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13 Surprising Reasons Why Chihuahuas Sleep so Much

Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much

Your Chihuahua seems to sleep all day. What’s that all about?

Is it natural? Or is something wrong?

No more wondering! Read on to find out:

  • How a lack of attention could be making your Chihuahua sleep a lot.
  • Whether boredom can cause a Chihuahua to sleep more (#5 is for you).
  • How to be able to tell whether your Chi sleeps a lot due to anxiety issues.
  • In what way is a Chihuahua’s diet affecting how much they sleep in a day.
  • And a lot more…

Why do Chihuahuas sleep so much

Chihuahuas sleep so much after they exercise a lot physically and mentally. While Chis are very high energy while they’re awake, it just takes so much out of them that they need to rest a lot. Their lifestyle and general health also play a big role in how much a Chihuahua sleeps.

Is it bad if my Chihuahua sleeps all day?

It’s not bad if your Chihuahua sleeps all day. An average Chihuahua sleeps for approximately 12 to 15 hours a day. If they exceed 18 hours, your Chi might have fatigue or breathing problems. Pay attention to how often your Chi sleeps all day and talk to your vet if it continues for a week.

13 Reasons why Chihuahuas sleep so much

#1: It’s what they do

Are you worried that your Chihuahua is sleeping so much? You shouldn’t be. Lounging about and sleeping is typical of Chihuahuas.

A Chihuahua can by default sleep for up to 15 or 18 hours. This isn’t necessarily an indication of something wrong. They are different from other breeds.

You can prepare a cozy place to ensure they are comfortable. If you don’t want them sleeping for long, get them engaged. You can take them on a walk or exercise them. By playing a favorite game of theirs.

#2: They’re too good at playing

You heard me right!

Your Chihuahua is naturally energetic. Chihuahuas lighten up your home with all their charm. You would hardly see them unhappy unless sick.

Your Chihuahua loves spending time with you, especially if it involves a mind-engaging activity. Chihuahuas would prefer to play every little time they get. 

So, what happens after a play session? The poor little things get all tuckered out.

You would see them resting after each exertion. As it is expected for the level of energy they give off. Just ensure they are well fed before or after they wake up. That should keep their energy refreshed.

Convinced now?

You should be. Excessive play can make them tired. This makes them sleep longer the next day. 

#3: Lack of attention

Do you fix play dates with your Chihuahua? Do you two play a few times a day? 

These are both necessary. As is any other means of giving your Chihuahua attention. They’re little divas, they need it.

You know how much they love to play already. When you don’t give them that attention they opt to sleep. 

You might think it doesn’t matter if you don’t do that so often. Chihuahuas are natural attention cravers and givers. They would give anything to get themselves within your eyeshot.

If you think they don’t notice, then you are wrong.

As highly intelligent dogs, they can tell when you are sad or unwilling. Your Chihuahua would prefer to sleep than hang around your unwillingness.

So, if you think they are oversleeping, just give them more attention. And see what happens…

#4: They’re getting older

Just like most puppies, your Chihuahua puppies are sleepy lots. Puppies do love engagements without concern for their strength.

So, what happens when they age further?

Here’s the deal: Your Chihuahua lives for fun.

In their prime years, they begin to play more often. They take up longer exercise routines. They even move about a bit more.

All of this wears them out as is expected. They would thereafter need to sleep it out.

You might also be thinking, how about their old age?

At this point, they would need consistent exercise. You might have to induce the exercise at some point. Your older Chihuahua might be too lazy, so the job becomes yours.

All they may want to do is sleep all through. They might still play but not too long.

#5: Your Chihuahua is bored

Bored Chihuahua Sleeping

You know your schedule better than anyone. You know how long you have stayed home during the day. If your Chihuahua is bored, then you should be aware.

Most times when you are away for work, your Chihuahua is left all alone. Chihuahua’s are fun by nature and once they aren’t getting it, they become bored.

When they don’t get enough active hours, fatigue sets in. This makes them sleep even more.

In need of a way to get them pumping?

Well, spend more time at home. Your presence gets them in the mood to play. Besides, they love to play within their pack. I mean you.

What happens when you can’t make it home?

There are a few options available:

  • Find them a reputable daycare.
  • Leave them with a neighbor they trust.
  • Try an app to help you find someone to play or walk your Chi.

For your neighbor, they must have played together when you were home. Your Chihuahua is clingy. So, playing with someone else’s is a big step for them.

When hiring daycare, ensure they have other Chihuahuas. The reason is that your Chihuahua would blend easier with their kind.

#6: Your Chihuahua is sick

As a responsible dog parent, you should know your dog’s sleeping habits. This will help you notice if your dog is sleeping unusually. That’s important because dramatic change in their sleeping pattern could be an indication of an illness.

In need of a solution?

Your vet is your best bet.  

Upon check-up, it could turn out that your Chi could be suffering from as little as cold, or knee dislocation. But they might have more complex issues. 

They could be suffering from more serious health conditions such as:

  • Cancer.
  • Epilepsy.
  • A thyroid issue.
  • Legg-Perthes disease.
  • An undiagnosed heart condition.

This might be overwhelming at first but there are solutions. Especially when the disease is caught on time.

#7: Psychological issues

Pay closer attention to your dog. Your Chihuahua may be going through psychological difficulties at the time. This may be a result of anxiety or stress.

Your Chihuahua can get anxious:

  • If you stay too long from them.
  • If they sense an approaching storm.
  • A change in the environment could also make them anxious.

Another issue might be detecting these signs. 

You can detect anxiety in your dogs when they:

  • Shiver.
  • Barely eat.
  • Often lick their lips.
  • Can barely keep eye contact.
  • Are urinating more frequently.
  • Lift a paw more often in their sleep.
  • Start showing more whites in the eye.

Is your Chihuahua exhibiting any of these signs? 

They might be mildly anxious and opt to sleep it off. 

You can help the dog by engaging it in a routine. Make the routine quite stimulating. That should enhance their mental and physical condition.

For more information on separation anxiety in Chihuahuas, check out this article.

#8: The wrong diet

Chihuahua On A Diet Sleeps So Much

How do you like to spoil your Chihuahua?

Perhaps you give them a few human foods. While this isn’t entirely bad, I wouldn’t advise it either. Your Chihuahua may even love it.

Still, some components of human food can harm them. Some examples include:


The toxins make it difficult for them to breathe. So, they are forced to stay put and even sleep.

Coffee or caffeinated drinks

This could induce vomiting and diarrhea and wear them out. 


It can drop your dog’s sugar level. Consequentially, it could make your Chihuahua weak and depressed.

Alcohol and yeast dough

After an hour of consumption, they could start vomiting. Your Chihuahua might also get depressed and tired.

Note: The wrong food intake can lead to health issues. 2 of the major ones include depression and tiredness. A tired and depressed Chihuahua would want to sleep more often. 

#9: An overweight Chihuahua

You’ve pampered your Pet with enough food for a week. 

So, what happens next? 

Your Chihuahua would gain more weight because of the extra food in their system.

Now, imagine what happens after a few more pamper dates. 

Your Chihuahua would surely put on more weight than they can carry. This would make them stay put more often. That would mean they get to sleep more.

You can help them by taking them out on a stroll. You can also make them exercise more, as it burns the accumulated weight. 

Another way to solve this is to put them on a lighter diet. Once they don’t eat as much as they normally do, their body would regulate. A little fast here and there should work the magic.

Better still, cut down on your pamper dates. If you do once a week, you can opt for twice a month. It all depends on your Chihuahua. Some Chihuahuas gain weight faster than others.

#10: Lack of food

Due to an overweight condition, you might opt for less food. A food fast could cure an overweight Chihuahua.

But, what happens when it takes too long?

Being deprived of sufficient food for too long can make your dog tired. They would barely stay active for too long. 

If your Chihuahua is sleeping as a result of hunger, you may notice the following:

  • Your Chihuahua may begin to lose interest in things. You can hardly get them to play or exercise.
  • Your dog may experience signs of extreme fatigue. Your dog would hardly have enough strength to even engage you.
  • You should expect a loss of bladder and bowel control. Without the required nutrient, they would lose themselves and any sense of control.
  • Your Chihuahua would barely want to eat the available food. Your dog gets used to hunger and just stops eating.
  • You should also notice a strange breathing pattern while they sleep.

You can visit the vet to revive their eating habit. 

Still, the loss of appetite might not be because of food. The issue might be caused by some illnesses. Illnesses like cancer, kidney, and liver problems could make them refuse food.

Want to fix it?

Turn to your vet for personalized treatment.

#11: A blood condition

Your Chihuahua might also have some kind of a blood condition. If your Chihuahua has a reduced blood condition, then they could get tired easily.

This could be as a result of parasites. They could have found their way into your dog’s body. Once they attach themselves, they suck as much blood as they can.

Examples of such parasites are:

  • Tapeworms.
  • Whipworms.
  • Hookworms.
  • Roundworms.

You should look out for them, each time you visit the vet.

So far, so good. But how did your Chi get them?

Your dog might get parasites through the following means:

  • If your dog plays in infected soil.
  • If your Chihuahua consumes any fleas.
  • Through the puppy’s mother. The parasites would then find their way in through the milk.

If you want to check for these yourself, then check your Chihuahua’s stool. Many of the parasites are easy to identify. Once you have found them, then take the necessary precautions.

#12: A viral infection

Your Chihuahua is susceptible to two major viral invasions. They might show themselves in various ways but they are equally dangerous.

The Parvovirus

Your younger Chihuahuas can get the parvovirus from other puppies. You would notice this just before their adolescence (6 weeks to 6months old). The virus originates from the Parvoviridae.

The parvovirus can:

  • Cause fever in your Chihuahua.
  • Make your Chihuahua lethargic.
  • Make your dog easily dehydrated.
  • Cause a drastic weight loss in your pup.
  • Cause bloody diarrhea in your young Chihuahua.
  • Affect your Chihuahua’s ability to absorb nutrients.
  • Make your pup nauseous and also induce vomiting.
  • Make your Chihuahua experience fatigue and tiredness.

All of these can make your Chihuahua depressed and withdrawn. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your Chi has the virus. Reacting on time could prevent your Chihuahua from infecting others.

Trachea Bronchitis

You can also call it the kennel cough. Your Chihuahua can get it when you place them out. The virus attacks their respiratory system. 

Sounds scary? Luckily, you can treat your Chihuahua against the virus.

Note: The virus is more intense with younger dogs (Within 6 months of age).

You should suspect the trachea bronchitis when your Chihuahua:

  • Vomits frequently.
  • Becomes nauseous.
  • Has nasal congestions.
  • Suddenly develops a severe cough.
  • Is experiencing shortness of breath.

Are you wondering how these viruses affect Chihuahuas’ sleeping habits? 

They share a few things in common. One of these is fatigue. 

This makes your dog easily tired and sleeps more than usual. But, they can both be treated.

From a very young age, you can take your pet for vaccination. Your Chihuahua would be a lot less susceptible to the vaccination.

#13: Bacterial infection

Your Chihuahua may be sleeping if they are infected with leptospirosis. Just like viruses, leptospirosis is also highly contagious.

The bacteria comes from:

  • Infected food.
  • Infected water.
  • Soil contaminated with leptospirosis urine.
  • Your Chihuahua being in contact with infected urine.

Note: Chihuahuas could also get such an infection from humans. So, if you take them to a dog daycare ensure it is safe.

These are the symptoms of bacterial infection:

  • Vomiting.
  • Barely eating.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Eye inflammation.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Shivering (even during hot weather).
  • If you notice a few mucous membranes.
  • Sudden rise and decrease in temperature. 
  • If some part of your Chihuahua’s skin turns yellow.

Final Thoughts

The amount of time a Chihuahua sleeps can be alarming at first. Sleeping over half the day away doesn’t seem normal… but it is for these little guys! Chihuahuas go full force for as long as they can, which just isn’t very long. 

If you’re worried about your Chi’s sleeping habits, hopefully, this eases your mind. Yes, sleeping almost all day is normal. But, if any of those reasons above made you question the health of your Chihuahua, don’t hesitate to talk to a vet asap.