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Health Problems in Teacup Dogs

What is a teacup dog? Learn more about teacup puppies? Why do people say there is no such thing as a teacup puppy? What are some of the health problems a small dog might have? How do people make teacup dogs? What concerns are there involving ownership of a teacup puppy or teacup dog?

The term “teacup” is generally frowned on by professionals in the dog industry. It is a gimmick term often used for stunted dogs, attached to them so that they can be sold at inflated prices to people who are not educated about proper dog breeding standards.

Unethical breeders will breed dogs below standards, starting with dogs that are smaller than the typically breed standard would suggest for health reasons. Theses breeders sometimes stunt a puppy's growth by feeding poor quality food to the pregnant female, often hoping for a premature delivery (premature pups often do not grow as big as they should). They may feed the lactating dog poorly as well, again to stunt the puppy's growth. Inbreeding is also common.

In short teacup puppies are poorly bred (they would be disqualified in any conformation dog show) and sold at high prices to people who do not know better.

While some pups sold as teacup puppies grow up to have proper lifespans, most do not. Many have health problems that their owners may be fully ignorant to, or that the owners do not associate with the stunted size but attribute to something else, such as age.

Health Problems in Teacup Pups and Dogs

Smaller birth weight leaves the puppies more sensitive to cold, and more likely to have metabolism and stress disorders such as hypoglycemia (the dog will shake if not fed often).

In some cases the teacup puppy, due to being stunted before birth, may have a permanent soft spot on the top of the skull (many owners are completely unaware their dog even has this). When dogs have a soft spot on the top of the skull they are always at risk of injury when playing with kids or other animals.

One of the more common problems is that their bones tend to be very fragile, making these dogs extra vulnerable to broken bones if they fall off the sofa or bed.

Heart problems are common, as are liver shunts.

Teacup dogs may be more prone to dehydration.

They are more likely to have epilepsy.

Dogs who were stunted may have genetics to have proper sized pups, so when bred they often require a caesarian section.

Because small dogs still have as many teeth in their mouth as their properly sized counter parts it is not uncommon for them to have bad teeth requiring some to be removed or they will have crocked teeth.

photo source

Note

A good dog breeder breeds to improve the breed and would never intentionally breed dogs below the breed standard.  Because breed standards do not recognize "teacup" as a size, many dog people will say "There is no such thing as a teacup puppy.", and will point out that it usually means a poorly breed, or poorly raised, small, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, and so forth.  

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Comments (1)
Ranked #21 in Dogs

Seems like it was a hundred years ago, but I remember there was a time when ads for these puppies were quite common in magazines. Those ads usually pictured them sitting in a large coffee cup.

A very interesting and informative read, Brenda.

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