Is Your Dog’s Heart Beating Fast And Are They Shaking? 8 Possible Causes


It’s frightening when you have to research anything in relation to your dog’s health. Your dog’s your loyal friend and you feel you have a huge responsibility to make sure they’re okay. If you’re in a panic trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with your dog then allow me to put your mind at ease for a moment. Dogs can shake and have a fast-beating heart for various reasons. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be cautious because you should. 

Certain breeds of dogs can shake and tremble, but in other cases it can be an indication that there’s something wrong with your dog. Dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong, and that’s why it’s so important we pay close attention to their health and any slight changes they show in their behaviour. If you have a dog that’s showing a change in behaviour and you’re asking yourself, Why is my dog shaking and breathing heavy? Then you should start by determining the time period in which your dog has had these symptoms, this is important when trying to figure out what steps you should take next. Initially, you should ask yourself how long has my dog been acting this way? 

If your dog has been showing these symptoms for a long period of time, you should consult with your vet and get your dog checked over for any underlying diseases/medical issues. Keeping an eye on how long your dog has had these symptoms will also make it easier for your vet to determine the cause.

Is it an emergency?

Dogs are a man’s best friend, so you might also be asking yourself, is it an emergency?

Like I said before it’s important you take note of how long these symptoms have lasted and if anything else seems “off” with your dog. It’s a scary experience when you find out your dog has a sudden onset of shaking, but it’s important you stay calm to share accurate accounts with your vet if you need to.

Determining if you should treat your dog’s symptoms as an emergency depends upon other symptoms that come alongside your dog’s heart beating fast and shaking. If your dog has other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and limping then you should talk to your vet right away. If your dog has had no other symptoms then you may be able to wait a day or so before going to the vet but, you should call your vet and get a professional opinion.

Again, they’re many reasons why your dog may be displaying these symptoms. Some of these are; heatstroke, heart problems, poisoning, infections, low blood sugar, shock, fear or stress, and pain.

[1] Is your dog displaying symptoms of heatstroke?

As much as dogs are like humans; they don’t have the ability to sweat like us. Dogs sweat through their paws and eliminate heat through their tongue, If a dog overheats they will excessively pant and become shaky. If you believe your dog is showing signs of having heat stroke then you should follow the right steps to cool your dog down. You can cool your dog down by letting them take a dip in cold water or wiping them down with a cold towel. 

If your dog’s condition worsens and they collapse or have seizures then you should take your dog to the vet immediately. 

[2] Is your dog scared or stressed?

Often enough dogs shake and pant because they’re scared or stressed. If you think something could be stressing your dog out then you should observe the environment, has there been a recent thunderstorm or loud noise that could have set your dog off?

If so, your dog simply might need some extra love and attention, if you believe your dog is stressed and you know the reasoning behind it, then you should try to eliminate the cause. If symptoms still persist then, you should give your veterinarian a call.

[3] Is your dog in pain?

If your old dog is shaking, then this could be a sign that they’re in pain. This is one of the most common reasons for a dog displaying these types of symptoms. When determining what sort of pain your dog is in, it’s important to see if they have any other symptoms. If your dog is shaking and panting then this is a sign your dog is in more intense pain and discomfort. If your dog’s not showing any other symptoms alongside shaking then this may be a sign they’re not in any immediate danger, but this is not to say you shouldn’t contact your vet. 

If you believe your dog is in some sort of pain then you should contact your vet to get to the route of the problem and keep your old pup happy.

[4] Is your dog in shock?

We know our dogs like no one else, they may not talk but, they have their own way of communicating with us. If your dog is shivering or trembling then ask yourself if they’ve ever done this before, and do you remember if they displayed these symptoms after they were in shock?

Do you think there’s a reason your dog may be shocked? Dogs can become shocked just like us, and show symptoms such as panting, shaking, and trembling. Shock can be caused by many different factors such as trauma or an accident. If you believe your dogs in a state of shock then take the appropriate steps to calm your old friend down. 

If you believe your dog is in an extreme state of shock then you should take these steps to help them. If your dog is struggling to breathe then you should place your dog on their side and pull on their tongue to make sure their airway is extended. Contact your vet immediately as shock can be extremely dangerous for your dog. You can visit this site to give you further advice on what steps you should take if your dog is in extreme shock.

[5] Could your dog have heart problems?

Now, if you’re still questioning why your dog’s heart is beating fast. It could be a sign of heart problems, if you suspect this then you should take your dog to the vet. Dogs who have heart problems may pant a lot, this can happen if your dog’s heart is enlarged and pressing on their lungs. Dogs can also shake as well as panting.

When trying to determine the reason why your dog is having these problems, it’s important you also seek veterinary advice and rule out any underlying medical issues.

[6] Could your dog have an infection?

As well as your dog’s symptoms of a rapid heart rate and shaking is your dog displaying any other symptoms? Dogs who have an infection can show signs of a high temperature, which can lead to your dog panting and shaking. It can be tricky to determine what type of infection your dog has, if your dog displays any other symptoms as well as the ones I’ve already described then you should tell your vet and you should contact them to get the right medications for your dog.

[7] Has your dog eaten something they shouldn’t have?

For many dogs, the urge to eat something that isn’t good for them is sometimes inevitable. Have you checked your home for any harmful substances they could have eaten? Ingesting certain foods and toxins can cause your dog to feel sick, if your dog is panting and shaking then this could be a sign of poisoning.

Certain foods such as chocolate, onion, garlic, and other substances such as alcohol and drugs, can poison your dog. If you suspect your dog has ingested something poisonous then you should visit your vet to get advice on how best to treat your dog, you can also contact an animal poison control centre at the number (888) 426-4435 or online at You should do this as soon as you can, as poisoning can be extremely harmful for dog’s.

[8] Does your dog have low blood sugar?

Low blood sugar is one of the easiest conditions to resolve, but If you believe your dog has low blood sugar then you should ring your veterinarian and ask for advice. They may advise you to give your dog some form of sugar to help level your dog’s blood sugar back out.

Shaking and panting are the most common symptoms of low blood sugar, some other symptoms include: decreased appetite, weakness, lethargy, and muscle spasms. If your dog’s condition doesn’t get any better then you should visit your local vet to get extra help. 

Closing Thoughts

Our dogs are our best friends, and making sure they’re okay is a big task that follows alongside taking care of them. When they display certain symptoms, we often become extremely worried and frantic, but it’s important to stay calm and contact your vet for advice. If your dog is acting strange and has a sudden onset of their heart beating fast and shaking then you should always get professional help to rule out any underlying conditions, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes down to your dog’s health.