Everyone agrees – puppies are oh, so cute. So is it any wonder that Teacup Dogs have become so popular?
What Is a Teacup Dog?
Teacup dogs have been bred to be as small as possible. Most Teacups weigh 5 pounds or less. Breeders will use dogs that are typically of a small size, using the runts of the litters for breeding still smaller dogs.
Teacup versions of already small dog breeds include Pomsky (a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky), Chihuahua, Yorkie, Poodle, Maltese, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Maltipoo, Beagle, Pug, Brussels Griffon, Japanese Chin, Toy Fox Terrier, and Papillon.
Advantages of a Teacup Dog
Having a tiny dog that fits in a purse has some advantages. It is much easier to take them anywhere you may go. They get lots of attention from everyone they meet. Their food bills will be minimal. Tiny dogs are more acceptable in the elevators of apartment complexes. Their exercise needs are minimal. They are often considerably easier for seniors to manage.
Disadvantages of a Teacup Dog
They need your help often. They can’t jump onto the couch or your lap or the bed, needing to be lifted up and down. If you have a bad back, a tiny dog may not be for you. They are easily injured, especially when jumping or being dropped from heights that ordinary small dogs can easily handle.
There are too many dangers for them with young children or in a busy household.
A bigger dog in the house can inadvertently harm a teacup dog.
Like all small dogs, they tend to get underfoot. But with a Teacup, you are even less likely to see them and more likely to cause an injury when you kick or step on them.
Negative Breeding Practices
Breeding Teacups is very risky for both the mother and the puppies. Because the mother is so small, she can only whelp one or two puppies at a time, and there are increased chances of complications with Teacups.
As a result of high demand for these dogs and the fact that they sell for thousands of dollars, there is an incentive for unethical breeders to produce these dogs any way they can. They may breed dogs that are closely related or even deliberately stunt a puppy’s growth through starvation.
There is no guarantee that what the breeder says is a Teacup won’t grow up to be a standard-sized dog.
A birth defect or other medical condition may be the reason that the dogs chosen for breeding are so small.
The American Kennel Club Doesn’t Classify or Register Teacup Dog Breeds
It isn’t surprising given that nobody can know for certain whether a puppy will remain tiny or grow to the normal size of his breed.
When you breed for the size instead of for healthy genetic stock, significant health problems can result. Health risks for these tiny dogs are high because the breeding of Teacups is not a natural breeding situation.
Common health issues for Teacup dogs include heart defects, collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, and blindness.
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a big risk for Teacups. If not carefully monitored, this can cause seizures and death. Many Teacups must be fed several times a day for this reason.
The breeding practices for Teacups can also lead to an increased risk for liver shunts, dental and gum issues, sliding kneecap and hydrocephalus (water on the brain).
Additional Dangers for Teacup Dogs
Their small bones can break easily. Owners have to be constantly aware of them so as not to step on them and be ready to lift them on and off furniture.
Traumatic events can kill these wee dogs.
They have trouble keeping their bodies warm in cooler weather and will need sweaters.
Surgeries are riskier for Teacups than for other dogs.