While teacup dogs are some of the cutest available, they may also be the unhealthiest, due to what many believe are unethical, unnatural breeding practices. Despite this, teacup Pomeranians can live up to 15 years with the right owner care. Understanding the basics of owning and caring for a teacup Pomeranian will help you decide if this is the right pet for you and your family and how to care for it.
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Teacup dogs are bred by breeders looking for a marketing edge and are not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club. Because of their small size, they can suffer from a variety of lifelong diseases and conditions and need close attention, such as regular feeding to prevent low blood sugar and seizures caused by hypoglycemia, advises Dog O Day. Other health problems can include low body temperatures, easy bone breakage, heart, digestive, respiratory, liver, oral and trachea problems, arthritis, and blindness.
Teacup Pomeranian characteristics
Like all teacup dogs, teacup Pomeranians, also known as a micro Pomeranian, toy Pomeranian and mini Pomeranian, are anywhere from 3 to 7 pounds, falling closer to the low end of this scale. And like all teacup dogs, Poms do not naturally grow this way — they are bred to be tiny. In fact, Pomeranians are descended from large Arctic sled dogs.
Poms come in a wide variety of colors, with a thick, double coat (they are not hypoallergenic) that evolved to protect them from the cold winters. You can choose poms from white to black and many colors in between, including brown, red, orange, chocolate and multi-colored.
Poms can live up to 15 years if an owner is vigilant about taking care of the dog's health and practicing preventive health care with a veterinarian. For example, because of a Pom's low body temperature, their owners often put a sweater on the dogs when they take them outside. Frequent exercise and regular feeding is also necessary to maintain a Pom's health.
Teacup Pomeranian temperament & training
Breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, and the American Kennel Club does not recognize any teacup as a breed; however, Poms are known for their social nature, intelligence and ability to learn tricks and play games, according to the AKC. They make good watchdogs because of their propensity to bark when they see new animals or hear unfamiliar sounds.
Because Poms are so social and love to please their humans, leaving them alone can cause separation anxiety. Thanks to their size and looser restrictions by businesses and other indoor locations, teacups can travel with their owners on more trips than larger dogs.
Don't leave them unattended with children who might see the dogs as toys and hold them too tightly or overexcite them. You should also be careful when introducing them to large new dogs, who might accidentally step on or roll over on them.
As with all dogs, Poms will need to get used to their new surroundings after you take them home. Use only positive reinforcement (petting and treats) to teach your Pom good behavior, rather than negative reinforcement when the dog misbehaves. Working with a certified professional pet sitter or dog behaviorist, you can learn how to housebreak and train your Pom quicker and with better results.
Don't experiment with the locations for a new dog's bed, water and food bowl and other items. Dogs prefer routines and moving their items can stress them. Be careful about allowing your Pom on the couch, sofa, or bed. If they try to jump off, they can break one of the tiny bones.
Teacup Pomeranian grooming
Because of their thick fur and double coat, Poms need to be trimmed regularly, advises Pomeranian HQ. The site recommends brushing your Pom's coat two or three times per week and taking the dog to a professional groomer approximately every six weeks.
In addition to fur grooming, you should regularly check the dog's eyes, earns, nose, mouth and bottom, wiping and cleaning as needed. Because Poms are so energetic, pay special attention to your pet's nail length, trimming them every two weeks or so, or as needed.
A teacup Pom will need to be bathed more frequently during warmer months, depending on how often you let it outside and how much it runs, sweats and comes into contact with grass, leaves, and dirt. Because of their fragile bones and low body temperatures, you'll need to be careful when you bathe your Pom, including using the right water temperature. Talk to your vet, pet sitter, groomer or breeder for more specific advice on bathing Poms.
Teacup Pomeranian exercise & health
Like all dogs, Pomeranians need to exercise and burn calories to stay physically healthy and mentally alert. Dogs that don't get enough exercise can have trouble sleeping, become irritable, bark and whine more often and become easily agitated and rowdy in the home.
Don't roughhouse with Poms and make sure you don't overexert them because of their low blood sugar levels. Make sure you have water and treats available when you exercise your dog in the event it starts to show signs of becoming overly tired or disoriented.
Experiment with exercise session frequencies, durations and intensity levels. For example, you might start with 10- to 15-minute walks when the Pom is a puppy. Add fetching and retrieving sessions and include some jumping and climbing (over and up and down low objects) to see how the dog reacts.
If you have a treadmill in your home, carefully check out how your pet likes a brisk walk on the machine. You might get on the treadmill first and demonstrate walking while your Pom watches so it knows the machine is safe.
Opt for exercise intensities that require the dog to move briskly but not pant heavily, due to the potential of heart and respiratory conditions with these dogs, along with their low blood sugar. You might try a five-minutes-on, five-minutes-off pacing to help the dog get some exercise, recover, then start again.
Unfortunately, teacups are often bred by pairing runts from different litters. Runts are not only the smallest dogs in a litter, they often have health problems. This is why so many mothers reject them.
Most teacup Pomeranian puppies start growing larger after two months, reaching their top size after approximately 12 months. They may continue to experience some chest growth up to age 15 months, according to Pomeranian HQ. Poms don't show signs of aging until about seven years.