Why Do Chihuahua Dogs Shake

Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed. They are known for having a big personality despite their tiny stature. They first originated in Mexico. They are intelligent, loyal, friendly and a beautiful dog breed. They don’t show aggression towards children that make them a good family pet. They are popular for their playful nature and charming personality. 

If you have a Chihuahua in your house, you can see your Chihuahua is shaking. This usually comes as a surprise for the new Chihuahua’s owners, because they think that their little Chihuahua has any health condition. The shaking is common in many Chihuahuas, it is not the cause of concern. Most Chihuahuas can shake because of simple reasons such as high energy, emotion, cold, old age and many more. If your Chihuahua is shaking more than normal, then it is due to some health related problem. Today in this article, we will study in detail why do Chihuahua dogs shake.

Physiology Of Chihuahua

Size : Chihuahuas are toy breeds and known for their small size and big personality. Their small size may be the main cause of the shaking. Chihuahuas have the highest metabolic rate, which means they release body heat more rapidly than larger dog breeds. Shaking in your Chihuahua is a natural response to maintain their body temperature in a cooler environment. 

Lack Of Body Fat : Chihuahuas have a single layered coat, that’s why they have a minimal fat in their body. This makes them more susceptible for temperature change and causes them to shake. 

High Metabolism : Chihuahua’s fast metabolic rate not only contributes to their energy level but also the reason for your dog feeling cold. Regular meals and a balanced diet can help to maintain their energy level.  

Why Is My Chihuahua Shake More 

why do chihuahua dogs shake

Chihuahuas are active dogs, which means they need proper mental and physical stimulation. This can lead to shaking, a common sign of anxiety in your Chihuahua. Furthermore, Chihuahuas can shake from various other reasons such as cold weather, high energy, excitement and stress. If your Chihuahua shows other symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, change in behavior, or seeing your puppy breathing fast. In this case, take them to the vet for the proper treatment. 

Why Do Chihuahua Dogs Shake 

Your Chihuahua shakes due to their small size. Due to their small stature, these dogs have a big surface area as compared to body weight ratio that means they easily become cold. Many breeders believe that the shakes are simply an involuntary reaction related to temperature regulation. There are also many reasons why your Chihuahua shakes. Here we discussed 11 reasons for the Chihuahua’s shaking. 

Blood Sugar

Shaking is a symptom of low-blood sugar level (Hypoglycemia). The hypoglycemia primarily affects small dogs and young puppies. A sudden shift in blood can cause shaking in your Chihuahua. A dog experiencing this kind of spike in blood sugar must act quickly to maintain their levels. They will start shaking to burn the excess sugar off their body. Preventing your Chihuahua from hypoglycemia can be simple as maintaining a regular feeding schedule of multiple daily small meals. 


Chihuahuas have a low body weight and thin single layered coat, which means they are more susceptible to feeling cold than large dog breeds. If your Chihuahua is shaking, it could be controlled in a simple way to warm up and regulate their body temperature. If you notice other signs of your Chihuahua shaking like seeking warmth, staying curled up and reducing activity, then it’s likely that is why your Chihuahua is shaking. 

Excitement And Fear 

Chihuahuas can also shiver as a result of psychological triggers, rather than physiologically.  Two main psychological reasons are fear and excitement that can cause shaking in your Chihuahua. Shaking due to Excitement is quite normal, when you get home, when you bring out their dinner bowl, or when they are participating in a walk.  

In other words, if your Chihuahua is feeling anxious they might shake. This can happen in many dog breeds, but commonly occur in small-sized Chihuahua. These issues often occur due to poor socialization during puppyhood. Some dog owners don’t take the Chihuahua to socialization classes due to her small-size. This creates an anxious behavior in the breed. 


This is a viral disease that becomes fatal if not treated timely. Distemper is treatable if detected early. Chihuahuas infected with the distemper will show some signs of illness such as fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, eye and nose discharge. 

In addition, distemper will show neurological signs such as tremors and uncoordinated movements. If you see any of these symptoms, immediately take your Chihuahua to the vet. If your Chihuahua  is shaking due to distemper, take steps to keep him safe. Treatment may also include physical therapy, air dilators and antibodies. 


If you see your Chihuahua shaking violently, then it might be due to any injury. Pain from a severe injury can make the small dog shake. There may not be a sign of a cut on your Chihuahua, internal injury can cause shaking. If you notice unusual behavior like crying, whining or limping, in this case take your Chihuahua to the vet immediately.  

Old Age 

Like humans, older Chihuahuas can develop tremors. The lifespan of your Chihuahua is between 12 to 18 years. If your Chihuahua is in its golden years, then it may become a little shaky on its feet. However, tremors can also be an indication of cold, emotion or high energy, so always speak with the vet. 


Seizures can be caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which can cause shaking in your Chihuahua. If your Chihuahua has any kind of seizure, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately. 

Generalized Tremors Syndrome 

Generalized Tremors Syndrome (GTS) is a disorder that can cause shaking in your toy breed. This condition causes the dogs to shake all over, and was initially observed in the White Terrier. But the root of this syndrome has not yet been identified. The diagnosis of this condition can be difficult because its symptoms can be confused with other conditions such as narcolepsy, hypothyroidism and epilepsy. Before treating the GTS, the veterinarian will often perform a series of tests to rule out these other diseases. 

Inflammatory Brain Diseases 

Inflammatory brain disease like meningitis and encephalitis can cause shaking in your Chihuahua. This is because the inflammation causes the brain to swell, which compresses the brain stem and causes shake in your Chihuahua. These conditions are serious and require immediate veterinarian care. Treatment of these conditions requires antibodies and steroids to reduce inflammation. 


When your Chihuahua shakes more than usual, it might be due to poisoning. Your Chihuahua experience shaking, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsion or even death if they ingest a small amount of poisons such as chocolate, alcoholic beverages, xylitol, sorbitol, mosquito repellents, cigarette butts or rat poison. If they take too high a dose of certain tick and flea treatment, they may also face seizures. If your Chihuahua ingest any type of poison, in this case a veterinarian checkup is necessary for your little pooch. 

Ear Infection

Head shaking is a common sign of ear infection, which bacteria, virus and other microbes can cause. Otitis is characterized by severe itching. An unpleasant odor may accompany the sight of redness, swelling, or rashes in your dog’s ears. Ear infections are painful and can cause shaking in your Chihuahua.  

4 Ways To Comfort Your Shaking Chihuahua 

why do chihuahua dogs shake

Help Them Burn Off Some Energy

Increasing your Chihuahuas daily exercise can decrease their shaking, if they shake due to pent up energy. Most Chihuahua require 30 to 45 minutes daily exercise to keep them healthy and active. They like to go on long walks with their owners and play games with their owners. But avoid any strong activities due to their soft bones. 

Work On Building Their Confidence

Many Chihuahuas may shake, if they don’t feel secure in their own skin. A confident Chihuahua is a happy Chihuahua and shakes less as well. With basic training, you can build up your Chihuahua’s confidence. Focus on those areas that your Chihuahua is known to struggle. 

Help Them Warm Up

why do chihuahua dogs shake

The Chihuahua’s High metabolism can make it difficult to stay warm in a cold environment. Many Chihuahuas need to wear sweaters, when the temperature drops below 65 degrees. Keep a few cozy blankets on hand for those chilly winter evenings indoors. 

Have Them Assessed By A Vet

Some Chihuahuas may shake, if they are in pain due to some injury or underlying health problems. Many of these pups will also experience a change in appetite, lethargy and weight changes. If your Chihuahua shakes due to these reasons, then you need to take them to the vet immediately. 


Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed and shaking typically occurs in the small-sized breeds. Chihuahua have a thin single layered coat that can cause shaking in the cold climate. Shaking in your Chihuahua also occurs due to many other reasons such as ear infection, high metabolism, kidney problems, generalized tremor syndrome, inflammatory brain disease, poisoning, old age, injury, distemper etc. 

If your Chihuahua starts shivering due to these health problems, then you need to take your Chihuahua to the vet for the proper treatment and the healthy life of your Chihuahua. Also provide them a safe and healthy environment. If you have any questions about the shivering of your Chihuahua feel free to contact us. 


Smaller dogs are more prone to shivering than larger dogs due to their lack of body mass and stimulation. A dog sweater can help to keep your Chihuahua warm and decrease shivering. 

You can calm your Chihuahua by various ways, some are given below;

  • Exercise your dog
  • Physical contact
  • Massage
  • Music Therapy
  • Time-out
  • Calming coats
  • Alternative Therapies

Two main psychological reasons are fear and excitement that can cause shaking in your Chihuahua. Shaking due to Excitement is quite normal, when you get home, when you bring out their dinner bowl, or when they are participating in a walk. You don’t need to worry about it.  

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