Why Does Puppy Shiver When Falling Asleep?

It feels so satisfying to sit near your tiny, adorable pet puppy and watch him sleep. But why is he shivering and shaking while sleeping? This can cause some concern for the new puppy parent.

There can be a variety of reasons why your young furry friend shivers while sleeping. And most of them are nothing to worry about. So there’s no point in just sitting and worrying about it. It is important to be aware of what the situation is and arm yourself with the information you need to work out if it is something to worry about or not.

It is common for dog parents to search the internet and ask veterinarians why a puppy shivers when falling asleep.  Here are 6 reasons why this could be happening, and what to do about it.

Why Does My Puppy Shake When Falling Asleep?

We keep exploring puppies’ emotions and behaviors when we live with them just like we do with humans.

Puppies shake when they fall asleep for a variety of reasons, including dreams, feeling sick, cold, and fear.

For a clearer understanding of the concepts and possible solutions, let’s dig deeper.

1. Dreaming

Little growing puppies sleep a lot. This means little growing puppies have a lot of vivid dreams. Like people, dogs dream when they nap. Sleeping puppies shiver, twitch, and sometimes vocalize with barks while in dreamland.

As a new dog parent, you might not be aware of the shivering habit. It is no longer a problem for the experienced ones to shiver, as they have become fully aware of this habit over time.

As your puppy sleeps, he may experience slow waves and rapid eye movement due his REM sleep.

A pup will enter REM sleep after just 20 minutes of snoozing.

In young puppies, this sleep pattern occurs every 10 minutes for a short period of time of around one minute.

It is during this time that you will notice your puppy shivering and twitching because it is reflecting the exciting things occurring in his dreams.

2. Puppy Dog Shivering Because Feeling The Cold

The feeling of cold is one of the main reasons for puppies shivering while falling asleep. This is especially common in puppies that are not used to sleeping alone and are accustomed to having the warmth of their fellow siblings to keep them warm.

Because young pups are small and not that good at regulating their body temperature, they can easily get cold.

A puppy’s shivering reflex helps him maintain his body temperature when the room temperature isn’t right.

Puppies, like humans, shiver to keep warm. To ensure a puppy sleeps comfortably, set a specific room temperature for him when he is four to five weeks old.

You should keep your puppy at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit when he is young. A heating pad with multiple settings can also be given in this way.

To stop your puppy from shivering, you can also wrap a towel around him.

Dog beds, blankets, and pillows are offered by most brands. It is a good idea to keep these kinds of dog accessories at home in case your pup needs some extra warmth while he is sleeping..

3. Sickness: Time To Visit The Vet

When is it time to call the vet? If your puppy shivers for a long time after falling asleep, it’s best to take him to a vet to check if he has any health problems. There may be a problem if your puppy sleeps more than he should and shivers while falling asleep, even though the room is not cold.

You should be even more worried about your puppy if he lacks appetite, is vomiting, or has diarrhea.

Your dog should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms.

Distemper causes shivering in puppies, which is caused by a vaccine given to them at age 8 weeks that prevents the same disease.

You don’t need to panic. By giving intravenous fluids as well as antibiotics and dilators, the Vet can resolve all of these issues.

Small jerks are nothing to worry about, as your puppy is just dreaming, whereas if the puppy is shaking its body, then there is something more serious going on.

Whenever you are unsure of what is happening to your puppy, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. You should keep checking your puppy’s body temperature and follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

4. Fear Or Anxiety

Many puppies shiver due to anxiety. This can be caused by many different things, such as being left alone, being in a new environment, or being around new people or animals. If your puppy shivers when he is around new people or animals, it’s best to introduce him to them slowly and in a positive way. For example, you can give him treats when he meets new people or animals. It is possible that your brand new puppy may be afraid of all of the family members, as he has only just been adopted.

Despite falling asleep, your new puppy will continue to feel anxiety and fear about meeting new people in its unconscious mind.

Even when asleep, the dog may shiver in thunderstorms, fireworks, and while traveling. Soundproof rooms will be helpful if you live somewhere with lots of thunderstorms and lightning.

 If your puppy shivers when he is left alone, it’s best to provide him with a safe place to stay, such as a crate or dog bed, and to give him toys and bones to keep him occupied. You can calm your puppy down by spending some quality time with it and giving it anti-anxiety medication.

5. Muscle Issue Or Weakness

Even humans shiver and twitch when overexerting or overdoing activities?

A pulled muscle will also shiver when it is moved incorrectly.

Your puppy may experience the same problem, resulting in continuous shivering.

There are several factors that cause dogs to shiver, including muscle pull, injury, pain, and even weakness. Because of this, you should be able to tell if your dog is shaking one certain body part or the entire body.

This will also allow you to determine whether there is a lack of activity or reluctance to play. In case of doubt, consult a VET for muscle massage if you are unsure what to do.

You can treat your dog’s issue by feeding him healthy and high-quality food.

In addition to gaining strong muscles, dogs will also benefit from cooking healthy dog food at home. Use the proper medication if you have an infection or allergies.

6. Consumed Something Toxic

Dogs shake when ingesting poisonous substances such as synthetic toxins, chocolate, or plants that are unsafe for them.

Vomiting, nausea, and loose bowels are often signs of your pup eating something poisonous.

You should contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center immediately if you suspect your little guy consumed a harmful substance or is showing these symptoms or loss of consciousness.

What if My Dog Is Having A Seizure?

A sleeping dog that is trembling a little in his sleep is very different from him having a seizure. If your dog is having a seizure, it will be much more violent than just trembling in his sleep and he will not be able to control his body and may suffer the loss of consciousness. If he is having a seizure, you will want to call your vet immediately.

It is also important to take steps to keep your dog safe while he is having a seizure. Move any small objects that could harm him, such as sharp objects, out of the way. You will also want to make sure he is on a soft surface and that his head is elevated so that he can breathe easily. Be sure to stay with your dog during the seizure and keep him calm. Do not try to hold your dog down or move him, as this could be dangerous for both of you.

Is It Normal For Puppies To Shiver?

It is common for puppies to shake and tremble even when it is not that cold. Small breeds of dogs are especially prone to this specific behavior.

Puppies tend to shake and tremble more often as they are still growing up, which is why it is not unusual for them to show this type of behavior at a young age.

As puppies get older, they will outgrow their tendency to shake and tremble. However, if your puppy continues to shake and tremble even when it is not cold, then you should take him to the vet for further evaluation.

There are several reasons why puppies might shake and tremble, even when it is not that cold outside. One possibility is that your puppy might be feeling anxious or stressed.

Anxiety and stress can be caused by many different things, such as being in a new environment, being around new people or animals, or experiencing something frightening or traumatic. If your puppy is shaking and trembling due to anxiety or stress, then you will need to help him feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Another possibility is that your puppy might be ill or in pain. If your puppy is shaking and trembling due to illness or pain, then you will need to take him to the vet for further evaluation and treatment.

Some shivering is quite normal in all dogs regardless of the species or size. But in addition to some normal shivering behaviour, there are some other medical symptoms to be watchful for.

Dogs shivering when falling asleep can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are normal, while others may be related to health problems.

In some cases, shivering can be a sign of fear, pain, or anxiety. If your pup is excessively shaking and trembling, then it could be a sign that they are stressed or in distress. If this is the case, then it is important to try and identify the source of the pup’s discomfort and create an environment that is calming and comfortable for them.

It is also important to note that if your pup is shivering for an extended period of time, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition or even a sign that your pup is cold. In either of these cases, it is important to take your pup to the vet as soon as possible to make sure that there is not an underlying medical issue.

When Puppy Shivering Is Normal

When shivering is without any other health condition, it is just due to cold or some excitement.

This type of shivering can be noticed in the cold weather and when there is some thunder from outside.

Even in this shivering, the breathing rate of your puppy will be expected from 18 to 34 per minute.

You can also ask about the average breathing rate of your puppy because it may vary from breed to breed.

In some cases, shivering may also be normal when your puppy is tired or sleepy. If he is just exhausted from playing and running around, then he may start to shiver a bit to try to get comfortable and get to sleep. This is a very normal behavior and should not be a cause for alarm.

If your puppy is shivering when he wakes up from a nap, it is also normal. He may be shaking off the sleepiness and trying to wake himself up. This is nothing to worry about and he should stop shivering and become alert shortly afterwards.

When A Puppy Shivering Is Not Normal

In contrast to the previous point, shivering may not be expected to be normal if it has something to do with another health problem.

When it’s not cold outside, and the dogs aren’t suffering from illness, then there is a possibility they have some weakness.

It is also important to understand that seizures are clearly different from shivering in dogs. When breathing rate increases excessively, it indicates a severe condition.

Shivering in dogs is not a sign of any extreme health conditions. It is easily treated by the Vet.

Shivering can also be caused by pain or anxiety, so if it persists for long periods of time or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is best to take the dog to the vet for a checkup. If the dog is shivering due to pain or anxiety, then medication can be prescribed to help them feel better. Additionally, providing a calming environment, such as a quiet place where the dog can relax, can help reduce shivering.

It’s important to note that shivering can also be a sign of hypothermia, which is an emergency condition. If the dog has been exposed to extremely cold temperatures, then it is best to take them to the vet immediately.

FAQs on Why Does Puppy Shiver When Falling Asleep?

What does it mean when a puppy shivers when falling asleep?

Puppies often shiver when they are in a relaxed state, such as when falling asleep. This is a normal behavior and is usually nothing to worry about.

Why do puppies shiver when they are falling asleep?

Shivering when falling asleep is a sign of contentment and comfort. It is thought that the shivering releases endorphins which helps the puppy relax and sleep.

Is it normal for a puppy to shiver when they are sleeping?

Yes, it is normal for a puppy to shiver when they are sleeping. It is a sign of contentment and comfort and is nothing to worry about.

Should I be concerned if my puppy shivers when falling asleep?

Generally, there is no need to be concerned if your puppy shivers when falling asleep. However, if the shivering is excessive or accompanied by other symptoms, it is a good idea to have your puppy checked by a veterinarian.


Puppy ownership means constantly discovering new things. All dogs shiver and tremor while falling asleep, which is completely normal.

Firstly, new dog parents may worry about shivering in their dogs, but you’ll get used to it in time. It’s not a bad thing. Shivering is your dog’s way of shaking off the cold and getting warm. If your dog is shivering in his sleep, they’re probably just cold. Either move them to a warmer spot or put a blanket on them.

Secondly, if your dog shivers when they are awake, there could be many reasons for this. Maybe they’re anxious, maybe they’re in pain, or maybe they’re just cold. If your dog shivers when they’re awake and you can’t figure out why, it’s best to take them to the vet to get checked out.

Thirdly, it’s important to remember that shivering is a natural response for dogs and it doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong. Dogs are just like humans, they can get cold or anxious and they express it in different ways. If you’re worried about your dog’s shivering, try to observe their behavior more closely and look out for any signs of discomfort or illness. Finally, if you’re still concerned, contact your vet for advice.

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