Teacup Dogs, the Truth about Tiny Dogs

Cami, our new puppy, is tiny.  She weighs in at about 4 lbs right now at 14 weeks.  The runt of the litter she weighed less than half of the weight of her siblings when they were adopted out.  She’s also at the key socialization age, so I take her with me as much as possible.  I get asked, all the time, if she’s a teacup dog.  She’s not.  She just happens to be small, possibly due to birth defects from inbreeding, as she also has an unnatural tail and a terrible overbite.  But she’s a little scrapper and survived, and she is doing great so far.

The truth, teacup dogs are not natural.  There is no breed that truly started out as teacup dogs.  The most popular of the last decade or so of the teacup dogs breeds are Poodles, Pugs, Yorkies, Maltese, Pomeranians and Shih Tzus.

Teacup dogs come from terrible breeding practices

And the practice that breeders use to produce their so-called teacup dogs is horrible.  The breeders take the runt of the litter, from a few different litters and breed them together, to make the dogs as small as possible.

The problem with this is that the parent dogs are chosen purely by size, not by health.  And the runt of the litter is usually the least healthy dog in the bunch.  Not always, as our Jackyl was the runt, and he’s been healthy all of his life.  But a lot of the smaller dogs are smaller because of health problems, or birth defects.  So breeding two dogs based solely on size instead of health and other traits, often results in tiny, but sickly dogs.

Teacup dogs are prone to many more health problems

Hypoglycemia is a big one.  The dogs are so small that missing one meal can cause their blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low, causing seizures and even death.

They’re also prone to heart defects, collapsing tracheas, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, dental and gum problems, Patella luxation (sliding kneecap), hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and blindness. Not to mention a congenital birth defect of liver shunts.  Treatment of which can run up to $6,000 and may never respond to treatment.

And due to their size, they’re also more prone to broken bones from a fall or jump that wouldn’t harm a normal sized dog.  Or from being stepped on or crushed.  We had some friends who got a teacup puppy, it was killed when their toddler fell on it.

They get cold much easier, due to their very small size, and must be kept warm.  Their size also makes normal veterinarian procedures that much more dangerous.

Their small size also makes normal veterinarian procedures that much more dangerous.

So think twice before you spend thousands of dollars for what the breeder claims are teacup dogs.

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