There’s nothing like a puppy to brighten up your day. Bonus points if that puppy is the size of a teacup! The problem, though, is that often it’s hard to tell what exactly you’re getting when you adopt what’s advertised as a “teacup” dog. Often these dogs aren’t a specific breed at all—and they can have some serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know before adopting one of these tiny dogs.
Teacup dogs are a breeding trend that started in the 1980s when breeders attempted to breed smaller and smaller dogs.
Teacup dogs are a marketing term used to describe small-breed puppies. Although the name teacup may conjure up images of tiny, limited-edition porcelain mugs, it’s actually nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to sell puppies at exorbitant prices. In fact, there’s no such thing as a “teacup” dog: while they’re often small in size (and therefore adorable), they’re still full-size dogs that grow up into regular adult dogs.
Teacup dogs aren’t even any smaller than other breeds of their respective species! In fact, some teacups are even larger than their full-size counterparts! For example, the teacup chihuahua weighs about 4 pounds on average—about half a pound bigger than its full-size counterpart—while the teacup poodle can grow up to 20 pounds—two pounds more than its standard counterpart’s 18 pound average weight!
These dogs are not considered a standard dog breed by kennel clubs, but are still bred by breeders today.
When you hear the word “teacup,” do you think of a tiny cup of tea? Well, in this case, it’s not quite so cute. A teacup dog is one that weighs under 4 pounds—and some weigh even less than that.
But no matter how adorable they are and how much you want to cuddle them, teacup dogs are not a breed; they’re just a term used to describe very small dogs that have been bred to be exceptionally tiny.
In general terms, teacup dogs are just like any other dog: they have the same needs and desires as any other dog would—food, water, companionship and protection from predators. They don’t need any additional care beyond what every other canine requires to survive.
Teacup dogs suffer from a variety of genetic problems.
Teacup dogs are prone to a number of health problems, including breathing difficulties, bone and joint problems, digestive issues, skin conditions and more. This is because they’re bred to be very small in size. They also have shorter lifespans—a teacup dog can live up to 15 years old but some only live up to 12 years old. Teacup dogs are at risk for many different types of genetic diseases because they have been bred so small that their organs may not be able to function properly.
Teacup dogs are small, but they have big health problems.
Teacup dogs are prone to a number of health issues. These include:
- joint problems, especially hip dysplasia
- breathing problems, such as asthma and allergies
- skin conditions like acne and eczema
- eye problems, including cloudy corneas (which can lead to blindness)
Some teacup dogs can have a normal life span.
- Some teacup dogs can have a normal life span. According to the American Kennel Club, miniature poodles and Yorkie-Poo breed mixes have a typical lifespan of 12–15 years, which is similar to that of other small breeds.
- Others are more fragile. Teacup pups like Yorkshire terriers, Maltese and chihuahuas often live around 8–10 years, but their size can be harmful to them in many ways—they’re more likely to get overheated or injured than bigger dogs.
The world of teacup dogs, like any other niche market, has its fair share of pros and cons. On the pro side, there are plenty of people who really love their little dogs and would never want them to be any bigger. However, being small is also a major disadvantage. The cost of food and veterinary bills is much higher for a dog this size than it would be for a larger dog.
If you’re looking for a small dog and you don’t mind spending a little extra money on vet bills then teacup dogs may be right for you! But if you want the very best possible chance of finding your new best friend without health problems later in life, we recommend adopting or getting one from a responsible breeder instead.