Dog Shakes When Breathing In

Dog Shakes When Breathing In: Causes and FAQs

If you notice that your dog shakes when breathing in, it can be concerning and leave you wondering what might be causing this behavior. While it is always important to consult with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis, there are several potential reasons why your dog may be experiencing this symptom.

1. Excitement or Anxiety: Dogs can shake when they are excited or anxious, and this can sometimes be more noticeable during breathing. It is essential to observe your dog’s overall behavior and body language to determine if this is the underlying cause.

2. Cold or Fear: Dogs may shake when they are cold or scared, and these tremors can extend to their breathing patterns. Providing a warm and comfortable environment can help alleviate this issue.

3. Respiratory Infections: Infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or kennel cough can cause dogs to shake while breathing. Other symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. If you suspect a respiratory infection, consult your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

4. Allergies: Dogs can develop allergies to various environmental factors, including pollen, dust, or certain foods. In some cases, these allergies can lead to respiratory issues and cause shaking during inhalation.

5. Heart Problems: Dogs with heart conditions may experience difficulty breathing and shake while inhaling. Other signs of heart issues can include coughing, fatigue, and a decreased appetite. Prompt veterinary attention is necessary if heart problems are suspected.

6. Collapsed Trachea: Small breed dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers, are prone to a condition called tracheal collapse. This can cause shaking and wheezing during breathing, along with a honking cough. A vet should evaluate and recommend appropriate treatment options.

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7. Pain or Injury: Dogs in pain or discomfort may exhibit shaking, even when breathing. Injuries, such as fractured ribs or muscle strains, can result in this behavior. If you suspect your dog is in pain, consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination.


1. Will my dog’s shaking resolve on its own?
Shaking due to excitement or anxiety may resolve on its own once the triggering event has passed. However, if the shaking persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to seek veterinary advice.

2. Should I be worried if my dog shakes occasionally?
Occasional shaking is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, if the shaking becomes frequent, severe, or is accompanied by other concerning signs, it is best to consult your vet for a proper evaluation.

3. Can allergies cause shaking while breathing?
Yes, allergies can cause shaking during inhalation, particularly if they lead to respiratory distress or irritation.

4. How can I help my dog if they are shaking due to fear or cold?
Providing a warm and comfortable environment, such as a cozy bed or a sweater during cold weather, can help alleviate shaking caused by fear or cold.

5. Is tracheal collapse treatable?
While tracheal collapse cannot be cured, various treatment options, including medication, weight management, and lifestyle changes, can help manage the condition and improve your dog’s quality of life.

6. Can heart problems be life-threatening for dogs?
Yes, heart problems can be serious and even life-threatening for dogs. Prompt veterinary attention is crucial to manage and treat these conditions effectively.

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7. Can a dog’s shaking be a sign of a serious health issue?
Shaking can sometimes be a sign of a serious underlying health issue. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for your dog’s specific condition.

Remember, each dog is unique, and the causes of shaking while breathing can vary. If you observe concerning symptoms, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.