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Why do Chihuahuas Shake So Much?

Why do Chihuahuas Shake So Much?

Many people, on noticing their pet chihuahua shaking for the first time, naturally get worried about its health and rush to the vet. Though in some cases, a vet may be necessary, you should know that this shaking behavior is perfectly normal in most cases. This DogAppy article enlists the possible reasons for this behavior and what you can do.
Praseeda Shirodkar
Did You Know?
Chihuahuas are small, but they have a tremendous amount of energy. Sometimes, they shake or shiver as a result of their high metabolism primarily to burn off the excess energy.
Chihuahuas are adorable-looking dogs and are commonly preferred as pets. They are the smallest breed of dogs in the world. These dogs have got their name after the state Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas may differ from one another in their size, color, length of coat, and even the shape of their heads.
They are not only popular but also amazing as pets. They tend to bond quite closely with their owner and are usually very protective about them. Moreover, as companions they are fun to be with and are loyal. Though mostly all are aware about this dog breed and its popularity, there is one thing that many do not know and that is the tendency of a chihuahua to shake. It may seem confusing to some about what this means, however, it is usually a worry situation to the chihuahua owners who notice this behavior in their pets for the first time. Thus, it becomes necessary to know what is responsible for this behavior in a chihuahua.
While some believe it to be a trait, and state it as a characteristic of this dog breed, it is quite true that chihuahuas tend to shake and shiver more than other dogs, and even for the simplest possible reasons. That is, a chihuahua's shaking or shivering may not always be associated with a health problem as seen mostly in the case of other dog breeds. Thus, owners need not worry as in most cases your pet is absolutely fine and safe. However, by this it does not mean that it is totally normal as there are a few instances that might need attention. Here are some of the commonly observed reasons for a chihuahua to shake, along with a few tips about what you can and should do in each case:
Due to Cold
When compared to others dogs, this breed being the smallest, the dogs are more susceptible to cold weather conditions. When they shake due to this reason, its their way of not getting affected by hypothermia. That is, by shaking they speed up the blood flow throughout their body.

What You Can Do: On observation of this behavior when the weather is cold, just warm up your pet. Hold your pet close to your chest so that it feels warm. You may also use a thermostat set at a comfortable temperature. Make sure to provide them with a dog sweater or any kind of thermal protection. Providing a little outer insulation to your pet will prove beneficial.
Out of Fear and Nervousness
They tend to shake out of fear or when nervous. This is a behavior noticed in many other small dogs as well. This could be the fear of getting punished by the owner if it thinks that it has done something wrong and is nervous about the owner's reaction. It may also happen in the case where the owner has never reacted harshly with his pet. Chihuahuas also tend to fear dogs that are larger in size and more importantly, a stranger to them.

A way to identify whether fear or nervousness is the cause, is to observe whether the dog whines or barks, does not make eye contact, licks its lips, or licks its paws a lot.

What You Can Do: In case they are feeling afraid of you, talk to your pet calmly. This way, his anxiety or nervousness will reduce, and so will the shivering. Also, it is better to keep chihuahuas away from large dogs and strangers.
Out of Excitement
Chihuahuas tend to get over-excited on being given a treat or when you do anything for them that they love. This over-excitement and happy state causes them to shake, and in such a case you have nothing to worry about.
Due to Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood sugar, is a health problem that has been commonly observed in this dog breed. If you notice your pet shivering uncontrollably (usually first thing in the morning), along with symptoms such as weakness, inactivity, and less energy, it may be due to this health condition.

What You Can Do: This should not be ignored at any cost, as if left untreated it may even prove fatal. However, a prompt action can effectively and easily treat this condition. It can be treated by giving your pet smaller meal portions (4-5 times a day) instead of less frequent larger meals a day. You can give them a small amount of sugar water when they exhibit the symptoms of this condition. Also, avoid junk food and sugary treats.
Due to Allergy
Chihuahuas may shake when they have an allergic reaction to a particular food or a new treat. If the shaking has started just after you gave them a new treat or some new food, an allergic reaction could be the reason.

What You Can Do: Stop giving your dog that particular food or treat, as it does not suit them. If the behavior continues even when it is stopped, it is better to take your pet to the veterinarian. This is to rule out the possibility of any complications.
Consider the aforementioned information to identify the reason for your pet's behavior. Shaking or shivering that is not normal and is accompanied by other symptoms, should never be ignored. You should take your pet to the veterinarian in such cases. Furthermore, it is always better to train your chihuahua well from a young age and give him a proper diet and exercise, as well as care and attention.