Why Do Dogs Shake?

by Felesha Scott

Dogs shake their bodies when they are excited, or stressed. If your dog is not in a stressed situation, then it is likely that he is just happy. Dogs will also shake their bodies after playing, or when getting up from lying down.

It is their way of moving from doing one thing and on to another. A dog shaking could also be a sign that he feels confined, whether from wearing a jacket or a collar that you may have put on your dog.

Puppy Looking Scared

I have seen dogs shiver and tremble nervously when they are picked up because they have been abused. They also do not socialize and tries to avoid their new owners.

Similarly, if you’ve adopted a dog who has been attacked by other dogs, then meeting a new dog in your home may make your adopted dog feel nervous and stressed, which can cause him to shake.

Of course, if this is the case, your dog will need a lot of patience from you before he is able to be the dog that you want. Try making your home as comfortable as possible to help your dog to adjust to his new environment.

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Purebred Basset Hound Yawning on a Beach

One of the reasons why your dogs yawn so much is because yawning is a calming signal that dogs give other dogs and people to communicate that they would like to avoid any conflict. Sometimes this is coupled with licking their lips, which sends the same signal.

It is possible that your puppy is yawning because he is feeling anxious, nervous or experiencing stress. Yawning is contagious so the sound of a yawn from you can also make your dog yawn a lot as well.

Situations and strangers can make your pup uncomfortable. Your puppy yawning might be him indicating that he wants you to back away and give him some space.

If your dog howls while he yawns, it is likely that he is feeling excited to be doing or about to do a particular activity like playing fetch or going out for a walk.

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Siberian Dog Sleeping

Dogs need more sleep as they age because their health and energy level deteriorates. This is a reason why some old dogs sleep so much. They need to rest their joints and muscles. It’s ok for them to sleep 14-20 hours per day.

It may also seem like puppies sleep so much, but they too need all the rest they can get to help their development and to stay healthy. It is normal for your puppy to sleep 12 to 20 hours a day. Sleeping helps to develop their brain, muscles and immune system.

SWS is Slow-wave Sleep, or Deep Sleep and REM is Rapid Eye Movement. During REM the brain is active, but the body feels paralyzed. Dogs and cats wake up very quickly and need more sleep than humans to complete their full sleep cycles.

Cat and Dog Sleep Patterns

Cute Chihuahua Sleeping on Wooden Floor

Our sleep cycle from SWS to REM is long and drawn out. This cycle happens more quickly for dogs and depends on the breed. Some dogs enter REM sleep within 10 to 20 minutes.

When your dog enters REM sleep, his eyes will start to twitch involuntarily.  Dogs and cats wake up very quickly and need more sleep than humans to complete their full sleep cycles.

Some dogs may whimper or give off a low woof when they are at the REM stage of their sleep cycle, and that’s because they are dreaming, and reacting to their dreams.

If your dog is super active, still plays with you every day and gives you the same response when you stimulate him then he is likely doing great. Don’t be concerned if your dog spends a lot of time sleeping. It’s vital that your dog gets his rest.

Speak with your Vet if you notice a significant change all of a sudden with your dog’s sleep cycle. Like your dog who didn’t sleep as much suddenly sleeps all day or if your dog seems restless and is not sleeping.

Why Do Dogs Sneeze?

Male Boerboel Dog Sneezing With Eyes Closed

Dogs sneeze because of irritation in their nose caused by allergens like pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. This is your dog body’s way of trying to stop the irritation, permanently removing it from his nostrils.

Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than yours but the way dogs sneeze is not different from the way people do. Even your dog sneezing when playing is nothing to be concerned about. This is normal, especially if your dog is outside.

Dog Reverse Sneezing

Black Labrador Sneezing

Reverse sneezing is a condition where your dog or cat extend their neck and starts making gasping noises that sound like the pet is on its last legs. Your dog may even snort or make honking noises all while acting like he can’t catch his breath.

It is caused by a contraction of your dog’s throat and soft palate that is triggered by an irritant, pollen, excitement, fragrances, tight collar.

Reverse sneezing is very common in dogs,  but less in cats. When your dog reverses sneeze, he typically stands, extends his head and neck, pulls back his lips, and inhale repeatedly and forcefully through his nose.

A loud sound is heard each time he inhales. Generally, a dog will reverse sneeze a few times in a row, and the whole thing will be over within the next 10 to 15 seconds or so.

Treatment For Dog Reverse Sneezing

This condition rarely requires treatment. As soon as your dog stops sneezing, the spasm is over. Massage your dog’s throat to prevent the spasm if the episode continues beyond a few seconds.

Rubbing your dog’s throat also helps to calm him down, slow down his breathing, relaxes him and eventually stops his snorting. Covering your dog’s nostrils for a quick moment, makes the dog swallow and is useful to help clear his irritation as well.

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