Dog Shaking Head – Why Is This Happening & When to Worry

Dogs are wonders of the world, constantly eager to have fun and make their owners happy. Odd body language or other interesting behaviors to attract our attention can be a part of this. 

However, these strange movements can indicate that something isn’t quite right. When a dog shakes its head, there is usually nothing wrong. 

Regardless, there are times when you should be concerned. A dog shaking its head can be caused by a mild ailment such as a flea on the head, an itch, or other random reasons. 

But, this can sometimes be a sign of something more pressing, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the movement and make sure it’s not something more serious, such as seizures. 


5 Reasons Why Your Dog is Shaking Its Head

1: Ruffling its Fur

Many canines ruffle their fur in the same way that birds ruffle their feathers. This is done for a variety of reasons, but it is most usually done to get debris out of its fur or to fix its “messy hair.” 

A Dog shaking its head could be to remove small pieces of leaves from its face, ears, or neck as a result of outside play. 

It could also be caused by fleas or other bugs that have made their way onto your dog’s neck. Check the area for anything that might be stuck there.

2: Allergies

Allergies are a possible cause of your dog shaking its head. This illness can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, ear canal itching, eye discomfort, and more. 

If your dog is shaking its head, it may be to help alleviate some of the redness and itching, but it will not solve the condition. 

Allergies can be addressed with antihistamines designed specifically for dogs, which are often affordable and quite effective.

3: Water in Ears

Allergies are a factor that could be causing your dog to shake its head. This ailment can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, itching inside the ear canal, eye irritation, and more. 

Dogs that are shaking their head can help reduce some of the redness and itching, but it will not solve the condition. The water may drain after a day, but never try to wait it out for longer than that. 

Allergies can be addressed using antihistamines designed for dogs, which are affordable and quite effective, or vet prescribed ear drops since some human-made drops are toxic to dogs.

4: Ear Infection

Ear infections in dogs exhibit many of the same symptoms that they do in humans, including extreme pain, itching, irritation, and hearing loss. 

It is critical to seek care as soon as possible because even when dogs are in excruciating pain, they may not show it. 

Ear infections can be cured swiftly with medications and do not usually cause long-term damage if treated promptly.

5: Neurological Disorder

In rare situations, dogs can be born with or develop major neurological problems that cause seizures, epilepsy, and other symptoms. 

These types of illnesses are more difficult to treat, but many dog owners find that successful therapy is available, even if the case involves seizures. 

Contact your veterinarian and explain what’s going on, as well as whether he feels it’s worth further investigation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if a dog keeps shaking its head?

If your dog continues to shake its head after you’ve thoroughly examined him, it’s critical that you take him to the veterinarian to rule out anything dangerous. 

In most cases, the prognosis is something more manageable, such as an ear infection or other minor type of problem that is easily treatable.

It is important to remember that if an ear infection is not treated, it might progress to a far more serious condition.

How long do head tremors last in dogs?

As previously said, dogs shake their heads for a variety of reasons, making it difficult to provide an explanation. 

However, it is common for dogs to shake their heads on occasion, especially after coming indoors or after being wet or muddy. 

If the shaking is intense or occurs multiple times per day, it’s usually worth checking with a veterinarian to rule out anything serious.

Do dogs grow out of head tremors?

Head tremors are not the same as head shaking. Tremors are frequently caused as a result of the nervous system going into overdrive. 

Anxiety, stress, infection, or other issues can all contribute to this. There is also the possibility of a neurological reason. 

In other cases, the tremors may have been caused by the dog getting into something it shouldn’t have. The short answer is that it should not happen, so see its vet as soon as possible.


If your dog is shaking its head, it is most likely due to something minor, if anything at all. It is usually a natural characteristic. 

It is crucial, however, to pay attention to how strong the shaking is and how frequently it occurs. It’s recommended to consult your veterinarian if it’s violent or occurs multiple times every day. 

This is because, even if the problem is minimal, you want your dog to be at ease with any distress caused by the issue at hand, instead of allowing him to stay in discomfort. 

By seeing your veterinarian, you may also rule out major causes, which could be disastrous if a visit to the vet is not prioritized.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.