A Teacup or Tiny Puppy – Is It Right For You?

Teacup or even tiny puppies are not suitable for everybody, every home or every family. They tend to be expensive both in regards to purchase price and upkeep, and the vet bills due to carelessness or mismanagement can be astronomical considering the size of the dog, LOL.

Young t-cup puppies under 4 months of age, are usually high maintenance and need constant supervision and management, and usually do not mesh well with most average 8-10 hour work schedules, nor are they compatible with most children under 10 or so.

However if you’re tempted or always have wanted one, you are at the right location for quality need-to-know information, which will help you make a smart decision in deciding if a ultra small canine baby is right for you, your family and your lifestyle.

You’ll also learn how to properly take care of your ittybitty baby, and how to avoid the expensive and often painful issues and problems that so many people unfortunately experience with their tiny and t-cup puppies, due to not being familiar with the intensive care the smallest of the smallest members of “doggyhood” require in order to thrive.

  • lethargy and mild signs of general disinterest
  • burrowing under bedding or into you and whimpering
  • head tilting, weakness and wobbling or unbalanced walking or stumbling about
  • refusal to eat, or being overhungry, falling into the bowl but not being able to properly eat or chew, dry food may be falling out of the pups mouth, tongue getting in the way etc
  • restlessness, feeble [or sometimes very strong] struggling against being held, and not wanting to be touched or being comforted

What to do? Feed canned food, offer lots of Dyne or Nutristat. Absolute Bedrest for the Puppy! Even if it bounces back and recovers within 15-30 minutes and acts mostly normal – it must stay in the playpen, or cuddled up to you and rest and sleep. Keep it warm. Wrap it in a blanket if it feels chilly or cold or if the room temperature is cool or cold. Body core temp needs to go up, it needs calories, and it cannot use the calories it just took in with food and calorie supplements by keeping warm, shivering, playing or walking around some more!!! It needs quiet rest time for the remainder of the day or the next 24 hrs minimum! Be sure to continue to entice it to eat frequent meals, give lots of water, and offer all the canned food it wants. Continue to give Nutrical or Dyne several times throughout the day and give it a large dab before you put it to sleep over night.

Intermediate Symptoms:

  • whimpering, high pitched moaning or whining
  • excessive drooling, “slimigating” or making spit bubbles
  • not being able to hold up the head, sitting or staying upright and no longer being able to walk
  • shivering and uncontrollable trembling

What to do? Same as above under Mild Symptoms – however more observation, more hand-feeding, babying and longer rest periods [24-48 hrs] are needed. If your puppy is not able to eat canned food by itself, you need to open a jar of meat baby food and syringe feed it along with Nutrical or Dyne. I would recommend to buy 1-2 jars of chicken, ham or turkey to have on hand and in storage whether you think you need it or not, so it is readily available in case of an emergency!

If this is a repeat episode or your pup has had several low blood sugar episodes over the last 24-48 hours, go see a vet today! Chances is it is dehydrated as well and needs fluids and possible veterinarian intervention.

Please Note: If you feel that you have done everything right – pup is eating well, no excessive exercise, play times or puppy stress and your pup is experiencing repeat episodes – you need to see a vet. There may be other underlying factors such as ongoing dehydration, malnourishment or poor nutrition, or internal parasites or worse such as exposure to a contageous puppy disease, an infection or terrible cold/congestion going on. Do not play around with teacup puppies’ health – they do not have the reserves to withstand experimenting if you do not know what you are doing, and even a 12 hr delay while you wait to see how the pup is doing the next day, or until after work – can be too late!

Severe Symptoms:
10 wk old Applehead Teacup Chihuahua during an intermediate hypoglycemic episode.

  • disorientation and stupor – the pup is limp and non-responsive
  • terrible moaning and groaning
  • convulsions or seizures
  • coma or unconsciousness
  • death

What to do??? If your pup experiences any of the above symptoms, try to syringe some Nutrical into him asap – 3-6 cc’s – however much you can get into the pup. YOU MUST SEE A VET! THERE ARE NO IF’S, BUT’ OR WHEN’S – and don’t let the vet tell you they don’t have time for you. Time is of the Essence here. If your vet is routinely busy and cannot accomodate a squeeze in appointment, I would simply drive there and walk in and call them from the car, when you are a few minutes away. Go make the time to interview and find another vet if yours in too busy or inflexible and cannot accommodate your pup – hypoglycemia can be is a life and death situation and a severe episode will cost you a pretty bundle at the vet, if the pup makes it!

For your puppy’s sake – most pups do not have severe hypoglycemic episodes out of the blue – you have missed the earlier warning signs, or in case or repeat episodes – you have not modified the activity level, rest times and food intake for your teacup puppy! If your pup survives a severe episode without any major brain or liver damage, you must reconsider and change your approach on how you are keeping and maintaining this puppy! Once a pup has had an intermediate or severe episode – it is more prone to repeat episodes, as with each occurrence its system gets weaker and weaker and additional internal and brain damage occurs.

What are High Calorie Supplements???
Teacups and tiny pups need all the nutritional advantages we can give them, and adding a high calorie supplements such as NutriCal, NutriStat, or Dyne to your feeding routine, may well reduce or eliminate the occurrence of hypoglycemic episodes.
Where to buy Nutrical, Nutristat or Dyne?

Where to find these? You may find eitherNutriCal or NutriStat in the pet sections of larger general stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Target etc. and you may be able to find them in some grocery stores that have a nice pet sections too.

They may be marketed under different names, and different manufacturers have different looks and labels, so have a look around and ask a stocker or clerk to help you locate it, if you can’t find it!

You will certainly find them in large pet stores such as PetSmart or PetCo [or whatever they may be called in your geographic area] and most likely in the smaller ones as well. Both of these come in small tubes, similar to tooth paste, and are neatly useable and fairly “mess-less”, never mind that they are sticky and gooey. Most pups will take readily to them, and lick them of the tube opening without making a mess.

Ideally you purchase two of these high calorie supplements tubes – one to keep in the pups travel bag or carrier to have on hand when you are away from home [and as back-up for home when you can’t find the first one or have used it faster than you thought you would], and one near the playpen where it is handy for daily applications as needed.
How much and how often to give???

That all depends on the size + age of the pup, how well it eats, the quality of food, the energy level it has and its daily activities. With a new to you and very young pups [9-10 weeks, you should not bring any teacup younger than that age home with you!!!] I would initially give it a dab [pea size] of NutriCal every time I pick it up for the first 2-3 days.

Make offering the high calorie supplements a happy and pleasant routine, don’t force feed and don’t over do. A pea size dollop on your finger tip several times a day, is enough for starters. If the pup is familiar with it via the breeder, it will readily accept this as a treat. If it makes a funny [“gag”] face, gently pry the mouth open and scrape the goo into its mouth. Don’t give too much in order to not overwhelm the pup. Done.

After several applications like this, it will readily take its NutriCal directly off the tube. Again give the same amount or a bit more, after a play session before you put the pup back into the playpen to play by itself or to rest. NutriCal will help maintain the blood sugar level for those resting periods while it is sleeping and not eating or snacking.

Offer a larger amount [about the same length that you would put on your tooth brush] first thing in the morning when it gets up, and again in the evening before you put the pup to sleep for the night. Uncomplicated, huh?Do the same as a preventative if you are running late feeding, or the pup had a bit too much excitement or exercise or playtime…