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Why Do Chihuahuas Shake? Top Reasons and How You Can Help

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake? Top Reasons and How You Can Help

Seeing your Chihuahua begin to shake for no obvious reason could make you worried as an owner. You would probably feel concerned that the dog has some medical issues. Truly, that could be why the dog is shaking; however, other reasons could also be responsible for a Chihuahua shaking. Keep reading for more insight!

Chihuahuas shake for various reasons, including cold, nervousness or being upset, high metabolism, excitement, anxiety, old age, and low blood sugar. A Chihuahua can also shake due to various health issues, including allergies, distemper, seizures, poisoning, and generalized tremor syndrome (GTS).

As a dog owner, seeing your beloved Chihuahua shake and tremble is scary because they are the smallest and one of the most fragile dog breeds in the world.

funny chihuahua white

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

Chihuahuas are known to get nervous easily and could sometimes even begin to shake. The truth is aside from getting nervous, there are other reasons which could be responsible for your Chihuahua shaking. Some of the reasons could be cold weather, excitement, anxiety, high metabolism, or hypoglycemia.

By carefully observing your Chihuahua, you might be able to tell some of the reasons why it shakes and quickly help the dog feel better. However, there could be other reasons that often require a vet’s medical attention. We will be explaining below some reasons why your Chihuahua shakes and how you could help it feel better.

Cold Weather

If you notice your Chihuahua often shakes whenever the weather is cold, then the cold is a likely reason why it shakes. Chihuahuas have very small bodies; they lack body fat, which could help them stay warm during cold weather. Regardless of the coat of a Chihuahua, be it long-haired or short-haired, they cannot withstand cold weather.

Chihuahuas cannot stand weather as cold as 35° to 40° Fahrenheit. So, if you notice your Chihuahua shaking due to cold weather, to help the dog, cover it up with blankets and dog jackets. Also, you should ensure their beds are not positioned close to the windows or doors to avoid them feeling the cold more.

In addition, if the cold is from an air conditioner and not necessarily the weather, you need to set it to a temperature that will be comfortable for the Chihuahua or take them out of the room to feel warmer.

High Metabolism

Small-sized dogs like Chihuahuas have a high metabolism, which causes them to produce so much energy. When they do, they tend to burn more calories than other dogs. When Chihuahuas are anxious or excited, they often shake due to their high metabolism rate.

Also, the high metabolism in Chihuahuas hinders them from being able to regulate their body temperature. They tend to burn off the heat quickly, leading to cold and shaking. The increased loss of energy in Chihuahuas is one of the reasons they shake, and the shaking increases with excitement, fear, anxiety, or cold weather.


Anxiety is a common reason why a lot of dogs shake. Truly Chihuahuas are very aggressive, and they hardly feel intimidated, but they sometimes get anxious and scared. When they do, they could begin to shake. The cause of a dog’s anxiety could be due to different reasons. Identifying the cause is vital to understanding how to make your dog feel better.

Sometimes, when your Chihuahua does something wrong and you scold it, it could begin to shake. Although you did not physically punish the dog, your facial expression and tone of voice while scolding it are enough to cause it to shake. Being around larger dogs could make a Chihuahua shake, especially if it is not used to other bigger dogs.

While shaking, you could notice it barking heavily at the other dog. To help a dog that is shaking from anxiety, the cause of the anxiety must be identified first. Once you do, you need to find a way to stop or remove it. For instance, if your dog begins to shake whenever you scold it for wrongdoing, you need to stop it.

Instead of scolding it, look for other ways of correcting the dog without making it feel anxious. Also, if the anxiety is due to being around other dogs, ensure you take your dog away from the bigger dog. Then, you can take the dog to a behaviorist for some socialization training.

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar):

Hypoglycemia is a health condition that causes Chihuahuas to shake. When a dog is suffering from hypoglycemia, the dog has glassy eyes, experiences a lack of energy, a staggering gait, and uncontrollable shaking. If you notice hypoglycemia in your Chihuahua, you should seek urgent vet care.

If timely care is not administered to the dog, it could lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and death. A way of treating hypoglycemia is by spreading your dogs’ meal to like 3 to 5 times daily and ensuring it feeds on nutritional meals. If your dog gets very down with this condition and you cannot quickly get a vet, you can add sugar into water then give it to your dog. That should help stabilize it till you get a vet.

two chihuahua brothers

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake All The Time?

If you notice that your Chihuahua shakes all the time and it is not caused by any of the reasons we explained above, it could be that your dog has an underlying health issue. Many Chihuahua owners are unaware that their Chihuahua could be shaking because it is suffering from a health condition. Some health issues that can cause a Chihuahua to shake are:

Keep reading: Do Chihuahuas Shed? Complete Chihuahua Guide


This is one of the most common health issues that will make a Chihuahua shake. You can easily recognize the signs of poisoning if the dog starts shaking suddenly. If a Chihuahua consumes food toxic to dogs like chocolate, it will get poisoned. Chihuahuas can also get poisoned by chewing cigarettes, especially the ones containing nicotine.

Other signs to look out for to know if the dog is poisoned are diarrhea, drooling, seizures, vomiting, disorientation, depression, dehydration, blood coughing, weakness, and a swollen face. It is best to take the Chihuahua to the veterinarian immediately if you spot any symptoms of poisoning.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

Generalized Tremor Syndrome is also referred to as Shaker syndrome; it is a disorder that causes the dog’s entire body to shake—scientifically referred to as idiopathic cerebellitis, the description of inflammation in the cerebellum (the brain part responsible for regulation and coordination of voluntary movement).

It is easy to mistake Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) for hypothermia (low body temperature) or anxiety. GTS usually affects dogs between 9 months and 2 years old. You need to take the dog to the vet and provide information on its activities, symptoms, and behavior.

Ear Infections

Another health-related reason why your Chihuahua could be shaking is ear infections. This is caused by excessive ear wax production and irregular ear cleaning. Allergies and ear moisture can also cause ear infections. In this case, the dog shakes its head instead of its body.

Symptoms of ear infections are ear scratching, itchiness, ear odor, yellowish or dark discharge, and swollen or red ear canal. If you notice that your Chihuahua is always trying to run its head against the couch, floor, or wall, it has an ear infection. You will also see the dog tilting its head every time.

Final Thoughts

If you recently purchased a Chihuahua puppy, you will notice it shaking; this is normal at that age. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, something is wrong, and you need to identify the cause and deal with it. If your Chihuahua is displaying weird and unusual symptoms, you should immediately take it to a vet.

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