HomeAnimals4 Reasons Your Dog's Shaking Its Head

4 Reasons Your Dog’s Shaking Its Head

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Our fuzzy buddies don’t have thumbs like we do, so how do they handle an itch or get stuff out of their ears? Do they shake their heads for this? Dr. Georgina Ushi Phillips thinks so.  

She says, “A head shake could be triggered by a bug landing on their head, a little water in the ear after a swim, and everything in between,” Even though dogs can swipe at their face or rub their ears, shaking their head does it best. But, watch out! Sometimes there’s a health reason behind all that wiggling and waggling.

Is Your Pooch Shaking Its Head Too Much?

“Head shaking is usually pretty effective, so if you notice your dog shaking their head over and over with only short pauses in between, there’s likely an issue and an exam with your veterinarian is a good idea,” Phillips mentions. Here’s a look at some reasons why your dog might be doing the head shake dance.

Ear Bugs

Ear issues pop up a lot with our four-legged pals. Wet ears, little critters like ear mites, and even allergies can lead to problems. What else to watch for?

  • Your dog scratching its ears and doing the head shake too often. 
  • Red and angry-looking insides of the ears. 
  • Ears smelling funky with yucky stuff that’s brown, green, or yellow. 

Spot any of these? Head to the vet to nip it in the bud. They might suggest some special meds.

Waxy Ears

Sometimes, dogs just have too much earwax. It’s like having a plugged ear, which can feel weird and also pave the way for infections. If your dog’s ears have a smell and some brown goop but no icky skin or dripping, a good ear clean-up is in order.

But, hold on! Don’t try this at home. If you think there’s more junk in there, let your vet deal with it.

Sneezes & Itches

Dogs can have allergies like us humans. Yep, stuff in the air, pesky bugs like fleas and ticks, and even some foods can bug them.

If along with the head shaking, your dog is also licking its paws like mad, scratching everywhere, getting tummy troubles, or showing skin problems, an allergy test might be on the cards.

Brainy Hiccups in Pooches

Ever seen your dog do a weird head wobble or tilt like they’re trying to catch a tune? Might be their noggin’s acting up a bit. Other signs of noggin trouble? Maybe they’re walking wonky, got a twist in their grin, stumbling like they had one too many, or letting out a yelp like they stubbed their paw.

Head Wiggle vs. The Big Shiver 

Your dog does a head wiggle and then there’s the whole body shimmy. Phillips mentions, ” If dogs are shaking their full body, along with their head, then it could be related to something called a ‘shake off’, which is a technique that dogs use to reset after any kind of tense or stressful situation, “ 

Seen two doggos meet for the first time? They do a sniff-around, and then – bam! – both go for a big ol’ shake. It’s like they’re brushing off some nerves. Phillips adds it’s their way of saying, “Okay, we’re cool now.” Watch out, they might pull this fun jig during playtime, after a car ride, or when meeting some new buddies. It’s their way of going, “Time for a breather!” 

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