Why Do Chihuahuas Shake

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

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If you’re an owner of a Chihuahua, you may well have seen your pooch exhibit a shaking behavior in certain situations throughout their life.

While this isn’t unusual as Chihuahuas are often associated with a reputation of being a nervous, shaky dog, they typically only shake if they have a good reason to do so. 

This guide will take an in-depth look at some of the main physiological and emotional reasons why Chihuahuas shake, as well as the best methods of understanding, controlling and preventing this behavior. 

Shaking Myths

Before we take a look at some of the main reasons Chihuahuas shake, it’s important to debunk some of the false information. Chihuahuas are often associated with nervousness, however not all Chihuahuas shake, shiver and tremble. 

Generally, they’re well-tempered, sociable dogs that don’t get intimidated easily. Furthemore, a calm, well-trained Chihuahua can be as self-assured as any other breed of dog, and won’t habitually shake unless they’re cold or placed in a stressful situation. Continue reading below to learn more about some of these problematic situations. 

High Metabolism 

Chihuahuas have small stomachs and naturally fast metabolisms which can make them shiver when they become either excited or nervous. Their high metabolism also has an affect on their ability to regulate body temperature. 

They burn off their body heat quickly meaning that they’ll soon feel the cold. It’s important to keep this in mind because your Chihuahua may be feeling the cold when you’re completely oblivious to it. 

Cold Weather

Irrespective of whether your pooch has short or long hair, Chihuahuas are sensitive to cold conditions. Not only do they not have enough body fat to keep them warm, they also struggle to handle cold temperatures well. This explains why many owners often buy them protective jackets and jumpers. 

In colder days when the temperature is as low as 35-40℉, it’s essential to keep a close eye on your Chihuahua. If they begin to shiver, waste no time in wrapping them up in some appropriate clothing. 

Nervous Or Upset

As is the case with all dogs, Chihuahuas need to be trained and socialized from a young age. Failure to do so can cause them to grow up maladjusted and fearful. 

If a poorly-socialized Chihuahua is placed among a group of bigger, more energetic dogs, there’s every possibility that they’ll experience distress. 

Shaking is a common indication that a Chihuahua is nervous or upset, and the more your pooch feels uncomfortable in such situations, the more they’ll shake. 


Despite their very small size, Chihuahuas require daily exercise and a fair amount of mental stimulation. Neglecting these basic needs can leave your Chihuahua feeling nervous, and therefore, shaky.  

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can cause Chihuahuas to get lethargic and shake intensely. If this is the reason for their shaking and it isn’t treated in time and accordingly, it could lead to seizures and sometimes even death. 

If the condition is only mild they’ll typically shake, but if it’s progressed to a more serious stage, your Chihuahua may act drowsy, confused, and then faint. 


One of the easiest emotions you can recognize in a dog is excitement. Most of the common behaviors include jumping, barking, and a wagging tail, but you can also add shaking into the list. 

Therefore, if you’re about to give your Chihuahua a tasty treat or their dinner and they start to shake, this is nothing to worry about, it’s just their way of expressing excitement. The same applies when they’re expecting you to throw a ball for them to run after. 

Old Age

It’s not uncommon for Chihuahuas to develop tremors in their front or hind legs as they get older. These shakes don’t affect the way they walk, but it’s still important to make sure that you take them regularly to the vet. 

While it’s likely that old age is causing the tremors, you shouldn’t definitively rule out the possibility of your Chihuahua being in pain. 

How Do I Stop My Chihuahua From Shaking? 

Learning how to stop or limit your Chihuahua from shaking is something you should take seriously as their owner. 

We’ve already touched on a few of the effective methods earlier such as wrapping them in a jacket if they’re cold and taking them regularly to the vets if they’re feeling the effects of old age. We’ll now take a closer look at some other useful solutions.  

Placement Of Bed

To further help prevent them from feeling the cold, it’s a good idea to position your Chihuahuas bed a good distance away from the door and windows so they don’t experience a cold airflow. 

Plenty Of Daily Exercise

Just as humans need to go for a walk sometimes to clear their head and put their energy into something productive, it’s the same for Chihuahuas. Take them out for a couple of decent walks a day – ideally somewhere safe where they can run free. 


Whenever anxiety kicks in for your Chihuahua, try to reassure them and make them feel safe. For example, if their anxiety is brought on by an environmental factor, change the environment. 

Meal Distribution 

If your Chihuahua is shaking due to low blood sugar, try distributing their meals in smaller portions throughout the day. So, instead of giving them one big portion in the morning and another in the evening, spread their food evenly across 4-5 meals. 

Sugar Water

Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep a dropper filled with sugar water if your Chihuahua is suffering from hypoglycemia symptoms. Simply add a few drops to their meal or straight into their throat. 

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