|T-Cups, Toys & Tinys
Bringing home a tiny puppy can be a very enjoyable experience if each new owner has the
knowledge and proper information needed to care for the puppy. A reputable breeder or seller
should provide you with as much information as possible to make the transition period go safely
Caring for T-Cups, Toys & Tinys
with the toe cut out and two small holes cut for each front leg. In very cold weather, a heating
sweater. If one is not available in the size you need, a sweater can simply be fashioned from a sock
This allows the puppy to decide if he is too hot or too cold.
pad on the low setting can be placed under the crate or basket in which he sleeps. Make sure the
temp is not too hot. It is a good idea to set the crate/basket, only half way on the heating pad.
This allows the puppy to decide if he is too hot or too cold.
Food (dry and canned) and fresh water must be kept available for your puppy ALL the time,
especially during the 1st few weeks in his/her new home. It is also very important that you see
him/her eating and drinking. Tiny puppies need to eat about every 3 hours around the clock. Tiny
puppies cannot go very long without a meal. You and I get hungry about every 5 to 6 hours. We
weigh over 100 lbs. Your puppy weighs 1 to 2 lbs and he runs out of energy quickly.
If for some reason your puppy decides not to eat, it is imperative to keep a bottle of honey, a
couple of jars of beef baby food and an eye dropper or syringe on hand all the time for the first
few weeks. This will save your puppy's life in case of an emergency. If you did not see your puppy
eating, a good indication is a nice round full tummy. If for some reason your puppy refuses to eat,
and becomes wobbly or lethargic, his/her sugar level has probably dropped and caused
hypoglycemia. If this happens, give your puppy (with a dropper) 1 teaspoon of honey every 15
minutes until 3 teaspoons have been given, and then wait 15 more minutes and force feed with a
dropper about 1/3 jar of the beef baby food. Continue this procedure every 3 hours until you
can get to the veterinarian. Sometimes this is a simple case of fear and depression due to change
of environment, however, sometimes there is an underlying problem that requires immediate
attention from a veterinarian.
Never change your puppy's diet, unless advised by your veterinarian, and never give your puppy
milk, or table food. Some of the things that can be fed safely are plain yogurt, cottage cheese,
boiled chicken, turkey, or lean beef. Things should be going smoothly after the first couple of
weeks, as you and your puppy will learn your routine together. The main thing is to have regular
check-ups and fecal exams done. This will insure you and your puppy happy, healthy times
Bathing and Grooming
Bathing your puppy every couple of weeks is permissible with a mild puppy shampoo, however it
is very important not to be in a draft, and even more important to blow dry on the low setting
thoroughly. Always read labels on all shampoos before using on a young puppy. If still in doubt,
ask your veterinarian. Never stick q-tips too far into pups ears. Be careful not to clip nails too
short. A good book on puppy care gives worlds of information and a book on your specific breed
will lend important knowledge. Before wasting money on the improper grooming tools for your
breed, a groomer will be happy to advise you of your breed's needs.
These tips are for the first few weeks, to help your new pup to adjust.
1. The most important rule is to always have food & water available to your puppy at
all times! Due to their small size, teacups must replenish energy more frequently than
larger size puppies. The only way to do this is by supplying plenty of nourishment in
the form of food. You must remember that puppies only eat very small amounts of
food at a time but they use large amounts of energy. Also, do not change the puppies
food for the first 2 weeks until the puppy has adjusted to it's new home. Then, if you
are going to make a change, do it gradually by slowly adding more of the new food to
the old food each day until they are totally switched over to the new food.
2. The next most important rule is to have a baby or puppy playpen or other type of
small enclosed area to keep your T-cup confined in, whenever you are not playing with
them. This must be a small area with enough room for their bed and easy access to
food and water where they can rest and eat in peace. This area should be no larger
than 3 ft x 4 ft if at all possible use a 2 ft x 3 ft baby playpen.
Never give your teacup puppy the run of the whole house until they are at least 5 or 6
months old. With such a large space to run around in, it is easy for them to tire and
lose track of where their food is. This could result in hypoglycemia or death.
3. For the first few weeks, do not let your T-cup out to play for longer than a one hour
period at a time. Play with them for a short time, then give them a small dose of
Nutri-Cal or karo syrup and then place them back in their playpen so they can eat and
rest. Remember that they are very small babies and tire easily. Please be careful not to
over-tire your puppy especially in the first few weeks. A puppy will play until it drops. It
may play so much that it is too tired to eat. It is up to you as the owner to be
responsible and see that your puppy gets enough rest. Most very small puppies need
as much as 20 out of 24 hours rest. Be especially aware of the amount of time children
play with the puppy. These are babies and must be treated as such.
4. *Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can be deadly to your puppy! It is a problem
that affects many toy breeds of puppies usually between the ages of 5 - 20 weeks of
age. All owners of small dogs should be on the lookout for it.
The best preventative for this, is to have a tube of Nutri-Cal or Nutri-Stat on hand. It
is an extremely good source of food and vitamins. It is also one of the best
preventatives and/or cures for keeping your puppy from going into hypoglycemia. It
is important for at least the first week or two to remember to give your puppy a little
bit (1 inch strip) of Nutri_Cal or Nutri-Stat in the morning and in the evening.
Also, if they have been out playing for a while, or have had a lot of carrying them
around or have been away from a food source for a prolonged period of time, give
them a tiny bit before retiring them to their playpen.
(We recommend Nutri-Cal over honey as honey brings the blood sugar up for a short
period of time, but then the blood sugar tends to plummet again. Nutri-Cal has a food
source combined with sweeteners which keeps the sugar more stable for a longer
period of time. Also, too much honey tends to rot the teeth.)
5. Always make sure that you have a firm grip on your puppy at all times when it is off
the ground. Many fatalities or broken bones have happened by a tiny dog wriggling
out of an owners grasp, or jumping off a lap or bed, and breaking their neck, legs, or
landing on their head.
Always supervise small children when around or handling a small dog. The only safe
way for a child to hold a small dog, is sitting on the floor with a puppy between their
legs, or on their lap. Also, never leave a small puppy alone on a chair, bed, couch, or
stairs unattended. Remember, a fall from as little as two feet high can be fatal!
6. Never ever leave your teacup unattended unless it is in it's playpen or safe
enclosure! There are many places that such a tiny dog can manage to fit in, and
disappear from, not to mention get stuck under! Also such innocent things as a book
or telephone falling on them can break a bone and be deadly!
REMEMBER this is a very traumatic time for your puppy! It has been taken away from
it's mom and brothers and sisters and brought to a totally different home with
strangers. So it is very important that you try and make the first week to 2 weeks with
your new puppy as calm of an experience as possible. It is an important time for the
puppy to bond with you as its own family.
PLEASE resist the urge to take your puppy to the workplace or to visit with friends
and relatives during this period. Also keep handling by children to a minimum.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar (sometimes called "sugar shock") is a condition
where the blood sugar level drops to an extremely low level due to lack of food, or by
using up all stored energy without it being replenished. (Such as when your puppy
plays for an extended period of time without eating.)
Teacups can be prone to hypoglycemia because they have such tiny digestive systems.
They can only store a small amount of food (energy) in their stomach at one time.
Their liver and pancreas which are necessary for digestion and sugar balance are also
small and usually underdeveloped as well. Most puppies tend to grow out of
hypoglycemia as they get older. As they grow, so do their major organs. This makes
them more able to utilize and to process the food that they eat so it can sustain them
for longer periods of time.
Also, other common triggers are stress (such as going to a new home) or bacterial
infections or coccidiosis. (Coccidiosis is a protozoan infection that most puppy and
adult dogs carry, but can lie dormant and cause no problem until in a stressful
situation.) When a puppy is exposed to stress, and isn't getting proper nutrition,
Coccidiosis can rapidly multiply in the intestinal track and cause illness making
hypoglycemia worse. This is why many breeders and vets have been stumped as to
how an otherwise healthy puppy with a negative fecal exam can suddenly develop
coccidiosis only a few days after going to a new home. This is also why having a stool
sample analyzed by your vet is a good idea if you are having a problem with
hypoglycemia and your new puppy.
Most puppies have hypoglycemia just due to their small size, but hypoglycemia can
also be a hereditary condition. The hereditary form is due to an inability to process
sugar properly. It tends to run in certain bloodlines more than others. While most
puppies grow out of it as they get larger, the hereditary type can also effect pups or
last into adulthood.
REMEMBER: to prevent hypoglycemia, puppies need to eat several small meals a day.
It is much easier to prevent by always having a readily available food supply, than to
have to treat it once it happens. It is very scary to see a puppy that you love so dearly
in "sugar shock."
Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning in a healthy
puppy and can be a very scary thing! So it is best to know what to look for! Your
puppy may exhibit one or more of these signs: The first sign that is usually seen is
vomiting on an empty stomach. (clear liquid) If your teacup has not eaten in a while,
and vomits without acting sick, give them food, Nutri-Cal or Karo syrup immediately!
Some other signs are acting listless, weak, tired, sometimes walking with an unsteady
gait and drunk, shakiness, falling over, stiffening up, laying on their side paddling with
their feet and being unable to get up, and in very severe advanced cases, laying on
their side and being totally unresponsive or comatose.
If your puppy becomes hypoglycemic, it is very important that you react
IMMEDIATELY!! If the puppy is not given some quick form of nutrition containing
sugar (i.e. Nutri-Cal, honey, sugar, glucose, Karo syrup or sugar containing product)
to raise the blood sugar immediately, coma and/or possibly death could result.
If any of these symptoms occur, give the puppy a small dose of either Nutri-Cal,
honey, sugar, glucose, Karo syrup, pancake syrup or any sugar containing product
that is handy. Time is of the essence, so reach for whatever is the closest at the
moment. If the puppy is unable to swallow do not force liquids down it's throat as it
can get into the lungs and cause asphyxiation. If the puppy is too weak to swallow
and take the honey or Nutri-Cal on it's own, put it on your finger and rub it on the
roof of it's mouth. If necessary, pry his mouth open. It may be necessary to give
(I like to keep a product called Pet Nutri-Drops on hand. It allows nutrition to bypass
digestion and be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Very handy if a puppy is too
unresponsive to swallow on his own.)
After being given something sweet, your puppy should show some type of
improvement and be more alert and responsive within 10-15 minutes. After your
puppy feels a little better, remember to give him/her a protein filled meal (any good
meat based dog food or meat baby food will do.) to level out it's blood sugar.
**IMPORTANT! If your puppy does not respond with any improvement after the
sugar that you have fed him within 10-15 minutes, or appears comatose or
unresponsive, take him immediately to the closest veterinarian! In severe cases, if their
blood sugar has dropped too far, it is sometimes necessary for them to receive glucose
(dextrose) given by a shot or IV. Make sure that you tell your vet that you suspect
that your puppy is in hypoglycemic shock and specifically ask for a shot of Dextrose
before he does anything else. Unfortunately many veterinarians are not familiar with
treating tiny puppies and/or have never seen a case of hypoglycemia and many
puppies have died needlessly while the vet wastes precious time performing routine
tests and looking for other things.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DO AS IT COULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
LIFE OR DEATH FOR YOUR PUPPY!!
REMEMBER: Every minute counts!! Before going out the door to the vet make sure
and give some honey, Nutri-Cal or Karo syrup to your puppy. If he is comatose or
unresponsive do not give liquids that he can choke on or won't be able to swallow.
Instead, rub a coating of honey or Nutri-Cal around in his tongue and mouth.
How to care for your puppy after a hypoglycemic incident. Every puppy responds
differently after a sugar low. The sooner they are treated after the onset of symptoms
the faster they will bounce back. Many pups are back to their old selves and running
around and playing in a few minutes or a few hours after an attack. But if your puppy
has had a very severe case or was comatose before treatment, it could take several
hours and even as much as several days for your puppy to be back to normal.
Remember low blood sugar causes their tiny bodies to totally shut down, so many
pups act very depressed or groggy and some will not eat on their own after a severe
attack. To help your puppy recuperate:
1. It is very important to make sure that they get food in their stomach to prevent
them from going into hypoglycemia again. If they are not eating on their own, you
must hand feed them. We use a few teaspoons of Gerber strained beef, chicken or
turkey all meat baby food, a few drops of honey and about a two inch strip of
Nutri-Cal in a small cup; microwave for 10 seconds or so until the Nutri-Cal melts, stir
and give 3 -6 cc's by mouth with a syringe or eye dropper. If your puppy is not eating
on his own you need to repeat every 2 to 4 hours until he will take food himself. There
is also a terrific new product out called Rebound Liquid Diet it is a liquid diet that is
totally nutritionally complete and is great as an added supplement for hypoglycemic
pups that are not eating well!
2. Keep your puppy warm. When a puppy has low blood sugar, their body
temperature drops very low. It is important to gradually warm your puppy. Wrap
them in a towel or put them on a low temperature heating pad until they are well
enough to keep their own temperature up.
3. You might want to visit your veterinarian and have a stool sample taken from your
puppy to rule out worms, coccidiosis and/or Giardia. These things will run a puppies
system down and cause an otherwise healthy pup to not do well or go into
hypoglycemia. Sometimes, puppies that are prone to attacks of hypoglycemia can also
have an undiagnosed bacterial or parasitic infection. If this is the case, then usually
once they are put on antibiotics such as Albon, Amoxicillan, or Flagyl either alone or in
combination once the infection is cleared up, they may never have another
We recommend giving your new puppy a 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of live culture
vanilla flavored yogurt once or twice a day for the first week or two. Not only does the
yogurt taste good and give them extra nutrition, the good bacteria it contains can
help prevent problems and sometimes even cure or prevent bacterial infections that
can arise from the stress of going to a new home.
We hope these tips help you and your new puppy enjoy a long healthy life!!