Why We're Nervous About Paris Hilton's Tiny New Puppy
Paris Hilton made headlines last fall for buying what was reported to be "the world's tiniest pomeranian." The dog, named Prince Hilton, weighed in at only only 12 ounces and stood only two-and-a-half inches high. But the heiress announced via Instagram this week that she's just acquired a new pomeranian puppy who may be even smaller.
According to a TMZ report, this new pup weighs in at only six ounces. Like Prince Hilton, she was purchased from Betty's Teacup Yorkies, where extra-small dogs can be purchased at what are often exorbitant prices.
Hilton's puppies are undeniably adorable fuzzballs, and Hilton's newest addition may inspire some of her fans to rush out and get their own little doggies, but new pet owners who copy their favorite celebs may not be fully prepared to take on the responsibilities of caring for an animal. The buzz around Hilton's famous chihuahua, Tinkerbell, and subsequent trend in Hollywood, may be partially to blame for a surge in abandoned chihuahuas. People who thought they were getting a cute fashion accessory weren't equipped to care for the health and needs of an animal, and in some California shelters, chihuahuas overtook pit bulls as the breed most likely to be abandoned. Hopefully Hilton's tiny pomeranians won't spark the same copycat effect, otherwise there may be need to be a repeat of 2012's "Operation Chihuahua Rescue."
The size of Hilton's puppies may also be cause for concern, as breeding such tiny dogs may not always be in the animals' best interests. Canine researcher Mia Cobb spoke to The Dodo about some of the health problems commonly seen in dogs who are bred purely for size, including seizures, jaws that are too small for all the teeth to fit in and spinal issues.
"This is because they are bred for to meet a fashion ideal purely based on looks, often exaggerating their puppy features, rather than for sound health, good behavior and longevity," Cobb said. "Many of these issues may not be immediately apparent to a new puppy owner, but develop or deteriorate over the first year of life."
Hilton's new puppy may be happy and healthy. But remember that there are thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes waiting in shelters for a loving family. If you are ready to provide a forever home for a pet, skip the pet store and check out Petfinder or your local ASPCA to get to know the rescues waiting for love.