You may have come across cute videos on Instagram or Twitter of dogs joining their coffee-loving owners at the Starbucks drive-thru and enthusiastically diving into a tasty-looking Puppuccino. But what exactly is this seemingly hard-to-find item on the Starbucks menu, and is it good for dogs to consume?
A Starbucks Puppuccino is whipped cream that is served to dogs. Milk products such as whipped cream in small quantities should be perfectly safe for most dogs to consume once in a while. That said, you will want to double-check with your vet for advice regarding your dog consuming a Starbucks Puppuccino or any dairy product for that matter.
Some dogs have a high sensitivity to dairy, while others simply have strict specific diets; in both cases, it may be best to forgo a Puppuccino.
What is a Puppuccino at Starbucks?
A Puppuccino is an item on the Starbucks secret menu that you can order for your dog. It comes in an espresso-shot-sized paper cup, and it is made of whipped cream.
Ingredients in Starbucks Puppuccino (Good or Bad for Dogs)
A Puppuccino is made of a blended whipped cream mix, which is a mixture of cream and sugar that breaks down as follows:
Whilst cream contains calcium, which is known to stimulate growth, it’s not particularly beneficial to your dog’s health in this format.
Milk also contains calcium that could help strengthen your dog’s teeth as well as enhance bone strength. However, in the whipped cream used to make Starbucks Puppuccinos, it’s highly unlikely to have these benefits.
Mono and Diglycerides
Mono and diglycerides in this case are used because they synthesize water and oil, consequently enhancing the texture of food.
This is an additive that is added to thicken up and emulsify cream. Some studies suggest that it could cause cancer in animals when consumed in large quantities.
Here is what you can find in a Starbucks Puppuccino when you break down the elements further:
- Protein: Around 1-2 grams
- Sugar: Around 3-6 grams
- Sodium: 10-20mg
- Cholesterol: 40-80mg
- Fat: 12-24g (of which 7-14g are saturated)
- Carbs: 4-8g
- Calories: 120-240
Technically speaking, whipped cream is not bad for dogs. It doesn’t contain any toxic, and you don’t have to worry about it causing any immediate harm to your pooch. Many dogs will gobble it up enthusiastically!
After all, whipped cream is essentially an air-infused, sugary lactose product. That said, it should be given occasionally – anything more could result in the following side effects:
1. Lactose Intolerance
Dogs cannot tolerate a high level of lactose. However, many dogs aren’t fully lactose intolerant. Lactose sensitivity varies from one dog to another. Some dogs are completely unable to handle dairy products, so even if you limit your dog’s consumption of Puppuccino to the rare occasion, you need to be sure that he/she can handle it.
Signs of lactose intolerance to look out for in your pooch include:
The most telling sign of lactose intolerance is diarrhea. If you notice your dog’s feces has become loose or watery, then he/she may be suffering from lactose intolerance. In most cases, you will likely notice diarrhea within 12 hours of your dog consuming a dairy product if they are lactose intolerant.
Vomiting is a common occurrence with dogs, but if it starts to happen frequently or with increased intensity, and especially after consuming dairy products like whipped cream, it could be an indication of lactose intolerance.
While flatulence in dogs should not be a cause for concern, excessive gas passing could be a sign that your dog is lactose intolerant, especially if it tends to happen after dairy consumption.
Bloating as a result of lactose intolerance may occur as a result of a dog’s inability to break down the lactose in dairy products, leading to an accumulation of gases produced by bacteria and fermentation of sugars in the gut.
Lack of Appetite
A sudden loss of appetite could be an indication of lactose intolerance – make sure to check with your vet to find out.
Air is what makes whipped cream light and fluffy. While you can’t notice, your pooch takes in a lot of air while eating the sugary treat. In extreme cases of bloating, a dog’s tummy can convulse and turn in on itself, resulting in restricted air flow and pressure exertion on other organs.
3. Weight Gain
Whipped cream has high levels of saturated fat and sugar, both of which are relatively harmless if consumed in moderation. However, having too much can lead to excessive weight gain in dogs. Saturated fat, in particular, is a common culprit in causing canine obesity.
4. Diabetes and Heart Disease
In addition to having to worry about excessive weight gain, you also have to consider the increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. When your dog consumes whipped cream, his/her blood sugar levels will spike. If high blood sugar levels become a regular ordeal, your pup may develop diabetes.
5. Dental Issues
The high sugar content in a whipped cream can lead to a variety of dental issues for your canine. While true cavities are pretty much unheard of in dogs, tooth decay is a very real cause for concern, and so is periodontal disease.
6. Digestive Problems
If your dog’s diet is mainly made up of dry kibble, a sudden influx of dairy products such as whipped cream will not bode well with their digestive system. This might cause tummy aches and general digestive discomfort.
The occasional whipped cream isn’t going to kill your beloved four-legged friend, but it isn’t doing him/her any favors either. Save it for special occasions, with the go-ahead from your vet.
How Much Does a Puppuccino Cost?
Most people report getting a Puppuccino for free at Starbucks. If you order any item off the Starbucks menu, the staff may throw in this freebie – just remember to mention that you have a dog!
A Puppuccino might show up as an entry on your check, probably listed as a sundry item costing $0. This is because it’s not an official item off the menu, and is instead a product that the management and workers at the Starbucks in your area may offer at their own discretion.
How to Ask for a Puppuccino at Starbucks?
In most locations, you can’t even bring your dog with you into a Starbucks, as they are banned unless they are service dogs. While the Starbucks dog policy may keep you from walking in with your furry friend, you can sit outside on the patio with them (if there is one).
Based on that, there are two ways you can make an order:
- When the barista comes out to the patio to serve you, bring attention to your pooch, and ask if they will allow you to order a Puppuccino in addition to the main item(s) you buy.
- Walk into a Starbucks and let them know that you have a service dog. You will be asked to provide proof of registration, so be prepared to show this.
Once you receive your main order, you’ll have to wait a couple of minutes before your dog’s Puppuccino is brought out.
Although Starbucks has an app with which you can make orders, you won’t be able to order a Puppuccino. However, you can get your canine a cup of whipped cream at your local Starbucks drive-thru.
At What Age Can a Dog Get a Puppuccino?
You may want to refrain from getting your dog a Puppuccino until they are a year old, at the very least. Puppies have shorter digestive tracts and generally sensitive digestive systems. As a result, dairy consumption is likely going to give a puppy a severe case of diarrhea and other symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Why Do Dogs Like Puppuccinos?
Dogs enjoy the sweet and fatty taste, as well as the airy texture of whipped cream, which is what a Puppuccino is made of.
Can Humans Drink Puppuccino?
You can enjoy a Puppuccino as it is simply whipped cream in a cup. That said, most (if not all) Starbucks locations reserve it for dogs. If a Puppuccino is the only item you plan to order, consider tipping the barista.
How to Make a Puppuccinoat Home?
You can easily make a Puppuccino in the comfort of your own kitchen. You will need the whipped cream and a small bowl or cup:
- Grab a bowl or cup that holds an appropriate serving size (approximately 2-4 ounces). Also, make sure to choose one that is large enough for your dog’s snout.
- Fill the cup with whipped cream. Canned whipped cream is the obvious option for most people, but you can also use traditional whipped cream.
- Serve the Puppuccino to your pooch.
Do All Starbucks Sell Puppuccino?
The Puppuccino is served at most Starbucks locations, but don’t expect to see it on their menu. This is because it is one of the items that are included in their “secret” menu. To check if your local Starbucks serves Puppuccino, you can try either asking for it by name or simply request some whipped cream in a cup for your dog.
Can You Get a Puppuccino in the UK?
If you live in the UK, you can get a Puppuccino for your dog to enjoy – just make sure to inquire beforehand to confirm that the Starbucks in your area serves this item.
Is Puppuccino Safe for Cats?
Puppuccino is technically safe for cats in regulated amounts. That said, most cats are lactose intolerant, and consuming dairy products can result in diarrhea and vomiting. To prevent this, only give your cat a Puppuccino treat on occasion, or avoid it altogether.
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