Taking care of a teacup chihuahua requires a lot of dedication, patience, and effort. It’s not easy to take care of such a little dog, and you will have to learn how to handle a dog of this type. These dogs are considered to be very delicate, and you will have to make sure that you do not hurt them or cause them to feel any pain. They are very sensitive, fragile, and can get hurt very effortlessly.
Due to their intelligence, almost all types of chihuahua are easy to train, including teacups. They are also loyal, making them excellent guard dogs. They usually enjoy spending quality time with their owners, whether sitting on your lap or taking a ride around the town with you. But because teacup chihuahuas are so tiny, they don’t need a lot of exercise or any exhausting activities. These breeds have long lifespans, but your teacup may only live for days without proper grooming and health maintenance.
But before jumping to the proper ways of taking care of your teacup, let’s list down first the common problems seen on them.
ISSUES WITH TEACUP CHIHUAHUAS
Teacup chis are becoming popular because of their adorable physical appearance. But there are many problems with them. Keep in mind that a teacup chihuahua is an intentionally bred chi to be as small as possible. And there are still issues why someone still needs a smaller version of the chihuahua. That is why teacups are one of the unhealthiest breeds because most people just focus on the size and neglect the possible complications after breeding.
⚕️ Bone problems
Teacups are very fragile, and if you don’t hold them properly, they may face fatal injury. That is why it is not appropriate to let the kids carry the teacups because they might drop them on the floor.
Also, we might think that snuggling is appropriate, but if you put too much pressure, their bones can easily break, causing intense fractures. Aside from this, you should also avoid letting your teacup play with other bigger dogs. This is because we can’t predict how aggressive they can both become.
Low blood sugar is prevalent, especially in teacups. This is because their body mass is being altered, and they can’t store enough blood sugar. Hypoglycemia also often occurs during cold seasons. This is due to low body movement. Remember that chihuahuas can get cold quickly, and because of this, they sometimes skip their meals just to settle and make themselves warm.
As mentioned above, teacups can get cold quickly because of their small size. That is why you may notice them trembling or shivering even if it’s hot. But keeping them warm is also critical. This is because the blanket or clothes you put on them may be too heavy, which can make their bones crack.
⚕️ Heart problems
When teacups are exposed to extreme cold, they may suffer from heart issues. Remember that teacups are intentionally bred chihuahuas, and their heart may be too large or too small, especially if bred incorrectly.
This is also the reason why you must exhaust your teacup with different activities because they are prone to heart failure.
A seizure may occur either genetically or through injury. Aside from these, having low blood sugar may also induce seizures in teacups. Blood and electrolyte abnormalities are generally the prime suspects of the attacks. That is why you must provide excessive attention to your teacup.
Teacup chihuahuas may suffer from vision loss as they grow old. They may also experience this at an early age if they suffer from various eye disorders. Such disorders are cataracts, retinal degeneration, or glaucoma. Teacups are at risk of eye injuries, mainly because they usually have protruding or bulging eyes that are greatly affected when they bump their face into something hard.
HOW TO PREPARE ITS ENVIRONMENT?
Teacup chihuahuas are indoor dogs, so the home environment can affect them a lot. When you bring them home for the first time, give them a loving and comfortable environment so they can adjust easily. Other preparations are as follows:
🏠 Puppy proof
Check your house and puppy-proof it. This is done by removing any toxic material that you don’t want them to chew. Hide also the dangling cables because your teacup can trip and can lead to injury.
Teacup puppy needs to be socialized at a young age. This is very important, especially for their first three months. You can teach your teacup how to interact with new places, people, and dogs of their size. You can also take them outside with you but with 100% full attention while letting them be familiar with the outer environment.
🏠 Designated area
One part of their training is to teach them to know their designated area to rest, play, and dump. You can provide a soft and comfortable bed with a few lightweight blankets. You can also put some safe chew toys to prevent them from chewing their clothing or your furniture.
TEACUP CHI’S FOOD AND NUTRITION
The food you give plays an essential role in determining the health and lifespan of your teacup. They are the smallest dog breeds, and they need a high-quality dog food that is easily digestible.
🦴 Dry food
Most teacup owners recommend dry kibble food, but you consult with the vet since the food type varies with age and health condition. You should also avoid foods that could be toxic like chocolate, garlic, a high amount of salt, and onion.
Teacups have a fast metabolism and small stomachs, so they burn calories much faster than other dogs. This is why you need to feed them small meals several times a day.
You should also prepare clean and fresh water all the time since teacup chis dehydrate a lot. Use a clean bowl and make sure that it is placed where your teacup has easy access when drinking.
WHAT ARE THE PROPER WAYS TO GROOM YOUR TEACUP CHIHUAHUA?
Grooming is also crucial to teacup chihuahuas. Even though they are small and do not go outside frequently, they can still accumulate dirt and ticks. So here are the essential grooming tips you need to do to your teacup.
🐕 Coat care (Brushing)
Teacup chihuahuas may be low-maintenance breeds, but they still need a regular brushing routine. Doing brushing strokes makes their coats glossy and soft and removes any tangles from them. Brushing is more effective than bathing when it comes to the care of the coat and underlying skin.
Remember that chihuahuas have two coat types: short and long hair. But teacup chihuahuas usually have short hair that makes them easy to groom. You just need to brush them at least once a week. But for long-haired teacup (very seldom), you need an extra effort in brushing their coat.
Giving your teacup chihuahua a good brush starts with a hand massage. This is to stimulate good blood flow and relax your chi before brushing. Then, start brushing from head to its tail, following to his legs and grain hairs. You also need to pay attention to the areas such as the feet, tail, and ears because these are where fleas and ticks usually live.
There may be teacup chis that don’t enjoy the bathing session. Regular baths are necessary for their skin to make their coat smooth and clean. Because if you just let the dirt and parasites dig into their skin, that’s when shedding happens. The kitchen sink is the best place to bathe your teacup chi if you do it in your house. This small space allows you to handle your chi properly while also maintaining water capacity. Just don’t forget to clean the sink properly before and after use.
Fill the sink with water but not too deep for your chi to prevent it from drowning. You can also place a non-slippery mat on your sink to prevent your chi from slipping while taking a bath. Keep in mind that you have to avoid leaving your chi in the sink unattended and keep the shampoo away from its reach.
Aside from the precautions mentioned, you also have to monitor the water temperature. It is advisable to use lukewarm and slowly pour it over their coat. Use a specific shampoo for teacup chi and scrub gently, avoiding the face. Then, rinse and use a soft towel to dry your chi.
🐕 Nail care
Teacup chihuahuas have small paws and very tiny cute nails. But they still need regular grooming because they also accumulate dirt. Their paws and nails are parts of the most sensitive body parts, and they don’t like them to be touched like other dogs. But, if you train them at a young age, they won’t mind the process, and you can groom them easily.
Chihuahuas’ nails grow relatively fast, and they don’t usually wear them off. This is because they don’t have a lot of body weight. Also, remember that puppies’ nails grow faster than adults’. That is why it is important to start trimming them at a young age.
To groom their nails, trim them once a month or whenever you see them grown long enough. Another sign that you need to cut your teacup’s nails is when you hear the click sound of its feet while walking. If this is your first time, proceed with caution because your dog may be aggressive while doing this. Or, just take them to the vet to do it for you.
🐕 Ear care
Most chihuahuas, including teacups, have erect ears. This feature makes them less susceptible to ear infections. This is because folded ears can easily trap dirt and other objects. But this doesn’t mean that your teacup can’t acquire any ear infections at all.
Ear infections are generally caused by the accumulation of bacteria or yeast which grow inside the ears. It usually occurs due to the trapping of wax, hair, or moisture inside the ear canal, which is an ideal setup for bacterial growth. To know if your chi has an ear infection, examine its ears weekly. There might be some debris, dirt, or wax in its ear canals which could lead to blockage.
That is why it is vital to schedule your chi’s ear cleaning at least once a month or as needed. Or, when you notice a terrible odor coming from its ears, that’s the time for cleaning by using soft cotton buds. But, if you are afraid of poking your chi’s ears deep, you can just take it to a groomer or vet.
Teacup chihuahuas have big, round and bulging eyes. This is because of their small build; they are in close proximity to the ground, making them more vulnerable to eye issues. Their eyes need to be cleaned on a daily basis by wiping out any discharge with a cotton ball and an eye cleaning solution. If your teacup chi has very red eyes or swollen eyelids, immediately take them to the vet. This is because squinting may indicate something stuck inside their eyes and needs to be removed to prevent complications such as blindness.
Aside from inflamed eyes, chihuahuas may have watery eyes. This is because of the specific structure of their eyes, which is called epiphora. This is a condition that causes tears to overflow and is present due to genetics, facial injuries, or infections. And as a result, tear strain will emerge. This case manifests discoloration of the fur around your chi’s eyes. Tear strain also makes the fur hard and crust, making it susceptible to yeast infection.
So to prevent these cases, make sure your chi doesn’t have allergies to the food you give and take them to the vet once a symptom is presented. Wipe its eyes gently, especially the surrounding fur, to remove the hardened tears.
🐕 Dental care
Dental problems are very common in dogs, such as teacup chihuahua. Around 80% of chihuahuas have some periodontal disease by the age of three. Remember that chihuahuas have small mouths and soft teeth, making them prone to dental issues. You can follow the dental care routine given by your vet in accordance with your chi’s age.
Teacups may have plaque buildup because food particles get trapped in their teeth while eating. This provides a perfect environment for bacterial growth. Then, the bacteria combined with saliva and food create plaque being the root of dental issues.
You could prevent various dental problems through regular brushing. It would help if you also looked for early signs such as discoloration of the gum line and teeth, inflammation and bleeding, or bad breath. The right brushing technique is done in a circular motion and must reach all sides of the teeth. But if your chi is aggressive, make them used to it by rubbing your fingers against its teeth. Don’t also forget to use a canine-specific toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste with palatable flavor.
DO TEACUPS NEED EXERCISE?
Teacups are very active even though they look weak. They still need exercise or movements but not to the point of exhausting them. As mentioned, teacups are generally indoor dogs, so you can slowly introduce small walks around your home. You can do this at least twice a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Aside from this, you can let your teacup play in the backyard for mental stimulation. Do not be afraid of playing with them fetch but make sure you only do this in a safe area. However, if you choose walking as their form of exercise, you should do it when the weather condition is tolerable.
ARE TEACUPS EASILY TRAINABLE?
Teacup training is essential to overcome some behavioral problems. It would help if you composed yourself as the alpha and the leader. Teach your teacup obedience training and let it follow basic commands such as sit, stay, or come. It is also possible to teach your teacup to walk on a leash. But make sure that the harness you use is not too tight to strangle and suffocate your teacup. Leashing your puppy will make them think that it is a boundary and shouldn’t go beyond that.
Being an indoor dog, teacup chi must also be house trained. You must train your teacup to know the specific areas where it can eliminate or dump. Establish also timing for it so that you won’t have problems cleaning the scattered droppings.
But for more detailed training techniques, click here.
Teacup chihuahua should be given extra care and attention. They can be hard work, but they make adorable pets. There are many factors that will affect the cost of taking care of a small dog. These include his age, size, breed, health, and even the geographic location where he lives. That is why it is essential to know all the proper ways of taking care of them before bringing them home to make them live longer. With the help of the lists above, I am sure that you’ll be confident in making a teacup your healthy friend.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.