why do chihuahuas shake

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake? How You Can Stop It

Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dogs. There are two types of chihuahuas; the long coat (long haired) and the smooth coat (short haired) breed. Known to shake or shiver than other breeds of dogs. Why do Chihuahuas shake? Chihuahuas don’t just shake as a force of habit but for a number of reasons. These reasons can be physiological or emotional. Most times, chihuahuas shake when they feel stressed, when they are excited or when they are cold. Considering that some breeds have shorter hair than others, it is obvious that the short-haired breeds are more susceptible to catching a cold.

Reasons Why Do Chihuahuas Shake:

Why do Chihuahuas shake and pant? There are various reasons behind it. Some of these reasons include:

1. Metabolism

Chihuahuas have extremely small stomachs. This causes them to have a fast metabolism. This means that they burn calories three times faster than other dogs. High metabolism also affects how a chihuahua regulates its body temperature. Their high metabolism causes them to burn off heat quicker than normal.  

2. Excitement

How do you feel when you get a new job? What do you do when you hear the great news that puts you in a happy mood? When excited, some people burst into a song or dance around. It’s the same with chihuahuas, when they are about to have their meal or get a treat, they shake in excitement. Do not worry about this behavior. Remember, a happy dog makes a better pet.

3. Cold

One common reason why chihuahuas shake is because of cold. Due to their small body mass, they do not have enough body fat to help keep them warm. This is why most dog owners buy sweaters for their little pets. You might be wondering why even long-haired chihuahuas shake. Whether it’s long or short, the amount of hair on a chihuahua does not protect it from cold. Always watch your dog’s behavior when it’s a cold season.

4. Chihuahuas Shake Because of Low blood sugar

Hypoglycemia is a common health problem that affects chihuahuas. Some of the symptoms associated with low blood sugar include weakness, acting sluggish, or shaking. If you noticed any of these symptoms, don’t be too scared. Hypoglycemia is easy to treat. However, if not treated in time, it could lead to your dog fainting, having seizures, or worse, dying.

5. Feeling anxious/nervous

Chihuahuas are smart animals. They would know when they have done something that you would not approve of. This will get them scared, resulting in shaking uncontrollably. Sounding upset and scolding the dog, would also cause a chihuahua to shake.

Chihuahuas, being small dogs are generally afraid of big dogs. Being around big dogs could cause your dog to shake. They would also feel uncomfortable when a new dog is around them.

Shaking is a sign of fear, if you notice your dog’s shaking when it’s around a new dog or a big dog, you should know why.

6. Allergic Reactions

Another reason for your chihuahua to shake could be because of an allergic reaction. It could be from something in their food or simply a change in diet. Sometimes a toy that has probably been close to a cleaning agent can cause allergic reactions to a chihuahua. To avoid getting your dog to lick floors that still have residues of insecticide on it is saving them from getting allergic reactions.

7. A medical condition

Another reason why a chihuahua would shake is because of a medical condition. It could be suffering from Generalized Tremor Seizure (GTS). This is also known as steroid-responsive tremor. Commonly-mistaken for normal anxiety shakes or low blood sugar shakes. This syndrome affects dogs between the age of 9 months and 2 years.

What To Do When Chihuahuas Shake Uncontrollably:

1. Keep It Warm :

  • Dress your chihuahua in warm clothes during cold seasons. Warming them up by holding them in your arms also helps.
  • Place your pet’s bed in areas away from the doors or windows so that breeze from those areas would not affect them. Add extra blankets to your dog’s bedding.

2. Keep Its Diet in Check. Get Your Dog to Exercise :

  • Give your dog that suffers from hypoglycemia its meals in smaller portions. This is not to reduce the size of their meals but to increase the number of rations. Changing their food ration from three times a day to five times a day would help regulate their sugar levels.
  • You can also have a dropper that contains sugar water. Adding a drop of sugar water to your dog’s meal or straight into its throat when it’s having a hypoglycemic attack could help save your chihuahua’s life.
  • Ensure your chihuahua exercises often, both physically and mentally. Similar to humans, exercise helps dogs fight anxiety. Taking your dog out for a walk or runs, and letting it have some playtime with other dogs is a form of exercise. And that can be helpful to fight anxiety.

Secure It Away From Harm and Anxieties :

  • Keep your chihuahua away from large dogs. When left among big menacing dogs, they could either get hurt or be afraid. So, take it away near a bigger dog.
  • When your dog does something that makes you upset and it begins to shake, reassure your dog by making it feel secure. Hold your pet or simply give it a pat on the head.
  • If it’s suffering from separation anxiety, practice exercises that would help your dog get used to your absence. Try leaving the house without looking at it. Or at other times, leave it for several minutes at different times. These may help the dog get used to being away from you.

Be Aware of Your Chihuahua’s Health Condition :

  • An allergic reaction cannot pass on its own. Taking your pet to the vet immediately once it experienced an allergic reaction is the best solution. The vet would have to run an allergy test to determine what your dog is reacting to.
  • Corticosteroids are used to treat GTS. Provide your vet with information on your dog’s physical activity and the behaviors you’ve noticed. Your vet should know what tests to run on your dog to determine the best way to cure it.


Chihuahuas are small adorable dogs that make great pets. They’re easy to carry around and to play dress-up with. They are, however, known to shake a lot.

There are a number of reasons why chihuahuas shake. Observing your dog’s behavior and monitoring their environment could help you understand why they would be shaking. Giving your dog the attention and care it needs would help prevent it from shaking so much.

On our future posts, we will be talking about other behaviors of dogs that you may be interested to unlock.

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