What Are Teacup Puppies?

by Lisa McQuerrey
    Teacups look like puppies, even as adults.

    Teacups look like puppies, even as adults.

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    Teacup puppies are a very tiny type of designer dogs that are even smaller than pooches considered “toy” varieties. In essence, a teacup puppy is named as such because it can fit into the size of an average teacup as a pup, and generally is no larger than four pounds at maturity. While teacups are not considered a breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club, there is general consensus about the basic description of dogs that commonly are considered part of this category.

    Teacup puppies are miniature versions of toy breeds that don’t grow to be larger than seven pounds. Common teacup puppies include Yorkies, some terriers, Pugs, Chihuahuas, Poodles, Pomeranians and Shiz Tzus, to name a few. Some breeders also offer designer mixes of various teacup breeds, like Morkies, a mix between a Maltese and a Yorkie.

    Teacup puppies may be preferred by people who live in apartments or who travel often, as the dogs are highly portable. They can be contained safely and humanely in small areas, and their small stature makes them appropriate companions for people who can’t handle a larger animal. They also are relatively easy to clean up after, when compared to larger breeds, and cost less to feed. Most teacups also look like puppies for their entire lives, something that many pet owners find to be an attractive trait.

    Teacup puppies are much more expensive than their regular-sized counterparts. Many teacup varieties have curly hair that requires regular grooming and upkeep. Because of their smaller stature and a tendency to over-breed teacups for profit, many teacups are prone to health problems, like respiratory disorders, a propensity for hypoglycemia, frail bones and compromised immune systems. This can result in expensive vet care, as well as the emotional issue of caring for a chronically ill pet.

    Teacup puppies don’t always thrive well in an environment with children or larger dogs. Their frail nature can leave them susceptible to injury from rough play or handling. Some teacups have a nervous nature, which can make them hard to take in public. Teacups should be obtained only from a reputable breeder who offers at least a minimal guarantee of health. A thorough veterinary exam is recommended in advance of a purchase.

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    About the Author

    Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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