Teacup pugs are like regular pugs in every sense, except that they’re so small that they can literally fit inside a teacup. In fact, by the time they reach adulthood, teacup pugs don’t weigh more than five pounds.
There are undoubtedly advantages to owning a teacup pug—they’re adorable and need much less space than a standard-sized pug.
However, pugs often already have health issues due to irresponsible breeding practices, so teacup pugs are prone to even more medical conditions.
We’ll walk you through the essential things you should know about teacup pugs so that you can make an informed decision before buying one.
Where Do Teacup Pugs Come From?
Teacup pugs are the result of human intervention and consumer demand for pocket-sized pugs. There are one of two ways that breeders produce teacup pugs:
- Breed two pugs with the dwarfism gene.
- Breed two pugs born in dwarf size.
Teacup pugs have the same features as regular pugs, including:
- Short snout
- Bulging eyes
- Curled tail
- Fawn color or black color patterns
- Wrinkled face (albeit usually slightly less than the standard sized pug)
How Much Do Teacup Pugs Cost?
Teacup pug prices are beyond the amount that the average dog owner wannabe is willing to spend—it’s common to find prices as high as $4,000.
That said, you might be able to find a teacup pug for as “little” as $300.
In either case, even if you can afford these price tags, we encourage you to do some serious thinking before supporting a teacup pug breeder.
For starters, the pug’s parents often have health problems. So, getting pregnant can augment their condition and suffering.
Then, there are serious health issues to consider with the teacup pug you bring home. We’ll cover these next.
So, although it isn’t illegal for breeders to produce teacup pugs and for you to buy them, where you put your money plays a direct role in dictating whether breeders continue putting dwarf pugs under what are often harsh breeding practices.
Health Issues That Teacup Pugs Face
Teacup pugs face a double whammy when it comes to health concerns. As a pug, they suffer from typical pug issues from being brachycephalic (having a squashed face and small head).
As a result, it’s common for pugs of all sizes to suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS). They also may experience spinal issues from breeders designing them to have such a tightly curled tail.
Sadly, being filled with dwarf genes means that pugs have a predisposition to several other health problems. Examples include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Collapsing trachea
- Digestive problems
- Heart issues
The reason for most of these conditions comes down to a teacup pug’s small size. For example, being such a small size means that teacup pugs don’t have much space for energy reserves. As a result, hypoglycemia can set in if they get a burst of energy.
A collapsed trachea is among the most common causes of death in teacup pugs because their neck and chest are often too weak to support people handling them. Such a situation makes sense, given that studies show that puppies under one year old have a higher chance of death from trauma-related injuries.
Non-Health Issues With Teacup Pugs
Being a teacup pug owner comes with a larger responsibility than usual. Because these pugs are so small, it’s easy to step or trip over them. If you do that with a bigger dog breed, they’ll likely yelp before settling down and continuing with their nap.
However, stepping or tripping on a teacup pug often leads to a trip to the vet at best or death at worst.
Going along those lines, you have to be extra careful when taking your teacup pug out in public. You should keep them on a leash and away from other dogs—even small breeds could injure your pug during friendly dog play. You should keep young children out of reach of teacup pugs for similar reasons.
And finally, you’ll need to keep your teacup pug away from the harm of falling objects, such as when you’re making dinner.
Other Names for Teacup Pugs
Whether you’re searching for teacup pugs because you want to buy one or avoid them, you should be aware that their name varies among breeders. No doubt this is because they’re not an officially recognized dog breed.
You may also hear teacup pugs called:
- Miniature pugs
- Mini pugs
- Toy pugs
- Micro-mini pugs
Of course, given that there isn’t a standardized name for the frowned-upon practice of pug dwarfism, some of the terms above may not describe a teacup pug.
For example, pugs are a toy type of dog breed. Therefore, you may hear a legitimate, ethical breeder refer to their pugs as toy pugs.
The bottom line?
It’s up to you to do your due diligence. Trust us—you’ll be able to tell whether the pug you encounter is the teacup variety.
Caring For a Teacup Pug
Although people have varying opinions on the ethics of breeding teacup pugs, there’s one thing that’s hard to dispute—teacup pugs require a higher level of care than most other dogs.
For starters, they’re big shedders. So, you should run a small brush over them a minimum of two times per week. Many pug owners recommend the Furminator as their brush of choice to stop their pugs shedding everywhere.
Because they have many folds in their skin, it’s also important to bathe your teacup pug. Make sure to use a gentle, tear-free shampoo so you don’t irritate their bulging eyes when some soap inevitably reaches them.
You should aim to bathe your teacup pug every one to two months, ensuring you dry between their wrinkles to prevent bacteria and infections from forming.
Is Bringing Home a Teacup Pug Right for You?
There’s no doubt that some animal lovers don’t have enough space for a larger dog. Therefore, we understand the temptation to buy a teacup pug.
But given the loads of health issues that teacup pugs typically endure, we encourage you to call your local animal shelter to see if you can find your teacup-sized best friend there instead of supporting a breeder.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.