Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?


A few years back, I got myself a cute little chihuahua and since then it has been a part of my life.

As a Chihuahua owner, I cannot stress enough how much I love my little bundle of happiness.

However, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes along when you own a chihuahua.

For instance, just the other day my chihuahua started shaking a lot because his sugar level dropped and I had to take immediate actions to stop the shaking.

I am sure that you must be aware of the fact that they tend to shake a lot. Still, there are certain things that trigger the shaking.

 So here’s a list of all the reasons that I have been able to gather by observing my chihuahua.  I am sure this will help you understand the behavior of your small dog in a better way.

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake? 15 Reasons Why They Do It


Let’s take a look at all the answers for why do chihuahuas shake.

1. Social Anxiety

So this might sound a little weird to you that even chihuahuas can develop an anxiety disorder but in reality, chihuahuas are prone to getting anxious quite frequently.

This might be because some bigger dog is in their vicinity or maybe there’s a new person around them.

Shaking a little due to this is completely normal.

However, if you feel that they are panicking a lot, you should try to calm your little dog down by eliminating the cause of it and if it is not possible, try to change the environment.

This is the main reason why chihuahuas shake so much.

2. Cold Weather

Chihuahuas can’t stand cold weather at all. They have a lot of trouble regulating their body heat. This is why you need to make sure that they are kept warm all the time.

Dog Clothes - Handmade Dog Poncho - Cinco De Mayo Costume from Authentic Mexican Blanket by Baja Ponchos (No Fringe, XXS)

Moreover, they do not even have the required body fat to keep them stable.

You need to keep them warm all the time so that they can adapt to the cold weather and get comfortable with the wind. This is also the reason why Chihuahua must not live outside the house.

Also Read: Can Chihuahuas Live Outside?

3. High Metabolism

Given their small size, it isn’t surprising that chihuahuas have a higher metabolism rate than any other breed.

The science behind it is that their stomach size is small, which leads to faster digestion. As they burn fat quickly, they don’t have enough body heat left in them which can control their temperature.

Therefore, they tend to get shaky. Due to this, your Chi needs a good choice of food like Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula, which is best for their high metabolic rate.

Purina ONE Natural Small Breed Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula - 3.8 lb. Bag

4. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is mainly due to separation from their owner and the signs can be seen when they constantly bark, destroy things, and can even harm themselves.

Well, after all, chihuahuas love to get attention and that is clearly evident from their continuous need of getting their owner’s presence around them.

Moreover, the withdrawal symptoms that they face, once their owner leaves, can get really serious with time.

5. Excitement

A lot of times, chihuahuas get so excited that they start to shake, bark, and even jump.

They get excited about every small thing.

For instance, you might see your chihuahua shaking, right before you are going to feed them or when they simply ask for something they like, or when you are going to throw a ball at them.

To be honest, whenever I see my chihuahua getting so excited about the little things, it melts my heart.

So, instead of getting worried, just be happy that your chihuahua is having such a good time.

6. Physical Injury

It is quite normal in chihuahuas to shake when they hit something as this is a form of distress and needs to be addressed at an early stage.

azuza Puppy Harness and Leash Set, Reflective Air Mesh Dog Vest Harness, All Weather Comfort Dog Harness for Small Dogs, Chest Girth: 15"-19"

Sometimes, it might be so severe that the injury can even lead to a neurological disorder.

Other than that, muscle pain is quite common during a physical hit. However, it might lead to something as serious as a muscle tear.

You can help your chihuahua cope with it by providing them proper physical therapy to rebuild the damaged tissue.

7. Internal Injury

Their smaller size makes them prone to dropping or stepped on or even bullied by big dogs.

Although they appear to be fine from the outside, they might try to communicate their discomfort by whining, shaking, or limping.

If you feel that they have got an injury, lightly touch the part where they have hit themselves and check their reaction.

If they whine, it is preferable that you get them checked by a vet. They might ask you to get certain checks done before they give any medications.

8. Sudden Drop-In Sugar Levels

This is a very common problem that chihuahuas tend to face. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can lead to uncontrollable shaking and make them lethargic.

ThunderShirt for Dogs, Heather Gray Classic - Dog Anxiety Vest

As soon as you realize that they are facing this problem, take them to a vet immediately as it can be something more than just a low sugar level.

For instance, it could be something as serious as diabetes or liver disease, which only a vet can diagnose.

This might get more serious and can even lead to seizures or death.

9. Poisoning

If your chihuahua puppy starts to shake intensely, it might be a sign of food poisoning. Look for the below-mentioned symptoms, to see if your dog is suffering from the same.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Seizures
  • Swollen face
  • Blood coughing

10. Allergic Reaction

I am not sure about you people but I love trying out some new dog food for my tiny dog.

However, a few days back I came to know that chihuahuas are allergic to certain food which might cause them to shake uncontrollably.

Lophipets Dog Cotton Hoodies Sweatshirts for Small Dogs Chihuahua Puppy Clothes Cold Weather Coat-Charcoal/XXS

Any sort of allergic reaction needs to be checked as it is unlikely that it can go off on its own and might even cost your chihuahua its life.

To simplify it for you, here’s a list of all the food items that you shouldn’t feed your chihuahua at all!

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Bacon
  • Cat food
  • Garlic
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Nutmeg
  • Milk cheese and dairy (Not all chihuahuas might get affected by it)

11. Generalized Tremor Syndrome(GTS)

GTS or Steroid responsive tremor syndrome can be seen in all dogs.

The major problem with this syndrome is that it can easily be mistaken as anxiety. You have to visit a Vet as soon as you start seeing any changes in their behavior.

The vet might give you corticosteroids which is a primary way of curing this syndrome.

12. Distemper, A sort of Viral Infection

Canine distemper is a sort of virus that affects younger dogs who haven’t had all of their vaccine doses.

It is highly possible that the viral infection can get a grip on older dogs but the probability is less.

LOPHIPETS Dog I'm Cute But Dangerous Letter Print Shirts for Small Teacup Dog Chihuahua Yorkie Puppy Cat Clothes Tee-Red/XS

It can be seen with symptoms such as fever, coughing or eye discharge, or nose discharge.

See your vet before this virus takes a toll on your chihuahua’s health and also make sure that they are kept hydrated at all times.

13. Kidney Failure

Although the chances are rare that your chihuahua is shaking due to kidney failure, you wouldn’t want to ignore it. Check whether your chihuahua has been dealing with any of the problems lately as it might be a symptom of kidney disease.

  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of balance
  • Ulcers in mouth
  • Breathlessness

14. Ear Infection

Just like humans, even a dog’s ear can get an excessive production of ear wax. Because of this, your chihuahua might end up shaking his head all the time.

If you see your tiny dog rubbing his face against the wall or couch, take this as a sign and visit a vet as soon as possible.

Moreover, if it turns into something serious, they might even develop some sort of itchiness and ear odor.

15. Addison’s Disease

If your chihuahua is shivering uncontrollably, it might be because of the sudden development of Addison’s disease.

It is a very rare disease in chihuahuas and it mostly affects bigger dogs.

However, you need to check for the symptoms such as low appetite, inappropriate response to body stress, and weakness.

When Should You Be Concerned When Your Chihuahua Shakes?


When it comes to chihuahuas, it is not very easy to detect whether they are sensing some discomfort as they shake a lot.

Therefore you need to keep monitoring their health and observe the way in which they behave.

If your pet keeps shaking more than usual, it is possible that they are sensing some sort of discomfort.

Try looking out for some other symptoms such as cough or vomiting.

If you are not able to judge whether your chihuahua is behaving normally or not it is always advisable to visit a vet rather than trying to diagnose it on your own.

How To Stop Your Chihuahua From Shaking?


So, now that we have seen almost all the reasons regarding why do chihuahuas shake so much, it’s now time to read about the ways in which you can help your chihuahua from trembling so much.

1. Keep Them Warm

Snuggle them up in a warm blanket, when the temperature drops. If you feel that they are still not warm, you can make them wear a sweater or at least a shirt.

Giving them a warm and comfy Chihuahua bed can ensure a shake-free cold night for your little buddy.

The best part of owning a chihuahua is that you can dress them up for every season. Those cute little sweaters like LOPHIPETS Hoodies Sweatshirts will make your chihuahua look even more adorable.

Lophipets Dog Cotton Hoodies Sweatshirts for Small Dogs Chihuahua Puppy Clothes Cold Weather Coat-Navy/XXS

2. Regulate Their Diet

Your chihuahua might be facing some problems with regard to its sugar level. To solve this problem you can make some changes in their diet.

Instead of giving them food 3 times a day, give them smaller portions throughout the day.

However, make sure that you do not lower the amount of food that you usually give.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is to not overdo it.

As much as you like spoiling your little dog, you do not want it to develop obesity, as it is a serious health issue with chihuahuas.

3. When They Are Anxious, Squirt Some Sugar Water

This might come in handy when your chihuahua is facing extreme anxiety or a sudden drop in sugar level.

Take a dropper and squirt some sugar water directly into their mouth and you are good to go.

You can also use this method to bring their anxiety down.

4. Reassure Them

A way to reduce shaking is to make sure that your chihuahua feels confident about himself. Therefore, try to cuddle them when they shake to help them deal with the stress mentally.

Make sure that you take them out for a long walk as it will help them release their energy and also make them feel lighter as it works on certain brain functions.

It is advisable to take your chihuahua for a walk for at least 30 minutes.

You can also let them play with other dogs as it will help them deal with their social anxiety.

Although I’d like to highlight that it will be better if you take baby steps and let them meet new dogs slowly rather than overwhelming them at once.

5. Check For Injury

Here are few symptoms that can help in identifying whether your chihuahua is suffering from some sort of injury

  • Bruises
  • Weakness
  • Whimpering
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Black Diarrhea

6. Visit A Vet

If your chihuahua isn’t feeling good and you can make that out clearly evident from his behavior, you should consult a vet as soon as possible.

The vet might get some tests done before deciding whether the condition is serious or not.

Although you know why chihuahua shake so much, there might be some other reasons which you won’t be able to detect.

FAQs On Why Do Chihuahuas Shake


1. How Do You Calm A Nervous Chihuahua?

Soothe your nervous Chi by putting him in an empty room and with some music on! Dogs love classical music and it can relax them if they got afraid of scary noises. You can put a calming coat or shirt to your Chi if he wont stop shaking and continue to give comforting owner’s touch.

2. What Can I Give My Chihuahua For Anxiety?

If you have a very anxious Chi, giving him a Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can help. This can be tolerated by dogs and can give a mild sedative effect. When your little buddy is getting anxious longer than expected even after reassuring and comforting him, this will be a quick fix. The dosage will depend on what your vet will advise to administer.

You can also give your Chi a massage using aromatherapy oil. Essential oils like lavander, peppermint, copaiba, petitgrain and frankincense are dog-approved oils that can relieve anxiety.

3. Why Do Chihuahuas Shake When Sleeping?

If you see that your Chi is shaking or twitching during his sleep, it is because he is dreaming and he is chasing his toy! This is normal behavior for a Chihuahua. However, if you notice that he is shivering continuously, it could be that he is feeling cold or sick.


I know watching your chihuahua shaking all the time might get you really worked up.

But now that you know why do chihuahuas shake, you can easily identify if your chihuahua is in any pain or is it just its normal nature to do so.

However, you need to be a bit alert and watch out for the signs that your chihuahua might indicate discomfort.

Always remember that even a slight amount of laziness might land your dog in big trouble.

Are Chihuahuas loyal?

Are Chihuahuas Loyal? 7 Reasons Why Chis Are So Loyal


Can Chihuahuas Be Service Dogs? Is It Really True?