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Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

why do chihuahuas shake
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Chihuahuas are beloved for their adorable looks and feisty personalities. 

But one behavior often puzzles Chihuahua owners: their dog’s tendency to shake or tremble. 

The truth is that shaking is a common trait in Chihuahuas. 

However, some reasons for Chihuahua shaking are harmless, while others could be a sign of something more serious. 

So … why do Chihuahuas shake? Read on to learn when you should be concerned about your Chihuahua shaking, and what you can do to help. 

Is It Normal For Chihuahuas To Shake?

Yes, it’s normal for Chihuahuas to shake, especially when they’re feeling anxious or cold. 

As a toy breed, Chihuahuas have a higher metabolism and less body fat, making them more prone to feeling chilly. They also have a sensitive nervous system, which means they’re more reactive to stress and anxiety.

But while a Chihuahua shaking every once in a while is nothing to be concerned about, it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence either. If you notice your Chihuahua shaking very frequently, it’s possible something else could be going on …

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake And Shiver? | 5 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Shake

1. Cold
Chihuahuas have a relatively low body weight and thin coat, which means they’re more susceptible to feeling cold than other breeds. If your Chihuahua is shaking or shivering, it could simply be a way to warm up and regulate her body temperature.

If you notice other signs of your Chihuahua being cold (seeking warmth, reducing activity and staying curled up, having pale/blue gums, etc) then it’s likely that’s why your Chihuahua is shaking and shivering. 

2. Fear
Chihuahuas are known for their nervous and anxious personalities, and they can easily become scared or overwhelmed in unfamiliar situations. 

If your Chihuahua is shaking and displaying other signs of fear, such as cowering or hiding, she may be feeling stressed or anxious.

3. Excitement
Not all shaking is cause for concern! Believe it or not, plenty of Chihuahuas shake when they’re excited or happy. This behavior is often accompanied by tail wagging, jumping, or other signs of enthusiasm. 

If your Chihuahua is very excited and has accumulated too much energy, her entire body can shake. There will also usually be other signs of excess energy, like “zoomies”.

4. Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) 
Chihuahuas are also prone to hypoglycemia, a condition that occurs when their blood sugar levels drop too low. 

When your Chihuahua’s blood sugar levels drop, her body can’t produce enough energy to function normally. She may show symptoms like shaking, lethargy, and even seizures. Seizures can be a frightening and dangerous experience.

If you suspect your Chihuahua is hypoglycemic, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. A vet can perform a physical exam and blood tests to determine the cause of your Chihuahua’s symptoms and develop a treatment plan. 

Treatment for hypoglycemia often involves giving glucose or other medications, as well as making changes to your Chihuahua’s diet and environment. In some cases, your vet may suggest rubbing corn syrup or honey on your dog’s gums during a low blood sugar episode … but don’t do this without your vet’s specific instructions, once you know the reason for your dog’s hypoglycemia. 

RELATED: Read about the many reasons for hypoglycemia in dogs …

5. Health Issues
In some cases, shaking in Chihuahuas can be a sign of other underlying health issues, such as:

  • Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological problems

If your Chihuahua’s shaking is accompanied by other symptoms, such as limping, vomiting, or loss of appetite, it’s important to seek veterinary attention to rule out any serious health concerns.

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake When They Sleep?

You may also have noticed your Chihuahua shaking or twitching while she’s sleeping. This is common behavior among Chihuahuas and is nothing to be worried about. 

While it may look like your Chihuahua is having a nightmare or experiencing discomfort, it’s actually believed to be a result of her active dream state. Just like humans who may talk or move in their sleep, Chihuahuas are thought to process their day’s experiences and emotions through their dreams.

Chihuahuas in an active dream state may involuntarily shake or twitch as a result of the signals being sent from their brain to their muscles. It’s similar to how our own bodies may react to dreams … like when we jolt awake from a nightmare or feel a physical sensation in response to something we’re dreaming about.

While shaking or twitching during sleep is normal for Chihuahuas and other dogs, it’s still important to monitor your dog’s overall health and behavior. If you notice any changes in her sleep patterns or if she seems to be experiencing discomfort while sleeping, it may be worth taking your Chihuahua to your holistic vet for a checkup.

How To Stop Your Chihuahua From Shaking

If you believe your Chihuahua is shaking due to hypoglycemia or other more serious health issues, the best thing you can do is take her to your holistic vet. 

However, if your Chihuahua is shaking due to anxiety or stress, there are a few things you can do to help calm her down:

Create A Safe Space

Providing your Chihuahua with a cozy and secure place to rest, such as a crate or bed in a quiet room, can help create a sense of safety and protection and reduce anxiety levels. 

Consider your dog’s individual preferences. Some Chihuahuas may prefer a crate or enclosed space where they can feel snug and secure, while others prefer an open bed or cushion that allows them to stretch out and relax.

Also, make sure your Chihuahua’s space is located in a quiet area of your home, away from loud noises or other sources of stress. You can also add blankets, pillows, or other soft materials to create a cozy and comfortable environment where your Chihuahua will feel safe.

Use Calming Techniques

Pheromone sprays or diffusers are another possible strategy. You can use these to emit calming scents like lavender, which promote feelings of safety and security.

Another option is playing soft, calming music in your Chihuahua’s environment. Studies have shown that classical music and other calming melodies can help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs, and may also help to improve their overall mood and behavior.

CBD oil and other herbal remedies can also have calming effects for your anxious Chihuahua. 

RELATED: How to calm dog anxiety naturally … 

Provide Plenty Of Exercise And Playtime

Regular exercise and playtime can help reduce anxiety and stress in your dog. It’s especially important for Chihuahuas, who can sometimes have excess energy and excitement. 

By playing regularly, you can help your dog burn off her excess energy and reduce her overall anxiety levels. This can help reduce shaking or trembling and other signs of over-excitement.

My Chihuahua Still Won’t Stop Shaking

If your Chihuahua still won’t stop shaking, and it’s an everyday occurrence, she may have hypoglycemia or another health condition.  If you’ve tried all the tips above, it’s time to take your dog to your holistic vet for a second opinion. 

Bottom Line | Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?

Your Chihuahua’s shaking can be alarming at first, but it’s important to realize that it can have a variety of causes. Some reasons for shaking are perfectly normal while others require medical attention. 

By keeping an eye on your Chihuahua’s behavior and getting your vet’s help when needed, you can help keep your dog happy and healthy.

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