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 for your puppy at all times! Due to their small size, teacups must replenish their 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 exert 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 some other type of small enclosed area to keep your T-cup confined in, when 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 3ft x 4ft if at all possible. (We use a 2ft x 3ft 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 too easy for them to tire and lose track of where their food is. This could lead to 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 tiny 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 age 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 so, 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 people 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 blood 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 been caused by a tiny dog wriggling out of an owners grasp, or jumping off a lap, couch, 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 the puppy between their legs, or on their lap. Also, never leave a small puppy on a chair, bed, couch, or stairs unattended. Remember, a fall from as low as two feet high can be fatal!

6. Never ever leave your teacup unattended unless it is in it's playpen or a 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 or be deadly!


* Symptoms of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning to any 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  can sometimes be seen, is vomiting on an *empty stomach. (*clear liquid or bile) If your teacup has not eaten in awhile, 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 as if 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 any sugar containing product to raise the blood sugar immediately, coma, brain damage 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. (DO NOT USE artificial sweetners such as Nutrisweet, Splenda etc. as they will not work!) 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 his mouth. If necessary, pry his mouth open but just make sure that he gets it. HIS LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!! It may be necessary to give several doses.

(I like to keep a product called Pet nutri-drops on hand. It allows nutrients 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 based meal (any good meat based dog food or all meat babyfood will do) to level out it's blood sugar.

*Hypoglycemia , or low blood sugar (sometimes called "sugar shock") is a condition where the blood sugar level drops to an extremely low level, usually 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 bodies at one time. Their liver and pancreas which are necessary for digestion and sugar balance are also small and usually underdeveloped as well. This is why 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 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 problems until in a stressful situation.) When a puppy is exposed to stress, and/or not 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.  Because of this, having a stool sample analyzed by your vet can be a good idea if you are having a problem with hypoglycemia in 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 the threat of hypoglycemia as they get older, the hereditary type can also effect larger pups or last into adulthood.

REMEMBER: to prevent hypoglycemia, puppies need to eat several small meals a day. It is much easier to prevent Hypoglycemia, by always providing 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."