If you’re a Chihuahua parent, you probably get sick of hearing people say “OMG he’s shaking! Is he scared?” or “Awwww the poor thing is cold! Look at him shake!” To be perfectly honest, it really bothers me. Shaking is a “Chihuahua thing.” They all do it and we need to educate people as to why. So, why do Chihuahuas shake?
So, Why Do Chihuahuas Shake?
Excitement: Chihuahuas may shake if they get excited. Maybe the anticipation of something great is just too much to handle! Perhaps you’re doing one of your Chihuahua’s favorite activities like going for a walk or heading out for an errand in the car. I know that if I get super enthusiastic about something that I KNOW Wynston loves, he will start to shake.
Anxiety: When new people approach Wynston and I’m holding him, he’ll start shaking. Wynston isn’t really a “people dog.” When people come up to him and exclaim “Awwww why is he shaking?!” I think well, maybe it’s because he’s nervous and you’re in his face. I always let people know that Wynston needs his space.
Cold: Just like humans and other animals, Chihuahuas will shake if they are cold. A lot of people think putting clothes on a dog is ridiculous, but they don’t understand that the clothes are keeping the dog warm. Chihuahuas get cold easily so I always have lots of blankets around for snuggling. Wynston isn’t a huge fan of clothes (although I do make him wear sweaters in the winter!).
Illness: Wynston has had a few pancreatitis flare-ups. When this happens, he will stand in a corner and shake. I always know when he’s sick because this is the routine. Luckily it doesn’t happen often. If your Chihuahua is not acting normally and they’re shaking, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Energy: Many Chihuahuas are high energy. Wynston is not, so I don’t experience this. If your dog is high energy, they may shake to dissipate some of that energy. The energy shaking can also come along with excitement.
A shaking Chihuahua is a normal Chihuahua. It’s just something that they do! Normally your Chi’s shaking is nothing to be concerned about but keep a watchful eye on them. If Wynston starts shaking at home with his tail between his legs, I know he’s not feeling well. No one knows your Chihuahua as well as you do, so when they are shaking, just be aware of why depending on your current situation.
When people comment on Wynston’s shaking, I either ignore the statement or reply with something along the lines of “Oh, it’s just a Chihuahua thing.” Many people don’t understand this trait about Chihuahuas so it’s up to us Chi parents to educate the public.
Does your Chihuahua shake? Under what circumstances?
*I am not a veterinarian or pet health professional. Please consult your vet with specific questions and concerns about your dog’s health. I am simply writing from experience as a dog mom and seasoned animal rescue worker.*