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Teacup Dogs: What’s the Controversy About?

Teacup dog sitting in a pink teacup

Choosing which dog to share your home with is a perfect example of our love for extremes. People are fawning over the mammoth Mastiff one minute and lap dog Shih Tzu the next. The lapdog’s ever-smaller cousins have recently become popular. This novel concept of teacup dogs seems adorable, so what’s the big controversy?

Stay with us as we explore teacup dogs’ adorable but dangerous universe.

What Are Teacup Dogs?

Maltese teacup dog sitting in a purse

Instead of creating mixes, the designer dog industry now focuses on creating mini versions of different dog breeds, as though to sell them as a commodity on shelves. The world has already become fascinated by the most well-known teacup dogs. However, the emergence of dogs who never develop past the puppy stage has sparked some concerns for a valid reason. How, then, are all these dogs produced?

The tiniest puppies of the litter, runts, are used for breeding teacup dogs. By mating these runts, breeders can produce the tiniest canine. When fully mature, these animals can weigh as few as five pounds. The dog grows to be the preferred size and, thus, acquires the name “teacup dog.”

Although, the idea that a teacup dog is a particular and recognized breed causes confusion among prospective pet parents. The term “teacup” refers to a specific breed’s size; therefore, any dog that weighs less than five pounds when fully grown can be categorized as a teacup. There is no official recognition for teacup dogs by the AKC or similar organizations.

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Widely known teacup dog breeds include the Pugs, Yorkie, Shih Tzu, Poodle, Pomeranians, and Maltese. Purse/pocket/miniature/toy are some other names of the teacup dogs.  

Benefits of Owning Teacup Dogs

Black and white teacup Chihuahua

1. Small enough to fit in your purse 

Having a pup that can sit in your purse or pocket can have numerous benefits. Given the small stature of such dogs, the dilemma over whether and how to take your fur buddy outside when travelling is resolved. 

2. Steal the show everywhere they go

These tiny dogs almost instantly pique people’s interest, just as massive canines do. They are attention magnets, attracting admiration from family, friends, or even strangers.

3. Low feeding and maintenance costs

The maintenance costs of a pet dog might be high—especially when it’s a giant breed; however, the food expenses for these tiny breeds can be low. They are also unlikely to require expensive drugs if they are healthy and well-bred. Owing to these aspects, the annual maintenance cost is relatively inexpensive compared to other dogs.

4. No more pet size restrictions 

Besides the everlasting allure of puppyhood, something these miniature dogs never outgrow, the extraordinarily tiny size is particularly appealing to individuals who inhabit places where pet size limitations apply. Nobody has yet voiced opposition to sharing a home with these little canines.

5. Low activity demands

These breeds are suitable for busy people who lack the time for daily walks or other activity requirements of dogs since these miniature breeds are prone to tiring out after playing for about 20 minutes.

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So then, what is the cause of the debate when keeping a tiny dog has so many benefits? Let’s determine whether all the issues merit your consideration or should you hurry to purchase a teacup puppy.

To Get or Not to Get the Teacup Dogs?

White teacup maltese dog

Doctors worldwide have expressed alarm about the diminishing sizes of canines and the associated health issues that the world could be ignoring. The following three concerns are the leading causes of conflict. Let’s discuss them individually:

1. Iffy breeding practices

In addition to producing little puppies, breeding undersized dogs also create small mothers. Pregnancy is challenging for mothers and is often dangerous. Additionally, the mother isn’t able to whelp all of the pups at once after delivery, given her diminutive size, which results in sickly canines predisposed to several diseases. 

Furthermore, unreliable breeders are using all means at their disposal to produce these teacup puppies because of the soaring demands and high prices these dogs can fetch. Inbreeding techniques are often employed to achieve the small sizes of these teacup pups. Other times, deprivation and other immoral practices are used to stunt the pup’s growth.

2. Health issues

Every dog breed is vulnerable to a particular health condition; however, teacup dogs are predisposed to dozens. This is caused in part by their compact size and in part by unethical breeding methods.

Medical professionals say teacup dogs have blindness, collapsing tracheas, convulsions, respiratory and intestinal issues, and cardiac anomalies. Moreover, these dogs must be fed multiple times each day since another condition called hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) can cause convulsions and possibly death. 

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Therefore, before getting one of these dogs, prospective owners should consider the expense of veterinary care. Furthermore, they live substantially shorter lives than their standard-sized cousins. Another problematic aspect of caring for a chronically unwell puppy is the emotional stress.

3. A little too small

Although most people are unaware of how tiny a teacup dog is, small dog owners are already concerned by the description. Teacup dogs are only a fraction of the size of small dog breeds, and owners will attest to how gingerly they move about the house so as not to damage their cherished pets accidentally. These little breeds are only large enough to get on and off the sofa by themselves, yet many of them could sustain painful injuries if dropped.

Teacup dogs are much more delicate and prone to mishaps because they are much lighter than small dog breeds. Additionally, the dogs are prone to tripping and falling, which can result in painful fractures.

Final Thoughts

Many dog owners long for the days when their dogs were still small enough to fit on their laps and possessed the unique charm of being a puppy. The puppy stage, however, doesn’t last very long because most dog breeds have a rapid maturity rate. Teacup dogs appear to be an ideal solution in this situation. These tiny canines can always fit in your palm and never outgrow their puppy stage. So, despite the preceding discussion, if you still have your heart set on getting a teacup dog, do a comprehensive investigation on the breed and only work with reputable moral breeders.

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