Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

Chihuahua is a dog that weighs 2 to 4 pounds (0.9 – 1.8 kg), which makes it the smallest breed worldwide. It is well-known for one unusual characteristic, shaking. Even though it can be quite disturbing, especially when you see it for the first time, it is not a big deal in most cases. Sometimes, it can be connected with some specific health issues, but it is the rarest reason.

So, why do Chihuahuas shake? There is no simple answer to this question since reasons can be both emotional and physiological. One thing is for sure. If you want to help your furry friend stop shaking, you need to find the primary cause of this condition. Let’s see.

Reasons Why Chihuahuas Shake

There is a list of reasons why do Chihuahuas shake so much:

1. High Metabolism

Chihuahuas have speedy metabolism due to their small-sized stomachs. As a result, they burn calories and lose body heat three times quicker than other canines. Those are primary reasons why do Chihuahua shakes when it is cold, excited, or frightened.

Shaking Chihuahua

2. Old Age

It is not unusual to see your senior Chihuahua trembles without any particular reason. Fortunately, it only happens occasionally and doesn’t affect the way your pet walks. However, please take it to the vet regularly to exclude possible health conditions and pain.

3. When it is Cold

There is no dilemma why do Chihuahuas shake a lot when it is cold. They are small and don’t have enough body fat to stay warm when the outside temperature is low. In such a case, trembling and shaking are the best mechanisms to keep thermal regulation. Many owners buy warm clothing and provide soft blankets to protect their furry friends from coldness.

4. When it is Nervous or Upset

Poorly socialized Chihuahua shakes whenever finding itself next to bigger and highly energetic dogs. Trembling is its way of showing how nervous and upset it is. It is not complicated to prevent such a reaction with timely physical and mental training. Let your little dog run at least 30 minutes a day and stimulate it mentally as much as possible.

5. When it is Excited

It is quite common that Chihuahua shakes, jumps, and trembles as a result of high emotions. There is no reason to worry about it, especially if the dog reacts like that before dinner and when you have a treat or leash in your hand. Your furry friend is so excited with promising enjoyment that it can’t hide it.

6. Anxiety

No one has a final answer to the question of why are Chihuahuas so nervous and anxious. It is in their nature to be prone to stress, fear, and anxiety. Almost anything can disturb their fragile mental stability.

Chihuahua scared

So, you can expect your tiny friend to start trembling, whining, and howling when it concludes that you are ready to leave the house without it. Remember that this smart animal can also shake every time it notices that you disapprove of its behavior to avoid punishment.

7. Poisoning

Sometimes, your dear dog can be in contact with antifreeze, insecticides, pesticides, cigarettes, Xylitol, and chocolate. All these substances can be highly dangerous, even fatal. You can conclude that your Chihuahua shivers as a result of poisoning if you notice some specific symptoms, such as:

  • Drooling and seizures
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration
  • Weakness and disorientation
  • Blood coughing and swollen face

Health Conditions That Cause Shaking

1. Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Approximately 10% of all Chihuahuas suffer from hypoglycemia. As with humans, they can start shivering when their blood sugar levels drop. If your pet has this health issue, you should split its meals into multiple small portions and offer it the food at least three times a day. In case that shaking is followed by drowsiness and confusion, provide your baby with sugared water right away.

Health conditions that cause shaking

2. Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons why Chihuahuas shake and need veterinary assistance. The usual causes are excessive wax production, moisture in the ears, and allergies.

In such a case, your dog will tilt and shiver its head, rub it against a wall or furniture, and scratch the sore ear. You will also notice unpleasant ear odor and swollen ear canal with yellowish discharge.

3. GTS (Generalized Tremor Syndrome)

This syndrome is not connected with the particular breed, and it often affects nine months to two years old puppies. No one can tell you the real cause of this condition and why does Chihuahua puppy shake for no apparent reason.

4. Canine Distemper

It is a severe viral infection that affects puppies and unvaccinated adults. Besides shaking, you will notice:

  • Coughing
  • Eye and nose discharge
  • Fever
  • Tremor

5. Seizures

Shaking Chihuahua can be a result of epilepsy or other neurological disorders. Visit your vet immediately if you notice:

  • Drooling and mouth foaming
  • Muscle twitching
  • Collapsing and loss of consciousness

6. Kidney Disease

Kidney failure often causes Chihuahua shivering and can include other characteristic signs:

  • Ulcers in the mouth and pale gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bloody eyes
  • Weakness, loss of balance, and disorientation
  • Weight loss
  • Ammonia smell

Keep in mind that this is a severe condition that requires emergency veterinary care.

7. Internal Injury

Unfortunately, it is not hard to drop, step on, or attack these tiny creatures. After an accident, your dog can suffer from internal bleeding, sometimes without external signs of injury. You can notice your Chihuahua trembling and yelping, but there are also other symptoms, such as:

  • Bruises and fast heartbeat
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Glazed eyes and pale gums
  • Black diarrhea

8. Allergies

It is obvious why do Chihuahuas shake so much when suffering from an allergic reaction. If you notice an unusual reaction after feeding your furry friend, you should look for the vet help as soon as possible. Any hesitation can put the dog in danger.


Some people find it cute when they see Chihuahua shaking. Even though the most common reason for this is the extra-high metabolism and this breed’s energy level, you should also consider other causes.

Rarely, some health issues can cause such behavior, and you need to help your dog as much as you can. If your furry friend is in good condition, reconcile with its unusual nature.