Why is My Puppy Front Leg Shaking?(14 Reasons!)

Seeing any bad thing happening to your pet dog is very depressing for pet owners. Dogs and other animals cannot express their problems by speaking; therefore, they show some gestures to explain their problems. You have to carefully observe your dog to know if there is any problem with your dog.

When the dog is shaking its front legs, it means that there is some problem with your dog that you should solve. It may be Shaky Leg Syndrome that your dog is having, or it could be some other problem with your dog. Here in this article, we will learn about the reason why the front legs of your dog are shaking and solutions related to this.

Are The Dog’s Front Legs Shaking a Reason for Concern?

Are The Dog's Front Legs Shaking a Reason for Concern

Your dog’s shaking front legs may not be a reason for concern, as sometimes the dog shakes its legs to tell how happy he is. But, mostly, the dogs show their thoughts and happiness by shaking their legs or stirring their tails.

Overexcitement can be a variety of common causes of your dog shaking its legs or shivering. When your dog is overly excited, it may shake its legs, urinate, jump, bark, shiver, or do other such activities.

Determining The Type of Shake

Before we find the reason for shaking your dog’s legs, you need to know the type of shaking your dog is experiencing. So first, you need to know whether it is twitching, shaking, or your dog is experiencing tremors.

If the weather outside is cold and the dog is lying on the ground, it is not uncommon to notice your dog shivering, which can be due to cold. Shivering in the cold season is most common in small puppies or leaner dogs. Shivering is common in your dog’s whole body, especially the front limbs.

Your dog’s muscles can also experience twitching due to involuntary muscle spasms. The dog’s muscles can either have a single twitch or experience several twitches together. It is of little harm or point of no concern for dogs whose muscle twitching occurs rarely.

However, muscle tremors are rhythmic and repetitive shaking movements where the legs keep on shaking for a long time, and controlling them is impossible for your dog.

If you are unsure about the exact reason, you should make a video of your dog in such a situation and show it to your vet. This method can be useful as your dog may not exhibit this behavior in front of the vet.

Is Shaking Your Dog’s Front Leg While Sitting a Sign of the Dog Getting Older?

Is Shaking Your Dog's Front Leg While Sitting a Sign of the Dog Getting Older?

There can be a chance that the dog’s legs trembling or shaking is not a sign of your dog getting old, but there can be an underlying problem with this condition.

Shaking your dog’s legs can be a sign that your dog is experiencing pain, or it can be a sign of your dog experiencing cold in winter. But, among all the factors that cause your dog to shake its legs, pain is the most crucial factor your dog may be experiencing.

Let’s take a look at the common reasons that are responsible for shaking the legs of your dog.

Reasons For Your Dog’s Front Legs Shaking

A dog’s front legs shivering can be due to numerous underlying reasons. If a dog’s legs are shaking, trembling, or bowing, it can be a sign of weakness in your dog’s legs. Nerve diseases, infections, and many other factors may cause your dog to tremble or shake continuously.

When dogs get stressed, their whole bodies shake or tremble. This trembling is because certain chemical reactions in your dog’s body due to stress, fear, and nervousness cause your dog’s body to shake.

Like in humans, the shaking of legs in dogs can also be a sign of relief from stress, fear, etc. Check out the common reasons for the dog shaking its legs that we have mentioned below:

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1. Hypothermia


Dogs that experience cold tend to shiver like humans. The dog’s low body temperature causes it to shake terribly as it tries to warm itself by shaking. In freezing weather or when a dog is very sick, your dog can acquire hypothermia easily.

If you notice trembling or shaking legs in your dogs, and if you guess the reason is cold, increase the room’s temperature. If, after increasing the room’s temperature, you notice the shaking gets reduced, then practically cold can be the reason for your dog’s shaking its front legs.

Besides increasing the room’s temperature, you can encourage the dog to lie on a warm blanket. You can place a light sheet over your dog’s body to give him heat and increase the body temperature.

2. Pain

One of the most common reasons for your dog shaking its legs can be pain and discomfort. However, additional reasons for your dog’s pain can be found, like limping, which indicates your dog is in pain and shaking the legs for the same reason.

You may also notice your dog licking or chewing in that area. That shows your dog is having discomfort. Usually there is trembling in only one front leg for these dogs suffering from pain. There can be many reasons your dog is facing pain, and the best decision is to check your dog’s legs for any wounds, sprains, or other problems that are causing pain.

3. White shaker syndrome

White shaker syndrome is the lesser known disease and is also referred to as general tremor syndrome. The name “white shake syndrome” is because white dogs like Maltese, Westies, and Shih Tzus are more likely to be affected by this syndrome. However, any dog of any size or color can also get this syndrome instead of these dogs.

The tremors in this condition begin at a very young age, and with time and activity, the tremors start getting worse. For some dogs, these tremors are the only sign, while for other dogs, there can be other signs like neurological problems.

There is no particular sign to check that your dog has white shaker syndrome, but before concluding, the vet will rule out all the possible causes. Tremors are typically treated with steroids, but experts believe that here your dog suffers from an autoimmune disease.

Bonus Read: Dog Looking Around Frantically: 8 Possible Reasons

4. Anxiety

Anxiety in your dog can be the reason for many weird reactions in the dog’s body. If your dog is anxious, you will notice your dog pant, whine, or even tremble. If anxiety is the cause, you will notice your dog’s front legs trembling.

If anxiety is causing your dog trouble or is the reason for your dog’s trembling, then you should find the root cause. Find the reason and decide if there is anything that you can do to help your dog overcome this anxiety.

There can be many reasons for a canine getting anxious. It can be either separation anxiety, noise phobia, or the dog’s weird behavior due to being in a new place. The solution to mild anxiety can be as simple as a distraction.

Still, if the dog is suffering from severe anxiety issues, then the dog may require a canine behaviorist or a veterinarian to prescribe certain medications and help the dog.

5. Excitement or joy

Excitement or joy

Have you guessed that, other than anxiety, excitement can also be the reason for your dog shaking its front legs? By seeing the legs and tail shaking, you can easily tell the dog’s behavior if the dog is happy.

There could be a variety of causes for your dog’s excitement, such as your return home or your dog having a good time.

6. A high salt level in the body

Like humans, a dog’s body is properly tuned with all the salt, minerals, and other nutrients. Therefore, a slight change in the salt level in your dog’s body can have catastrophic effects on your dog. Salt toxicity, severe dehydration, chronic vomiting, etc., are conditions that lead your dog to have abnormal salt levels.

Besides having tremors due to low levels of salt in their bodies, the dogs may start behaving weirdly, and you may also notice your dog shaking its legs. In such cases, the dog also has an upset stomach, necessitating a medical emergency and thus a visit to a veterinarian.

7. Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder usually affecting female dogs, usually middle-aged ones. The signs of this disease include upset stomach, abdominal pain, depression, bloody stools, and trembling or shaking of the dog’s legs.

Normal diagnosis of this disease is not easy as it is usually thought to be another problem. But Addison’s disease is common in dog breeds like poodles, Westies, and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. You can diagnose this disease with a series of blood and urine tests.

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Addison’s disease is not curable, but many dogs can maintain a happy life with ongoing medications.

8. Low blood sugar levels

When the dog is suffering from low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia, the dog’s owners will notice that the dog is behaving weirdly. Besides muscle spasms and muscle cramps in dogs, the dog becomes extremely sleepy or can even collapse.

The most common cause of low blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs is the oversecretion of insulin. This condition of hypoglycemia is also common in dogs having insulinoma or an insulin-secreting tumor of the pancreas.

For insulin overdose, the vets mostly try to replace blood sugar levels orally or intravenously. When possible, the surgical removal of insulinoma can also be a possible treatment for your dog.

9. Attention-seeking behavior

Attention-seeking behavior

Dogs love to have attention from their owners. This attention-seeking behavior of your dog is why sometimes you notice your dog behaving weirdly, and when you see the dog and give him attention, they become all fine.

Smothering your dog every time you notice it shaking its legs or trembling is not a good option as it will give your dog the idea that every time they tremble, they will get attention.

Sometimes, even when the dog wants food, they start shaking their legs or other body parts to get attention from the owner.

10. Ingestion of poison

If your dog ingests something poisonous for them, the dog’s body starts trembling vigorously after eating that substance. The substances that can be poisonous to your dog include chocolate, nicotine, mycotoxins, and some human medications.

If you think your dog has ingested something that he should not have, you should immediately contact the vet. You can also induce vomiting in your dog for ten years and take the dog to the vet immediately.

Along with the induction of vomiting, you can give your dog charcoal so that the toxin doesn’t absorb into the dog’s body.

Besides this, many patients benefit from visiting the vet and treating the dog as the best option. Then, provide intravenous fluid therapy to the dog and flush out the toxins.

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11. A dog’s body builds up toxins due to liver or kidney disease.

The main function of the liver and kidneys in a dog’s body is to remove excess toxins from the dog’s blood. But when these two don’t work properly, it causes problems for your dog as the blood doesn’t get purified.

When the blood doesn’t get purified, it leads to poor health for your dog, and by the end of the last stage of kidney failure, your dog’s blood will have a lot of toxins.

Toxins that have not been filtered from the dog’s body cause a lot of problems for your dog, including nausea, vomiting, and shaking. The dog can also have other symptoms like weight loss, laziness, etc.

12. Canine cognitive dysfunction

Canine cognitive dysfunction

As dogs age, they suffer from many issues, along with cognitive decline. In such a condition, you can notice any weird behavior in your dog that includes restlessness, confusion, barking, and sometimes you can notice your dog shaking.

Many vets relate this shaking of a dog’s legs to doggy dementia. Those dogs who have suffered from this for a long time need proper treatment, and brain-supportive diets are also advisable.

13. Issues of the central nervous system

Any issue can lead to muscle tremors in dogs, including infection, bleeding on the brain, seizures, or a brain tumor. Tremors can be only one sign, but there can be other signs that you can notice in your dog in such conditions as confusion, fever, wobbly walking, etc.

If there is any issue related to the central nervous system of your dog, it requires an immediate visit to the vet. The problem is that any delay in such conditions can be very harmful to your dog. Therefore, when you notice your dog behaving weirdly or showing any of the signs mentioned earlier, you need to consider seeing a vet immediately.

When it comes to CNS issues, the vet can suggest you have different tests for your dog, like image studies, blood tests, etc.

Bonus Read: Dog Has Tail Between Legs And Acting Weird – 6 Possible Reasons

14. Idiopathic

Sometimes there can’t be any proper reason why the dog is shaking its legs, and at such times, we watch and see what happens next. In such conditions, we check on the dog to see that situations don’t get worse.

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What Can I do When My Dog’s Front Legs Shake While Sitting?

If you notice that your dog suddenly begins shaking or trembling, it is best if you look for some other signs like vomiting, nausea, limping, etc.

Shaking your dog’s front legs can be a sign of various conditions, but when you are in doubt, you should consider the veterinarian for help.

Knowing the signs and the problem your dog is facing and finding solutions to this will help your dog to lead a longer and happier life.

When to Seek Help From the Vet?

Whenever you visit the vet, you must inform the vet about the condition of leg shaking in your dog, especially if there is no such reason that caused this problem in your dog, like temperature dip, ingrown claw in the paw, etc.

Your vet will surely listen carefully to all the details about your dog’s trembling. But, first, you need to give the vet information about the history of the shaking legs condition of your dog, like when it started, how long the episode lasts, etc.

There should be a full orthopedic and neurological exam that the dog’s vet performs on your dog. Then, depending upon the results of these tests, the dog’s vet will suggest other tests for your dog, like blood tests, urine tests, etc.

For treatment of this, there will be the identification of the underlying cause first, and then the treatment begins. For most, the treatment can be done, so it’s better to consider the vet as soon as you find your dog shaking its legs.

What Can I Do to Stop My Dog From Shaking Its Front Legs?

What Can I do to Stop My Dog From Shaking its Front Legs?

Sometimes the reason that is causing your dog to have shaking legs is not so serious. It can be as simple as a cold. In such conditions, you can keep your dog warm as much as you can to stop it from shaking its legs.

To keep your dog healthy, you need to take your dog for regular vet visits. Also, keep your dog away from unhealthy snacks or conditions that cause your dog problems like fear, anxiety, etc.

1. Immediate steps

If you notice that your dog is shaking its front legs, there are certain steps that you should immediately take.

  • Calm the dog by putting your hand on it and reassuring it.
  • Train your dog to be calm and composed when it is left alone.
  • Keep an eye on your dog on a walk or roaming around in the yard to notice if it eats anything unhealthy.
  • Check any wound or injury on your dog that causes it pain.
  •  Give your dog meals on time to ensure it does not eat anything unhealthy.
  • Give your dog medical attention in case of fracture, not home treatment.
  •  Finally, visit the vet to avoid carelessness regarding your dog’s health.

2. Treatment

For basic treatment of the shaking legs of your dog, you need first to find the reason for this condition in your dog. To determine the cause, the vet will perform x-rays, urine tests, blood tests, etc.

Several medical conditions and injuries may require medical attention like surgeries, but many problems can be treated with medications.

The vet suggests the best treatment for treating weakness in your dog’s legs is a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The owner can consider specialized therapies to treat this condition if the legs of the dog shake. But there is no need for home therapy if you consider that the condition is not under your control.

Instead, you can visit the vet for your dog and have a proper checkup of your dog. As that will make proper treatment of your dog possible.


No one can take care of your pet better than yourself, as it is your responsibility. However, to take care of your pet, you must notice every small change in your dog’s behavior.

Please don’t ignore the unusual behaviors of your dog, like the dog shaking its front legs. A veterinarian can determine why your dog’s shaking its front legs and give the proper treatment.

The pet owner can consider giving home therapy to the dog as treatment, but if the dog’s condition is not under control, then taking the dog to the vet is the best decision.