A Teacup Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog breed. As an adult, a Teacup Chi may only weigh 5 pounds, less than a standard size Chihuahua. The typical, standard-size Chihuahua may live as long as 12 to 20 years. However, due to the health problems associated with the Teacup Chi, their lifespan is much shorter. A Teacup Chihuahua may be on the edge of a healthy weight, but that’s not common since they’re bred to be as small as possible.
What’s A Teacup Chihuahua?
To create the teacup size, Chihuahua breeders choose to pair the most miniature dogs of a litter to create the smallest dog possible. Veterinarians familiar with the breed have stated that the puppies selected for breeding are often so small because of a pre-existing health condition or a congenital disability. Teacup size dogs face significant health problems.
How Big Do Teacup Chihuahuas Get When Fully Grown?
According to the AKC breed standards for Chihuahuas, a dog may weigh up to six pounds, but there’s no minimum limit on weight. Since the AKC hasn’t established a minimum weight for Chihuahuas, there are differing opinions on what constitutes a teacup size dog.
A Teacup Chihuahua’s Size
The term “teacup” refers to a dog’s small size. Anyone who breeds standard size Chis may have a litter in which one puppy is smaller than the others. Rather than referring to the puppy as the runt, they call it a teacup, micro, or mini Chihuahua. Some breeders refer to a teacup as being smaller than four or five pounds. However, this breed isn’t universally recognized. The Chihuahua Club of America doesn’t recognize a formal designation of Teacup Chihuahuas.
Do Teacup Chihuahua Puppies Make Good Pets?
Tiny breed dogs can be perfect if you live in a small space. Maybe you want a dog that will look like a puppy its entire life. Everyone loves the puppy stage when your dog is so tiny and just adorable. If you think getting a Teacup Chihuahua is the way to have a puppy for life, there are some things you should know before you make that decision. A lot of it has to do with the health of Teacup Chihuahuas.
Health of Teacup Chihuahuas
When you choose to make a small breed dog part of your family, you’re excited about all the fun experiences you’ll share. You should also be aware that there are specific health issues that small dogs are susceptible to. Your new Chihuahua may never have any of these medical conditions, but you should be aware of them.
A standard size Teacup Chihuahua can have several health issues that result from them being bred so small. Several miniature breeds share these health concerns that are the result of their small size. Some of the health problems of small breed dogs are:
Complications During Birth
A narrow pelvic opening can make giving birth difficult for tiny dogs. There isn’t always an indication that there could be a problem until your dog goes into labor. If you plan to breed your Teacup Chihuahua, you may want to discuss a cesarean section with your veterinarian before your dog is ready to give birth. Planning ahead can help to prevent complications the during delivery of the teacup puppies.
Mitral Valve Disease
One of the most severe health problems that small dogs can develop is mitral valve disease. This condition occurs when the mitral valve begins to deteriorate and doesn’t open and close properly. When this happens, blood can leak into one of the four chambers of the heart. Some dogs never show any signs of the problem, but dogs with the disease may experience lethargy, trouble breathing, loss of appetite, excessive fatigue when getting exercise, and collapse. Mitral valve disease is a condition that occurs as dog’s age, so you don’t have to worry about a teacup puppies developing it.
Regulating Body Temperature
Tiny dogs often have more problems regulating body temperature than larger breeds. Some dogs chill easily, even in warm climates. They may even overheat more than large breeds. Tiny dogs like the Teacup Chihuahua with short coats and older dogs are more prone to body temperature issues. Make sure your dog is always hydrated. If overheating is an issue, your dog should stay indoors during the hot weather. Dogs that get cold quickly are at higher risk for hypothermia. Warm sweaters or jackets in the cold weather can help.
Small dogs often have trouble with their knees. Pomeranians, Yorkshire, and Boston Terriers, and the Teacup Chihuahua are more likely to develop the condition. When the knee joint goes out of place, the veterinarian will have to prescribe medication until the joint goes back into place. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
Tracheal collapse is a problem that’s irreversible and more common in overweight dogs. The dogs that have the condition are usually middle age or older. Persistent, hard cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and fainting may be symptoms. Veterinarians often recommend weight loss, medications, or sedation to ease the symptoms.
Medical conditions that are a risk for Teacup Chihuahuas:
Many dog lovers find the Teacup Chihuahua breed so appealing and adorable because they’re delicate and look so dainty. Everyone loves photos of tiny dogs in a baby blanket or sitting in a china cup. The problem is that these little dogs can suffer from bone fractures easily because their bones are smaller than an average size Chihuahua and can break easily. It’s the responsibility of the owner of a Teacup Chihuahua or other tiny breed to protect the dog from anyone stepping on it and prevent injuries from other family pets or children.
The body and heart of a Teacup Chihuahua were never intended to be so small. Instead of evolving with each generation over thousands of years, the bodies of these tiny dogs have been scaled down so quickly that their hearts aren’t suited for the job they need to do to keep the body healthy. As the dog’s age, their hearts can break down or completely fail.
Hydrocephalus which is also referred to as fluid on the brain is a condition that can happen when cerebrospinal fluid around the dog’s brain becomes blocked and causes swelling on the brain. Nausea and pain are common symptoms. The sad fact is that many dogs don’t recover. Animal welfare experts are investigating to determine if the problem is genetic or due to the size of the dog.
The stomach of a Teacup Chihuahua is the size of a teaspoon. The stomachs of these tiny dogs are so small they can only hold small amounts of food at one time. The dogs must eat tiny amounts of food throughout the day to prevent their blood sugar from dropping and causing hypoglycemia. If you own one of these teacup dogs, you must make a commitment to feed them every hour or two, all day and all night. Owning a Teacup Chihuahua is similar to having a baby forever.
Another health issue with a Teacup Chihuahua is potty training. The bladder of one of these dogs is so tiny it must be taken outdoors several times a day and at night. Some Teacup Chihuahuas are never able to control their bladder until they can go for the next walk. In this case, the owner should consider dog diapers or an indoor litter box designed for dogs.
1. How much is a Teacup Chihuahua worth?
One of the first questions if you’re considering adopting a Teacup Chihuahua is the cost of owning one of these tiny dogs. Breeding teacup breed dogs is a huge business worldwide. Even though the newest member of your family is much smaller than the average dog, you can expect to pay a lot more than you would for a standard size Chihuahua.
Many teacup breeders set their lowest price at around $1200. Some breeders actually demand $11,300 and upward for their teacup puppies, and people are willing to pay the fee. The cost of your new puppy isn’t the end of the expense. Since the dogs are so tiny, they must have a crate to sleep in, so no one accidentally steps on them.
You must figure in the cost of annual visits to the vet and additional expenses if the dog develops a health problem. Figure in the price of toys and food. Another issue is that since teacup breeds have such small digestive systems, they usually must be on a special diet.
Another issue is that if you’re away during the day, you’ll have dog daycare to consider. A teacup breed must be fed frequently to avoid health problems, including hypoglycemia.
2. How big do Teacup Chihuahuas get?
There aren’t established measurements for Teacup Chihuahuas like there are for the standard size. The average height of one of these little dogs is six to nine inches. As adults, the dogs may weigh four or five pounds at the most. Due to the small size of the dogs, they don’t live nearly as long as standard size Chihuahuas. Since there are no established guidelines for the size of Teacup Chihuahuas, the designation may be whatever the breeder says.
3. Are Teacup Chihuahuas good pets?
Tiny breed dogs are adorable and take up very little space. Teacup Chihuahuas have the appearance of a puppy for their lifetime. Since they’re so small, it’s easy to have one of these little dogs travel with you. However, the news about these cute little pups isn’t all good. They usually develop one or more severe health issues, and it’s not always as they age. They must be fed every hour or two for life. You’ll be spending more time at your veterinarian’s clinic, and the older the dog gets, the more frequent the visits will be. Although standard-size Chihuahuas have some health issues due to their small size, the health problems can be much more severe when the dogs are bred down to teacup size.
4. Are Teacup Chihuahuas a real breed?
Teacup Chihuahuas are a genuine breed but not a new breed. The concept of breeding down standard Chihuahuas to create the teacup size has been popular for years. The popularity of standard Chihuahuas surged in the 40s and 50s, and the breed has been popular ever since. However, teacups aren’t recognized by the AKC.
Teacups aren’t regulated by breed standards. A dog may be considered a teacup size, depending on the breeder. Some of the dogs may weigh five pounds, but four is most common. Most teacups stand six inches high. The six-inch height can’t be considered standard since some dogs are shorter or taller. Another issue with the teacup version of the Chihuahua is that some of them tend to have short tempers.
Due to their small size, Teacup Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of exercises. However, extreme caution must be taken with these tiny dogs since they can get serious injuries from jumping off a couch.