Why Does My Dog Shake?

Dogs may shake for many reasons. Just like humans, our dogs feel the cold and can suffer from anxiety and become nervous too. However, shaking can also be a symptom or sign of an illness or condition and should not be ignored.

Cold Weather – Dogs are not immune to the cold. Over the decades our domesticated dogs have become acclimatized to our indoor way of living and feel the cold much more then a wild animal would. Several breeds have short or almost no hair at all such as chihuahuas, dachshunds and greyhound type breeds. It does not take long for hypothermia to creep in on cold winter days when left outside without a coat or shelter. All dogs, no matter how thick their coat can suffer from frostbite on the pads of their feet. This is caused when walking on frozen pavement for long periods of time or left outside with no way of getting up off the icy, snow-covered ground.

Anxiety/Excitement – Shaking can also be related to a behaviour or emotion. Often dogs will start to shake when they see their owners prepping or packing to leave the house or when strangers come over to visit. Fireworks or loud noises can cause your dog to shake as well as overstimulation and excitement.

Pain – This is one that often gets overlooked. Some dogs shake due to pain, even if they show no other symptoms. If there is no other explanation and shaking is not “normal” behaviour for your pet, this might be an indication of pain and should be addressed.

Muscle Fatigue/Weakness –Weak, tired muscles can also cause your dog to shake. Dogs can overdo it too and an overactive pet may shake after a long run at the beach or hard play with a canine companion. Senior pets will also shake due to fatigue, strains and loss of muscle mass. Shaking can be a sign of hind end weakness associated with arthritis and aging hips.

Toxicity – Shaking and tremors can also be a sign of toxicity. If you suspect your dog may have gotten into something or been exposed to a poison (household chemical, antifreeze, plant, chocolate etc) call your veterinarian ASAP. Shaking is a common sign of toxicity and can lead to seizures.

If your dog starts to shake for no obvious reasons and this is a new behaviour for your pet, talk to your veterinarian about this new behaviour during their annual check-up or book an appointment sooner if you think it could be related to pain or illness.

Written by: Van Isle Veterinarian Hospital



Get a Cupcake and Support BC Animals in Need During Treat Week (Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2020)

Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.

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Last updated: March 30, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day then we were pre-COVID.


We are very excited to welcome you back into our lobby! We have put some important safety measures in place to help keep our clients and our team safe.


The use of our online store for easy ordering, payment and delivery of our pet's food, flea and tick medications. Orders over $100 can be delivered to your home for free! CLICK HERE


During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!

Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet's much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business. 

As such, effective October 6, 2020, we will no longer be available for after-hours, on call services between midnight and 7:00 am. After-hours emergency care will be referred to Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital between the hours of midnight - 7:00 am. They can be reached at 250-933-0913.

We will continue to be available until midnight for your call-in, after hours needs.

Our regular hours of operation remain the same:

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital