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Why dogs shake off

As published in Canadian Dogs Annual
Why dogs shake off

How often does your dog shake off? Is it a full body shake or just the neck and upper body?

Our dogs are smarter than we think. We often see them shake off after they wake up from a sleep, or just after they do their stretching. The purpose of this “dry” shake-off is to mobilize their spines after a period of rest. This rapid rotational movement stimulates the joint capsules to produce synovial fluid, which lubricate joints.

Dogs may stop shaking off for a few different reasons. If they have sustained an acute injury to one or more joints they may stop shaking off all of a sudden, whereas senior dogs will progressively decrease the frequency and quality of shake-offs due to stiffness and arthritis.

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