There’s nothing wrong with loving cute little animals.
In fact, the animal’s smallness is what makes it cute in the first place. But when animals are bred to retain harmful characteristics and genetic defects, that’s when the cuteness factor should be overlooked.
Teacup animals, like puppies and pigs, are a good example of this. Teacups, or so they’re called, aren’t a real breed; the term is just used to describe animals that are significantly smaller than the size they should be.
Most of the time, they’re miniature versions of already-tiny breeds like the Yorkie, Pomeranian, or Chihuahua.
And while they are cute, these animals aren’t likely to last long.
Regular small breed dogs can live up to more than 10, sometimes even 15 years. But for teacup dogs, they can live up to 2-6 years. And this is precisely because of the animal’s extremely small size, which makes them infinitely more fragile than regular dogs.
Teacup dogs can suffer from a whole range of issues like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver shunts, seizures, open soft spots on the skull, blindness, and more. These animals are also more prone to broken bones and injuries because they’re just that small.
More often than not, these issues are life-threatening for teacups.
The same goes for teacup piglets, which are advertised to be forever-small versions of the regular pig. Newsflash for those looking at teacup pigs: they actually are that size because they are intentionally malnourished to stunt their growth, meaning that they do eventually get bigger some day.
They’re also commonly inbred between runts of regular potbellied pig litters, leading to a lack of genetic diversity. This will almost always cause a number of health issues, as with teacup dogs.
And yes, all of these health issues and problems will translate to your vet bills. Not only are the purchase of teacup animals pretty expensive, but their maintenance can also lead to frequent and equally expensive vet visits. They require a lot of care and maintenance due to their condition, something that many potential owners aren’t prepared for when they first decide to purchase one.
The moral of the story is: just because it’s cute, doesn’t mean it’s right. We know that these animals are irresistible to look at, but stop and think for a minute.
Is it really worth supporting the business, knowing that you’re perpetuating a lifetime of hardships for both your pet and the animals that will come after it?
Trends like designer breeds and teacups are a testament to how irresponsible “breeders” mess with nature for the sake of profit. If you really want a cute companion animal, seek out responsible breeders who follow breed standards and care for the animal’s well-being.
Or try adopting. Even better — get a stuffed toy. Real animals are living beings with actual needs, and owners who don’t understand that should seriously rethink their reasons for getting a pet in the first place.