Boston Terriers and Shivering

A snuggle may be all your Boston terrier pal needs to cure his shivers.
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It's 70 degrees outside, and you're loving the comfortable temps. You glance over at your Boston terrier and notice he's actually shivering. What gives? Small breeds like Bostons sometimes shiver for no apparent reason. In most instances, your little pal's case of the shakes doesn't indicate any serious problem.


The Boston terrier is many things, including spunky, friendly and intelligent, but “comfortable in all temperatures” he is not. Your Boston doesn't handle extreme temperatures well, and his fine, short coat doesn't make weathering the weather any easier. Even temperatures that seem perfectly comfortable to you may feel like the Yukon to your Boston. He shivers to generate heat, as you do when you're chilled. Help him warm his bones with a comfy doggy sweater, and provide a nice, warm spot where he can snuggle up when he feels chilled.

You're Home! Oh No!

Boston terriers are generally happy little pooches who love to spend time with their humans. They openly show their emotions, and sometimes cannot contain their excitement or anxiety. The shiver you see could signal your pal's barely contained joy that you've finally come home from being gone forever at work. Or it could be a case of nerves because he peed on your bathroom rug again, and he knows he's not supposed to. Separation anxiety, fear of a storm, or various other anxieties may bring on a case of the shivers.


Although happiness, fear and temperature all may make your Boston shiver, trembling also can be a response to medical issues, including pain, nausea, or more severe illnesses, such as distemper or generalized tremor syndrome. Poisoning causes tremors in dogs, and can occur from ingesting seemingly innocent substances such as chocolate or chewing gum, which contain chemicals toxic to dogs.

Emergency Or Normal?

Because some causes of trembling bouts may require medical treatment instead of extra attention, it's important to know the difference. It's important to pay attention and notice the clues that your Boston terrier is sick. If your pal seems weak, vomits, or is unresponsive, contact your veterinarian immediately. Prompt treatment for whatever ails your pal is key to recovery.

If, on the other hand, your buddy seems normal aside from the shakes, all you may need to offer to calm him are some snuggles and a nice, warm bed.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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