Shop Now

Shop Now


Shop Now
Subscription BenefitsRefer, Get $40
PetLab Search Icon
Get $40
PetLab Cart Icon
    What Are Teacup Dogs?

    What Are Teacup Dogs?

    by Health / 3 min read


    Summary: If you’re wondering what a teacup dog is, in this blog, we learn just that. What are teacup dogs? How are they bred? How long do they live and how much do they typically sell for…? 


    What Are Teacup Dogs?

    Teacup dogs are bred to be as small as possible, usually from the toy dog group category. These include Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Dachshunds, Maltese, Toy Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians. A teacup dog usually weighs less than 5lbs in weight. 

    Teacup dogs became popular after celebrities like Paris Hilton carried their dogs in their handbags. However, they are also seen as a perk for those living in apartments, those with restricted pet size in their living facilities, or those who have less time or ability to provide long walks (teacups dogs don't need very much)!

    How Are Teacup Dogs Bred?

    You breed a teacup dog by mixing the smallest pups of the litter with one another. However, the runt of a litter usually has more health issues or birth defects which make them so small so these issues may then be genetically passed to their pups. 

    Choosing to breed from the two smallest of two litters is not the normal breeding situation and is considered an unnatural practice by most veterinarians. It simply exists because the aesthetic and size of teacup dogs are popular. Breeding for looks only in dogs can come at a costly price, and giving birth can be an incredibly tough job for a tiny dog to go through too.

    a brown minature poodle lies in a yellow bed with a giraffe patterned toy

    If a pup is the smallest of their litter, they are more likely to be predisposed with significant health conditions like:

    • Heart disease
    • Sliding kneecaps (which can then bring on arthritis)
    • Breathing difficulties 
    • Dental issues
    • Gum disease
    • Digestive issues
    • Hypoglycemia  (low blood sugar)
    • Hydrocephalus (a brain deformity which can cause seizures and visual impairment)
    • Liver shunts (where the liver struggles to flush through toxins)

    These dogs also find it difficult to keep their body temperature at an optimal level, so often need sweaters or coats during the colder months. 

    Missing a meal could be incredibly detrimental to a teacup dog's blood sugar levels, so pet parents have to remain mindful of this too. 

    Additionally, teacup dogs are generally more fragile and more prone to bone breakage so owners have to be extra vigilant with their day-to-day activities as well.


    Teacup dogs usually sell for thousands of dollars. But, the cost can be so much more if the pup has inherited health conditions because of their size and parentage in veterinarian bills. This can also be emotionally costly on a pet parent too. 

    Life Expectancy

    A teacup dog’s life span will completely depend on whether they develop a health condition and the vigilance of care provided by a pet parent. If you’re interested in purchasing or adopting a teacup dog, it’s imperative you do your research, source from a trusted breeder who can provide authentic documents regarding the genetic history of the dog, and understand the commitment needed to care for a teacup breed.  


    “What Is A Teacup Dog?” Blue Cross, Sep. 09 2019

    Author Travis, Helen-Anne “The Truth About Teacup Dogs” Pet MD, Apr. 03 2017

    heart icon

    Thanks for reading


    instagram icon
    twitter icon

    Meet the Author

    MoreAllHealth & WellnessTips & TricksBehaviorSupplementsNatural RemediesRecipes


    Join Our Mailing List For Pupdates & Access To Special Discounts!


    • About Us
    • Order Tracking
    • Contact Us

    © 2022 PetLab Co.

    Pay Securely With

    • visa image
    • mastercard image
    • amex image
    • paypal image
    • discover network image

    This Site does not provide any medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

    Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read, seen or heard on or any social media account owned and/or operated by PetLab Group Ltd and affiliated companies, including Amplify Limited and PetLab Co. Inc. (collectively “PetLab Co.“). Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon information provided on this site, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site or any social media accounts owned and operated by PetLab Co. is solely at your own risk.

    Cart (0)

    Est. Total:


    All transactions secured and encrypted