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Teacup Chihuahua Vs. Regular Chihuahua

Have you ever see a dog breed smaller than another breed’s puppies? Many dog lovers will think of the chihuahua when asked this question. Chihuahuas became one of the most popular dog breeds due to their small size and big personality. However, there is more than what can be seen on the surface when it comes to this breed. Breeding can result in changes in their built and there is a particular variety of chihuahua known as the teacup chihuahuas.

Many people have invested them in taking care of these types of dogs. But what exactly makes them so unique? In this post, we will be knowing about the teacup chihuahuas and compare them to regular chihuahuas. We will also explore and discuss the dark side of the certain parts of the pet industry few people get to see.

What Are Teacup Chihuahuas?

Teacup chihuahuas are a variety of chihuahuas with a relatively smaller size than the regular ones. They are not separate dog breeds or species, but instead, they just have a smaller size. Their size can be affected by their genetics and the environment that they grew up in. This makes them one of the smallest dog breeds in the world due to their tiny size.

Its name comes from a playful nickname given by breeders. Much like “toy” dog breeds, teacup chihuahuas are compared to the size of a teacup. Though they are not actually the size of a teacup, this term was popularized as a form of distinction. However, it is more of a hyperbole or exaggeration due to its small size.

Besides that, teacup chihuahuas typically have quite the same behavior as regular chihuahuas do, with few exceptions when it comes to their care and how they interact with fellow animals. These factors will be talked about in the next section. But for the next section, we will first talk about determining if the chihuahua is a teacup chihuahua.

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Determining If Your Chihuahua Is A Teacup Chihuahua Or A Regular One

Unfortunately, you can’t really differentiate between a teacup and a regular chihuahua right off the bat. Once they are born, they will be approximately the same size as each other. So in comparison to other dog breeds, you would recognize them by distinct features. But in the case of these chihuahuas, you can never really do that due to their extreme similarities.

The only way to determine if the chihuahua is a teacup chihuahua is to wait for its first birthday. Dogs will usually stop having growth spurts around a year old. That means they would have reached their maximum size. And you can’t really determine their potential size unless you wait for this time period.

Now that the chihuahua has reached maximum growth, you will be able to tell the difference. Put it next to a regular, fully grown chihuahua, and it will appear noticeably smaller. But what other differences can you notice between the two?

The Main Difference Between The Two

The main difference between these two chihuahuas is actually just their size. Chihuahuas generally weigh around 4 to 6 pounds, while teacup chihuahuas only weigh 2 to 3 pounds. That is literally half of their body weight lessened in their teacup counterparts. Thus, they are very small and can basically reach the size of rodent pets like guinea pigs or rabbits.

Teacup chihuahuas, however, are still active, much like regular ones. Their personality, instincts, and behaviors stay relatively the same with little to no difference. In a nutshell, all the differences that they have are a matter of physical composition. However, because of their small size, they are much more fragile and vulnerable than regular dogs. This will also boil down to differences in how to take care of them.

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Mode Of Caring

Photo credits: Teacup chihuahua by K9 Web

This part is divided into various sections depending on the type of care being given:

  1. Food

On average, chihuahuas need a consistent yet small diet for proper digestion. Therefore, it is advisable that puppies get small portions several times a day. Meanwhile, adults would have to stick to a consistent feeding schedule. For example, puppies would need to eat 50 calories a day while adults need about 40 calories.

Chihuahuas have a very high metabolism, and it is recommended that their meals are divided into small portions. Another thing to note is that they have smaller intestines than other dogs. This dividing method will allow them to digest food properly and prevent indigestion.

Teacup chihuahuas especially are in need of this method due to their smaller size. Because smaller sizes can mean they have a faster metabolism than larger animals. Your chihuahua also can’t control or regulate their appetite, and you have to do it for them. Make sure they get nutritious and beneficial food that has enough nutrient proportions in small amounts.

For the type of dog food they need, you can search for the ones specifically made for smaller dogs. Better yet, you can consult your vet about this and see what diets are available. You can use a raw diet, but make sure your dog does not have a food allergy. Some dogs develop specific allergies to types of meat.

  1. Exercise

Chihuahuas are popular to be suitable for smaller homes and apartments. This is all thanks to their capability to get all the exercise they need indoors. Their high metabolism and active nature allow them to get exercise indoors correctly. However, you will still need to walk or play with them outside for at least 15 minutes a day.

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Teacup chihuahuas that are relatively smaller have a more hyperactive metabolism than regular ones. So that means you should go for games like fetch and not typical walking to entertain them. Chihuahuas are very smart and active, so that they can get bored really quickly. Allowing them to play with you for periods of time will be stimulating for them. It is also done as a form of bonding time too, as they are very willing to spend time with their owners.

  1. Environment

Though they just need the typical enrichment, such as water sources, toys, and a comfortable spot, they have a specialized care that is specific for them. Teacup chihuahuas are even smaller than chihuahuas, and those regular ones need extra care in their environment. This means securing any objects that may tumble and fall to the floor. Toy chihuahuas are very prone to injuries due to their miniature sizes.

You should observe if there are possible vases, paintings, and other firm objects that may fall. Either secure them to lower places or remove them completely. You can also inspect stands such as tables for any sign of damage or repair needs. Of course, teacup chihuahuas are very curious, too, so you would have to adjust accordingly to their behavior. It will not be the other way around, however.

  1. Companionship

Unfortunately for many pet lovers, these chihuahuas are better off being a solo pets. Despite their small size, teacup chihuahuas (and even their bigger counterparts) are very possessive and will fight for attention. That means having other pets in the house may not be a good idea. Bigger pets can be provoked by their behavior and may fight back. This will not end well for your teacup chihuahuas due to their small size and fragile bones.

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Other animals and people can easily injure them. So that means that children must avoid them as well, as they may provoke them. Children may also play with them and accidentally hurt them during physical plays.

  1. Training

As soon as possible, chihuahuas should have training while they are young. Older chihuahuas can actually become stubborn and rebellious, which will give you a hard time. You will have to either train them yourself, hire a trainer, or enroll them in dog daycare. Dog daycares can teach puppies to socialize while still under the supervision of the trainers.

The priority training is definitely potty training. Teacup chihuahuas have very small bladders, which means they are likely to pee more frequently. Also, you won’t want to clean up pee after pee indoors if they do not have adequate training. You can buy dog diapers, but that will be very pricey in the long run. Your best bet is to teach them properly while they are still young.

  1. Grooming

These dogs rarely need a haircut, especially if they have short hair chihuahuas. Their fur is generally short, and they can maintain its length by shedding. They will need some brushing at least 3 to 4 times a week, however. Teacup chihuahuas will also need scheduled bathing at least once a month with lukewarm water.

Their baths should be quick and prevent soaking them for too long. They are very small, which means they can’t regulate their bodies as much as larger dogs can. That means you will also have to keep them warm during colder seasons. You can use towels and blankets that have thick layers to keep them warm and comfortable.

They will also need to keep their nails trimmed short. When they get too long, it can pierce through their skin once they scratch themselves. They should also have gentle dog toothpaste when they brush their teeth.

  1. Vet Visits
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Regular vet visit is one of the most vital parts of taking care of an animal while they are young. Vets will give them all the proper vaccinations they need while they are puppies. These vaccinations will protect the chihuahua from deadly diseases such as rabies and parvo. Vets will also prescribe probiotics and other vitamins that you can buy for your growing chihuahua.

Teacup chihuahuas have to go through the same process other dogs do in vet clinics. The only exception being they might need to have more regular visits. An illness that they are prone is the Patellar luxation. This condition affects the bones, where they become somewhat loose. Teacup chihuahuas, of course, are greatly the subject to this condition due to their fragile bones.

If you see any adverse symptoms, call or visit the vet immediately. Teacup chihuahuas are not less prone to any of the diseases regular chihuahuas are prone to. If anything, they are actually more prone to one condition than regular chihuahuas. So when it comes to pet needs, vets are your best friend.

For the complete list on how to take care of a Chihuahua, you can refer here.

The Truth About Unethical Breeding

Photo credits: American Kennel Club

This is, unfortunately, the dark side of the pet care industry. Though not all breeders are like this, some of them have unethical ways in their practice. They try to breed chihuahuas as much as possible to get teacup chihuahuas. Some do this without any consideration for the other factors, such as limiting breeding. They also discard regular chihuahuas that have genes from their parents to prevent crowding.

Unethical breeders also don’t watch out for any conditions the parent chihuahua may have. So the puppy may end up with a bunch of diseases such as cancers and deformities in the future. Excessive breeding also causes puppies to end up in shelters and eventually become euthanized.

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Because of these unethical practices, many regular chihuahuas suffer abandonment and mental trauma, which could have been prevented if they had been given to the right hands. This leads us to the final question, how should you get a teacup chihuahua if you’ll own one?

What If You Plan On Getting A Teacup Chihuahua?

Firstly, you can consider adopting teacup chihuahuas from shelters instead. However, this might be a rare case because most of them are being products by those unethical breeders for money. These chihuahuas are actually more expensive than regular chihuahuas. So, in that case, you will have to get one from a trusted and certified breeder.

You can get a teacup chihuahua after it turns a year old so that you can check its size. Then, you can make a deal with the breeder to provide its vaccinations as a puppy. However, ethical breeds will actually deliver those vaccinations themselves before they sell those puppies. So as much as possible, try getting one from ethical breeders.

Bottom Line

Teacup chihuahuas are not any less of a dog because of their toy-like size. They need the proper care that is exclusive for them and their size—small sizes yet with big hearts that are worth raising for the right owners. As much as they are objectified in the industry as products, they should be treated the way they are. Domesticated animals thrive on the care of their human owners or parents.