Teacup Maltese puppies are one the most adorable breeds, and with their fluffy white fur and overall appearance, they have won the hearts of many. Their tiny size and physical structure often make pet owners wonder how to take care of Teacup Maltese puppies.
Never let your Teacup Maltese puppy to run around the whole house; start in a small area, and don’t graduate to a larger area till the pup is potty trained.
Let’s get one very important fact straight―Teacup Maltese is not an actual breed. The term ‘teacup’ is just added before the name of a breed, and you will find that they are the smallest of their litter. Such terms are often added by breeders to sell off puppies that are smaller in size, as compared to others. Sometimes, breeders breed them to produce a smaller version of an already-small breed.
Size might be the only thing that changes in a Teacup Maltese. They are every bit like a normal-sized Maltese, making it just as adorable, intelligent, easily trainable, enthusiastic, and social.
Before you take home one of these, you need to consider a couple of things. This breed likes companionship; be it on the sofa, on a road trip, or playing in the yard, they want to be by your side. They can be very destructive if left alone for too long.
Choose a good breeder and stay clear of puppy mills or buying puppies off the Internet. Before picking up a random puppy from a litter, ask to see the parents and the entire litter. If the dog looks healthy, and the breeder provides you with a certificate of lineage, go ahead and pick one to take home. Most importantly, if the breeder says that the breed is a teacup breed, he’s probably trying to sell you the smallest of the litter, or is deliberately breeding smaller than normal dogs.
Beware, as such pups may come with complex health issues.
Health and Vaccinations
Maltese pups have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. They require a yearly dose of vaccinations, viz., anti- rabies, distemper, etc.,, as per the vet’s recommendation. They will require regular checkups during the first year; the veterinarian may also have to give the puppy booster shots.
This breed commonly suffers from dental problems, fragile bones, seizures, low blood sugar, respiratory complaints, liver shunt, progressive retinal atrophy, and heart problems, just to name a few.
Housebreaking Your Dog
Before you begin housebreaking, remember not to take your puppy out to a new environment, viz. friend’s houses, malls, or workplaces. The dog gets stressed from being separated from its mother and other litter mates; let it settle down at your home first before introducing it to a new location.
▶ Start housebreaking and obedience training as soon as you can. Remember the 3 P’s of housebreaking: patience, persistence, and practice. Observe the puppy’s toiletry routine, frequency, and behavioral indication that it needs to relieve itself. Mostly, puppies have to relieve themselves as soon as they wake up from their nap and 15 – 20 minutes after they have been fed.
▶ You will need to decide a place for the puppy to relieve itself. We would suggest a spot outdoor, in your yard. For the first few days, you might need to help the puppy, show your puppy the right spot, and rush it outside before it soils itself. Eventually, the puppy will get a hang of it. Praise it and pat it as signs of positive reinforcement when it relieves itself at the chosen spot. But if it does have little accidents around the house, try not to punish it; it is only a puppy. The colder the day gets, the frequency of urination might increase. However, puppies require a temperature that isn’t too cold or warm. Refrain yourself from scolding it and swatting it, as this will scare the puppy, rather than disciplining it.
▶ Crate train it along with potty training. This will help you in the long run. If you are stepping out for a couple of hours, do not let it wander off; place it in a crate. Take the puppy out to defecate before you put it in the crate. Puppies usually do not defecate in the same place as they sleep, so you will have to take it out again, as soon as you get back. Do leave it with a few toys for it play with.
▶ One very important fact about this breed is that it has a tendency to eat feces of it own or other animals. So keep a very close watch on the puppy while training. They are notorious for chewing on any and everything that they can get their tiny jaws on. It isn’t their fault entirely; they are probably teething, which is a very painful and irritating phase in their little lives. Chew toys will help it relieve their frustration and spare your slippers, paper, furniture, and wires. But maybe not your fingers, as puppies consider them to be the best chew toys. Fingers are soft and hard in the center, and funny sounds come out when it gnaws on too hard. Encourage it to chew only on the toys and not your finger, as the habit may continue later, with permanent teeth.
▶ When it comes to barking, don’t go soft on it. Initially, it will get scared on being left alone, be it when you step out or are sleeping at night. Be firm and do not let it into your bed. It will howl and bark, but eventually tire itself down.
You can also encourage your puppy with wet food treats when you are training it.
They retain their baby teeth too long, especially their canines. These baby teeth should be removed by a veterinarian.
In drop-eared breeds such as this breed, the ears need to be kept clean. If the ears aren’t clean, your puppy will alert you by shaking its head or scratching its ears. If ignored, the ears will smell and secret dirt, which may further cause infection and even hearing loss. If this does happen, visit the veterinarian. Ears will need to be cleaned on a weekly basis.
Nails should be kept short. Trim their nails after a bath while it is still wet. Get the puppy used to this process.
This breed doesn’t shed a lot. But it does require daily grooming. Lightly brush the fur with a steel-toothed comb or brush. If you neglect it, the fur will mat, and removing that is a miserable task.
Keep their fur out of the eyes by either trimming them or pinning it with a topknot. Brush the fur thoroughly before bathing the puppy. Use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner, which is specially designed for white long-haired dogs. Dab and dry the puppy after bath, and then blow dry the coat, while brushing the hair continuously. Do not use a very hot dryer.
You can also choose to take them to a saloon where they’ll do the grooming for you. They will also have a range of haircuts to make your adorable puppy look cuter.
Food and Feeding
Stop free-feeding (a method in which you keep the dog food accessible for the dog) after the age of 3 months or when the puppy is a little over 2 pounds. Adult dogs will require only one full meal per day.n.
If you choose to give packaged food, you will need a mix of 2/3 dry to 1/3 wet formulation, which is ideal for growing puppies. This distribution should be done for all the meals till the age of 6 months.
After 6 months, you will need to reduce the meals from 4 to 3 or 3 to 2. Post the teething phase, your puppy should be able to chew on dry dog food. It is a healthier alternative as it is good for teeth and the digestive system.
Food should be served in the same spot, at the same time each day; this gives the Teacup Maltese pup a sense of organization and reliability. Knowing when and where the meals will be served is very important for the dog.
Do not give it any human food, no matter how much it pleads. Foods like fruit, onions, sweets, caffeine, and salty food can make a dog very ill.
You can choose to give it health supplements along with their healthy diet, but only after you ask your veterinarian.
If at any stage your puppy goes on a hunger strike and refuses to eat, take it to the vet, ASAP.
This breed loves to cuddle, but they are vulnerable and easily manhandled by children and adults alike. To avoid this, try playing with the puppy on the floor, rather than cuddling it in the air. Regular health checkups, playtime, food, rest, and lots of love will keep your Teacup Maltese pup healthy and happy.