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Easing Shaking and Trembling in Older Dogs With Touch

Unsure what to do to help your faithful dog companion when they’re shaking and trembling?

Harmony began shaking and trembling as she aged. At 16 and 17 years, this golden retriever hound mix was wobbly on her legs.

The vet didn’t have any specific advise. Her blood tests were all surprisingly normal and excellent for her age. Her ears were normal temperature and did not indicate she was cold.

I know what low blood sugar levels are like from not eating frequently enough from my own experiences when I’d get shaky and even tremble. But even after Harmony had eaten breakfast or dinner she would be wobble, shake and tremble when she walked.

She did have some arthritis in her feet from all that running and dirt digging for most of her life! Even though she was on a large dose of a glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to ease aches and pains from arthritis I wondered if she might still be weak, shaky and trembling due to her joints.

You love your animal, want to help, but don’t know what else to do. The vet has run out of ideas, so what’s next?

Would you like to have something to calm their nerves, improve their sense of where their body is in relation to the walls, tables, surroundings, improve coordination, focus? Help your dog to feel more solid on their feet? Even though they are older and more golden in age? Is there really anything you can do to help? YES!

I have a soft spot in my heart for older dogs. And, I love using Bodywork for Golden Oldie Dogs. For instance, I found Ear Strokes and a type of Circular Touches to be very steadying for Harmony. And, while I’ve used many types of bodywork for helping older dogs over the years I have found these two touches in particular have helped steady many older wobbly dogs I’ve come across over the years.

How to use Ear Strokes for a Dog*:

Begin stroking from the bottom of the ear all the way out towards the edge with the ear between your fore finger and thumb. Continue stroking gently covering all the areas of the ear. **Ear Strokes were developed by Linda Tellington-Jones.


Use the amount of pressure as if you were stroking a rose petal. Too hard and you’d tear the petal. But too soft and you’d tickle and annoy your dog.

Ear Stroke Effects:

Ear Strokes have a calming effect overall. They help regulate body temperature whether you are too cold or too hot and can bring you into a more normal body temperature. Ear Strokes can also help improve digestion. The point on the tip of the ear is a point for shock, both emotional and physical.

How to use Flat Handed Circles for Dogs**:

Place your hand gently on your dog’s body. Use a flat but soft hand with the palm and all fingers touching the coat allowing your hand to sculpt over and mold to the body. Move the skin under your hand in a full circle and a quarter, pause and breath, then move to another location about a half-inch away and do another circle. Continue with additional circular touches all over your dog’s body.

**The circular touch was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Remember to breath! When we concentrate on learning something new, we tend to hold our breath. As we slow down with deep soft breathing, we will positively influence our animals.


Use just enough pressure so that you can move the skin around the circle with a soft pliable hand to give a sense of warmth and security. Try out softer and firmer circles to see what amount of pressure your dog prefers. This may vary from one area of the body to another. For instance, if their hips are sore, they may prefer barely any pressure at all, but on their shoulders they may like much firmer contact.

Circular Touch Effects:

Typically when using this flat handed circular touch, I see it have a calming, stabilizing, comforting effect. The circular touches have been found in studies to have a balancing effect on all four brain wave patterns that creates calming to the central nervous system and emotions.


Begin adding both ear slides and the circular touches for about 10-20 minutes a day to begin seeing a steadier gait.

Both of these types of touch are different then just petting your dog. Anytime you may be inclined to pat your dog, try using Ear Slides and circular touches instead to add more benefits.

The ear slides will help to activate many reflex points throughout the ears, easing stress reactions and calming, balancing and soothing your dog’s entire system.

The circular touch is also distinctly unique and effective. Calming brain wave patterns happens with the circular touch so try this rather than just petting a dog.


Using both the Ear Slides and the circular touch for 10 minutes a day and whenever they are shaking and trembling can often create more stabilized movements and behavior.

If symptoms persist or increase however, bring your dog in for a check up with your veterinary.

Other Uses:

These are great tips to use for many stressful situations like visiting the vet. The touches give you something useful to do besides just fretting and they have a positive effect for your dog.


There is an added bonus to using these touches, they have calming effects for us as well!

Source: Internet

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