Why Does My Chihuahua Cry? [And How To Stop It]
[Step-by-step guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Are you a new Chihuahua owner? Did your excitement turn into worry noticing your dog crying out loud from the crate? If your experience owning a Chihuahua is limited, this issue can be pretty disturbing for you.

The causal triggers behind their cry can vary from genetics to specific external stimuli. Some Chis shed tears naturally. But this may not be the scenario always. Moist eyelashes can also indicate an underlying health issue when they are generated without any particular external stimuli.

Being responsible pet owners, you must accept the fact that Chihuahuas require time to adapt to the new home and surroundings. They may be missing their biological family members like mothers and siblings. We will describe the various reasons behind their tears and some tested methods to stop their crying behavior in the crate.

Without any ado, let’s cut to the chase.

Major Reasons Why Chihuahuas Cry

In this section, let’s look at some significant factors behind the burning question, “Why do chihuahuas cry so much?

Eyelash Irritations

Chihuahuas often face disorders associated with their eyelashes that cause tears. Here are the three main ones:

  • Trichiasis

This condition occurs when their hair grows in the direction of the eyes rather than in a forward way.

  • Distichiasis

Entropion is the condition where the eyelids are inverted and cause irritation to the eye. In this case, the number of eyelashes is normal. In contrast, when the eyelash count is excessive and leads to tearing, this condition is termed Distichiasis.

  • Ectopic Cilia

This is a rare condition where the eyelashes develop inside the eyelids. It causes a general irritation to the eyes.

Some of the symptoms the dogs’ showcase which is typical when they suffer from one of the above disorders:

  • Inflammation

  • Eye discharge

  • Twitching of eyelids

  • Excessive tearing

  • Generation of ulcers around the cornea

Eye Allergies

You need to find out if your dog is allergic to specific food items, climatic conditions, or other environmental stimuli.

For instance, Chis are usually not allergic to pollen and dust. But if your dog interacts with allergens, that can be harmful to their health. Their immune system starts to resist these threats and starts producing Histamines. This reaction leads to symptoms like inflammation and tears.

Some of the common allergens for Chihuahuas include:

  • Fungi

  • Mold

  • Grass

  • Weeds

  • Saliva from Fleas

Diet is another crucial aspect. Always cross-check with a medical professional if you observe any anomalies or irritations towards your pet’s specific food. Explain when the reaction started to show and the list of food items they consumed. These details will help the vet narrow down the cause of allergy and tearing.

Never forget to check each ingredient in the dog food while you purchase. Before you feed them anything new, always get the food item validated with the vet for safety.

Airborne irritants like perfumes, deodorants, or even second-hand smoke can cause problems. If you are doubtful of them, take care that your dog is not present in the room while you smoke or use perfume.

Teething Phase

Tearing is a pretty common sight for Chi puppies during the teething phase. This reaction is not a cause of concern. But you may seek the help of a veterinarian in case you notice excess pain and uncontrollable tears from the puppy.


Chihuahuas are also susceptible to eye and ear infections. Attacks by parasites, bacteria, and viruses can cause eye problems. Another probable cause can be infections due to the choice of dog shampoo. If you notice the dog’s eye turning reddish after a bath, verify if the shampoo brand is the causal factor.

Similarly, the presence of ear infections can lead to tears in the eye, which is on the same side of the dog’s head. 

Size of Eye Sockets

An average Chi’s eye sockets are large enough to hold their normal tear drain. If your dog’s eye sockets are smaller in size due to genetics, this situation will cause the tears to pour out of their eye sockets.


This eye condition is easy to recognize. Conjunctivitis makes the eyeballs red in color and itchy. Some of the primary signs include swollen eyelids, eye discharge, and rubbing of eyes against the floor or using paws. Chihuahuas are known to get affected by this issue due to infections in the respiratory tract as well. Some of the other reasons are:

  • Entropion

  • Airborne allergens

  • Dry eyes

Blockage of Tear Duct

When your dog’s tear ducts get blocked due to some reason, this scenario causes the blocked tear to pour out.

Some of the primary symptoms to identify this issue are:

  • Red and wet eyes at all times

  • Puffiness and staining of the eyes
  • Pawing of the eyes

  • Excessive release of tears and tear stains

Tear duct block can be caused by multiple reasons like eye injuries, infection to the duct, breed/genetics-related issues, or ulcers to the cornea.

If you notice a foul odor around the Chihuahua’s eyes, they are most likely suffering from an eye infection and tear duct blockage. We strongly advise you to get it validated with your trusted vet right away. 

Sinus Infection

Sinus-related illness not only affects humans, but canines can be its victims too. Here also, external parasites like bacteria and viruses bring about this medical condition.

Some of the signs that your pup has a Sinus infection are as follows:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Excessive snoring

  • Sneezing and running nose

  • Breathing troubles due to airflow blockage

  • Eye discharge


This is a dangerous medical condition if it’s not taken care of. Glaucoma leads to an increase in pressure of the eyes and fluid build-up. This issue eventually leads to blindness.

A timely checkup of your puppy’s eyes is critical in this case. The last thing you desire is for your beloved pet to lose the precious gift of eyesight.

Its symptoms include the following:

  • Vision difficulties

  • Redness and pain in the eyes

  • Intolerance to illumination
  • Cornea gets hazy

  • Pupil’s size gets varied

There are two basic categories of Glaucoma – Primary and Secondary

The former is genetically inherited. It is diagnosed in a dog anywhere between the ages of 4-7 years. The secondary one appears during the dog’s middle period. This category is deadly, and the symptoms can include eye cancer, tumors, retina detachment, cataracts, etc.

In the next section, let’s look at a few ways to control Chihuahuas’ crying behavior.

Methods to Stop Chihuahua’s Crying

  • They can tear up when left alone due to separation anxiety. Help avoid this issue by adding toys, hidden treats, and some of your old clothes in their crates. Your scent in the clothes will make them feel safer.

  • Sometimes Chihuahuas cry because their bladder is full. Make it a habit to let them urinate outside the home or in the bathroom before they go to sleep. Puppy diapers/pads are also an option.

  • Chihuahua puppies also cry due to the presence of excess energy. Engage them in some physical activities prior to sleep. This measure will vent that extra energy and help avoid tearing up by getting some shut-eye early.

  • Showering lots of love while they cry can reinforce this crying behavior. It may sound rude, but sometimes it is better to ignore their unwanted cries and to whine.

  • Understand if your canine friend is obsessed with getting attention. If you take them out for peeing and if they fail to pee on multiple occasions, they are likely crying to win your attention and nothing else.

  • Limit sudden and loud noise (like rock music, for instance) in the house. These can startle your dog.

  • Avoid any forms of violence and shouting at the dog for crying. This reaction will only aggravate the underlying situation. Be patient, and resolve the issue by identifying the root cause.

  • Never ignore the diet aspect. Always double-check everything you feed your dog. Many health issues arise from food intake.

Last but definitely not least, never shy away from seeking the expert’s help. Chihuahuas cry or tear up due to various health conditions, as we discussed in the previous section. Keep the regular checkup with the vet as a high-priority action item for your dog.

Wrapping Things Up

Chihuahuas cry due to a wide variety of reasons.

As a pet parent, do your bit by making them feel comfortable and secure when you bring them home.

Being small in size, they are fragile to several health conditions caused by external agents or genetics.

Proper reinforcements and physical exercises can help achieve gradual control of this crying behavior.

In case of uncontrollable cries and whines, we strongly recommend you to get it checked with a registered veterinarian.

Self-treatment of Chihuahuas (or any other dog breeds per se) is never the right option.