Everything You Need to Know About Teacup Chihuahua Puppies

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Whether you already own a Chihuahua or you’re thinking of getting one, you have certainly heard about the famous ‘teacup’ variants.

These miniature versions of the already small-sized Standard Chihuahua are known for their big personalities packed into a tiny package.

In this guide, we will outline everything you need to know about Teacup Chihuahua Puppies to keep you informed before deciding on this cute breed.

Quick Facts About Teacup Chihuahua Puppies

NameTeacup Chihuahua
Breed GroupToy
HeightTypically, between 5-8 inches tall
WeightUsually less than 6 pounds
SheddingMinimal to moderate
Lifespan14-16 years
TemperamentSassy, alert, loyal, anxious, can be prone to barking
Coat typeShort and smooth, or long and fluffy
Coat colorsVariety including black, fawn, cream, chocolate, merle, silver
Health IssuesHypoglycemia, bone fractures, respiratory problems, dental issues, patellar luxation, eye conditions, heart disease
Energy levelsModerate, with short bursts of energy

What Makes a Teacup Chihuahua Puppy?

Teacup‘ Chihuahua is not a recognized breed classification by all major kennel clubs. These dogs are similar to the standard Chihuahua in all aspects save for size.

Certain dog breeders use the term teacup as a marketing strategy to describe particularly small and highly portable Chihuahuas.

Apart from the teacup label, you might also see other breeders naming these Chihuahuas miniature, mini-toy, tiny toy, or pocket-sized.

Everything You Need to Know About Teacup Chihuahua Puppies
Image Credit: joypuppykennel from Instagram

So, how do Teacup Chihuahua puppies come about?

In most circumstances, Chihuahua mommies can have a runt, which is the smallest puppy in her litter. Being smaller than their littermates, runts might never realize their full growth potential due to genetics.

Teacup Chihuahua puppies are usually the runts of a particular litter, although some breeders can cross different runts to produce an even smaller teacup variant.

This breeding practice is often criticized because of the potential to increase health risks by quite a large margin.

Also, the Chihuahua Club of America disapproves of the ‘Teacup’ label because they consider the term deceptive and worry it misleads potential buyers into paying inflated prices.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy Appearance

Despite their tiny size, Teacup Chihuahuas retain the exact physical appearance of the standard Chihuahua breed. Their expressive eyes, rounded “apple dome” head, and alert, upright ears are clearly identifiable.

The main difference is their miniature stature. Teacup Chihuahuas can sport either a short, sleek coat or a longer, fluffier one. Short coats are easier to maintain and demand less grooming.

Because they lack an undercoat, these petite pups can be sensitive to cold weather, making them more suited to warmer regions.

Teacup Chihuahuas come in lots of colors and color combinations, including cream, tan, gold, chocolate, merle, and even silver.

Teacup Chihuahua Puppy Temperance & Personality

Being lap dogs, Teacup Chihuahua puppies can show separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.

But the good news is that they are packed in a pint-sized body, so you won’t have a problem taking them out on the go.

Teacup Chihuahuas are feisty, sassy, confident, and with a terrier-like temperament. Their small size can make them a bit stubborn or aggressive, especially when they feel threatened.

Just like their standard counterparts, Teacup Chihuahua can bark a lot at everything, most of them tending towards the excessive side.

Although this vocal attitude is somewhat ingrained in their natural behavior, it can still be corrected by consistent reward-based training.

Health Considerations for Teacup Chihuahuas

Their miniature size, unfortunately, makes Teacup Chihuahuas remarkably susceptible to a range of health concerns.

While standard Chihuahuas can already be prone to certain issues due to their small stature, breeding for extreme size reduction can significantly increase the risks of health problems.

The following are some of the conditions that you should be aware of:

1.    Bone Fractures

Teacup Chihuahuas are packed in delicate frames, which can easily get injured or suffer painful bone fractures when mishandled.

2.    Dental Diseases

Teacup Chis are particularly prone to periodontal disease (gum disease) and other dental issues due to their small mouths.

Their teeth can easily become overcrowded, leading to a rapid buildup of tartar and plaque. The problem can be worsened if they retain their baby teeth, further crowding their tiny mouths.

The best ways of maintaining good dental health are by routine brushing, using dental treats, and surgical removal of baby teeth.  

3.    Patellar luxation

Luxating Patella, a condition where the kneecap slips out of place, is a common concern for Teacup Chihuahuas.

This can cause pain, limping, and even arthritis over time. You might notice your Teacup occasionally hopping on three legs as their kneecap shifts.

Everything You Need to Know About Teacup Chihuahua Puppies
Image Credit: caganpetshop from Instagram

Often, it pops back into place on its own or with a gentle tweak. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to correct the disjointed kneecap.

It’s important to maintain your Teacup Chihuahua’s healthy weight, provide regular exercise, use joint supplements, and consider physical therapy options to manage this condition.

4.    Hydrocephalus

This is a neurological condition where excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain putting severe harm on the affected pup’s brain tissues.

Because of the exerted pressure on the brain, this condition can lead to signs like seizures, disorientation, bulging eyes, weakness, and an unsteady, wobbly gait.

In less severe cases, medication might be used to manage the condition, while more serious cases could require surgery to drain the excess fluid.

5.    Eye Conditions

One of the distinctive features of Teacup Chihuahuas is their large, expressive eyes. Unfortunately, they can be prone to several eye conditions like chronic dry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms that can indicate a deteriorating eye in your Teacup Chi:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Bulging eyes
  • Unusual eye discharge
  • Frequent eye rubbing (which can signal pain)
  • Vision loss

If you notice any of these signs, it’s prudent to consult a veterinarian promptly for proper diagnosis and possible treatment.

6.    Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

Although rare, Teacup Chihuahua puppies, typically between six and nine months of age, can be at risk for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

This degenerative hip condition occurs when there’s reduced blood flow to the ball of the hip joint, causing the bone to deteriorate. Apart from the pain, Perthes disease can cause fractures.

7.    Hypoglycemia

Teacup Chihuahuas, especially puppies, are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) due to their miniature size.

Their small bodies struggle to regulate blood sugar levels. It’s often managed by feeding them a specialized diet with frequent, small meals.

8.    Heart Diseases

Unfortunately, one of the leading causes of death in Chis is often congestive heart failure, frequently caused by chronic degenerative mitral valve disease.

This condition weakens a key heart valve, leading to a backflow of blood and, over time, heart enlargement and failure.

Teacup Chihuahuas can also be born with congenital heart defects like Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

This occurs when a blood vessel fails to close properly after birth, causing excess blood flow to the lungs and strain on the heart.

Caring For a Teacup Chihuahua Puppy

Because of their delicate small size, Teacup Chihuahuas should be fed in small amounts throughout the day.

Many choose to free-feed them but we suggest measuring the portion to avoid overeating. It helps to ask a vet about the ideal daily calorie intake for your Teacup Chihuahua to keep them in top condition.

Teacup Chihuahua
Image Credit: joypuppykennel from Instagram

Due to their likelihood of adding excess weight, you should maintain a high-quality balanced diet and offer accompanying physical exercise to keep them in good shape.

Feeding your Teacup Chi from an elevated platform can reduce the risk of collapsed trachea, especially as they advance in age.

Teacup Chihuahua Exercise Needs

Despite their small stature, Teacup Chis need regular exercise and mental stimulation to remain healthy.

Fully grown mini-Chihuahuas will be happy with daily activity for about 20 – 40 minutes depending on the type of activity.

Some of the activities to consider include short walks, interactive indoor play sessions, or manageable training sessions.

Pay attention to your dog’s energy flow during the exercise period as you watch out for signs of fatigue.

Is a Teacup Chihuahua Puppy Right for You?

If you’re considering adding a Teacup Chi into your household, you need to evaluate your preparation for caring for a pint-sized pup.

Teacup Chis are tiny and many people love them for their portability. But remember that these pups require high levels of socialization, meticulous attention, and gentle handling.

Miniature Chihuahuas are among the best toy breed dogs you can consider if you live in an apartment. Curious about other suitable breeds? Check out this list to discover more.

The petite size predisposes Teacup Chis to a variety of health problems, so it’s always good to keep tabs with your vet.

It goes without question that Teacup Chihuahuas demand delicate care, but they make excellent pets for responsible owners who are willing to put in the work.


The decision to bring home a Teacup Chihuahua puppy is huge, and it should be made after a thorough thought process.

In this guide, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about Teacup Chihuahua puppies, including their delicate nature and potential health concerns.

We hope this information will form a good starting point when considering whether these highly-spirited little pups are the right fit for your family.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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