Wondering how much a Chihuahua should sleep?
You’ve found your answer!
Read further to learn more about:
- Why your Chihuahua sleeps so much.
- What the most common sleeping habits and positions of Chihuahuas are.
- 13 tips to make sure your Chihuahua is getting quality sleep (#2 is essential).
- And much more…
Table of contents
- How long do Chihuahuas sleep?
- Why does my Chihuahua sleep so much?
- Chihuahua sleeping habits (and positions)
- 13 tips to ensure that your Chihuahua gets good sleep
- #1: Pay attention to temperature
- #2: Go out regularly
- #3: Give them a crate
- #4: Have them checked regularly
- #5: Destress with your dog frequently
- #6: Let them stay inside
- #7: Keep their space wide
- #8: Have extra security at home
- #9: Keep certain places off-limits
- #10: Use medication as instructed
- #11: Synchronize your sleeping times
- #12: Approach your neighbors
- #13: Keep your scent close to your Chihuahua
How long do Chihuahuas sleep?
Chihuahuas tend to sleep for long periods during the day. You can expect a newborn Chihuahua (1 month old or below) to sleep between 20-23 hours a day. Chihuahuas between 2-6 months old will sleep 18 hours. Older pets (1 year old or more) may sleep between 12-15 hours.
Why does my Chihuahua sleep so much?
Chihuahuas sleep so much because they’re so full of energy. They will often run around the house and make use of every inch of space. This also means they get tired quickly, especially as they grow older. They may also sleep out of boredom, waiting for their owners to play with them.
Chihuahua sleeping habits (and positions)
Chihuahuas can have a chaotic sleeping schedule. They tend to sleep during mornings and early afternoons in 2-3 hour bursts. They also take some nightly naps on the side.
Chihuahuas can also sleep at their own leisure, with interesting positions that tell their mood:
If you have multiple pets at home, spooning is a good sign. It means your dogs are getting to know each other. You’ll often see this position while your Chihuahuas are still puppies.
Chihuahuas that want more heat will sleep with their bellies seemingly curling. This helps them during winter, or if it’s really cold inside your house. This also means they’re guarded, ready to stand up when an intruder attacks them.
This position involves your Chihuahua lying belly flat with all their joints extended and in a straight position. It indicates that they’re tired after a long day. They will regularly assume this position when you’re done playing with them.
Caution: If your pet assumes this position too much and limps during the day, it could be a problem. Check for hip or bone-related issues.
Sleeping on their side
This is also known as the “dreaming position,” since their limbs often move while they sleep this way. It’s also another way of balancing their temperature. It leaves parts of their back and belly exposed for maximum comfort.
Sleeping on their back
Chihuahuas that sleep on their back indicate that they’re feeling safe. It could also mean they think it’s slightly hot. Since there’s less fur on their bellies, this position helps lower their temperature naturally.
Note: Use a fireplace or heater during particularly cold days to help prevent potential hypothermia. Check the tips below to see what the recommended temperature for your Chihuahua is.
13 tips to ensure that your Chihuahua gets good sleep
#1: Pay attention to temperature
Temperature is an important part of your pet’s sleep. If you don’t adapt to it, your pet may never get good sleep.
Watch the weather forecast daily or keep track of them on your phone. If your pet’s indoors, keep the temperature at 100°F on average.
Note: Individual Chihuahuas may have their own preferred temperatures, so experiment if necessary. Just remember to keep it above 70°F.
If you’re going out, remember to have a sitter with you or automatically regulate the temperature each day. If you do the latter, base it on your Chihuahua’s sleeping patterns.
They are relatively predictable pets, so keep notes of their sleeping patterns. Adjust the temperature to their preferred levels before their bedtime.
If your pet is outdoors, keep them warm or cold according to the situation. Let them rest beneath a tree’s shade if it’s 100°F or more outside.
Prepare coats and booties for winter. Don’t let them out otherwise.
#2: Go out regularly
Going out with your dog helps to keep them fit. It will also make them more comfortable around you.
Go for daily walks as needed. Typically, they need 30 minutes of exercise evenly distributed during the day. During the morning, walk for at least 2 rounds on your street.
Distribute the remaining time between afternoons and evenings. Typically, they’ll need less action during the afternoons since they nap during this time.
If necessary, have them exercise for 5 minutes an hour before their afternoon nap.
During the evening, use the remaining 10 minutes for a walk at your place or outdoors. You can add an extra 5 minutes to be sure. Walk until your pet is visibly tired.
If they start to yawn or pace on the ground, it means they’re looking for a place to sleep. Tuck them in and don’t hang around too much.
Note: Remember to equip harnesses as you walk. This helps keep them in line without injuring them.
#3: Give them a crate
A crate is your pet’s essential living space. It is their fortress from the outside world and a source of comfort.
To get the proper crate, start with the size. Your Chihuahua may be small, but they require space for comfort.
Typically, it’s recommended you get a crate that’s at least twice as tall and wide. The crate should be able to fit all the essentials.
These include chew toys, food, and water compartments. At the crate’s base, prepare a thick sheet. Use a doggie pillow or even an old, small pillow.
This will cushion their bodies and prevent damage while they move around in their sleep.
Here’s a helpful video showing you how big your pet’s crate should be:
Note: Train your Chihuahua as soon as possible to make crate training easier. Keep the crate open and have them dwell inside. Treat them inside the crate whenever they enter.
Do this a couple more times until your pet settles in on their own.
#4: Have them checked regularly
When you’re injured, you tend to find the most comfortable position possible when sleeping. The same is true for your pet.
Chihuahuas don’t tell their owners about their physical pain, so you need to follow things up yourself. Have check-ups yearly or monthly as your vet would suggest.
For each visit, make bone checkups a priority. Have your pet go through X-rays as needed to monitor their condition.
You should also use this time to ask about certain aspects of your pet’s life. Try getting advice for:
Diet can be a tricky subject to discuss since your Chihuahua has individual preferences. Thankfully, your vet can help you choose the most nutritious treats and even schedule your pet’s feeding time.
Although the rule of thumb is 30 minutes a day, your vet might recommend different times or exercises. These depend on your Chihuahua’s health. They may recommend less agility training for hip conditions or additional walking times to prevent obesity.
It’s impossible to maintain a sleeping pattern all the time due to emergencies. For these situations, consult your vet on emergency meds to allow your pet some sleep.
#5: Destress with your dog frequently
Stress prevents your dog from sleeping well. Worse, research shows that dogs can share the stress of their owners.
As such, you need to keep your home stress-free at precise times each day. Here’s how you can do it based on a schedule:
Keep mornings jolly
Mornings are the optimal time for fun. You and your dog should move frequently around the house at this time. Take full advantage of this and play hide-and-seek games. Go out for morning walks when the outdoor temperature allows it.
Keep afternoons loud
Silence is the bane of any Chihuahua, especially puppies. It can force them to develop separation anxiety. This causes them to be attention-seeking and destructive. Keep the peace by adding noise whether it’s from TV or your phone.
Note: Keep the noise indoors. You want ambient sound for your dog to enjoy. They won’t need or appreciate outside noise.
Silence during the evenings
Chihuahuas can hear the subtlest sounds, which can interfere with their sleep at night. Be sure to close off your gates completely and keep them several meters away from it. Make them sleep indoors to help keep outside noise down.
Note: Rid your house of any pests like ants or cockroaches that could bother your dog at night. If you have a fight with someone at home, avoid yelling.
#6: Let them stay inside
Staying inside is the greatest blessing you can ever grant your Chihuahua.
Its greatest advantage lies in you being able to manipulate temperatures better indoors. Buy an AC and a heater if you haven’t already. These tools will help your pet sleep well.
In addition, your home is sacred territory for your Chihuahua. Staying indoors will give them peace of mind and keep them sleeping.
Doing so also caters to their need for socialization. Hanging out with your dog frequently will prevent separation anxiety. It also keeps them happy for the day, making sleep sounder.
#7: Keep their space wide
Keeping your Chihuahua’s space wide is key to making them comfortable. The wide environment suggests that it’s safe for them to find any place they want to sleep in.
However, this doesn’t mean your Chihuahua should sleep anywhere in the house, either.
Having them sleep under chairs or small tables isn’t allowed because they might injure themselves.
The trick is to organize your house into certain blocks. For example, you can give your pet their own personal crate to serve as their “personal block.”
That crate should then be kept open and placed in a spacious room. This will serve as another block of space.
From there, you can choose to open or close the door to give them even larger space (preferably your living room).
Note: You can let them sleep on your couch (or a designated doggy couch) during mornings and afternoons. However, they should be kept in their crate during the evenings.
#8: Have extra security at home
Having dog-proof security systems adds a few more layers to your dog’s sense of security. For starters, it allows you to detect problem areas within the house.
You can find where rats crawl out of or if something is bothering your pet. Security systems also allow you to detect potential spots for intruders or stray animals.
You can also check if your fellow residents have a habit of waking your dog. This is true for anyone who stays up late at night.
Additional security also prevents your Chihuahua from getting spooked at night. You can also instruct your sitter remotely if you have to go on vacation.
Note: Keep your security systems away from your dog. Place them on the ceiling or on high tables. Hide wires behind obstacles if there are any. This will prevent them from destroying your gadgets.
#9: Keep certain places off-limits
This may seem odd, but there is a reason why owners need this tip: Chihuahuas are small.
They can literally get into awkward situations by being stuck behind couches or underneath cabinets.
Extreme cases of this can cause long-term bone damage to your Chihuahua. This can permanently hurt their ability to sleep well.
When the pain becomes too much, they might bark or yelp. This not only hurts your pet, but disturbs people and other pets too.
As such, you need to limit their movement around the house. Start by dog-proofing the underside of your cabinets.
If you’re sleeping with your dog, make sure they can’t go under your bed. If your room is on another floor, go near the stairs.
You should also keep your dog away from your gate, especially if it has gaps. Not only can your dog escape, it can even stress their joints.
As long as there are no tight spaces in your home, your Chihuahua will sleep tight.
#10: Use medication as instructed
Sometimes, medication can be necessary to help your dog sleep. This is even truer if your dog has anxiety issues.
When they have anxiety, it can be difficult to put them down for a nap. If your dog has anger issues, they might snap at the slightest stimuli.
If your dog has separation anxiety, your dog won’t feel comfortable with you leaving their side.
If you don’t know your dog’s history, they might get rattled by certain stimuli, preventing sleep of any kind.
All of these can make your dog restless and tired, endangering their long-term health. To prevent these, use over-the-counter supplements or even Benadryl.
Remember that meds should only be used when there’s no other option. Don’t use them too much or your dog may become addicted.
Caution: Don’t let your dog ingest any medicine unless you’ve talked to your vet about it. Overdosing your Chihuahua is a great concern due to their small size.
#11: Synchronize your sleeping times
Having the same daily schedule is important to help your dog sleep well. If your clocks are not in sync, you may wake each other up randomly.
This can prevent you from having any sleep. To help make your schedule their own, here’s what you can do:
Play before going to work
If you’re working, wake up slightly early and do some exercises with your Chihuahua. This will help eliminate grogginess and keep you two energized for the day.
Make their space warmer at night
Most Chihuahuas prefer slightly hotter environments. As such, if your house isn’t at 70°F (21°C) by nighttime, use a heater.
Heaters are powerful enough to adjust the entire house’s temperature from a distance. Keep it in the living room for better results.
Caution: Be careful not to place your pet near the heater as they might risk heatstroke.
Create a relaxing atmosphere before your big nap
Turn the TV off and keep noise to a minimum. Your dog can hear the faintest sounds. Lower the volume as much as possible. Make this a house rule so that no one forgets.
#12: Approach your neighbors
There’s only so much you can do on your end to help your Chihuahua sleep.
You can be very close to one another. However, it only takes one loud neighbor to wake them up.
As such, it’s best to meet with your next-door neighbors. Let them know what you want for your pet and ask for their help.
Don’t offer any suggestions first. Instead, let them approach you with empathy. Discuss calmly if there are compromises to be made.
You can also introduce your dog to them directly and help them befriend your pet. Let them feel an attachment to your dog. This will allow you to negotiate with them better.
Once you’re in dialogue, don’t be afraid to concede some things. If they point out something they don’t like, be open to a fix. Ask for their thoughts.
Note: You should also inform your loved ones about your dog’s patterns. Set up rules for them to follow during their visits.
#13: Keep your scent close to your Chihuahua
Studies show that dogs are always happy with their owner’s smell. Since happy Chihuahuas often sleep tight, keep your scent close to them.
For adult Chihuahuas, you can accomplish this by either snuggling with your dog or letting them smell your clothes.
When they’re about to sleep, give them a used rag or a shirt you don’t wear anymore. They will continue sniffing it until they fall asleep.
Chihuahuas less than 1 year old will need help memorizing your scent first. Here’s how you can train them:
- Give your dog a sample cloth or towel.
- Treat your dog when they sniff.
- Move the object away and tell your dog to smell.
- Treat your dog again.
- Repeat this until your dog can no longer see the sample.
Note: Make sure to show your dog the treat along with the cloth so they can get motivated.