Dogs may shiver or tremble for many reasons, including pain, poisoning or kidney disease, according to WebMD. Dogs may also shiver due to seizures or other neurological conditions.
Distemper can cause shivering, as noted by WebMD. This viral disease is most common in puppies and young dogs and usually has other symptoms, including coughing, nasal discharge and fever.
Nausea can also cause shaking and trembling, according to WebMD. It often appears with other signs, including yawning, frequent lip licking and swallowing. Some causes of nausea, such as motion sickness, are benign, but nausea may also be a sign of poisoning or a serious underlying disease.
Some older dogs also develop tremors in their legs, notes WebMD. These most commonly occur in the hind legs. They may not be cause for concern if the dog is walking and moving normally, but they can also be a sign of arthritis pain, particularly if the dog seems slower than usual or has trouble rising, climbing stairs or jumping on furniture.
Disease is not the only cause of shivering and trembling in dogs. Dogs also shiver due to stress or fear, according to PetCareRX. This may occur due to a specific stimulus, such as during a thunderstorm for a dog afraid of loud noises. Other dogs may shake due to more generalized stress or anxiety. Some dogs also shake due to happiness and excitement.