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Teacup Chihuahua: The Tiniest Dog With A Huge Backstory

Teacup Chihuahua: The Tiniest Dog With A Huge Backstory

The tiniest of them all, the teacup Chihuahua, is truly one small dog. Adult versions of this pooch can weigh only 5 pounds or even less!

Unfortunately, these tiny teacup Chihuahua pups come with numerous dangerous health problems, such as hydrocephalus, heart disease, and bone fractures.

While standard Chihuahuas have a long lifespan, the health issues seen in teacup Chihuahuas allow for a much shorter lifespan.

This tiny pup does have some pros, but the cons list is much longer.

Today, after we go through all the positive and negative teacup Chihuahua traits, you’ll be able to figure out if this is the dog for you.

What Is A Teacup Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas have been a beloved companion dog for over a millennia.

The miniature Chihuahua is a much more recent creation, but it’s not a breed on its own.

The teacup Chihuahua is a cute and attractive name that breeders use to describe a Chihuahua that’s smaller than the average Chi.

up to 6 poundsenergetic
around 6 inchesbrave
tiny and fragile bodyloyal

Other Names Used To Describe Chihuahuas

micro chihuahua

Photo from: @pupsheart

As a result of much-supposed information meddling with true facts about Chihuahuas, many dog lovers refer to these pups using false names. While this is not a problem for the common dog lover, it can be problematic for breeders, especially new ones.

For example, if a customer wants a teacup Chihuahua, the breeder might respond that they have them, but they cost more than standard Chihuahuas.

Here are some of the most common unofficial names used to describe Chihuahuas:

• Teacup

• Toy (all Chihuahuas are considered a toy breed)

• Tiny

• Mini

• Miniature

• Pocket-sized

• Micro

Be very careful when looking for a teacup Chihuahua. You might end up with a standard one and an emptied pocket.

Teacup Chihuahua Full Grown Size & Full Grown Weight

Chihuahua walking in the snow

To understand how small teacup Chihuahuas are, first, we need to see how big regular Chihuahuas are.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that Chihuahuas weigh around 6 pounds, even though many Chis are bigger in reality.

There is no specific breed standard when it comes to minimum weight.

So, what determines which Chihuahua is a teacup and which is not?

Well, no one can really say which Chihuahua is a teacup and which is not. In fact, teacup means small.

When a breeder ends up with a puppy smaller than the others in the litter, he can decide to breed that puppy further, naming them teacup versions rather than simply the runts of the litter.

There are even some breeders that specifically breed small Chihuahuas to get the teacup, mini Chis, or micro Chihuahuas.

One of these breeders might decide that a teacup is lighter than 5 pounds. Others may disagree and say it’s 4 pounds. There is no universal consensus.

If you look at things from another point of view, you can see that producing teacup Chihuahuas is just a business move to make small and undesirable puppies sell better.

The Chihuahua Club of America is insistent about rejecting the idea that teacup Chihuahuas have any determined size.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy Coat And Colors

teacup chihuahua on beach during sunset

Photo from: @ariachihuahua__

Chihuahuas can come in lots of different coat colors and types.

The most common Chihuahua colors include black, blue, chocolate, cream, white and red. A lot of Chihuahuas sport bi-colored or tri-colored coats as a combination of the colors listed above.

Chihuahuas can also have merle markings with different colored masks.

Chihuahua coats are smooth (short hair) or a bit scruffy (long coat).

The smooth coat is soft and shiny, while the long coat has a straight or wavy texture, thick with feathering on the limbs.

6 Fun Facts About Teacup Chihuahuas

Teacup Chihuahua cute clothes

1. Chihuahuas carry a specific gene that can be linked way back to an ancient dog breed from the Pre-Columbian era.

2. Chihuahuas are famous for being the smallest dogs in the world.

3. Female Chihuahuas often give birth by cesarean section because of their small size.

4. The breed’s name comes from a state in Mexico, Chihuahua.

5. Some Chis have a molera (a soft spot on their head, similar to human babies) from their skull bones not completely fusing.

6. Teacup Chihuahuas were artificially selected by humans to make better companion dogs.

Are Teacup Chihuahuas Good Pets? Micro Teacup Chihuahua Health Issues

Teacup Chihuahua sleeping

Tiny dogs like our teacup Chihuahua don’t take up much space. Still, such puppies are very attractive and a sight for sore eyes.

The puppyhood of teacup Chihuahuas is a wonderful period where you two bond and become best buddies. Sadly, it has to end, and your teacup Chihuahua has to grow up – mentally, not physically.

When buying a teacup Chihuahua, there are other problems that should worry you besides the size. It’s the many health problems all small dogs, especially teacup versions, have.

Heart Disease

All teacup dogs, including Chihuahuas, have increased rates of heart diseases.

Simply, their body and heart were never meant to be that small. Instead of evolving and adapting throughout the generations, Chihuahua organs have been drastically scaled down quite rapidly.

Their hearts aren’t suitable to pump blood fast enough and long enough; thus, they fail or break down.


Teacup Chihuahuas have really tiny stomachs, almost teaspoon-sized! Their small bellies can hold only a tiny amount at a time, so teacup Chis will need to eat regularly to maintain their blood sugar level. Otherwise, they will suffer from hypoglycemia.

This means you should feed your teacup Chihuahua every hour or two, even at night! Yes, it does seem like you’re raising a baby.

woman holding teacup chihuahua

Photo from: @teacup_chihuahua_puppies_paws


Toilet training is a common problem for tiny dogs. Their bladders hold only a small amount of liquid before they need to be emptied. In other words, even adult teacup Chihuahuas will need to go potty several times a day.

There are some Chihuahuas that can’t learn to hold it until their walks, so they need a litter box or even doggy diapers.

Read More: Puppy Care 101: Are Puppy Diapers A Good Idea?

Bone Fractures

What makes these Chis so appealing is their dainty and delicate look. Sadly, their bones are easily broken. Clumsy feet, small children, other pets, and generally clumsy owners are the biggest threats for these dogs.

Even the simplest things like jumping off the sofa could do them harm and cause severe bone fractures.


Hydrocephalus—or fluid on the brain—occurs when the flow of cerebrospinal fluid around your dog’s brain gets blocked, producing swelling.

The swelling causes pain and nausea, and sadly for many dogs, the condition is ultimately fatal.

Hydrocephalus is a particular problem among Chihuahuas. Being a teacup Chihuahua only makes things worse.

Other Health Problems That Affect Teacup Chihuahuas

cute three teacup chihuahuas

Photo from: @duchessdigbyanddior

Being a small dog is tough for teacup Chihuahuas. Besides all these size-related health issues, teacup Chihuahuas are also prone to some other problems that are usually inherited.

The other most common health issues with Chihuahuas are:

• patellar luxation

• trachea collapse

• atopy

• Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

• urolithiasis

• eye diseases

• periodontal disease

• and idiopathic epilepsy.

Teacup Chihuahua Lifespan: How Long Does A Teacup Chihuahua Live?

cute micro chihuahua at home resting

Photo from: @preston_milford_i

It’s an unwritten rule that small dogs live longer than large dogs.

A standard size Chihuahua has quite a long lifespan. It’s not unusual for a Chihuahua to live up to 20 years!

There is no reliable data to confirm the longevity of teacup Chihuahuas. However, there is evidence of their problematic health status.

It’s fair to assume that most teacup Chihuahuas will live a maximum of twelve years and possibly have much shorter lives.

Living With A Teacup Chihuahua Dog

teacup chihuahua puppy

Photo from: @teacup_chihuahua_puppies_paws

With many potty breaks and small meals throughout the day, we can say teacup Chihuahuas are high-maintenance dogs.

They are small dogs without the need to be walked excessively, but they still need some exercise and stimulation through games.

Fun fact: according to a survey conducted on 8,000 dogs, small dogs are more likely to behave badly. Many of them have attachment problems, behave aggressively towards other dogs, and seem to be harder to train.

Another study shows that Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are the two breeds most likely to attack people. However, it’s not clear whether these behavioral issues are genetic or if we’re just inclined to let small dogs get away with more.

Teacup Chihuahua For Sale: How Much Does A Teacup Chihuahua Cost?

cute micro chihuahua

If one thing about teacup Chihuahuas is certain, it’s their price. They’re tiny dogs that mean big business.

Even though you’re buying a dog that doesn’t take up much space, you will still pay the same price as a normal-sized Chihuahua, if not more.

The starting price for an average teacup Chihuahua is $1,200, but some breeders can set up the price at $11,300 for their teacup Chihuahua puppies.

If you want a puppy that’s been through the socialization process, you will have to pay even more!

But, the initial price is only the tip of the iceberg. You’re choosing a dog breed that needs lots of care, attention, and money to bring up.

Teacup Chihuahua Price: Lifetime Expenses

micro sable chihuahua

Photo from: @a.chihuahua.called.watson

Lifetime expenses are much bigger, and they add up over time. Every dog needs a place to sleep, some toys, regular vet visits, and of course, quality dog food.

Teacup Chihuahua puppies need a specialized diet, especially since they eat many smaller meals throughout the day. Proper nutrition demands the dog to be treated with flea and worming treatments, and they can cost a pretty penny.

Thus, regular vet checkups are a must. These expenses differ from state to state and also depend on the treatments your teacup Chihuahua requires.

However, these are all expenses if you’re spending lots of time at home with your pet. But, if you’re not home most of the day, you will need to invest in doggy daycare, so your dog’s needs are met.

Generally speaking, teacup Chihuahuas are expensive, high-maintenance designer dogs, and if they can be with you, they will be fine.

In terms of where they can live, teacup Chihuahuas are good apartment dogs, but you should teach them where to go potty; otherwise, you’ll have to take lots of walks during the day, all because of their small bladders.

Teacup Chihuahua Dog: Grooming Expenses And Shedding

brown and tan short-haired Chihuahua puppy

The Chihuahua’s grooming needs and the cost of it will depend on whether you have a long-haired or short-haired Chihuahua.

A short coat Chihuahua will need to be brushed once a week, but they don’t need to go to a professional groomer. If you own a long hair Chihuahua, you will need to brush them several times a week to keep up with their hair loss.

Long hair can become matted if you don’t take care of it. Also, these Chihuahuas will need to visit the vet, which means there’s another expense on your bill.

Teacup Chihuahuas look their best when they’re freshly groomed. When it comes to shedding, all Chihuahuas are light shedders, but those with a smooth coat shed even less. They have a shedding period twice a year, in spring and fall.

Besides having your dog brushed and trimmed regularly, grooming also includes taking care of the dog’s other needs, i.e., dental hygiene.

Chihuahuas are usually prone to suffering from dental issues because of their small mouths. Make sure you brush your dog’s teeth every day to ensure those pearly whites stay pearly. This reduces the risk of oral diseases.

Lastly, regularly trimming the dog’s nails will benefit you both: your dog won’t be in pain when he walks, and you won’t be bugged by painful paw scratches.

Teacup Chihuahua: Feeding And Diet

Three Chihuahua little puppies

Smaller dogs don’t usually eat too much. The same goes for our tiny Chihuahua.

However, you will need to ensure a proper diet throughout all the stages of your dog’s life.

Teacup Chihuahuas need to eat more throughout the day to ensure their blood sugar levels are normal.

Dog food for teacup Chihuahuas should consist of proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats. Since these pooches are prone to obesity, treats should be limited only to special occasions and training.

Your teacup Chihuahua should never ingest foods like chocolate, paprika, tortillas, or spicy food (even though they come from Mexico).

Teacup Chihuahuas need premium-quality dog food appropriate for small breeds. Make sure you give your tiny teacup Chihuahua a quarter cup or half a cup of dog food daily. An obese

Chihuahua is not a healthy Chihuahua. Never go beyond the feeding limit.

In case you didn’t know, a growing teacup Chihuahua needs only around 50 calories per pound of body weight. Some adult miniature Chihuahuas need only 40 calories per pound of body mass.

A healthy diet goes hand in hand with good oral hygiene. Teacup Chihuahuas have really small mouths, which means their teeth will become crowded. It helps with tooth decay, and the only thing you can do about it is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and never give them sweets or sugar.

How To Train A Teacup Chihuahua

Chihuahua puppy poses and plays in nature

Teacup Chihuahuas are stubborn creatures, very devoted to their owners. These pups love attention, especially during training sessions.

Teacup Chis are alert, intelligent, and responsive to positive training methods, such as positive reinforcement. What’s important before every training lesson is to establish who the alpha dog in your pack is.

The owner must always be in charge because some of these teacups have aggression issues. However, you should never respond to force with force. They don’t respond to physical punishment well.

A gentle approach should be used, and you should reward your pet with treats or praise when they do something well. Positive training techniques are what keeps these pups on the good behavior lane. But, a boundary should be set; otherwise, you risk spoiling your pup.

Teacup Chihuahuas should be house trained because they’re indoor dogs. Their housetraining is mainly focused on potty training. Since they’re so small, teacup Chis have problems holding it in for too long. They definitely need frequent toilet breaks.

One thing many people know about all Chihuahuas is that they’re headstrong. Very! Training such pups may be difficult, especially if they’re older. Socialization is the key to a well-trained pup, so try to expose them to new people, animals, and situations whenever you can.

Taking Your Teacup Chihuahua For Wellness Visits

micro chihuahua in a cup

Photo from: @chelseachihuahua

By wellness visits, we don’t mean taking your dog for a spa day, even though that would be amazing.

All jokes aside, we’re talking about regular vet visits since teacup pups are prone to numerous health problems. Some teacups even need to see the vet every two weeks for proper examinations.

However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rush to the vet’s office as soon as you notice something strange.

Your vet will ask some questions about the dog’s diet, habits, exercise, breathing, lifestyle, elimination patterns, and general health. Then, they will perform a physical examination of your dog.

You will get the appropriate advice about taking care of your dog, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with a condition. If you follow this advice, your pup will have a healthier and longer life.

How Much Exercise Does A Teacup Chihuahua Need?

cute micro chihuahua

Photo from: @ipiccoliguerrieri

Teacup Chihuahuas need very little exercise, just like the standard Chihuahua. You need to make sure your teacup Chihuahua gets 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day to keep the dog physically and mentally active. Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of obesity.

Brisk walks and fun indoor games, for example, a treasure hunt, will satisfy their needs. Also, keeping them mentally stimulated means there’s less chance your Chi will feel bored. Honestly, there’s nothing worse than a bored Chihuahua – many destroyed sofas are proof of this.

But, never allow your teacup to jump off high objects or surfaces, or your Chi might suffer a bone fracture. The environment your dog spends time in should be free of harmful things.

Teacup Chihuahua Breeders

teacup chihuahua

Photo from: @ckellie2

If a breeder deliberately breeds dogs to fall way outside the usual weight range, the breeding process becomes questionable. A lot of health issues appear on the radar, and you will need to consider them before choosing your teacup Chihuahua puppy.

The Chihuahua Club of America, the American Kennel Club’s official breed club partner, is strongly against the terms “teacup,” “micro,” “pocket-size,” “tiny toy,” or “miniature” to describe Chihuahuas.

Meaning, “teacup Chihuahua” is an unofficial non-standardized term to describe very small Chihuahuas.

In other words, a teacup Chihuahua is usually a small individual on the edge of the healthy weight range.

Truth be told, teacup puppies are a term for commercial puppy farms to market badly reared puppies and sick runts at the expense of their overall well-being.

Before buying one of these puppies, you need to ask yourself: Is the cute appearance worth more than good health and long years spent with your dog?

Teacup Chihuahua Breeders Near Me: How To Avoid Unreliable Breeders

cute little micro chihuahua

So, you know that using the term “teacup” isn’t actually a good thing? Teacup dogs aren’t recognized or ethical either. There is a lot of controversy behind breeding teacup dogs, especially since many breeders are breeding litter runts to get the tiny puppy all the world’s raving about.

Litter runts are most often puppies with many health conditions; thus, a puppy with such a background will also have lots of health risks. It’s inhumane to promote the breeding of ill animals and should be forbidden by the law in all states.

If you see a breeder advertising Chihuahuas as teacup dogs, you should avoid buying from them. They’re not reputable breeders, and you won’t benefit from such a purchase.

A future dog owner, especially one interested in the Chihuahua breed, should know that the Chihuahua Club of America recommends all Chis to be registered with the Canine Health Information

Center, as well as tested for cardiac diseases, eye conditions, and patella luxation.

Any reputable breeder will be more than happy to provide you with the results of these tests and talk openly about the dog’s health as well as the health of the puppy’s parents.

Avoid breeders who always have litters available or don’t allow you to meet the puppy and its mother before buying. They’re more likely to be running puppy mills than a reputable practice.

Teacup Chihuahua Rescue

black micro chihuahua

If you desperately want a tiny dog, and you’re ready to face all the housetraining and never-ending medical problems these small-breed dogs have, then you can either find a good breeder or… adopt a teacup Chihuahua rescued from the streets!

Rescuing dogs doesn’t promote the breeding of ill dogs, but it does give both you and your pet a better home.

On the plus side, you’ll be saving a life, which is far more important than anything!

Chihuahua Rescue and Transport rehomes Chihuahuas all over North America.

Many individual states have excellent Chihuahua rescue programs as well as helpful websites:

• Texas Chihuahua rescue

• Michigan Chihuahua rescue

• Long Island Chihuahua rescue

• San Diego Chihuahua rescue

• 2nd Chance Chi in Utah and Illinois

There are also popular Chihuahua rescue centers across the world, especially:

• Chihuahua rescue UK

• Chihuahua rescue Australia

• Canadian Chihuahua rescue

Rescuing and adopting is truly wonderful, but if you’re looking for a teacup Chihuahua puppy, you’d be better off with a puppy from a responsible breeder. It will ensure you get a puppy with a better health status and, thus, a longer lifespan.

Pros And Cons Of Having A Teacup Chihuahua

black micro chihuahua in nature

Teacup Chihuahuas are truly adorable and smart pups, but that doesn’t make them perfect dogs. If you’re in doubt about whether to get a teacup Chihuahua or not, here’s a list of pros and cons that should help you decide.

Pros of having a teacup Chihuahua as your pet:

• Teacup Chihuahuas are loyal and excellent watchdogs

• They’re easy to groom

• They come in different coats and colors

• They require only 30 minutes of exercise

• Teacup Chis are so funny and entertaining

• They’re excellent as indoor dogs

• Because of their small size, you can easily travel with them

• Their lifespan is long

Cons of having a Teacup Chihuahua as your pet:

• Teacup Chihuahuas have numerous health issues due to their small size

• They have small bones and are fragile and prone to injuries

• They are big barkers

• Some teacups can be quite territorial

• Teacup Chis are not good in cold temperatures

• They are very jealous

• They are hard to housetrain

• Most teacup Chihuahuas are not good with younger kids

Final Thoughts

micro chihuahua

The idea of having a cute miniature dog has fascinated future dog owners for a while now. These toy Chihuahuas are the designer dog of the moment, and chances are, the popularity of this toy breed will only rise.

However, with a tiny size comes great responsibility. Teacup Chihuahuas are truly adorable, but their health risks are simply too much to handle for inexperienced dog owners.

The term “teacup” stands for poor breeding methods the Chihuahua Club of America has condemned. They might be purebred Chihuahuas, but they are more like little dogs with huge problems.

Your teacup Chihuahua will be your best companion that proudly carries the name you choose, but you’ll also hang out with the vet even more. Is it worth having? Or would you consider a normal-sized apple head or deer head Chihuahua instead?

Teacup Chihuahua The Tiniest Dog With A Huge Backstory