Dog Care 101

Teacup Dogs Are So Cute, But Is A Teacup Dog Right For You?

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By Curtis

Pocket-sized dogs or miniature dogs are commonly referred to as Teacup dogs these days.

You’ve probably seen — or at least heard of — Teacup Chihuahuas, Teacup Poodles, Teacup Yorkies, Teacup Pomeranians to name just a few.

teacup dog teacup dogs

Hollywood celebrities wear them on their sleeve or carry them in their handbag — like the latest style in jewelry.

Seeing these little darlings in movies, on TV, and in our own neighborhoods has created an insatiable market for small dogs. The smaller the better.

But is a Teacup dog right for you?…


What Is A Teacup Dog?

While there is no official Teacup classification of dogs that is officially recognized, generally a dog weighing less than the toy group of dogs (which weighs between 4 lbs and 7 lbs) is referred to as a Teacup dog.

Since so many people are clamoring for dogs in the 2 to 4 pound range, and there’s such a high demand, some breeders are demanding high prices (some as high as $300 all the way up to $4,000) for Teacup dogs.

Unfortunately, the high demand has led many dog breeders to go to extreme lengths to manipulate the natural breeding process in order to get smaller dogs — and hopefully even smaller offspring.


What You Need To Know…

This type of inbreeding, with the sole intent to breed tiny puppies, often results in puppies that suffer from a bunch of health problems.

Inbreeding can reduce the lifespan of canines. Cross breed dogs have a longer lifespan in comparison. Inbred dogs have a risk of carrying genes for illnesses that are common to that specific breed. Further, “mutts” who have at least 2 breeds (and commonly more), tend to have the least health problems and live longer than their purebred counterparts. Source

Some of the health issues are simply due to the dogs’ undersized internal organs.

In addition, many (but not all) Teacup dogs tend to suffer from:

  • blood sugar irregularities
  • lack of moisture in their bodies
  • respiratory problems

Due to their health problems and other genetic issues, the lifespan of a Teacup dog is typically much shorter than the lifespan of the Toy version of the same dog.

For example, it’s not unheard of for a Teacup Chihuahua to collapse and die unexpectedly at a very young age — like 2 or 3 or even 6 years of age. Compare this to the typical lifespan of an average sized Chihuahua — which is 15 to 20 years.

While these dwarfs are highly sought after, one should be very wary of any breeder that advertises Teacup Chihuahuas. Quite often, these miniature Toy Chihuahuas exhibit a large number of health problems and often live a much shorter lifespan than the Standard Chihuahua‘s life span of anywhere between 8 and 18 years of age.  Source


How Their Small Size Affects Teacup Dogs

The small physical size of these lightweight puppies presents another issue that you need to consider.

Due to their tiny little bones, they are just plain fragile. Not to mention the fact that they’re so small that they’re often hard to see (or find).

teacup dogs

For example, if you should make the mistake of flopping down in the recliner when your tea cup dog is snuggled up behind the pillow, there could be disastrous results.

Many years ago, I was puppy sitting one of the tiny dogs from a litter born to our Toy Poodle and Toy Yorkie. Two of the puppies remained very small — in the 2 pound range. We lived in the country with many acres of woods around the house. While exercising the tiny puppy, we turned our back and in an instant he was gone. In a panic, we searched madly for this little black smidgen of a dog. Fortunately, he was headed down a narrow logging road going to the back of the property. We found him and brought him back in the house where we couldn’t lose him again!

Tea cup dogs, in general, require lots of maintenance. You’re likely to become real good friends with your veterinarian, because every small medical issue can very quickly become a matter of life and death for these little guys. They have to rely on their owners for everything — which, for good or for bad, makes them virtually a permanent baby in your household. They require so much constant attention, it’s no wonder that so many people dress them up and carry them everywhere they go.

Lastly, if you’re seriously considering getting a Teacup dog, please take into account that a house full of rowdy kids probably isn’t a great environment for such a special dog. Likewise, an overly friendly encounter with a larger dog might be more than your little dog could tolerate. Teacup dogs do better in fairly gentle surroundings.


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