Why Do Chihuahuas Shake So Much?


Chihuahuas are known for their somewhat eccentric behavior, which often includes shaking.

There is almost always a specific reason for their shaking, and it is important to know if you own one of these dogs. It could be completely harmless or a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed.

1. It’s Just Their Biology

These dogs inherently have faster metabolisms than other breeds. This is why they are prone to excess weight gain like so many other types of dogs. A side effect of this is sometimes shaking like a paint mixer that is stuck on the highest setting.

This typically occurs when your dog is really excited about something. It is why you probably noticed this happening when you greet it after not being home for a while.

Chihuahuas are little balls of energy, so you need to make sure that they get plenty of exercise each day. This should help with reducing their shaking or stopping it altogether. If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, it isn’t truly healthy.


2. They are Cold

One of the simplest explanations for your Chihuahua’s shaking is that it is cold. These dogs have fairly thin coats, so they can get cold very easily. If the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a good chance that your doggy will start shaking.

It might be a good idea to get your dog a sweater if you are going to be out in the cold for more than a few minutes. There are actually a number of places where you can buy these little clothing items online. They will keep your Chihuahua comfortable when you go for walks in the winter. 

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Make sure that whatever clothes you get them is made from a non-abrasive material that won’t itch or irritate their skin. It is also important to dry them off quickly if they get wet, especially in cold water. Whether you get caught in the rain on a walk or give them a bath, this is something to keep in mind.

If you are going to be traveling with one of these dogs in the cold, press them against your chest so they stay warm. Your body heat should be enough to keep them comfortable.

3. Anxiety

It is not uncommon for Chihuahuas to suffer from anxiety, and they are easily frightened. You should always be very deliberate in your movements, especially when you go to pet one of these dogs.

You might notice your Chihuahua start to tremble during a thunderstorm due to all of the loud noise. If this is the case, you’ll want to ignore your natural instincts to comfort your pet. Doing this will only get it amped up even more. If you lavish attention on your dog while it is frightened, it will believe that there is a real threat to fear.

small Chihuahua

4. Your Pooch is Excited

Excitement is yet another reason that Chihuahuas sometimes shake. These dogs often do this when going for a ride in the car or seeing a member of the family walk in the door. It doesn’t take much to get them trembling with excitement. This might also occur when you are going to give your dog a treat or something else it loves.

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5. Low Blood Sugar

One possible explanation for shaking in these dogs is low blood sugar. About ten percent of Chihuahuas have this issue, so it is fairly uncommon. You will, however want to be aware of the signs.

Some of the common signs of low blood sugar in dogs include:

  • Lethargic or sluggish behavior
  • Loss of appetite
  • Balance issues
  • Seizures
  • Shaking
  • General disorientation

If you see any of these signs in your dog, it is important that you get them in to see a veterinarian immediately. The longer you wait to address this problem, the more serious it will become.

The best way to prevent low blood sugar in your dog is to spread out its meals each day. You might want to try giving them 4 or 5 smaller meals rather than two big ones.

6. Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction could also cause a dog to begin shaking. If their shaking doesn’t stop, there is a chance that this is the issue. It is crucial that you get them to the vet immediately before other symptoms become a problem.

Other signs of an allergic reaction in dogs include difficulty breathing, itchiness, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, and sneezing. If you notice any swelling of their face, lips, eyelids or ears, they are having a severe allergic reaction. This requires immediate medical attention.

Tips for Dealing with Your Dog’s Shaking

There are some tips that you’ll want to follow when it comes to dealing with your Chihuahua’s shaking:

  • Never punish or scold your dog from shaking, but rather try to find out what is causing it.
  • If you notice any signs of illness accompanying the shaking, you’ll want to get your dog examined by a vet immediately.
  • Take note of the circumstances surrounding their shaking so you can figure out why it is happening.
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  • Chihuahuas often shake because they are such excitable little balls of energy.
  • Make sure that your dog gets enough exercise on a regular basis to limit their shaking.
  • This behavior can also be explained by nervousness or anxiety, as these dogs are easily startled.
  • Your dog could be shaking due to low blood sugar, so pay attention to the signs. If you believe this is the case, see a vet right away.
  • An allergic reaction could also theoretically cause a dog to shake. This might require immediate medical attention as well.
  • It is possible that your dog’s shaking is actually a seizure. If it keeps getting worse, take your dog to the vet.
  • These dogs tend to get cold fairly easily, which can result in shaking. A specially made little sweater can keep your pooch warm in the cold weather.
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