Teacup Puppies– All the rage

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I am so amazed at the number of people who are looking to buy “Teacup Puppies.” For those people searching for teacup puppies and running across my blog, PLEASE read it entirely. You need to hear the truth behind this   non-breed and not what the pet stores and breeders want you to hear!

I have said it before and I will say it again– Pets are NOT something that you order online like a purse. They are NOT another accessory that you can carry around. They are living beings that require love and care.


The Breeding Behind Teacup Puppies.  

Sure, these puppies look adorable and, rightly so- they are! But let’s look behind the curtain for a second. Most females are bred on the ninth through the fifteenth day of their heat cycles. Eggs can be fertilized for up to 72 hours after any of these breeding’s. Therefore, it is possible to have puppies conceived up to a week or so younger than the puppies first conceived in a litter. However, when the first puppies conceived are mature and ready to be born, labor starts and all the puppies will be born, no matter when they were fertilized. What all of this means is, you are buying a puppy that was born prematurely. Those of you that have had premature children (or know of any), you know that they need extra care. However, in these breeding facilities, the puppies are treated just like any other and are taken from their parents far too early.

Then, the female premature puppy is bred with the male premature puppy… The cycle just goes on and on and on.

As you can imagine, there is a laundry list of health problems that can arise from this type of breeding. Some of the issues that may be encountered are both genetic and congenital in these tiny babies and the list is a long one.

Genetic Defects 

* High Risk of open fontanels– (soft spot from the cranial bone not forming),

*Portosystemic shunts (PSS- abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver. As a result the blood is not cleansed by one of the bodies filters: the liver.),

*hypoglycemia- a syndrome that occurs primarily in toy breeds between 6 and 12 weeks of age. Puppies with a severe drop in blood sugar develop seizures or become stuporous and go into a coma. Death can follow.

*Cardiac problems-

*Distorted teeth- in all of the breeding that has occurred, these “teacup” or “toy” breeds do not have teeth that have evolved to fit inside of their mouths.

* Luxating patellas- A genetic disease that cause the kneecap to dislocate and move freely around the leg.


*Collapsing trachea- Their bones are so fragile that they break so easily!

*Hydroencephaly- In easier terms it can be referred to as “water on the brain”. A very serious disease that can cause trauma, strokes and death.


*Digestive problems- this causes diabetes and other health issues.

*Fragile Bones- Their bones are so weak that they can be broken by simply jumping off of the couch.

                   **Problems such as respiratory problems can remain or worsen throughout their lives. These puppies are so fragile that most do not live more than a few years.


I will say it again… TEACUP or TOY DOGS are not an actual breed! If you see a breeder or a pet store that offers these types of dogs RUN THE OTHER WAY! I firmly believe that all dogs deserve love, but if you choose to buy dogs from pet stores or from breeders, you are only showing them that there is a demand. These small breed dogs are very overpopulated in the shelters. Just look at California: hundreds of Chihuahuas are being put to sleep because they were bought as accessories and not forever family members!

If you want a small breed dog, look on petfinder.com and search for a small dog. It is that simple. You can pay a small fee as opposed to paying thousands of dollars.

Before I end this, I want to say one more thing. Many people mistakenly believe small dogs like Chihuahuas are safe for children because they won’t pose a threat. Chihuahuas in particular are a poor choice for children because they have a tendency to be snippy and protective. Small children can also unintentionally hurt a tiny dog. A teacup dog is even more vulnerable and can easily be harmed or even killed by dropping it or mishandling it, falling on it, or stepping on it. Instead, the small breed dog is ideally placed in an adult home with someone who will dote on it, such as a senior citizen or person who works from home.

Don’t fall for the teacup yorkies, toy chihuahuas, or teacup maltese… They will only cost you thousands of dollars in veterinary costs down the road.

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0 thoughts on “Teacup Puppies– All the rage

  1. Michelle

    Great information! Thanks Mindi, I didn’t realize the breeding process. Puppy mills owners take puppies away from their mothers way too early anyway. I can’t even imagine how the premies even survive. Wow!

  2. Hanna

    Thanks for posting this! I try and try to tell people about teacup puppies but no one listens. I have a small dog that I rescued and it makes my blood boil when people ask if he is a teacup! Maybe someday we will live in a smart society!

  3. Lisa Kuehl

    Good information, Mindi. I’d like to know which Iowa breeders are currently jumping on this horribly unethical bandwagon. This whole commercial dog breeding industry is so full of greed and unscrupulous individuals…and the consumer is the ONLY reason all of this exists. Folks…just say NO to buying puppies and kittens! End the demand and puppy and kitten mills will shrivel up. Yes, it’s THAT easy!

  4. Linda R. Blakely

    Personally, I feel that targeting breeders is a waste of time! They have more money and political power to fight back and fight harder. While stones being thrown at them can sting, it’s not going to shut down the rings.

    The key is to focus on the public, the people who BUY these dogs and the people who VOTE! I educate almost daily on the hazards of “purchasing” a dog when the owner is calling me to take it because of it’s bad behavior. People want purebreds period…It’s not about owning, loving and bonding with a dog…it’s about what THEY want…it’s about status.

    Activism takes too long. People may join the parade, but most won’t. I personally view public demonstrations as an activist statement. While many support the message, few will participate…which is sad, because those who organize these things are often times very decent balanced individuals doing it for all the right reasons!

    Advocacy is the way, which means that people need to talk! There has to be compromise, not black and white and there has to be a plan of action…a BIG goal and steps to get there. yea, yea, we all know this..but how?

    I’ve watched for “years” people making “dents” in different causes in this industry with small changes, but nothing concrete…nothing that sticks. Go for the big guns…Perhaps Iowa’s leaders need to go first!??

    What about organizing a HUGE multi-rescue adoption event in the parking lot where one of these pet stores exist? 🙂 Organize rescues to bring as many “purebreds” as they have…Now THAT’S a thought! Provide a different “supplier” right in front of the store…I’m sure there is a permit for that, isn’t there? ha ha

  5. Gina

    Thank you Mindi and Iowa, have just added your piece to our new wordpress site Ban Teacup Puppy Traders. I think it works both ways, by educating the public and possible buyers, but also by observing the traders. It is possible to stop them. You just have to be patient, tenacious (like a smooooth fox terrier ;-)) and motivated. And creative. See you around!

  6. o.

    same here, i have a 7 pounds baby too, but everyone is asking is it teacup, i am about to say something rude. i am just tired of people’ stupidity. Usually, my answer is “there is no such thing as teacup. only BYB and puppy mills advertise teacups, run from them” or something like that. Guess what? THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT !!!! I am SO tired from idiots, seriously !!!!

  7. o.

    I have to disagree at some points. I became an anti puppy mill activist about 7 years ago. Since then I am also keeping eye on it. There IS difference. NOT MUCH< unfortunately, but…. just educate yourself – look how many new laws, how many went out of business, pet store close their doors or move to other space because landlords refuse to renew the lease (thanks to pet store protests). Breeders,unfortunately, always will be in business, you are righ. And there are some people who never adopt a dog from a shelters, because they trust breeders too much without knowing the true. And THANK YOU animal right activists, who try their best…..

  8. Lisa Kuehl

    Indeed, Iowa breeders have stooped to a new low. “Teacup” puppies are currently advertised in the Des Moines Register clasified ads as of 12/21/11:

    Yorkies, gorgeous TEACUP puppies $550-$950 (319) 231-9020
    MORKIES, teacup, $400, males. Snorkies. $150 (515) 689-8018
    CHIHUAHUA pups, long haired, home-raised, $250. 1 tea cup female, black $500 (319) 936-5440

    Apparently, operating a torturous puppy mill is just not profitable enough anymore…gotta turn to even more irresponsible ways to make a buck.

  9. Kendra

    I agree with you that people should look to sheters first and do their homework before choosing a pet. I am concerned about you comment on collapsing trachea though – the trachea is made of cartilage, not bone. The cartilage that holds the trachea open is what’s weak in this condition. I would hate to think that some people might discount your whole message because if this mistake. Best wishes.

  10. Jes

    People ask me all the time if my chihuahua is a teacup and I always have to explain that there’s no such thing. She’s really not that small either, within the normal chihuahua range. I do admit that I was completely uneducated before I got her and was one of those people who thought “teacups” existed. I’ve learned a lot since then and am actually glad my chihuahua is not extremely small; it’s so dangerous in many ways! The article confused me on the point about there not being “toy breeds”. I thought chihuahuas were a toy breed, as well as toy poodles, yorkies, etc. 

    Also, I agree that small dogs are not a good choice for most homes with children, simply because it’s dangerous for a small dog who can be injured so easily. I’m not so sure I agree about chihuahuas being “snippy” or more protective than other breeds though. Then again, I try not to negatively generalize personality traits/temperaments of any breed.

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