April 10, 2019

Shake it off? Why shivering often has nothing to do with being cold

Shake it off? Why shivering often has nothing to do with being cold
Dr. Chris Brown

Despite the fact their speaking skills need some work, most of the furry family are experts at telling us exactly what they’re thinking. But there’s one sign that’s easy to misread. It’s the Shiver. So here’s how to decipher what it really means…

The Cold Truth is being cold isn’t the only reason dogs shiver.
Sure it is a major factor. After all, being small, slim or wearing just a single layer of fur (think Chihuahuas, Jack Russells, Whippets and Greyhounds) means the cold bites you more than most.
But dogs that are anxious from being left alone, scared or aware of an approaching thunderstorm will also shiver, even when they’re toasty warm.
And to add to the confusion, some dogs may even shake as a way of getting extra attention.

So I’ve created this guide to help you decide what’s really happening…

Obviously moving them indoors and ensuring they’re not cold is a great start.


  1. Use the WEATHER: If you’d be cold in a light jumper then think: COLD SHIVER.
  2. And use WHETHER they’re showing these signs:
  3. Eyes partially closed: COLD SHIVER
  4. Eyes wide, ears down, tail between the legs: ANXIOUS SHIVER
  5. Eyes normal, ears normal and whimpering: ATTENTION SEEKING SHIVER.
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