Teacup or small size puppies need extra care and nurturing. They eat special diets and must eat every 2 to 4 hours because they have small tummies and can't hold much food. Since they do not eat much at a time, they must be crated or confined in a small area (4x4) most of the time until they are 6 to 8 months old to conserve their energy and give them a chance to grow up. We recommend 30 minutes to an hour of playing or being held and loved on then 2 to 3 hours of uninterrupted rest and sleeping time. Their food and water must be available to them at all times so that they can eat, drink and potty as their body needs to. They cannot sleep with you at night until they are older and can go over 6 hours without eating. Eating regularly day and night is critical for a tiny size dog until they are grown. Adhering strictly to this routine for playtime and rest time is a must for a tiny dog. Once mature, they are usually sturdy and healthy just like larger size dogs.
If you are a person with a busy schedule (away from home over 8 hrs. at a time), you may not be a candidate for a teacup size puppy. If you have someone who can check on it every few hours for you to see that it is eating and drinking as well as moving about normally you may do fine with it, but without some help, the puppy may not do well for you. Hypoglycemia attacks can occur without warning and if not attended to quickly, without proper support, the puppy could die. Once they mature at 6 to 8 months of age, this is usually not an issue, but it is or can be an issue until the puppy matures. A lot of careful consideration and planning must go into the decision to purchase a teacup size puppy. They are not suitable for households with other pets to contend with, small children, and very busy lifestyles. They are much like raising a premature baby. Proper diet, lots of rest/quiet time, and not too much outside stimulation until they are about 6 to 8 months old. We cannot stress this enough...they need an area no larger than 4x4 to spend most of their time during the growing up period. Too much area to roam in, will entice them to do more than they should and can lead to life threatening episodes of hypoglycemia.
Because of these issues, we try to screen prospective purchasers to make sure the tiny size puppies are being placed in the right kind of homes for them to be taken care of properly so that they will thrive and do well for the new owner. We do the same for all of our puppies, but it is more critical with a teacup or tiny size ones. Our tiny sized puppies are not released to the new homes until they are over 12 weeks old. We keep them until we believe they have enough age and size to be resistant to the attacks of hypoglycemia. We also make sure they are eating well and are able to play actively without any problems before we allow them to leave. They will come to you with detailed instructions for their care, diet, recommended activity and anything else we think you will need to know to care for them properly. It will be up to you to go by our advice in order to finish raising your teacup puppy.
With a teacup size dog, the training to go potty outside may have to wait for warmer weather. Be prepared to fix them a place inside for bathroom time when the weather is cold, rainy or bad. They will take cold just like any other pet that is not used to environmental changes and this can cause illness. Newspaper, potty pads or litter boxes made for dogs are a good substitute to train them to if you live in a bad climate. This can be placed in the confined area they live in and they will learn to use it. They will train quickly to whichever method you choose.
By following our instructions regarding the teacup or tiny size puppy, you should have years of enjoyment and love from your new little pet.
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
What to do and how to prevent it...........
This is a central nervous system disorder caused by low blood sugar. It mainly occurs
in Toy breeds between six and twelve weeks of age. However, the problem should
become resolved as a pup matures (usually anywhere from three to six months of age).
The first signs are listlessness and depression. They are followed by muscular
weakness, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or tremors (especially in the facial muscles), and
later convulsions, coma and death. The entire sequence is not always seen. The dog
may simply appear to be depressed, or it may be weak, wobbly, and jerky; or it may be
found in a coma.
Hypoglycemia can occur without warning when a puppy is placed in a new home or
while being shipped. It might appear after a puppy misses a meal, chills, becomes
exhausted from too much playing, or has a digestive upset. These place an added
strain on the energy reserves of the liver and bring on symptoms, if the dog is susceptible.
Puppies who are weaned on rice and hamburger are more likely to develop hypoglycemia.
Their diet is deficient in certain ingredients needed to sustain the liver.TREATMENT
: Treatment is directed at restoring blood levels of glucose. Begin at once.
Prolonged or repeated attacks can cause permanent damage to the brain. If the puppy
is awake, give it white karo syrup 1/2 to 1 tsp. every 2 hours or sugar in water by mouth.
Nutracal, a nutritional supplement, is also something good to keep on hand. He will begin
to improve within 30 minutes. When he is unconscious, he will have to be given a
Dextrose solution intravenously. This may be necessary to treat for swelling of the brain.
A veterinarian should be called at once, regardless if the puppy is awake or unconscious.
Prevent recurrent attacks by feeding a high quality dry food diet such as Eukanuba Small Bites
Puppy or Diamond Natural Small Breed Puppy and adding sugar or white Karo syrup to your
puppy's water on a daily basis. See that the puppy eats at least every 4 hours and receives a
daily vitamin. Owners of toy puppies should not overtire them or allow them to chill. Playtime
should be very controlled and limited to prevent undue stress or tiring Hypoglycemia must be
offset by frequent feedings. A puppy that does not eat frequently, for whatever the reason, is
headed for serious trouble.
- Source: Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook