There are many factors you should consider carefully when choosing a teacup dog, as it can be difficult to know which breeders you can trust and which ones are selling unhealthy puppies. Many teacup dogs are actually undersized variations of several toy dog breeds. These puppies are often premature, and they are susceptible to many health problems. If you are looking for a teacup dog, make sure that you choose one that is of average weight for its breed and that it was not bred or manipulated specifically to produce a small size. You should also choose breeds which work well with your lifestyle and temperament.
The term "teacup dog" is a slang one, and is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or any other organization. Toy dogs, which are also small in size, are recognized since these breeds are born naturally small. Breeders may "create" teacup dogs by selling premature puppies, or by breeding unusually small toy dogs in order to promote exceptionally small offspring. This is not natural or healthy, as many of these puppies have health problems. For this reason, when you are looking at breeders, make sure they have a reputation for providing healthy toy puppies.
Many toy breeds can fit inside a teacup when they are younger, and some remain very tiny even into adulthood. When this occurs naturally, the dogs are often healthy and some even have lifespans comparable to those of larger or medium sized breeds. Common toy breeds include Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians. Sometimes these may also be referred to as teacup dog breeds, but they are not true teacups as long as they are born full-term and are within the normal weight range for their breed.
When choosing any dog, it is important to research the breed you are interested in. Some require more work and attention than others, so if you have a busy lifestyle you will want to choose a pet that is more independent in nature. Certain breeds are also harder to train or more prone to aggression toward other dogs and people. Pomeranian puppies, for instance, require very hands-on training because they may develop annoying habits more easily than certain others. If you have children, it is especially important that you choose a dog that will play well with kids and one that is hearty and suitable for rough housing.
If you do choose to go with a teacup dog that is bred smaller than most toy breeds, you should be aware of several issues. You may incur larger vet bills because your dog may have serious health problems. Children should not allowed to play with teacup dogs because they are very fragile and can easily be injured or killed during rough play. Some teacup puppies require hand feeding or liquid nutrition, so you should be prepared for ongoing care of your dog. Many teacup puppies do not have long lifespans, and some even die within a few months of birth.