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Why Are My Puppies Front Legs Shaking?

Raising a puppy is lots of fun, but it can sometimes be a stressful business, and if you have a young dog that is showing any unusual symptoms, you are likely to be very concerned, especially if you haven’t owned a dog before.

If your puppy’s front legs are shaking and you don’t know what has caused this, you might be feeling anxious and unsure about what to do. It’s important not to panic, even if you are really concerned, as this is likely to stress the puppy out too.

Puppies often do slightly unusual things and sometimes they can display quite odd and inexplicable behavior, and this can be alarming.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your puppy, especially when it is young or if you’re noticing anything odd in its behavior. Don’t ignore something if it concerns you, because it could be very serious and might require veterinary attention.

Being vigilant can make owning a puppy more stressful, but it will help you to pick up on the dog’s individual quirks and any worrying health issues. It’s a good idea to make notes of any unusual behavior you observe, and to discuss it with a vet as soon as you can.

Why Are My Puppy’s Front Legs Shaking?

A puppy’s front legs don’t usually shake, but if they do, it may be because the puppy is over-excited or has burned too much energy, leaving its muscles exhausted and trembling.

If your puppy hasn’t been running around, it might shake because it is eager to do something or because it is overwhelmed.

In general, this won’t be anything to worry about, but if you are concerned, make sure you keep a record of the events and the severity so you can refer back to it and discuss it with a vet if necessary.

There are more serious things that can cause shaking, although these are relatively rare; your dog could have a neurological issue, a parasitic infection, distemper, or something else.

In some cases, dogs with particularly knobbly knees or leg weaknesses may suffer from trembling as well, and it can be difficult to know which of these issues you are dealing with.

Even if you inspect your dog’s legs and you find that it has knobbly knees, you won’t know for sure that this is causing the trembling, or whether it is likely to cause weaknesses in later life.

In some cases, a puppy may lean awkwardly on its leg, catching a nerve and causing it to shake. If this happens, it should stop shaking once the dog stands and moves about, and this should not occur on a regular basis.

Occasionally, shaking may be caused because the puppy’s bones are getting bigger more quickly than its tendons.

Can You Treat A Puppy Whose Front Legs Are Shaking?

It may be possible to treat a puppy whose front legs are shaking, but it does depend on what is wrong. If your puppy’s legs are just growing at the wrong rate, this will resolve itself, as will excited trembling, over-exertion, and possibly knobbly knees.

However, some of the more serious issues will not resolve themselves and will need you to seek treatment – it is always a good idea to do this promptly if you are worried.

Organizing a video call with a veterinarian is a good way to diagnose any issues and set your mind at rest if there is no major problem.

If your puppy has something unpleasant such as Neospora (a parasitic infection), it will need swift treatment in order to avoid paralysis, and therefore it’s important to book an appointment as soon as possible.

Don’t wait for weeks if the trembling continues or seems to be getting worse.

A vet should be able to offer advice on whether the shakes are just a result of the puppy’s growth, or down to excitement or nervousness, or whether there is a bigger issue at play. In some cases, you may need a follow up appointment to deal with the problem.

Distemper should be ruled out if your puppy has been vaccinated, but it is still important to get this checked too, especially if your puppy hasn’t yet had its vaccinations.

Should I Be Worried If My Puppy’s Front Legs Are Shaking?

Yes, it is worth being a little concerned if your puppy’s front legs are shaking, because the puppy may be in pain or very stressed out.

It may also need medical attention if there is a serious issue with the dog’s health, and prompt investigation is an important aspect of ownership.

If your puppy has not yet been vaccinated, it is even more important to get an assessment of it in case it has caught distemper, as this could be dangerous.

It is quite likely that your puppy will outgrow the trembling and it is nothing to be concerned about, but it’s still better to err on the side of caution, as there are a few nasty things that can cause shaking.

If you only see it once or twice, it is probably something that you can ignore, but if the shaking continues, see a vet.

It is better to be over-cautious and make sure that your puppy is okay if anything is worrying you about its behavior. If the trembling is nothing, there is no harm in having checked in with a vet, and if something is wrong, swift treatment may make all the difference.


If your puppy’s front legs are shaking, it is a good idea to keep an eye on it and see whether this keeps happening, and whether it is linked to any specific behavior (such as excitement or nervousness). If you don’t know what’s causing the trembling or it seems to be getting worse, take your puppy to a vet to get the issue checked out as soon as possible. It may not be serious, but it is best to ensure that nothing is wrong, rather than risk a health issue going undiagnosed.