Teacup dogs

Pint-sized pooches

Teacup dogs blog NewDoggy.com

So-called “teacup dogs” have captured a lot of media attention in the past few years. You may even have considered getting one. But what exactly is a teacup dog, and what are the pros and cons of getting one?

What is a teacup dog?

A dog is considered to be “teacup” sized if it weighs less than 2kg. Generally speaking, there are no teacup breeds; teacup dogs are usually the smaller puppies from a litter of a small, “toy” breed dog. A few medium-sized breeds, such as the Beagle, have also been bred in miniature sizes. Typical teacup dogs include Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and the Maltese.

What’s good about teacup dogs?

Teacup dogs have become wildly popular due to their small size. Many people find these micro dogs very appealing.

Aside from being cute, being small is a big advantage for anyone living in an urban setting: smaller dogs tend cope well with living in apartments and smaller homes. Miniature dogs are much easier to transport by car or plane, making these dogs popular with owners that travel frequently.

Additionally, smaller dogs are often a good choice for retired dog lovers that might not be able to meet the needs of a larger dog. Little dogs often need less exercise and may be satisfied with a gentle walk around the neighbourhood once or twice a day.

What are the disadvantages?

You may be surprised to learn that teacup dog breeding is very controversial. It is a major issue for animal welfare advocates, dog breeders, and veterinarians. But what is the big problem with tiny teacup dogs?

Irresponsible Breeding Practises

Looking at pictures of adorable little dogs on Instagram, you might be shocked to realise that there are some shocking issues surrounding their breeding. It is possible to get teacup-sized puppies in a normal litter of small breed dogs; they tend to be the runts of the litter, but were not bred intentionally as teacup dogs.

Runts sometimes have health issues or birth defects; although with proper care and attention they can grow up to be happy, healthy dogs, they are usually not suitable for breeding. The problem is that some breeders will pick the smallest puppies from litters, and breed them together with the aim of breeding tiny dogs.

It is very difficult for a tiny dog to carry a pregnancy to term and successfully give birth. The mother dog is tiny (less than 2kg), and can probably only successfully birth two puppies. Her small size also increases the likelihood of something going wrong during labour.

Health

The resulting puppies are likely to inherit health problems from their parents. Common health problems include:

  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Heart problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Patellar luxation
  • Liver shunts
  • Hydrocephalus

These are severe health issues that can make a dog’s life uncomfortable or painful, and may even lead to death. Teacup dog’s also have tiny delicate stomachs, and must eat small meals frequently to avoid low blood sugar (which can lead to seizures or death!).

Even without these medical problems, teacup dogs are very fragile. Their small size means that it’s easy for them to get hurt; even pulling the leash too hard or playing too roughly can lead to injuries. Jumping on and off the sofa is a major struggle, and it is all too easy to accidentally step on a little dog that gets underfoot. This is not the best pet for young children, who might not be gentle enough with such a delicate dog.

Fraud

Although some teacup dogs will never grow bigger than 2kg, breeders cannot always guarantee this. Teacup breeds are not officially recognised by any major dog breeding organisation. A breeder may advertise their dogs as Teacup Beagles or Teacup Poodles, but there is no guarantee that they won’t grow to the average size expected of those breeds.

Unscrupulous sellers may falsely advertise their puppies as teacup dogs by lying about their age. Some sellers even starve the puppies to keep them from growing: once given proper nutrition, these puppies usually continue to grow normally.

Should I get a teacup dog?

If you are thinking about getting a teacup dog, our advice is to be cautious. Remember that none of the major dog breed organisations recognise teacup dogs as separate breeds.  The usual advice about buying a puppy applies: be sure to do your research, and look for any warning signs that the seller is running a scam. Research the dog breed; check the seller’s references; and either visit the breeder’s home or ask for them to take videos and photos for you.

The fact is that teacup dogs seem to be a trend: one that you don’t need to buy into. If you are concerned about a puppy growing too large, you can always opt to buy or adopt an older dog that has already grown to full size. You can find a wide range of small sized dog breeds that are healthy and bred by responsible breeders.

Some of our favourite small dog breeds include:

  • Chihuahua
  • Pomeranian
  • Japanese Chin
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Papillon
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Toy Poodle
  • Maltese

 

 

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The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements