Teacup Chihuahuas: Fact Versus Fiction
Are you considering adopting a teacup Chihuahua? Before you do, there are some things that you need to know.
We’ll break down the myths around this classification of Chihuahua so that you can weigh all of the pros and cons before you buy.
Chihuahua owners love all things small, and no dog is smaller than a teacup Chihuahua. These special dogs often look like puppies their entire lives.
Some teacup Chihuahuas may never grow larger than the palm of your hand.
But unfortunately, teacup Chihuahuas come at a price. They suffer more health problems than standard Chihuahuas. They also have shorter lifespans.
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What is a Teacup Chihuahua?
“Teacup” is not an official breed or type of Chihuahua. Breeders use the term to describe any tiny Chihuahua. It is a catch-all used to any Chihuahua that is smaller than average.
You may also hear breeders call teacup Chihuahuas miniature, tiny toy or pocket size.
When Chihuahuas have puppies, they normally have a runt in the litter. Runts are smaller than their brothers and sisters; they may never look fully grown.
They are also more prone to health issues than their bigger siblings.
Teacup Chihuahuas are usually runts from their litter. Sometimes, teacup Chihuahuas are the result of breeding two runts together. Breeders coined the term “teacup” to make runts more appealing to buyers.
The Chihuahua Club of America condemns “teacup” as a misnomer. They find the term misleading, and they worry that it could trick unsuspecting buyers into spending more money than necessary.
How Big is a Teacup Chihuahua?
Some teacup Chihuahuas may actually fit in a teacup. Others may not. Because “teacup” isn’t a recognized classification of Chihuahua, its definition is up to the breeder or owner.
It is true that some teacup Chihuahuas look like puppies for their entire lives. Chihuahuas are full-grown by 8 months to a year old. If your Chi is tiny on its birthday, it won’t be getting any bigger.
You can generally expect an adult teacup Chihuahua to weigh less than four pounds. They may never grow taller than six inches in height.
Height and weight benchmarks are subjective, though, so you may meet a teacup Chihuahua that doesn’t fit this description.
Teacup Chihuahua Health
Teacup Chihuahuas are prone to many health issues for such tiny dogs. In fact, their miniature size is exactly what predisposes them to so many health problems.
Standard Chihuahuas are at risk for several health conditions because of their small stature. Their tiny frames are delicate and easily injured.
When you breed two runts together to make a teacup Chihuahua, you multiply the number of potential health risks.
Bone fractures are common in teacup Chihuahuas. Teacup dogs of all breeds have increased rates of heart disease. Tiny bladders and tiny tummies predispose teacups to incontinence and hypoglycemia.
Other health problems that teacup Chihuahuas face include:
- Eye diseases
- Luxating patellas
- Collapsed trachea
- Periodontal disease
How Long do Teacup Chihuahuas Live?
Standard Chihuahuas have an average lifespan of twelve to twenty years. Some Chihuahuas may live to be over 20 years old.
Unfortunately, the smaller the Chihuahua, the more likely it will have a shorter lifespan than average. Their tiny frames aren’t made to support long lives.
If your teacup Chihuahua is the result of two runts, its lifespan may be even shorter.
The Chihuahua Club of America warns that teacup Chihuahuas may need extra care to live long, healthy lives. Their health issues should be kept in check with regular vet visits.
Should You Adopt a Teacup Chihuahua?
The decision to adopt a teacup Chihuahua is yours alone to make. Everyone wishes their dog could stay a puppy forever, and teacup Chihuahua owners get to live that dream.
However, teacup Chihuahuas come at a price. Health issues can stack up quickly.
That said, any teacup Chihuahua owner would tell you that they love their fur-baby with all of their heart. If you own a teacup Chihuahua, you know how special he or she is to you.
Even though teacup Chihuahuas require extra care, they make excellent pets for devoted, responsible owners.