|Why does my dog keep shaking his head?
|to get rid of water or debris from the ears
|because of an ear infection
|to shake something off this head
|because he is excited
|because of allergies
Do All Dogs Shake Their Head?
Most dogs will shake their heads from time to time, but it’s more common in certain breeds. Dogs with long ears, such as hounds and basset hounds, are more prone to head shaking because their ears trap more moisture and debris. Breeds with droopy faces, like pugs and bulldogs, share the same trait.
Why Does My Dog Keep Shaking His Head? Ear Infections, Ear Mites
Why does my dog keep shaking his head? He might have an ear infection or other aural issue. Ear infections are fairly common in dogs, and they are usually caused by:
- ear mites;
- and foreign bodies in the ear.
Ear infections can be very painful for dogs, and they shake their heads in an attempt to get rid of the pain. If you think your dog may have an ear infection, take a look inside his ears. They should be pink and clean, with no redness, discharge, or odor. If you see any of these signs, seek veterinary care. Ear infections are fairly easy to diagnose and treat, but they can become chronic if they’re left untreated.
When to Go to the Vet?
If the shaking is accompanied by other symptoms (ear pain, scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite), it’s always best to take your dog to a vet. They will be able to determine whether the head shaking is due to an underlying health problem, and recommend the best course of treatment.
Dog Head Shaking: Other Reasons
Why does my dog keep shaking his head? Head shaking may also be caused by:
- Allergies: dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, including pollen, dust mites, and certain foods. If your dog is shaking his head and has other allergy symptoms, he may be allergic to something in his environment.
- Anxiety: some dogs shake their heads when they’re anxious or stressed. In this case, he will also be skittish, and restless.
- Excitement: dogs sometimes shake their heads when they’re excited or happy.
- Habitual head shaking: some dogs shake their heads out of habit, even when there’s no apparent reason to do so.
Our Reader’s StoryI’ve had a problem with sudden head shaking in my dog, Clara. She’d used to do that only after baths. Then a few weeks after we adopted our kitty, she started shaking her head a few times a day. At the time, we didn’t know dogs can be allergic to cats! Clara turned out fine – she got some medicine, and is now good friends with Bella, the cat.
Is Excessive Head Shaking Dangerous for Dogs?
In most cases, head shaking is not dangerous for dogs. However, if your dog is shaking his head excessively, it can cause injuries to his ears, such as hematomas (ruptured blood vessels). Excessive head shaking can also lead to chronic ear infections or secondary infections. Observe your dog, and take him to a veterinarian if he shakes his head for long periods of time.
Head shaking might also be confused with tremors. They are a rare condition, and while causes are unknown, treatment is available.
How to Make Your Dog Stop Shaking Its Head?
In case of infections, treating the issue with medicine is the best approach. If your dog’s head shaking is due to allergies, anxiety, or excitement, help him by eliminating potential allergens, petting him, or redirecting his attention.
Why does my dog keep shaking his head? Now you know all the possible reasons!
Lucas Taylor is a veterinary assistant, freelance journalist and single dad who lives in the suburbs with his three pups: Ruby, Nala, and Woody. He has one cat named Pepper. When he’s not writing articles or working at the vet clinic, Lucas loves cooking French cuisine for himself and friends at home. One of Lucas’ favorite things to do is paddleboard with his son Noah and their canine companions. Pepper is the homebody of the bunch – she loves chilling on the couch.