Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much? [Sleep Cycle Secrets]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

“Why do Chihuahuas sleep so much?” you wonder, as you watch your tiny companion snoozing peacefully, seemingly oblivious to the world around them.

This isn’t just about indulging your curiosity or solving the mystery of your dog’s sleep schedule. It’s more than that.

It’s about understanding the unique needs of your Chihuahua, ensuring their health, and providing the best care possible.

In this post, find out the real reasons behind their snooze time and if it’s a problem you should look into.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Why Does My Chihuahua Sleep So Much? 13 Reasons

Reasons Why Chihuahuas Sleep So Much

Have you noticed your Chi loves their beauty sleep? These tiny dogs are experts at snoozing!

Let’s explore why your Chihuahua might enjoy catching sleep.

1. Small Size

Chihuahuas are popular for their pint-sized bodies. Because of their tiny stature, they have a higher metabolism and burn energy faster than larger dog breeds. 

To compensate for this, they need more rest to recharge their batteries. So, it’s normal to find your Chihuahua taking frequent naps—it’s their way of replenishing their energy levels.

2. Biological makeup

Chihuahuas belong to the toy dog group, and their physical makeup differs from larger breeds. 

Their faster metabolism means they require more downtime to conserve energy. They ensure they have enough fuel to keep up with their busy little lives.

3. Played too much

Like us, Chihuahuas can tire after a good play session or a burst of energetic activity. 

If your Chihuahua has been running around, chasing toys, or playing fetch, they might need extra shut-eye to recover.

This is simply how they recharge their batteries and prepare for the next adventure.

4. Boredom

Chihuahuas are smart and curious dogs that love mental stimulation and they may nap to pass the time if they don’t have something to do. 

Imagine if you didn’t have anything fun to do—you’d probably get pretty bored too and may take a nap.

5. Lonely

Chihuahuas are social animals that thrive on companionship.

When they spend long periods without playing with you, they may feel lonely and resort to sleeping to cope with their feelings of abandonment.

6. Poor diet

Believe it or not, Chi’s diet can affect their sleep patterns too. 

Chihuahuas burn energy quickly and need the right amount of food for their weight to get enough calories.

They may feel tired and sleep more if they don’t get sufficient nourishment. 

Moreover, poor-quality food lacking essential nutrients can also make them feel sluggish.

I personally use only Ollie fresh dog food now, and my dogs have never been happier!

Ollie Fresh Dog Food

Right now, our readers get 60% off their first order, so if you’re not taking advantage, I don’t know what to say!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Why do dogs sleep with their tongues out?

7. Overweight

When a dog is overweight, carrying extra weight can tire them out and they may need help to move around and play. 

So instead of being active, they choose to lie down and sleep.

8. Habitual

Chihuahuas are creatures of habit and they thrive on routine and familiarity. 

If they are familiar with a particular sleep routine or location, they may naturally fall into a pattern of sleeping more during specific times of the day.

If they sleep more, it’s likely because they follow a natural pattern that works for them.

9. Health issue

Excessive sleep in Chihuahuas can indicate underlying health issues such as diabetes or organ-related diseases like liver, heart, or hypothyroidism

These conditions affect their energy levels and make them sleep more.

Hey there, sorry to interrupt but I wanted to tell you about an online vet service I’ve been using for years.

An in-person visit with one is great, but it’s not always an option.

Now, thanks to technology, you can speak to one without leaving your home.

Remote access
Avoidance of travel
Reduced stress for pets
Immediate access to experts
Quick response time
Schedule appointments easily

Got something to ask a vet?
Talk to one anytime, 24/7.


* Don’t use this service for emergencies.

Alternatively, a vet can come out to you instead (exclusive to our readers: use THEVETS15 for 15% off).


Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

10. Anxiety

Chihuahuas can be anxious due to their small size and sensitivity and it can lead to increased sleep as a coping mechanism.

Common triggers are loud noises, unfamiliar environments, or separation from their owners.

11. Weather

Extreme temperatures can impact Chi’s sleep habits. These little dogs are more sensitive to heat and cold than larger breeds. 

In hot weather, they may sleep more to conserve energy and avoid overheating. 

Similarly, they may curl up and sleep in cold weather to keep warm and maintain their body temperature.

12. Parasites

Chihuahuas are susceptible to fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms.

These parasites can cause discomfort and drain their energy, leading to increased sleep.

13. Old Age

Puppies are growing and require even more sleep than adult dogs. They sleep around 18-20 hours a day! 

After their bursts of energy and playfulness, they need long naps to recharge and continue growing strong.

As for senior dogs, their energy levels naturally decrease as they age, and they tend to sleep more.

They need more rest and sleep to support their aging bodies.

Puppies and seniors sleep much more than adult dogs because their bodies undergo different development stages.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Are Chihuahuas clingy?

How Long Do Chihuahuas Sleep a Day?

How Much Should a Chihuahua Sleep Each Day

A Chihuahua sleeps more than other dog breeds, and it’s especially true for newborn puppies and older dogs. 

Let’s explore the different stages of a Chihuahua’s life and how many hours of sleep they typically need during each phase.

Newborns (0-7 weeks)

When Chihuahua puppies are newborns, they sleep a lot! Around 20 to 23 hours a day, to be exact. 

They spend their day sleeping and drinking their mom’s milk, waking up only to nurse every couple of hours.

Puppies (2 months – 1 year)

Chihuahua puppies are bundles of energy! 

They sleep up to 18 hours daily and are super active and playful when awake. 

It’s like they have a turbo button! 

They’ll gradually sleep less and have more awake time as they age.

Adults (1 year and older)

Once your Chi becomes an adult, they need about 12 to 15 hours of sleep daily. 

That includes both nighttime sleep and naps during the day. 

Every Chihuahua is different, so some may take more or shorter naps than others. 

They usually figure out their sleep routine and settle into a pattern.

Seniors (around 9 years and older)

As Chihuahuas get older, they tend to slow down and sleep more. 

Senior Chihuahuas might sleep around 16 to 18 hours a day. 

If they have health issues like arthritis, they may need more sleep to be comfortable.

dog essentials banner in content

When is My Chihuahua Sleeping Too Much a Problem?

Is your Chihuahua sleeping more than usual?

While it’s normal for Chihuahuas to love their beauty sleep, sometimes excessive sleeping can be a sign of a problem.

Here are some signs of excessive sleeping you should look out for:

  • Very long hours sleeping (More than 18 hours for adult Chi)
  • Breathing issues
  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioral changes
  • Loss of weight
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tiredness

How to Create a Comfortable Place for Your Chi to Sleep?

Creating a comfy place for your cute Chi to rest is crucial not only for their comfort but also for their overall well-being.

Seeing your Chihuahua curling up in a comfortable and snug sleeping spot is satisfying as a pet parent.

Below are some tips to make the ultimate sleeping haven for your Chi:

Choose the right bed

First, you need to find a bed that suits your Chihuahua’s size and sleeping habits.

Some Chihuahuas love the security of an enclosed bed, while others prefer a plush and cushioned surface. 

Observe your Chi’s preferences and select a mattress that provides proper support.

This particular memory foam bed has served my dogs well for years, and I highly recommend you try it out too.

Casper Dog Bed, Plush Memory Foam

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07BMHVWQK&Format= SL500 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=dailydogdrama 20&language=en USir?t=dailydogdrama 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07BMHVWQK
Combination of pressure-relieving memory foam and durable support foam
Features additional material on top to accommodate dogs that enjoy digging and scratching, allowing them to create their perfect sleeping spot
Includes a removable cover that can be conveniently machine washed
Designed to be fur-resistant and resistant to slobber, maintaining a clean and hygienic sleeping environment

Consider temperature

Chihuahuas are sensitive to temperature, so ensure the sleeping area is just right.

Add a soft blanket or a heated bed in colder seasons to keep your Chi warm and toasty. 

During warmer times, ensure the area is well-ventilated and not too hot.

Provide pillows or bolsters

Chihuahuas love to snuggle against something soft. 

Add a small pillow or a bolster to their bed for extra comfort.

These fluffy additions can mimic cuddling with their littermates, making your Chi feel secure.

Consider elevated beds

Chihuahuas enjoy a good view of their surroundings, even when dozing off. 

Elevated beds or platforms give them a sense of security and allow them to keep an eye on things while they rest.

Create a quiet corner

Chihuahuas appreciate a peaceful and quiet resting place. 

Set their bed in a calm corner of your home, away from loud noises and distractions.

This will definitely help your Chi relax and enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

Make sure things are clean

Regularly clean your Chi’s sleeping area to keep it fresh and hygienic. 

Wash the bedding, fluff the pillows, and ensure the bed is free from dirt or debris. A clean and inviting sleeping spot promotes a healthy and comfortable sleep environment for your Chi.

Add familiar scents

Chi’s have a keen sense of smell, and familiar scents can make them feel more at ease. 

Place a cloth with your scent on their bed to provide a sense of familiarity and reassurance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it normal for Chihuahua puppies to sleep a lot?

Yes, it’s normal. Your Chihuahua puppy sleeps up to 20 hours every day! They have a speedy metabolism and burn energy quickly, so they need those extra naps to recharge and stay healthy.

Should I let my Chihuahua sleep in my bed?

Whether to let your Chi sleep in your bed is a personal choice. That’s up to you and what you’re at ease with! Some people love having their Chihuahuas snuggle up in bed with them, while others prefer separate sleeping spaces.

Why do Chihuahuas dig before lying down?

It’s funny, but Chihuahuas have the instinct to burrow or scratch before they settle down to sleep. Their ancestors, who lived in the wild, used to dig to make a comfy resting spot. Your Chihuahua might try to do the same thing, ensuring their bed is cozy!

Why do Chihuahuas like pillows?

Chihuahuas adore pillows! They love how pillows feel so comfy and snuggly. It’s like getting a warm and soft hug! Pillows can remind them of cuddling with their furry brothers and sisters or give extra support to their little heads when they rest. It’s their way of feeling cozy!

In Conclusion: Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much?

So, there you have it! Our journey through the dream-filled world of Chihuahuas has come to an end.

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge to ensure your pint-sized pal gets the right amount of Z’s.

Remember, in their tiny hearts, sleep is not just a luxury, but a pathway to a healthy, happy life!

For more fetching content and tail-wagging tips, check out these other posts too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

no more bad dog breaths banner