Teacup Puppy Info

How to Choose a Teacup Puppy

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Tip #1 -
Teacups are NOT the same as "Premature" puppies. If your going to buy a teacup puppy then it is critical that you understand the difference between a "teacup puppy" and a "premature puppy" because a lot of people think they are the same and they are not. Matter of fact, the confusion between these 2 words has created tremendous debate, heated arguments and even volatile responses regarding the topic of teacup size animals in general. Understanding the differences between "teacup puppies" and "premature puppies" is truly necessary to helping you find a healthy teacup puppy to join your family!

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Premature Runt Puppies: If you look up the word "premature" in the dictionary you will learn that it means something is born early or before its ready. It can also be defined as weak or sickly with health issues. Premature puppies can happen to ANY animal and even happens in humans. Just like humans babies, premature puppies that have not been in the mothers womb long enough are at high risk for serious health issues because typically one or more of their major vital organs (heart, lungs, liver. brain, skull, etc...) are not fully developed and therefore not functioning correctly. There are many causes of premature birth. Most premature puppies are born dead or die within the first day or so. However, there are premature puppies that can sneak past infant death but they often have long-term health issues like portosystemic shunts, heart problems, collapsing trachea, hydroencephaly, neurological issues, digestive or respiratory issues. Because "premature" puppies are tiny due to developmental growth issues people often label them as sickly "teacups" and as a result teacup size puppies get a bad reputation. It is so important to understand that teacup puppies are NOT premature puppies. Yes, they are both very tiny in size but that does not make them the same.     

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Teacup Puppies: If you look up the word "teacup" in the dictionary it has nothing to do with a specific breed, their health or early birth. Teacup only refers to the size of something. Healthy teacup puppies are born on-time, they did not have any problems in the womb and they are born with fully functioning organs but are just smaller in size. They are not smaller because they are "premature."  Teacup puppies generally get their smaller stature due to the DNA, genetics, and downsizing which we will address in great detail in another article we are writing so that you can clearly understanding where these tinier sizes are coming from.

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Tip #2
Are Teacup sizes a Result of Downsizing?
Downsizing breeds and even upsizing breeds has been going on for AGES. This topic is nothing new and has a much more complicated, in-depth and great historical lineage to it other then just how teacup sizes came to be, its how all the sizes came into existence.  For example - let me give you a quick overall history of schnauzer "downsizing" and "upsizing" that has taken place in this particular breed. Early "Standard Schnauzers" (average adult weight 35 - 45 pounds) were likely derived by crossing gray spitzes and black poodles and have existed as far back as the middle ages. In order to "upsize" this breed they crossed Great Danes and Rough-Haired Sheep Dogs to create "Giant Schnauzers." (average adult weight 65 -90 pounds) Whereas the Miniature Schnauzers (average adult weight 10 - 15 pounds) is a result of "downsizing' the breed back in the late 1880's by crossing the Standard Schnauzers with the Affenpinschers and Poodles. If you research ANY breed of dog down to it's original origin you will find that every breed (in it's beginning) was crossed with another breed to create the breed it currently is. 

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 Tip #3 -
Don't Believe Everything You Read
Prepare yourself for confusion. When researching the topic of teacup puppies. You are going to come across a lot of heated debates, conflicting articles and stories with people sharing their experiences and opinions. Keep in mind, the topic of "teacup size animals" in general provokes a lot of very strong and passionate emotions (good and bad) in people; so never base everything on what one person tells you or what one website article says. Do your homework. Talk to professionals like a vet and not just one vet - multiple vets. We have spoken to several vets around the United States and many of them support healthy teacup size dogs and even breed them, while other vets are against it, so again, it's a debatable opinion even among experts. Talk to not just one experience teacup breeder but multiple experienced teacup breeders. Talk to (multiple) pet home families that have actually bought more than one teacup puppy and therefore have hands-on experience with the tinier size dogs. Read a lot of articles regarding both sides of the "argument" so that you can have a full understanding on where everyone is coming from and then you can form your own opinions on what is right for you. Be weary of anyone that uses absolute as that is a red flag. Take caution when someone sinks to the level of slandering, bad-mouthing, and pointing fingers to prove their point and then justifying their bias behavior in one way or another. For example: if you come across a website (maybe a breeders website) that is claiming to take the "higher road" while at the same time is slandering, attacking and tearing down another website (or another breeder) making them appear to be low-life scums then you should just get off that website. No ethical writer or breeder is going to reduce themselves to the level of "trash talk" but instead will deal with sensitive topics more mature and sophisticated. Keep in mind that people in general like to take bits and pieces of information to strengthen their argument. Both sides of the parties will do this. So take all this into consideration as your form your own opinions and perspectives. Most importantly, as you read these articles or comments throughout the websites, blogs, and social media, remember to pay attention to WHO is writing or commenting about it and how experienced/educated are they really on teacups. You might be surprised how many people claim to have done their research but when you challenge them with facts or anything in depth on the topic most of the time they can only give shallow surface answers because they usually only have grabbed one or two "facts" that they have read somewhere and based their entire argument without any real depth of study. Or maybe they owned a teacup puppy and had a real bad experience with it's health and therefore believe all teacups are like that.  Anyone that is truly educated on the topic can give you BOTH sides of the research even though they only agree with the one side. 

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Tip #4 -
Do You Understand the Word - "teacup?"
The sole purpose of this word is to give families a reference to the size the animal will be full grown. Also, its very important to understand that the word "teacup" is breed specific. For example: it's common knowledge that a teacup Yorkie usually weighs around 3-4 pounds. Same with Chihuahuas. But NOT all animals can be bred down that tiny and still be healthy. Teacup PUGS are considered anything under 10 pounds. They even have Teacup PIGS that weigh around 30-65 pounds. Now clearly when you think of a 65 pound animal or even a 10 pound animal you might not consider it a "true teacup" but for THOSE BREEDS they are. So clarify with the breeder the size range for their specific breed if you don't already know it because again, there is NO set size for a "teacup" that word is only used to describe a small or tiny size for whatever they are referencing.

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Tip # 5 -
There are (2) types of TeaCups
NOT all teacups are the same. You have teacup puppies that are more solid, sturdy, hearty, and basically act like the toy size puppies but are just alot tinier. For example: as we just discussed above, a "teacup Pug" can be anything under 10 pounds. So if you have an 8 - 10 pound teacup Pug, chances are it's going to get along great with the young kids and probably even babies. But if you have a 5 pound "teacup chihuahua" then you will put that puppy at great risk exposing it to young children or babies because they could easily accidently injure or kill it. So if you have children and you are determined to get a "teacup" puppy then we strongly recommened you get the more solid, sturdy and hearty ones. The 2nd type of teacup puppies are the ones that are alot higher maintenance, can have special needs, and just be all around more demanding. These types of teacups are like owning a baby their entire life. Teacups with these "special needs" are not recommended for 1st time teacup owners. Usually its the 2-4 pound teacups that can be the more frail ones. Each teacup puppy will vary in how much care they will require and some teacup puppies are more likely for hypogleycmia issues then others. If you have never owned a teacup puppy before and you purchase a more frail or delicate one, you could actually create health issues, eating issues or even death by your ignorance. Teacup puppies are not for everyone. Some teacup puppies will do well in any environment (depending on their overall size, health etc..) where others need a very specific environment and routine to flourish. With that said, most should NOT be around young children or babies. Make sure you find an honest breeder that will be open with you about the puppy because alot of breeders are afraid to tell you if the puppy has issues or needs specialized attention for fear of losing the sale or even just you thinking poorly of them. Other breeders might just assume you already know that teacups (like any other breed) can come with issues and think nothing of it. So like we stated above, don't just randomly buy any teacup. Find out more detailed information about the type of teacup puppy your interested in. If the breeder doesn't understand what you mean - then most likely they are inexperienced because any breeder that is breeding teacup sizes is going to know the differences between these 2 types of teacups. 

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 Tip # 6 -
Talk to the Breeder About YOUR Daily Routine and Lifestyle
NOT all teacups are suitable for every environment and the last thing you want to do is get home with a teacup puppy that starts having problems because it's struggling in your type of lifestyle, daily routine, schedule, household noises & activities. Some teacups do awesome with older kids while other teacups get real nervous around them and want nothing to do with any age of children. Some teacups enjoy a more active busy lifestyle where other teacups have personalities that are more suitable for a quiet, mellow, lower paced type of a lifestyle Etc......It's really important to wait until the teacup puppy is alittle bit older (maybe about 6 weeks old or so....) so that you can talk to the breeder about the differences in size, structure, health, hypoglecima issues, eating habits, personality, any special needs etc.....When the puppy is just a newborn to a few weeks old the breeder is not going to be able to answer any of these questions. The puppy will just be too young to know details. The puppy needs to be at least 6 weeks and even older before breeders can start sharing details with you. Weaning time is usually where breeders can start to seperate out which puppies are struggling more or are more delicate then others. 

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 Tip # 7 -
Low Birth Weight Means Nothing
Alot of people think that if the puppy was born really tiny then it will stay tiny. NOT TRUE AT ALL!!! Any experienced breeder is going to know that birth weight means nothing. I have seen time and time again puppies with low birth weights end up the same size or even bigger then their siblings.There are so many reasons a puppy might be born with a low birth weight so please do NOT pay any attention to their birth weight. No one can guarantee size but the best age to start predicting adult size would be on 6 week puppies and older anything younger then that and your "adult weight predictions" will probably NOT be very accurate.

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Tip # 8 -
Small Parents DON'T always mean Tiny Puppies

(understanding throw backs and pedigree's)
coming soon...

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Tip # 9 -
Buying From a "Proven Parent" Is Very Smart
A good idea when buying a teacup puppy from a mom or dad is to find out if one (or both) the parents have thrown past puppies that have proven to stay in the teacup size range. Breeders start to learn what their females and males generally produce in not only size but also color, coat, structure etc.....so look for mommies or daddies that have a history or throwing those tiny babies that your looking for. If the breeder is using the mom and/or dad for the first time then they might not be as confident asto how that bloodline grows and develops and therefore are more likely to misjudge estimated adult sizes unless it's a bloodline they have kept back. For example: If I have a mom that always throws me tiny and I keep her daughter back, then I can be fairly confident that her daughter will throw me tiny puppies as well, especially if I am breeding her to a tiny male that is proven to also throw small. But if I am using a mother that has tiny sizes in her pedigree but I have never breed her before then I can NOT be as confident in how her puppies will develop and mature because I don't have any experience with how her bloodline matures.

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Tip # 10 -
Experienced TeaCup Breeders are Your Best Bet
You probably want a breeder that has alot of hands-on experience working with the teacup sizes. We mean NO offense but breeders ignorance (as innocent as it may be) can create long term health issues in teacup puppies. Studies have proven that inexperienced teacup breeders have ALOT higher death rate, especially during weaning time, then breeders that have alot of experience with the teacup sizes. And just to be clear, when I say "experienced breeder" I do NOT mean how long a breeder has been breeding dogs. I am specifically talking about how much experience do they have SOLEY raising, caring for & owning teacup sizes. Because having experience in breeding a full size miniature schnauzer is COMPLETELY different then experience then having experience with the teacup puppies. Think of it like this, if you have a serious heart problem and you go to your normal doctor, they can help you alittle bit but if your case looks complicated or if your heart issue is anything beyond the basic heart health the normal doctor will usually refer you to a cardologist because they specialize in hearts and are much more experienced, knowlegeable, edcuated, and are set up with the latest equipement to properly care for and diganose heart issues. Each size and breed of dog and has special health issues they are prone for. They also each have their own average lifespan, grooming requirements, tempermeant/ personality and energy levels. Each size and breed will vary in what type of home they would be happiest in. So if your looking for a healthy teacup puppy, it would make sense that you seek out a breeder who truly understands, has experience and is an expert or specialist in the teacup sizes.

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 Tip # 11 -
Health Guarantee is so Important (but be careful)
We strongly recommend buying a teacup puppy from a breeder that stands behind the health of their dogs in a legal contract called a "health guarantee." If a breeder is going to create a life then there should be a commitment to that "life" beyond the quick cash for it. Read through the health guarantee and make sure it doesn't just tell you all the things they don't guarantee against because sadly, alot of breeders health guarantee is just a big long list of everything that is not covered to protect themselves (the breeder) and not the puppy or the buyer. Sadly alot of people don't read the fine print and just think that because it's a "health guarantee" that they are covered but honestly, alot of Health guarantees are just a big joke. The breeders use the word "health guarantee" as a selling point to bring in the higher dollar but if you actually read the health guarantee is really does not guarantee much. Make sure the health guarantee states very clearly what they do cover instead of everything they don't cover so that you and the puppy are also protected and NOT just the breeder. Some of the most common things to look for in a health guarantee to make sure the breeder guarantee's is that the puppy will arrive to you healthy, with NO cocciddia, NO giardia, NObworms, NObskin infections, NO fleas, NO ticks, NO ear infections, NO ear mites and of course against life-threatening genetic issues. With that said, try not to be to upset with a breeder if the puppy is diagnosed with cocciddia, giardia, worms or ear mites. These are very common parasites that can even reputable breeders with clean environments can pick up. What's important is if the breeder is willing to stand by the puppy and pay to have it cleared up if the puppy arrived to you with it.

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Tip # 12 -
Stay Away from Breeders that Use Alot of Nutro-Cal
Nutro-Cal is just a supplement for animals that may not be eating enough or are not getting enough nutrition from the current food they are on. Alot of TeaCup breeders use Nutro-cal to try and increase the puppies appetite. Yes, there is a time and place for Nutro-cal but it tends to be over-used which ends up actually causing more health problems and can encourages eating issues in the teacup puppy. If you do decide to use Nutro-cal, use it with caution. Nutro-cal is very rich and can cause diarrhea which can pose a serious threat to a teacup puppy. Diarrhea can make puppies weak, shaky, dumpy, dehydrated and even death. Diarrhea in teacup puppies can also make them feel sick and not want to eat which can lead them into hypoglycemia issues. Also, Nutro-cal can spike the puppies sugar levels too high, which again, can lead to problems. We believe Nutro-cal should be used when a puppy is ACTUALLY IN a hypoglycemia attack. We deal with alot of families that own teacup size dogs and we were shocked to learn how many breeders are selling their teacup puppies "addicted" to Nutro-cal. These families were having a terrible time trying to get the puppy to eat real food and they were pumping their puppy with Nutro-cal  all throughout the day to try and prevent it from going into hypoglycemia. It breaks my heart to hear that breeders do this and to make it worse, they make it sound like this is okay and encourage the families to continue doing it probably because they (the breeder) doesn't want to look bad that they got the puppy addicted to Nutra-cal so they blow it off making it sound normal and like it's no biggi. As an experienced breeder, I am telling you, if a puppy requires you to pump it full of Nutra-cal during the day to keep it from crashing or going into hypogylecmia then something is wrong. That is NOT normal and that is NOT healthy. It is okay to give Nutra-cal but a teacup puppy should be able to sustain itself on a natural healthy diet alone NOT surviving through the day on Nutra-cal. You should be able to take the puppy OFF Nutra-cal and have it be okay.  If it's not, something is wrong because again, that is not typical. Please do NOT misunderstand, Nutro-cal is NOT a bad thing. It's just you do NOT want to train your puppy to depend on Nutro-cal instead of eating it's food. As we shared above, your more experienced teacup breeders who know how to properly raise and introduce food to teacup puppies in a positive way are alot less likely to sell you a puppy addicted or dependent on Nutro-cal then an inexperienced breeder who is struggling to get the puppy to eat and desperately trying to keep the puppy from going into constant hypoglycemia attacks by pumping it full of Nutro-cal (which again, is not the long-term answer) but they get stuck in this cycle. So all and all, a healthy teacup puppy should be able to survive on a high end healthy diet without being pumped with daily nutro-cal, however, ever once in awhile you might run into a micro-teacup size puppy (extremely tiny) that does require that extra care and boost throughout the day. 

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Tip #13 -
Be Aware of Eating Issues
Eating issues are when the puppy is picky, finicky, and just plain stubborn about eating their food. Any breed of dog can have this but it's mainly common in the tinier size. Eating issues can create long term health issues and early death, especially in the teacup puppies so this is a very important topic to understand. Teacup puppies develop alot slower then the larger puppies, matter of fact, teacup puppies keep their baby/infant mentality while their larger sibilings have developed into a more toddler mentality. For example: it is common for the larger puppies to be off playing, exploring, and running around the house like "toddlers" while the teacup puppies (at the same age) are still wanting to nestle upto mom and suckle her warm milk and over all acting like "infants." The danger comes in when the breeder is trying to wean the litter. Puppies bodies reach an age where they can NOT live just off the mothers milk anymore. Their body requires actual food and if the breeder can't get the puppies to eat they will start into a series of hypoglycemic episodes. Sadly, weaning time is when breeders generally start having  serious issues and even high death rates among the teacup puppies. Inexperienced breeders death rates will be alot higher then an experienced teacup breeder. Too many teacup breeders learn the hard way (by puppies dying on them) while they try to figure out how to properly raise and wean these tinier sizes. In a nutshell, teacup puppies that struggle with eating disorders are alot higher maintenance and generally mean a life with more hopsitial visits trying to stablize the puppy, higher risk for hypolgelicma attacks, weakened immune system and even early death. Teacup puppies with eating issues are NOT recommended for 1st time teacup owners. One of the biggest ways you can prevent your puppy from having eating issues is to purchase from an experienced teacup breeder, don't buy the frail or delicate teacup puppy in the litter and instead get some experience of owning the more sturdier, heartier teacup puppies. 

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Tip # 14 -
What Causes TeaCup Puppies Not to Eat?
It is true that some teacup puppies can be so stubborn with food that they will literally clamp their mouth shut and even turn their head side to side in an effort to get away from the food. Yes, it is true that some teacup puppies will refuse the food. Many will even spit the food out or just let it sit in their mouth with no desire to swallow it. We can not stress enough that HOW the breeder handles teacup puppies that are manifesting early eating issues WILL make a huge difference in the puppies overall long term health and how they eat in the future. If the breeder doesn't handle eating issues properly, they can make the eating issues worse. Not in all cases, but inexperienced breeders can also be the cause of eating issues due to their ignorance in how to properly wean these tinier sizes.  If your wondering why some teacup puppies refuse to eat, the answer is several reasons.  Stress of the environment they are in (even if its a loving environment) Also, teacup puppies find a tremendous amount of security & comfort in cuddling upto mom and nursing. Many of them might not like the new texture, the new taste and the new smell of real food. They want mommies warm creamy milk. Offering them undesirable cheap low end crappy dry kibble food. Change in environment or routine. Just the stress of  leaving the mom & littermates and adjusting to all the new faces, voices, smells, sights, sounds etc... Children handling the puppy too much at first (before the puppy has gotten to know them and feels safe with them) or even just the kids running wild and loud in the house playing can stress the puppy since it doesn't have the comfort of it's siblings and mother anymore. Taking it all over town after you just get it to show it off to friends and family. Everything new is an adjustment to a puppy so try not to throw too much at the puppy at once. Traveling (driving or flying), recently been vaccinated, vet visits, taking it to petstores, parks, these are all circumstances that can make a puppy not want to eat. A big cause of puppies not eating is sickness. Breeders should be keeping their puppies on a regular deworming schedule because roundworms, hookworks, whipworms etc... all will bloat the puppies belly, make them feel sick and not want to eat. Coccidia is also a very common health issues puppies get during weaning which also causes them to not want to eat. One of the most frustrating health issues is Giardia. The breeder can take the puppy to get a "giardia test" done to determine if the puppy has it and the test results can come back "negative" when they actually DO have it!! So the breeders often think the puppy is fine when in reality it is sick and needs medicine to kill the Giardia. Because the breeder is unknowingly letting the Giardia get worse, the eating issues begin to become a more serious problem and then the puppies start into hypoglecyima so now the breeder is fighting 2 issues which puts the puppy at high risk for death. Parvo is also a deadly common health issue that makes puppies not want to eat. If the teacup puppy isn't kept warm enough and catches a chill that can make them not want to eat, it can also make them get a cold, sniffles, runny eyes or even an upper respority infection which can block their sense of smell and then they lose the desire to eat so keeping your teacup puppy in warm environment all the time is critical. These are all just a few causes of eating issues in teacup puppies. The most important thing with teacup puppies is HOW the breeder introduces food and actually HOW they wean the teacup puppies over to hard food during weaning time can either create or prevent eating issues and long term health issues. If your looking for a healthy teacup puppy, make sure you buy from a breeder who is experienced, understands eating issues, and has great success in weaning their puppies over to a healthy diet without the use of heavy nutra-cal. If you are a breeder that is just starting to wean your litter and you have a teacup puppy that is refusing to eat, get it to the vets right away for a fecal test. It's important to find out immedietly if your dealing with an healthy puppy that is just maturing real slow and will need special care during weaning time OR if the puppy has one of the common parasites like worms, cocciddia, giarida etc...because it's super common for puppies to get those at this age. Even if you have been deworming them. 

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Tip # 15 -
Learn About Hypoglycemia
Anyone interested in purchasing a teacup size puppy should have a clear understanding on what hypoglecymia is and how to prevent your teacup puppy from struggling with it. A breeder can sell you a health stable teacup puppy but if you don't know how to properly take care of it you can ruin it's health and that is NOT the breeders fault. You must understand that every time a puppy goes into hypoglycemia it weakens their immune system and can cause real harm or damage to the puppies vital organs which can create long term health issues and even early death. A lot of families purchase teacup puppies and destroy their health by NOT caring for them properly and then blaming the puppies poor health on the fact it was a teacup size or that the breeder sent them a sick puppy when in reality it was their ignorance to how to properly care for a teacup puppy that created the issues. Do your research and educated yourself on hypoglycemia as well as a proper diet for teacup puppies.
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Disclaimer: We are NOT licensed vets. DO NOT try to diagnose or treat animals based off this or any other information you find on the internet.  If you pet is having any kind of medical issues, please seek professional treatment from a licensed vet who is trained and set up to handle such matters..
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