortunately, frequent shaking could mean your 14-year-old dog has a serious illness. For example, shaking is a symptom of Addison's disease and some cancers. Avoid misdiagnosing your pet by allowing a veterinarian to check its eyes, heart and respiratory rate.