4 Reasons Why Your Dog is Shaking and Not Eating/Drinking

A dog shaking and not eating or drinking is definitely a sign that something could be seriously wrong and often times will require vet attention. While sometimes the reason is simple and not too serious, it’s always best to take your dog to the vet if you see this behavior lasting for more than a few hours. Below are some of the most common reasons as to why your dog is shaking and not eating or drinking.

1.Your Dog is Suffering from Illness

An illness could be the reason why your dog keeps shaking and is not eating or drinking, and some of these illnesses can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Canine distemper, generalized tremor syndrome, liver disease, and kidney disease are all possibilities. Fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and neurological issues might be the culprit.

Other medical issues such as a fever might also be causing these symptoms in your dog. The most common reason for a fever in dogs is kennel cough, which is similar to the human flu. Kennel cough is an infection that will go away by itself after about a week. You should never give your dog human antibiotics or other medications in hopes to resolve the issues because that could cause more damage.

2. Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach

An upset stomach could be causing your dog not to eat or drink and to shake, and it’s something that should resolve by itself after a few hours. Upset stomach could be caused by numerous things such as eating too quickly, eating something your dog shouldn’t have, and going through some motion sickness. Feeding your dog probiotic supplements could be one way to help maintain their gut health.

Your dog also could have an upset stomach if they have to take medications as many medications can cause nausea. There are more serious reasons for an upset stomach that could require vet attention, such as your dog eating a toxic plant or other toxic materials. If you suspect toxins are the cause, you should take your dog immediately to the vet to be checked out because it could be life-threatening.

3. Your Dog is Super Stressed or Anxious

A dog shaking that isn’t eating or drinking could simply be too anxious or stressed out. Even small changes you might not think about could cause stress or anxiety in your pet. If you have moved to new surroundings, you could see the stress of that situation play out with your dog not eating. Dogs also can get motion sickness, so if you have been traveling with your pet you should be aware of that. Motion sickness in dogs, just like in people, will result in your pet not wanting to eat anything.

There are a number of products that may provide temporary relief for an anxious dog. Calming treats, for example, contain ingredients that may help maintain relaxation.

4. Your Dog is Cold

Certain dog breeds like chihuahuas and greyhounds can be sensitive to the cold. In addition to their body shaking and trembling, you may also notice signs and symptoms like cold ears, lethargic movements, and whining. In this instance, a warm coat will do the job. A dog raincoat may also be appropriate for dog walks so that your dog’s fur and coat doesn’t get wet.

What Do You Feed a Sick Dog with No Appetite?

A dog that has no appetite is difficult to feed because they don’t want to eat anything. There are certain foods that might help your dog so the focus should be on these types of foods. Pumpkin and sweet potato are both high in fiber and can help ease digestive issues, such as an upset stomach. Canned pumpkin will work well or you can add up to four tablespoons of pumpkin to some dog food to entice eating.

Shredded chicken or chicken and rice are mild foods that are often found in dog food. It’s easy to eat and process so it’s a good starting point. You also can use baby food, specifically, the baby food that has meat chunks in it. Baby food is also a great way to feed your dog medications if the shaking and not eating was caused by an illness or other medical issue.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Angela Hedges | 03/10/2019

    Yogi is a very playful puppy in last week has became very different hasn’t ate in 4days not moving around vomiting thick clear liquid will only drink pediolite very little at time not often today no vomiting at all

  • Carlia Jordaan | 13/12/2020

    What was wrong?

  • Bob | 22/03/2020

    This helped alot thank you

  • Mike | 12/10/2020

    Is it serious or not? I hope not to because is no it just the flu let me know or dose it go away by it self

  • Stephanie | 23/09/2021

    Mike what did you find out about your puppy 🐶 mine is doing the same thing. He’s only 1 years old.

  • Emily | 05/10/2021

    Hi Mike my puppy Titch is 15 weeks old and and is shaking a lot and not eaten for few hours and just asleep in her bed but not like her she’s very playful pup

  • Mike | 12/10/2020

    He sometimes eats and drinks and don’t eat or drink and has the shakes what is the cause of it

  • Mike | 12/10/2020

    Write back to me he is only 1 years old and to months

  • Tilly | 14/11/2020

    Mike my puppy 8 months has the same problem is he ok now what can I do

  • Carlia Jordaan | 13/12/2020

    My dog is shivering and not eating/drinking. No vomiting or diarrhoea

  • Lynne McDade-McCutchen | 09/02/2021

    My (dog/baby/Humanimal) is shaking sometimes like he cold or in pain. He’s not eating food that he normally likes nor drinking. When I’m not holding him, he shivers really bad like he’s cold but when I am holding him, he’s not so much. I feed him a mix of Pedigree Chicken and Rice and Bully Max Supplements. He was eating Bully Max but now he’s not. I need to take my baby to the vet but I don’t have any money nor pet insurance nor a canine health plan 🥺.

  • Susan Mckay | 24/02/2021

    I made bone broth and after dog had some, has been vomiting all night…very subdued and does want to move,Should this resolve over time? Am I ok to watch her closely the next 24 hours?

  • Mickal Cottrell | 06/05/2021

    My dog has a heart murmur and is on medication. He sometimes gets the shakes and refuses to eat.Could this be because of the medication I give him?

  • Andy canales | 14/09/2021

    My dog hasn’t ate for 2 days and won’t drink anything now he isn’t moving just laying around

  • Regina | 18/09/2021

    KoKo is now 6 years old. He has always eaten well, never been picky about his food, never sick, very healthy and very active. KoKo is a dachshund mini. A week ago he had a sudden change. Lethargic, almost like he didn’t recognize where he was (we have always lived in
    the same house). Loved his daily doggie ride with head out window and enjoying the breeze. Now he is almost lifeless, eats nothing,
    drinks nothing, has tremors that don’t cease. I hold him, look him in the eyes and feel he still recognizes me. When he has tremors he is semi-ridged and when I massage his paws they are limp. I put water on my finger and coat his teeth and mouth. He had a few days where he was his old self and today is back to being my sick KoKo. We just went to the vet yesterday and back to his old self but today back to being sick. I think he needs the attention of the vet. again. Just looking for a second opinion. Thank You.

  • Keith wyman | 25/09/2021

    My dog is 7 months old, has been acting strange the last few days. Loss of energy, not eating like normal, just a few bites at a time. Looking sad, stretching her body meaning, her hind end will stay place while the rest of her body stretches, walks slowly, has vomited one time. Mussel twitch in front part of body. Today my son took her for and I had to go get her because he said her gums looked white, but they do not. Tigress has been acting this way for couple days like 3 days. She has been to vet several times Tyger has been to vet several times vet said she is a bright, alert dog. I don’t have the money to take to vet right now. I’m very concerned after finding her in a dark corner as tho she was hiding. Any insight or possible causes for her to be acting this way

  • Helen Cockerill | 19/04/2022

    My one year old COCKERSPANIEL has never been food orientated, he has to graze throughout the day to get him to eat. He decided not to sleep during the night, Ihowls and barks, I leave him as I’m hoping he will eventually sleep. He generally shivers after that, I’m puzzled, does anyone have the same problems?

  • Mckenna | 09/07/2022

    My dog max is 2 years 4months old today he woke up and didn’t seem right he didn’t run to the door to go outside like normal he is shaking really badly he refuses to drink water and eat food and is whimpering what should I do?

  • Connie popham | 02/09/2022

    I have a 2 and a half month Chihuahua puppy not eating or drinking a crying a lot. What is wrong?

  • Julie | 17/03/2023

    My dog is shaking not eating stand in front of water bowl but not drink touch with tongue once or twice doesn’t seem to have energy and has try to poo small amounts but like constipated worried

  • Rose | 18/03/2023

    My dog is shaking and he won’t eat or drink what do I do I take him walking

  • Rocket | 14/09/2023

    2 year old dog was playing outside near our two steps then suddenly yelped and started moving his bum and tail forward and shaking. He calmed down then the next day he was walking around the house and suddenly he yelped again and started shaking. Calmed down from that later that jumped up on sister and again yelped and began shaking. Now for the last 2 days only wants to lay down and seems scared he also doesn’t want to eat or drink hardly. Please help

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