It started with Paris Hilton introducing Tinkerbell the Chihuahua on the hit show “The Simple Life”. Ever since there has been an increased interest in “teacup dogs”.
What is a Teacup Dog?
Teacup dogs are dogs bred to be so small that they could fit in a designer purse. Most teacup dogs weigh 5 pounds or less, according to Los Angeles-based veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney.
There are teacup versions of many already-small dog breeds, like teacup Poodles, teacup Pugs, and teacup Yorkies. There are also teacup Maltese, teacup Pomeranians, and teacup Shih Tzus.
Breeders take the “runts” of the litters and pair them together to make the smallest animal possible. Sometimes, the dogs selected for breeding are small because of a birth defect or other medical condition. This being said, there are significant health risks for their offspring. Not only are teacup dogs unique and more susceptible to health risks, but they are also crazy expensive.
The Edge of Owning a Teacup Dog
Having a teacup dog is adorable. You can bring them anywhere since they are quite small, and they will get lots of attention from people. They don’t need large quantities of food and they don’t make as much of a mess as bigger dogs.
The Risks of Owning a Teacup Dog
However, as it has been implied before, there are greater health risks for such dogs. This includes hypoglycaemia, heart defects, collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, and blindness.
The breeding practices can also lead to an increased risk from liver shunts. Liver shunts are often congenital birth defects in dogs that affect the liver’s ability to flush out toxins. Treatment for this can cost up to $6000.
Another possible risk is patella luxation or sliding kneecap. This condition affects a dog’s ability to walk, and there is an increased in teacup dogs because of their size. This makes them more prone to arthritis.