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8 Reasons Why Your Diabetic Dog Is Shaking & How to Stop It

Diabetic dogs shake for various reasons such as high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), insulin overdose, fear, stress, and anxiety. Low blood sugar can be as dangerous as high blood sugar. Make sure to contact your vet if your dog is shivering and has diabetes.

Dogs can inherit several diseases from their parents. If one of your dog’s parents has diabetes in their genes, your dog is at risk of developing it at some point in its life.

Diabetic dogs require extra care and attention. Proper insulin doses on time are critical to a diabetic dog’s survival. If your diabetic dog is displaying unusual behavior, such as shaking, you need to pay close attention.

This article explores the causes of shaking in diabetic dogs and how you can stop and prevent it from happening.

Diabetic Dog Shaking

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are the most common causes of uncontrollable shaking in diabetic dogs. Shaking indicates something out of the ordinary and requires prompt care.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that makes dogs dependent on insulin shots. If your diabetic dog is shaking, it can be due to a medical condition. It is also possible that the shaking is unrelated to diabetes.

Dogs shake for several reasons. It is important to identify the key issue that is causing your dog to shake uncontrollably. If the shaking becomes obsessive or if your dog’s condition deteriorates, consult a veterinarian to provide adequate treatment and care to your dog.

Related: Why Is My Dog Shaking?

5 Reasons Why Diabetic Dogs Shake

Insulin overdose and low blood glucose levels are the most probable reasons for shaking in diabetic dogs. Your dog can also be shaking because of fear or anxiety. Observe your dog and look for behavioral signs to identify the stressor.

A little shaking is normal for dogs. Dogs usually shake to remove excess water from their coats or because they’re happy. But obsessive shaking is not normal, especially for diabetic dogs. This indicates a serious issue that requires veterinary care.

Here are five reasons why diabetic dogs shake:

  1. Insulin overdose after receiving their insulin shot.
  2. Ketoacidosis (not responding to the insulin).
  3. Hyperglycemia (low blood sugar).
  4. Fear.
  5. Stress and anxiety.

1. Insulin Overdose (Shaking After an Insulin Shot)

Insulin Overdose

Insulin is a hormone responsible for the metabolism of food and the glucose absorption from the blood into the body[1]. This hormone is naturally produced in the bodies of humans and dogs alike. Diabetes hinders the production of insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels are harmful to dogs. Diabetic dogs require external insulin doses to keep their blood sugar low. It is important to give your dog the right amount of insulin[2], as excess insulin is harmful for dogs and can lower the glucose levels too much.

An overdose of insulin causes hypoglycemia, in which the blood glucose levels drop to dangerously low levels. Hypoglycemia can be fatal if left untreated.

There are several symptoms of low blood glucose levels in dogs:

  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Shaking
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness

Consult a veterinarian if your dog displays any of these signs.

Related: Symptom and Signs of Diabetes in Dogs

2. Ketoacidosis


If your dog is not getting the required amount of insulin or if its body is not responding to the insulin produced, it can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis.[3]

Lack of glucose absorption causes organs to shut down as glucose is the primary source of energy for cells. This condition is not permanent and can be treated with proper veterinary care. In the case of nontreatment, ketoacidosis can be fatal.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis:

  • Shaking.
  • Vomiting.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Drooling.
  • Disorientation.
  • Organ failure.

Consult a vet if its condition worsens.

3. Hyperglycemia


Low insulin levels can lead to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in dogs. Hyperglycemia is a condition where glucose is not converted into energy, and the organs are unable to function properly.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia:

  • Vomiting.
  • Shaking.
  • Heavy breathing.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Heart palpations.

Take your dog to a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

4. Fear

dog in fear

It is possible that your dog’s shaking is unrelated to its diabetes. There are other reasons why dogs shake, regardless of their medical issues. Fear is one such reason. Shaking due to fear is common among dogs.

Several things can make your dog scared:

  • Firetruck alarms.
  • Thunderstorms.
  • Fireworks.
  • Other animals.
  • Strangers.

Diabetes also affects dogs emotionally. Constant fear can cause insulin imbalance in dogs which can worsen your dog’s condition.

Identify the source of your dog’s fear and take the necessary steps to eliminate that problem.

5. Stress and Anxiety

Dog Stress and Anxiety

Some dogs shake due to stress. Separation anxiety is one of the most common causes of stress and anxiety, causing shaking in dogs. It occurs when dogs are left alone for long periods.

Separation anxiety triggers destructive behavior in dogs. Notice when the shaking begins. If it occurs when you leave your home and when you come back, it is possible your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.

Proper training from puppyhood is required to make your dog used to being left alone.

How to Stop Diabetic Dogs from Shaking

Check your dog’s glucose levels frequently to identify whether your dog is shaking due to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Feed your dog a proper and well-balanced diet to maintain its blood glucose levels.

Shaking in diabetic dogs can be serious. If left untreated, it can cause severe complications and can be fatal. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing it. Identify what is causing your dog to exhibit this behavior to better care for it.

There are steps you can take to stop your diabetic dog from shaking:

  • Check your pooch’s blood glucose levels and maintain a record of them.
  • Give your dog an insulin dose if the glucose levels are high.
  • Run corn syrup on your dog’s gums if the blood glucose levels are low.
  • Give your dog a well-balanced diet and follow a proper workout regime.
  • Do not skip giving your dog its insulin dose at the right time.

Take your dog to a veterinarian if its condition worsens or if you are unable to identify the root cause of the problem.


Dogs usually shake to remove water from their fur or out of happiness. Excessive shaking indicates that something is out of place and requires attention. Diabetic dogs are tough to care for and require a proper diet along with the right insulin doses.

Identify the primary cause of shaking in your diabetic dog and take the required action to stop this behavior. If you are unsure about the stressor or if the shaking becomes worse, consult a veterinarian to get a proper checkup for your dog.


Why is My Diabetic Dog Shivering?

Diabetic dogs mainly shiver due to low blood glucose levels. If your dog is suffering from hypoglycemia, it can cause weakness leading to uncontrollable shaking. It is also possible that the shaking is due to low body temperature. If your dog is feeling cold, it is natural for it to shiver. Cover your dog with a blanket if it is feeling cold, and consult a veterinarian if the shivering does not stop after a while.

Why is My Diabetic Dog Shaking and Vomiting?

Low blood glucose levels can make your dog vomit. Insulin imbalance can cause low blood glucose levels. An empty stomach, pancreatic inflammation, and nausea can cause shaking and vomiting in dogs. Visit a veterinarian to get your dog the required treatment. 

Related: Why Is My Dog Shaking After Eating?

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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