Thanks to celebrity teacup pup parents and social media outlets , teacup dogs, otherwise known as micro-dogs, have become increasingly popular over the last decade. From various celebrities’ purses to some of the most adorable videos on the internet, it seems like teacup dogs are everywhere.
There’s no denying that these tiny doggies are absolutely adorable, but do teacup dogs actually stay that small? Do they make good pets? And, perhaps most importantly, are they healthy?
Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding teacup dogs—particularly around their health—so if you’re considering adding one to the family, it’s absolutely vital to do your research. Making an informed decision can be the difference between bringing a healthy dog and an unhealthy dog into the family.
Read on to learn more about teacup dogs, and why they might not be the best pet for your family.
When Is a Dog Considered “Teacup” Size?
Before we dive into the details, it’s important to understand the characteristics that actually define a “teacup” dog.
Although there’s no single breed of teacup dogs—rather, a number of breeds like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, and Maltese can be bred as micros—there is a weight range that can qualify a pooch as a teacup. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can be considered “teacup” if they weigh between two and five pounds, and measure fewer than 17 inches when fully grown. What’s more, “toy” breeds include any dogs that weigh less than 15 pounds, so teacup dogs can be considered part of the “toy” classification, too.
How Are “Teacup” Dogs Bred?
There’s a lot of controversy around the breeding techniques breeders use to produce such tiny dogs. It’s difficult to hear, but many of these techniques can be extremely detrimental to the dogs’ health and happiness. Unscrupulous or unethical breeders may use techniques such as:
- Inbreeding runts with other runts in the hopes of producing an entire litter of smaller-than-average dogs. Inbreeding can increase the risk of inheriting a genetic disorder, like blindness or epilepsy.
- Stunting the growth of their puppies by malnourishing them, which can result in failure to thrive, as well as serious issues with the skeletal, digestive, and nervous systems.
- They stay small and look like a puppy their entire life
- You can keep them in small apartments
- As they are small you can easily carry them in your bag
- They require less physical activity
- They shed less, so the maintaining a clean apartment is easier
- When it comes to food costs, they are lower as they eat less
- Vet bills might be lower due to their size (spaying, neutering, surgery, etc)
- Traveling via airplane is less complicated as you can have your dog next to yourself
- If dog is quiet, in most hotels and motels you will be able to keep them with you in your room
- Shopping in the mall will be more convenient as you will be able to bring your pet with you
- Most restaurants will accept smaller dogs inside, so you can shop and dine with your little friend