Why Does My Chihuahua Shake So Much?
Most small dogs have a tendency to shake excessively. This is especially true for Chihuahuas, as their small stature, fast metabolism, and feisty personalities tend to make them shiver. Let’s take a look at the most frequent answers to the common question - Why does my Chihuahua shake so much?
Common Causes of Shaking in Chihuahuas
- Health Condition
These are the typical reasons why your little pooch may be experiencing shivers. In this guide, you’ll find out the causes behind your Chi’s shaking and what you can do to calm your pup down.
One of the most common reasons why your Chihuahua may be shaking uncontrollably is due to anxiety or fear. There are numerous causes of fear in dogs, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, car rides, the vacuum cleaner, etc. Chihuahuas may also be afraid of strangers and other, bigger dogs.
If you’ve noticed your pup is shaking when a specific event reoccurs, it’s possible that it’s experiencing great fear. In this case, shaking is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be a cause of concern. However, stress isn’t good for your pup, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions to keep your pooch happy and calm.
For environmental causes, it’s best to remove the source of your pup’s fear. For example, if your Chi is terrified of fireworks, try giving it a toy or playing some music to mask the scary sounds. Make sure to use a warm, reassuring tone of voice when dealing with an anxious dog, so your pup will know there’s nothing to worry about.
However, other causes of fear may need to be dealt with. For example, if your pup is suffering from separation anxiety, it can be a debilitating problem. In that case, you need to take the necessary approach to help your Chi get over its fear of being alone.
Early training and socialization are the keys to relieving your dog’s anxiety. There’s no reason your pup can’t be calm, collected, and relaxed when dealing with stressful situations - it just takes time and effort.
Another extremely common reason why Chihuahuas shake is simply because they’re cold. Chis are tiny and have a low body mass, so they’re especially prone to shivering in the cold due to their lack of insulation. In fact, shaking is the way your dog’s body warms up and raises its temperature.
Keeping your pooch warm is easy and requires little to no effort. Make sure to have the appropriate wardrobe for cold days, such as jackets, sweaters, and raincoats. If your pooch is going for a walk on a snowy day, dress it just like you would yourself.
For an immediate solution, hug your Chi and keep it close to your body (your temperature will keep it warm), or put a soft, fluffy blanket around it.
Finally, if you think your pup is cold even inside the home, consider raising the temperature for a few degrees. Additionally, move your pet’s bed away from doors and windows, so it isn’t close to cold airflow.
Another common reason why your pooch may be shaking is simply due to excitement. Luckily, it’s quite easy to know whether your pup is scared or just excited. Shivers of excitement are most common in dogs when they see you after some time, when you give them a treat, and when you take them out for a walk.
Is your dog’s tail wagging? Is your pooch barking softly and playfully? If so, chances are - your puppy is just thrilled and doesn’t know how to contain all of its emotions, so it starts shaking.
There’s nothing wrong with an excited pup and you shouldn’t be worried about the shivers. However, paying attention to your dog when it’s acting up may teach it to be hyperactive. The best way to stop your pooch from shaking is simply by ignoring it, but rewarding it for relaxed behavior.
Unfortunately, we all know that Chihuahuas tend to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Chihuahuas are very small and usually have a very low percentage of body fat. As a result, they can’t store sugar properly, as the body burns through fat reserves too quickly.
Shaking is just one of many symptoms of low blood sugar in dogs. Other symptoms include weakness, disorientation, sleepiness, seizures, and unconsciousness. Although hypoglycemia is very serious in Chihuahuas and can even lead to death, it’s very treatable if detected early.
If your pup is shaking due to low blood sugar, it can’t regulate its temperature. As a result, it’s crucial to warm your pup up as soon as possible. Find its favorite blanket and cover your dog while the glucose levels slowly rise up.
Next, give your Chi something to eat. For the fastest and most effective treatment, try to offer food with a high concentration of sugar, such as a teaspoon of honey or pancake syrup. Usually, this is enough to counteract hypoglycemia and your pooch should perk up in 5-10 minutes.
However, if the symptoms are more severe, contact a vet immediately and follow the instructions you’ve been given. Additionally, make sure to take some precautions and ensure low blood sugar doesn’t happen again. Snacking during the day or separating your pup’s meals is usually enough to keep their energy levels high all day long.
If you have an older dog, you may notice tremors in its legs. Although depressing, this is perfectly normal, as their leg muscles have weakened over the years. However, it can also be a sign of arthritis and other joint issues.
Make sure to take your elderly dog to the vet often. While shaking in older Chihuahuas is common, it can be a sign of a health issue that needs to be taken care of. Additionally, your Chi may be in pain, so it’s best to let a professional give you advice on how to help your pooch.
If your Chi is shaking in its sleep, the answer is very simple: It’s dreaming! Dogs dream just like humans, and they may shake, breathe quickly, twitch, growl, and even bark while sleeping. As a result, if you notice your rascal twitching its little legs in its sleep, you have nothing to worry about.
However, it’s important to note that shaking in its sleep is very different from having a seizure, but it can look the same if you don’t know what to look out for. It’s simple to tell the difference, as the former only lasts a few seconds, while the latter lasts for minutes.
If you don’t know which one it is, it’s better to be safe than sorry and softly wake your dog up. If it doesn’t respond, it’s probably a seizure and requires a call to the vet’s office.
Once you’re certain your pup isn’t having a seizure, you don’t have a care in the world. Shaking in its sleep is completely natural for a dog, and it just means your pup is having a very vivid dream.
Naturally, your pup may be shaking due to various health conditions. If you have any reason to believe your pup’s tremors aren’t from any of the causes we’ve mentioned above, consult with a vet. Whether your dog has a diagnosed illness or you just want to make sure the shivers aren’t a cause for concern, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and ask a professional.
Here are the most common health conditions that can cause shaking in Chihuahuas:
- Generalized Tremor Syndrome
- Kidney Disease
- Ear Infections
To sum up, there are many reasons why your pooch may be experiencing the shivers. Chihuahuas are especially prone to shaking, due to their size. As the smallest dogs in the world, they have small body mass, low body fat percentage, and a fast metabolism.
As a result, their bodies use shaking as a mechanism to regulate their temperature, blood sugar, and stress levels. Most of the time, shaking in Chihuahuas is normal and requires little concern. Just follow our advice and your pup will be back to its calm, happy self in no time!
However, it’s important to note that trembling can also be a symptom of an underlying issue. Whether it’s a health condition or an increase in your pup’s stress levels, it may require special care. As a result, we always advise dog owners to consult a vet whenever they have any doubts about their dog’s health.