The truth about "teacup" puppies

Updated on March 22, 2012
There's no way my dog Kitsune would fit in a teacup, but your dog shouldn't either!  Continue reading to find out why.
There's no way my dog Kitsune would fit in a teacup, but your dog shouldn't either! Continue reading to find out why. | Source

Small dogs are cute - really cute! Maybe not everyone's cup of tea (pardon the pun), but there are lots of reasons why someone might prefer small dogs over larger ones. They don't take up as much space in small houses or apartments. They don't eat as much as large dogs so it's usually cheaper to feed them. They often times have longer life spans than larger dogs, and many toy breed dogs have wonderful personalities. And they are absolutely adorable, did I mention that already?

There's nothing wrong with wanting to own a small dog. But how small is too small? Where do you draw the line between wanting a small dog that is a healthy, happy companion, and wanting a dog that is as small as possible? Does size really matter so much that you would risk your dog's health just so you can have the tiniest dog on the block?

This is exactly what some owners are doing, whether knowingly or not.

The smallest breeds of dogs, many of which are generally under 10 lbs, fall into the category of toy breeds. The smallest breed of dog, as many already know, is the Chihuahua. A healthy, breed standard chihuahua generally weighs somewhere in between 2 and 6 lbs. The pug, generally weighing between 14 and 20 lbs, is probably the largest of the toy breeds. Even a 20 lb dog is pretty small. A 2 lb chihuahua is downright minuscule. Some dwarf rabbits grow to be larger than 2 lbs!

So as you can see, there are options out there for people who want tiny dogs. So why then, are some "breeders" out there advertising for what they call "teacup" puppies?

The fact of the matter is that there really is no such thing as a "teacup" puppy. There are no "teacup" breeds, the term "teacup" is not recognized by the AKC or any other form of dog associations. The word "teacup", when used to describe the size of a puppy, usually means that the puppy is smaller than average. That might not seem like such a bad thing, but think of the size of a typical chihuahua puppy - tiny! Now think of how tiny that puppy would be if it where half it's normal size.

What ever happened to calling the smallest, usually weakest, puppies of the litter runts? By many breeders, teacup puppies are produced by breeding what basically amounts to runt dogs together. Now if all that caused where extra small dogs, that'd be one thing. But there are many risks involved with breeding very small dogs, to both the mother dog and to the puppies. The mother dogs, often times being very tiny themselves, commonly have difficulties carrying and delivering puppies. Common health issues in so called teacup puppies include things like liver shunts, hypoglycemia, heart problems, open soft spots on the skull, collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, blindness, and the list goes on. Many of these issues are life threatening and very expensive to treat. Teacup puppies, because they are so small and frail, are also prone to breaking bones even while preforming normal activities (such as jumping, playing, or running) that would present little to no danger to a normal puppy.

Not all teacup puppies are produced by breeding very small adult dogs. Some puppies sold as teacup puppies are merely premature puppies. Unethical breeders will sometimes lie about a puppies age in order to make it appear that the puppy will be small as an adult.

If you're thinking about adding a small dog to your family, please do the responsible thing and thoroughly research potential breeders or adopt a dog from a shelter. Do not fall for the teacup scam! The little puppies may be adorable, but they often come with health problems that can cut their lives short and/or cost their owners thousands in vet bills. There is no such thing as a teacup puppy. The term is most often used by unethical breeds as a marketing ploy to stick a high price tag on what is more often than not a very unhealthy puppy. There are plenty of perfectly healthy small breed dogs that need loving homes, and can be obtained without having your hard earned cash going towards supporting bad breeders.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      I puddister 

      2 years ago

      Thank you fir you're thoughtful insight on some breeders Makes me sick to my stomach there are still puppy mills out there and worse people are still buying from them

    • profile image

      Marci Powell 

      6 years ago

      I bought a mini schnauzer from a breeder who has the whole line 3 generations. She was the smallest of 7. At 14 weeks she is 3.3. No problems that the vet can see. Eats like a hog.She is lengthy, but needs to fill out. I am spayed her for sure. I was so worried about this liver shunt thing I am having her tested at 15 weeks when she gets her next set of shots..never had a dog this tiny before. But we love her!!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      True information, voted up.

    • Dragonrain profile imageAUTHOR

      Dragonrain 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for reading!

      My dog is big for his breed too. I got him from a breeder and she was able to tell me from the beginning that he'd be big. We had originally wanted a breed standard size dog, but just fell in love with our guy. I'm used to his larger size now, and couldn't imagine him being teeny tiny.

      From the research I've done on teacups, it's probably a good thing that your dog grew bigger. He's probably healthier for it!

    • profile image

      jasper420 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting I bought a tea cup and he dose not fit into a tea cup! In fact he is actully big for his breed but I love him so very much and could not have been more blessed to have him in my life! Great work!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)