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Why is My Chihuahua Crying? 7 Possible Reasons!

Any chihuahua owner, whether new or old, become concerned or worried when their chi starts to cry. Nothing dampers the mood more than a crying dog, after all. So, you might wonder, why is my chihuahua crying? There are many reasons your chi might be tearing up, ranging from illness to boredom.

Generally, a crying chihuahua shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. So, unless your chi shows other symptoms besides tearing up, there’s no need to take action. Still, it’s best to know the reason behind your chihuahua’s crying to resolve it ASAP and ensure your dog is happy and healthy.

See why your chihuahua is crying and how to help:

Can a Chihuahua Cry?

a crying chihuahua with a bowtie

Chihuahuas are emotional dogs that make unique reactions — one of them is crying. And because they have tear ducts like us, they can sometimes react tearfully. So, not only do chihuahuas cry, but they do it a lot! Their whining and crying can be due to many reasons — some are more alarming than others. 

Before delving into why my chihuahua is crying, know the difference between its vocal and visual cries. Generally, crying tears in chihuahuas don’t have any emotional connection. Instead, these tears come from an involuntary behavior aimed to protect their eyes. And this is especially common in chihuahuas with larger-than-normal eyes!

So, if you see your chihuahua tearing up, don’t worry! Those aren’t real tears. 

Meanwhile, a vocally crying chihuahua is another story. Chihuahuas, like most dogs, express themselves through their voice, and whining or crying may indicate something wrong. Whether it’s hunger, boredom, or something more serious like an illness or infection, take this cry more seriously.

But if you see endless streams of tears coming out of your chihuahua’s eyes, it isn’t normal. It could signify an infection or an eye health issue. Aside from that, if you see your chihuahua crying vocally and tearfully, it might be in pain or discomfort. If you notice these, it’s best to go to the vet ASAP!

Understanding a Crying Chihuahua

Although it’s impossible to understand what your chihuahua’s trying to say, it is possible to have a grasp of what they’re saying when crying. 

Here’s what to watch out for when your chi is crying:

Body Language

Chihuahuas can show different kinds of body language based on their mood. So, if your chihuahua tucks its tail between its leg while crying, it may mean they’re anxious. Moreover, shaking accompanied by cries of pain might indicate injury or discomfort.


The tone of your chihuahua’s crying can tell you a lot. For instance, a higher-pitched cry may mean your chihuahua is uncomfortable or bored. Meanwhile, low moans might indicate your chi is in severe pain. It’ll take some time before you can distinguish these tones, but it’s worth the effort. 

Anxiety Symptoms

When a chihuahua is uncomfortable, you should be able to tell quite quickly. Usually, chihuahuas use their tongues to show how they’re feeling. So, if your chi sticks its tongue out halfway, it might be stressed. Aside from that, pacing and excess panting are common anxious behaviors chihuahuas do.

See also
How Long Can a Chihuahua Live With a Heart Murmur?

Why is My Chihuahua Crying?

why is my chihuahua crying (infographic)

The most efficient way to stop a chihuahua from crying is to know its reason. That said, here are seven possible reasons why your chihuahua is crying: 

😢 Bored

Like people, chihuahuas can also get bored, especially young pups! So, when experiencing boredom, these tiny dogs often act out in surprising ways. And this shouldn’t surprise you, as chihuahuas are incredibly energetic dogs. They may cry to release their pent-up energy.

Aside from crying, a chihuahua shows signs of boredom when excessively jumping or wagging its tail. So, if you notice these actions, bring your chihuahua out for a walk or play with them at home. Once you tire out your chi, the crying should stop, and you should see some improvements.

😢 Illness

Your chihuahua might be sick if it’s crying while showing other symptoms like swollen eyelids or discharge. Here are common illnesses in chihuahuas that force them to cry:

Sinus Infection

Chihuahuas, especially younger pups, are prone to sinus infections. After all, younger chis are more vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and parasites — all responsible for bringing about sinus-related illnesses. 

Aside from crying, here are more signs and symptoms of your chihuahua having a sinus infection:

  • A sudden loss of appetite
  • Excess snoring and sneezing
  • A runny nose
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tears with discharge


Conjunctivitis is easier to recognize in chihuahuas as aside from crying, it also makes their eyes red and itchy. Unfortunately, this is common in chis as they’re prone to respiratory tract infections. Besides that, conjunctivitis can also happen due to airborne allergens, dry eyes, and entropion. Either way, here are other symptoms of conjunctivitis in chihuahuas: 

  • Inflammation in the eyelids
  • Tears with discharge
  • Your chihuahua starts rubbing its eyes desperately


Glaucoma is a chronic eye condition that might cause your chihuahua to become blind. Glaucoma can increase the pressure in your chihuahua’s eyes when left untreated. And in turn, that results in the excess fluid build-up, eventually leading to blindness. 

A timely checkup of your chihuahua’s eyes is essential if you suspect glaucoma. 

Aside from crying, here are more signs and symptoms of glaucoma in chihuahuas:

  • Poor eyesight
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Sudden intolerance of light
  • Hazy corneas
  • Your chihuahua’s pupils’ size changes often
  • Pain in the eyes

Your chihuahua can get either primary or secondary glaucoma. The former is hereditary and can pop out when your chi reaches 4 to 7 years old. Meanwhile, secondary glaucoma is more severe and can cause tumors and eye cancer. You can find this during your chihuahua’s middle period.


Finally, your chihuahua might be crying due to an illness caused by an infection. After all, these tiny dogs are prone to eye and ear infections. And unfortunately, attacks from viruses, bacteria, or parasites are common and can lead to eye issues. Aside from that, some chihuahuas might also develop an infection due to dog shampoo. So, if you see your chi’s eyes reddening after a bath, stop using that brand and bring your dog to the vet ASAP. 

See also
Chihuahua Guide: What Can I Give My Chihuahua for Allergies

😢 Allergies

Chihuahuas can also start crying due to an allergic reaction. I recommend checking if your chi is allergic to specific foods, climates, or other stimuli. For example, chihuahuas aren’t often allergic to pollen or dust. However, if your chi interacts with these and starts crying, it might be allergic!

But aside from making your chihuahua cry, allergies can also harm your dog’s health. Once affected, your chihuahua’s immune system will begin to resist these allergens. And it’ll start producing Histamines. These often cause symptoms such as tears and swollen eyelids.

Here are common environmental allergens among chihuahuas:

  • Fungus (mold)
  • Grass
  • Perfume
  • Smoke
  • Deodorant
  • Second-hand smoke

Aside from environmental stimuli, it would be best if you also considered your chihuahua’s diet. I recommend cross-checking with your vet to see any anomalies in your chi’s food. Tell your vet when the allergic reaction began and list the foods your chi has eaten. 

Don’t forget to inspect the ingredients in your chihuahua’s dog food when buying. And before feeding your chi a new brand or formula, always have it validated with your vet. Although it can be a hassle, it’s worth it for your chihuahua’s safety. 

😢 Attention

An attention-depraved chihuahua also often cries. Whether your chi is trying to get your attention for pets or they’re alerting you of a visitor, crying is a common tactic they use. After all, chihuahuas can’t use words to grab your attention, so it only makes sense for them to cry.

Another reason your chihuahua might be grabbing your attention by crying is needing help to go to the bathroom. Usually, chihuahuas can’t go outside by themselves to urinate or defecate. So, these tiny dogs may cry softly to inform their owners they need to go.

Moreover, a crying chihuahua may also be hungry and ask for food. And this is especially the case if your chi’s eating schedule has gotten thrown off! Aside from that, some chihuahuas may also cry if they’re craving treats. Either way, your chi’s cries can be an excellent reminder they need food. 

😢 Teething 

If you have a young chihuahua pup that suddenly started crying out of nowhere, it might be teething. Tears are common for chihuahua puppies in their teething phase and are a normal reaction. But once you notice uncontrollable tears with other pain symptoms, bring your chi to the vet ASAP.

😢 Eyelash Irritation

Due to their larger-than-normal eyes, chihuahuas have become more susceptible to eyelash irritation. And this often causes tears and crying. 

Here are the three primary forms of eyelash irritation that cause crying in chihuahuas:


Trichiasis is an eye condition where your chihuahua’s hair grows into its eyeball instead of the usual forward way.


Distichiasis is an eye condition where your chihuahua has inverted eyelids, irritating the eyes. Aside from the unusual direction, your chihuahua also gets more eyelashes than usual. As a result, it irritates your chi’s eyes more, causing excess tearing or crying.

Ectopic Cilia

Although rare, this eye condition can still happen to your chihuahua. It’s where your chi’s eyelashes form inside its eyelids, causing general irritation. Aside from crying, a chihuahua with ectopic cilia might also display the following symptoms:

  • Swollen eyes
  • Tears with discharge
  • Excess twitching of the eyelids
  • Uncontrollable tears
  • Ulcer formation on the cornea
See also
How to Help Your Chihuahuas Through Teething: Tips and Tricks

😢 Fear or Anxiety

Despite being brave and energetic, chihuahuas are naturally anxious and nervous dogs. Whether fear of strangers or fireworks, chi cries when feeling stressed or fearful. Although this restless behavior is more common in chi puppies, it may also affect older chis. 

How to Stop My Chihuahua from Crying?

a woman carrying a chi with a vest

Now that you possibly know why your chihuahua is crying, it’s time to see how you can help. Here are general ways to stop your chihuahua from crying:

1️⃣ Be Attentive 

Please pay attention to the sound of your chi’s cries and other accompanying behaviors to stop it from crying. Although it can be challenging at first, you should be able to identify the various pitches and volumes of crying for different reasons. For instance, a bored chihuahua often has higher-pitched cries than those with serious injuries or sickness. 

2️⃣ Determine the Exact Reason Why Your Chihuahua’s Crying 

Once you familiarize yourself with your chihuahua’s cries, I recommend looking at them objectively. Before concluding, you should skim through the possible reasons for your chihuahua crying. 

Regardless, never punish or yell at your chihuahua for crying! After all, it’ll only make things worse for your already distressed dog. Not to mention, it can cause aggression. Instead, find the source of your chihuahua’s fear or anxiety. Once you find the causes, you should be able to help and train your chihuahua to overcome them. 

3️⃣ Approach Your Crying Chihuahua Carefully 

Before training and desensitizing your chihuahua:

  1. Remember to approach it carefully.
  2. Handle the issue gently if your chihuahua’s crying seems to come from stress or pain.
  3. Never force your chihuahua into doing stuff they’re uncomfortable with, as it can escalate to aggressive or disruptive behavior.

4️⃣ Give Your Chihuahua What it Wants But Don’t Overdo It

Finally, give your chihuahua what it needs once you know why it’s crying. For instance, if your chi is crying because it wants to go to the bathroom, help it urinate or defecate outdoors. Meanwhile, if your chi is crying due to pain or an injury, bring it to the vet ASAP. 

Aside from that, avoid encouraging your chihuahua to cry. For example, if you suspect your chihuahua’s cries are for attention or treats, don’t entertain it. Instead, redirect your chihuahua to another behavior. I recommend having your chit sit or lie down in silence before giving it what it wants. 

Also, no matter how intense your chihuahua is crying, never give in immediately. Addressing your chi every time it cries, primarily due to a less severe reason, encourages it to cry or whine all the time! So, as tempting as it is to indulge your chi and give it what it wants, don’t! Carefully consider why your chihuahua is crying first before deciding if it’s worth your attention or not.

Although it can be worrying to see or hear your chihuahua crying, it’s best to respond to it selectively. After all, sometimes, your chi might be only doing it to grab your attention and nothing else. But once you see your chi calm down on its own, praise it or give it a treat.

See also
How to Clean a Chihuahua Ears: The Best Tips and Tricks

Generally, you should be able to manage excessive whining and crying with some training, physical exercise, and mental stimulation. Regardless of the methods, always be patient and consistent with your chihuahua. Although removing your chi’s habit of crying is impossible, you should be able to make it more manageable. 

But if your chi still cries a lot and resists change, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a trainer or behaviorist.

Additional Tips for Stopping Your Chihuahua from Crying

a chi with wide open and teary eyes

Here are six additional tips to help you stop your chihuahua from crying:

✔️ Give Your Crying Chihuahua Toys and Treats 

Due to separation anxiety, some chihuahuas can start crying when left alone. And if this is unavoidable because of your job or schedule, make the environment more stimulating for your chi. I recommend leaving dog toys, hidden treats, and some of your used clothes around the house. Your chihuahua’s favorite things, alongside your scent, should stop it from crying.

✔️ Help Your Chihuahua go to the Bathroom

Sometimes, a chihuahua cries due to their full bladder. So, to avoid dealing with a crying chi all night, help your chi urinate outdoors or in your restroom. I recommend practicing this before your chihuahua goes to sleep for the night. If not possible, you can also put your chi in diapers or place pads around your house.

✔️ Let Your Chihuahua Burn Excess Energy

Chihuahuas, primarily young puppies, may also begin crying due to their pent-up energy. Again, to avoid dealing with a tearful or whiny chi at night, engage your chihuahua with some exercise. I recommend doing this before sleeping as it’ll help your dog vent the excess energy, preventing them from crying. 

✔️ Know When to Ignore a Chihuahua Crying

As tempting as it is to help a crying chihuahua, sometimes, it’s not the best option. After all, showering your chi whenever it cries can reinforce the bad behavior more. So, as rude as it may sound, it’s better to ignore your chihuahua’s unwanted cries and whine. 

You can avoid giving unwanted attention by understanding if your chihuahua only wants to disturb you for the sake of it. For instance, if you bring your chihuahua out to pee and they don’t do it several times, they’re likely only crying to grab your attention.

✔️ Be Careful with Your Actions

Your chihuahua might be crying due to your disruptive actions that scare them. I recommend limiting sudden and loud noises in your home as they can startle your chihuahua. Aside from that, avoid all forms of violence or shouting toward your chihuahua for crying. Doing this will only worsen the cries and make your chi even more anxious.

Loud noises and violence aside, don’t forget to check your chihuahua’s diet often. I recommend double-checking everything you feed your chi. After all, the health problems that arise from improper food intake won’t only lead to crying but other symptoms as well.

See also
How Long Can a Chihuahua Live with Congestive Heart Failure?

So, learn to be patient with your chihuahua and resolve the crying issue by determining its root cause.

✔️ Ask for a Professional’s Help 

Finally, if nothing works for your crying chihuahua, it’s best to seek professional help. So, bring your chi to a vet or behaviorist when you can. 

How to Make My Chihuahua Happy?

smiling chi

Although learning how to stop your chihuahua from crying is ideal, it also pays to ensure your chi’s happiness. Below are five ways to keep your chihuahua happy and tear-free: 

😊 Help Your Chihuahua Stay Active

Chihuahuas are naturally energetic dogs with plenty of energy to spare! So, it only makes sense that staying active is one of the best ways to keep these tiny dogs happy. Keep your chihuahua happy by bringing them for regular walks or playing with them at home. 

Moreover, keeping chihuahuas active benefits their physical and mental health. Getting their heart pumping and muscles working ensures they’re healthy and happy. Aside from that, staying active can also stop your chihuahua from developing weight problems and other obesity-related medical conditions.

Although it’s excellent to help your chihuahua stay active, be careful not to push your dog too far! After all, as energetic as chihuahuas are, they’re still tiny dogs with fragile health.

😊 Teach Your Chihuahua Something New

Teaching your chi something new can keep it happy and mentally stimulated. Having your chi stretch itself by learning a new trick or command is also an excellent bond for you two. So, not only are you helping your chihuahua, but also strengthening your relationship!

Remember to have a friendly yet firm tone as you train your chihuahua. I recommend using positive reinforcement to reward your chihuahua for compliance. And it’s an excellent way to encourage their behavior display. Also, be patient and understanding as chihuahuas often mimic the treatment they get.

So, as you teach your chihuahua a new command or trick, be as positive as you can. Moreover, you don’t always need to teach your chi something new. Sometimes, a change of scenario is all it takes to keep a chihuahua happy and healthy. 

😊 Feed Your Chihuahua Well

What better way to keep a chihuahua happy and healthy than by feeding them well? When feeding your chi, ensure it’s nutritious and delicious food! It encourages them to eat more and not be picky with their meals. Regardless, I recommend having your chihuahua’s diet packed with vitamins and nutrients. 

Also, never feed your chihuahua food meant for humans or even scraps from dinner too often. After all, these tiny dogs are prone to obesity as their digestive system has difficulty digesting most foods. Hence, to keep your chihuahua happy and healthy, keep them on a regular diet packed with nutritious ingredients.

😊 Get Your Chihuahua a New Toy or Two 

Chihuahuas love to chew, so what better way to make them happy and tear-free than giving them new toys? You can have your chi release its joy and pent-up energy on these things instead of things around your home. Most chihuahuas prefer toys that are colorful, vibrant, and make noises. 

See also
How Long Do Miniature Chihuahuas Live?

😊 Help Your Chihuahua Make Friends

You can ensure your chihuahua’s happiness and stop it from often crying by helping it make friends. Although these tiny dogs might be defensive or overprotective initially, they can warm up to other pets in no time. So, bring your chihuahua to the doggy park when you can or arrange a pet date with your friends’ pets. Aside from keeping your chihuahua happy, socializing will also improve its behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does it seem like my chihuahua is crying?

A: Since chihuahuas have tear ducts, like us humans, it shouldn’t be surprising to your chi cry. These keep their eyes safe from debris and function well. But a chihuahua’s tear ducts drain the liquid back to its throat and nose instead of spilling tears. So, consult a vet immediately if your chi cries out of nowhere.

Q: What does it mean when a chihuahua cries tears?

A: Generally, a tearful chihuahua means its eyes might be dry. Whether your chi has been playing out for too long or a breeze of dust came by, these can make your dog tear up! Aside from that, crying with tears may also indicate your chihuahua is sleepy or tired. 

Q: Why is my chihuahua suddenly crying?

A: A crying chihuahua can mean many things like anxiety, pain, boredom, excitement, or frustration, to name a few. But chihuahuas like to cry to convey their desire for something, whether for food or playtime. Regardless, it pays to check your chi for other symptoms to ensure it’s nothing serious.

Q: Why is my chihuahua crying in pain out of nowhere?

A: If chihuahuas suddenly feel anxious or stressed out, they might cry in a painful tone. For instance, your chi might react to something it senses in its surroundings. And your dog may yelp due to fear, anxiety, or fear.

Q: Does a chihuahua cry when it’s sad?

A: Chihuahuas are emotional dogs with attachment issues and often cry when sad. Whether they’re missing your other pet at the vet or a family member who’s away, these can make your chi cry. Beware, chihuahuas are prone to depression, so you must consider this seriously!

Final Words

Why is my chihuahua crying? Chihuahuas cry for many reasons, ranging from sickness to lack of attention. Regardless, it pays to know the exact cause behind your teary chihuahua to come up with the best solution. After all, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than a crying chi! Not to mention, your tiny furry friend might be hiding an underlying illness. So, pay attention to ensure your chihuahua stays happy, healthy, and tear-free.