Why Do Chihuahuas Shake So Much?

Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs and can be quite frail even when mature and healthy. There is, therefore, probably nothing more unsettling as a dog lover than watching these sweet little fur babies shaking.

More often than not, this is a sign of serious health issues that need to be addressed urgently either to save the Chihuahua’s life or to improve the life quality. If you have a Chihuahua or plan on getting one, it is crucial that you understand the different causes of this shaking. That way, you can come up with more specific and effective strategies to put your pooch out of their misery.

So what actually causes Chihuahuas to shake so much? The reasons range from life-threatening metabolic disorders to psychological issues. In the sections below, we will take a closer look at 10 of the main reasons you should know, including cold, separation anxiety, and hypoglycemia.

10. Cold

Smaller dogs like Chihuahuas have a large surface area to volume ratio. This means that a lot more of their surface is exposed to the environment compared to their volume. In addition to this, they have relatively thin coats. As a result, they very easily lose body heat and will shiver a lot in cold weather.

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9. Separation Anxiety

Chihuahuas may sometimes be aloof, but they are often more inclined to be clingy and needy. They, therefore, frequently suffer from separation anxiety even when allowed bonding time with their mom and litter.

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8. Excitement

Image from Instagram:@beanochico

In some cases, the shaking is not an ominous sign. This is the case with happy and generally excited Chihuahuas. The breed is naturally very playful and lively. As a result, any small win will be celebrated wildly, whether it is you returning home from work or simply praising them.

If you want to control the shaking in this case, you have to invest time in obedience training to teach your dog how to calm down on command.

7. Allergies

Image from Wolf Spring

Serious allergies could also cause a lot of shaking in Chihuahuas. One way this happens is through tremors on the surface level. This is common with irritated skin due to issues like bug infestation or even contact dermatitis.

On the other hand, the shaking could be a result of allergies in internal systems, including respiratory and digestive reactions. These are often more violent and associated with symptoms like coughing and sneezing or vomiting and diarrhea respectively.

6. Poisoning

Image from Instagram:@perthvetemergency

Ingestion of poisons and other toxic substances could also cause shaking in your Chihuahua. There are many different causes of poisoning in this case. Food is the most commonly implicated, including things like raisins, chocolate, alcohol, and some nuts, just to name a few. It could also be due to herbs and plants that the pooch obliviously chews on, such as aloe vera and milkweed.

Sometimes, the items ingested are actual poisons, in which case reactions could be more severe. This includes poison traps, pesticides, and human medication.

5. Seizures

Image from DogTV

Sometimes, seizures are mistaken for simple shaking, and this could be a fatal mistake. While seizures may manifest as mild tremors, they are more often than not more dramatic. Look out for symptoms like falling over, rigidity, visible muscle spasms, foaming at the mouth, and many others.

Seizures are also different from simple shaking in that they appear randomly and disappear after a few seconds to minutes. If it lasts hours or even a whole day with no breaks, it is highly unlikely to be a seizure.

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Chihuahuas love to sleep and can knock down 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day and even 20 hours when they are younger. They are also very particular about their sleeping spaces.

If your pooch feels uncomfortable, they will get frustrated, and this could be the reason why your Chihuahua shakes when sleeping. It could also be a result of physical manifestation of the discomfort causing muscle strain and tremors.

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3. Hypoglycemia

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Hypoglycemia is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood of the Chihuahua is below the healthy levels needed to sustain normal bodily functions. It happens for a lot of reasons with this breed, including the fact that they are picky eaters and that they play so much that they often quickly burn through their energy reserves.

In this case, supplement your pooch’s diet with TOMLYN Nutri-Cal High Calorie-Nutritional Gel. The calorie booster is ideal for fussy eaters or doggies that need a nutritional lift. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 oils for coat and brain health.

2. Phobias

Image from Instagram:@chihuahua.gangstars

Chihuahuas may put up a brave front against larger threats but beneath all that assertiveness and machismo is a scared little pooch that just wants to be taken care of. They have several fear triggers, including large and unfamiliar crowds, traffic, and large vehicles driving towards them.

The shaking could also be triggered by their innate fear of loud noises. This could be anything from thunder and fireworks to car alarms and loud music.

1. Psychological Frustration

Image from Barkbox

Chihuahuas are very active dogs both mentally and physically. If they are not properly stimulated through regular activity and mind-stimulating games, they tend to become very frustrated.

They may become agitated to the point that it manifests physically. In this case, you can expect not only the shaking but also temper tantrums and even aggressive behavior. All you have to do to fix the issue is set some time apart to bond and play with your Chihuahua.



Is It Normal For A Chihuahua To Shake? It is absolutely normal for a chihuahua to shake even when everything is ok in terms of physical and psychological wellbeing. It could be due to over-excitement, which will eventually temper down. It could also just be slight physiological tremors as a result of the dog’s significantly high metabolism.

Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much? Chihuahuas lick so much for many reasons, including bonding and releasing frustration. When they lick other humans, it is their way of showing affection and trust. However, if they are licking inanimate objects like carpeting or furniture upholstery, it could be as a result of dental health issues, in which case the licking offers some relief.

Why Do Chihuahuas Have Seizures? Seizures are fairly common with Chihuahuas and happen for a number of reasons. One of the main causes of seizures in Chihuahuas is hereditary epilepsy. Another common cause is a brain injury, whether due to trauma or infiltrating tumors. It could also be due to failures in other systems, including the renal system, as well as liver disease.

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Pete Decker