Caring For Your Puppy
Teacup Poodles are as healthy as larger poodles but are just in smaller
bodies. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. The teacup is considered
to be two to four pounds and eight inches or less at maturity. The American
Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the teacup size and registers them
as toys. People split the toy size down into toys, tiny toys and teacups.
Most responsible poodle breeders keep teacup poodles until they are at
least 12 weeks of age. By that time the tiny puppy is usually eating sufficiently
and will transfer to their new home with a minimal amount of stress.
When your puppy first arrives at his new home he can easily become stressed.
The trip to his new home, leaving all his friends, a new home and new
owners are all stressors. Stress can activate Coccidia, which is a parasite
that all pups are born with. It remains dormant and causes no problem
unless the pup becomes stressed out. Stress activates the parasite, which
then causes diarrhea. If your new pup develops diarrhea soon after arriving
you must seek vet intervention. Only medication will treat this parasite.
Teacup puppies are prone to have a sugar low (hypoglycemia) if they do
not eat enough or do not eat often enough. They should outgrow this problem
by the time they are four to five months old. To prevent sugar lows we
recommend you institute a couple of things. The first is to put karo syrup
in the pups drinking water (1 tsp. per cup of water). This makes the water
sweetened water and even if your pup is not eating enough, as long as
he is still drinking water, the sweetened water will help prevent a sugar
low. We also recommend the new owner use Nutrical. It is a high calorie
nutritional supplement that the pups love. We give it to all small pups
at bedtime and each morning. We recommend you do likewise. If you anticipate
being gone for several hours at a time we also urge you give Nutrical
to your tiny pup before you leave. The use of Nutrical, in addition to
the karo syrup, will decrease the possibility of your pup having a sugar
low. A ¼ to 1/3 inch of Nutrical each time is sufficient. Continue
both the karo syrup and Nutrical until the pup is four to five months
of age. (Nutrical can be purchased at most pet stores locally and on the
If your pup should experience a sugar low he will act very tired and
uninterested in playing. He will be unsteady on his feet when you stand
him up. He will be sleepy. If you notice these symptoms and you suspect
he has not eaten in several hours we urge you to give him one cc of Karo
syrup slowly by mouth and wrap him in something to keep him warm. If the
problem is a sugar low the pup should be back on his feet playing and
running in thirty minutes. If the Karo syrup corrects the problem you
must then get the pup to eat something. If the Karo syrup does not correct
the problem within 30 minutes you will need to seek vet assistance. An
untreated sugar low can worsen to a coma, seizures and death for the pup.
A teacup that is 12 weeks of age is usually eating dry food. They usually
eat dry food better if it is the small bite variety that is offered by
several dog food makers such as Eukanuba, Science Diet and Purina Pro
Plan. A young pup needs to have access to his food at all times or be
fed at least 4 times each day. Teacup pups eat only a small amount of
food at any one time. We often call it grazing. If you are concerned that
your pup is not eating enough you can put warm water over some dry food
to make it soggy. The pup will probably think it is a treat and gobble
it up. This will work for a while but you will eventually need to get
your pup to eat his food dry. Dry food is better for the teeth as it does
not stick to them like soft food does.
A teacup puppy should not be left alone for long periods of time. If
left alone he probably will be unhappy, will not eat, and then will experience
a sugar low. It is best if arrangements can be made to take him to work
with you or to leave him with someone while you are at work. If those
options are not possible perhaps someone can check on the pup at short
intervals to let him know he has not been forgotten and to encourage him
to eat. After the pup has adjusted to his new home and gotten a little
older this might not be necessary.
Playtime for a young teacup should be held to short intervals of no longer
than 45 minutes to one hour. Since they are so small and eat only small
amounts at a time they tend to run out of energy quickly. Extended play
times can cause a sugar low. After each play time interval the pup should
be given time to eat and nap. As they get older their play times can be
All pups need routine dental care but with teacups it is even more important.
Because of their small size and small mouths a teacup has shorter dental
roots thus they are at risk of creating dental cavities quicker which
lead to earlier tooth extractions. Preventive dental care is very important
for a teacup.
Remember that all puppies are close to the floor, especially teacup pups.
If you drop a pill, a staple, or anything else that could be harmful if
swallowed you must find it and pick it up. A pup is inquisitive and he
assumes anything found on the floor is his for the taking. A pill for
a person can quickly kill a puppy.
With a little common sense and a lot of love, the puppy will quickly
integrate with your family and merit a special place in your heart for
years to come.
Edna and John Arnold