Cats and Dogs
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Why do dogs love pup cups?

Puppuccino Problems: Is Whipped Cream Bad for Dogs?

Is whipped cream bad for dogs? No, whipped cream is not bad for most dogs. Just like with humans, not all dogs can digest dairy products with ease. If your dog is lactose intolerant, then it’s not a good idea to get that puppuccino on your next drive-thru Starbucks run.

If your dog can digest dairy without any problems, then that Starbucks puppuccino secret menu item is safe to give as an occasional treat.

And the puppuccino cost? Free-ninety-nine!

Tip: Some veterinarians list whipped cream as an effective vessel for tricking your pup into taking pills. Just make sure to read the ingredient label on the cool whip before feeding it to your pooch. Don’t give them any human food that is labeled as “sugar-free” or has xylitol in it.

How do I know if my dog is lactose intolerant?

dog eating ice cream

According to Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, the most common reported food allergies in dogs are chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs (fun fact: grain and gluten allergies are actually quite rare).

Signs of lactose intolerance in dogs include:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • excessive gas

Like with humans, dogs that are lactose intolerant are unable to produce their own lactase, a natural enzyme that works to break down lactose in order to make it digestible.

Just because a dog has digestive issues or is lactose intolerant, this doesn’t mean that all dairy is off-limits. This is because not all dairy contains lactose. Cheddar cheese, for example, has nearly zero grams of lactose and can be safely eaten by most pups without any side effects.

Dairy and your dog’s diet

If you choose to share a sweet treat like a whipped cream dessert topping with your dog, don’t forget the 10% rule. Dog treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Regular dog food should be your dog’s primary source of nutrients.

Not all dairy products have very much nutritional value that contributes to your dog’s health. However, an item like plain Greek yogurt does have health benefits and is great for boosting good gut bacteria in the digestive system. Greek yogurt is naturally low in lactose and is an excellent source of probiotics for both pet owners and dogs.

Should you choose to share something like Greek yogurt with your furry friend, it is essential that you read the ingredients on the label. Some yogurts (especially flavored yogurts) can have high sugar content, so if your dog is diabetic this may not be good for his blood sugar level.

You also need to be on the lookout for xylitol, also known as birch sugar. This is sugar alcohol extracted from birch bark that is commonly used as a sugar substitute in many human foods labeled as “sugar-free.” This includes some yogurt, ice cream, pudding, etc. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs.

Saturated fat and the generally high fat content from heavy cream is another thing to watch out for. But as long as you stick to the 10% rule, you can prevent obesity or other serious conditions like pancreatitis.


For a dog-friendly, healthy(ish) sweet treat for your best friend, try making peanut butter frozen yogurt.

For this special treat, you’ll need:

  • Peanut butter
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • A blender
  • Optional: banana

Directions: Blend Greek yogurt and peanut butter (feel free to add banana or preservative-free, all-natural Wholesome Pride banana chips as a topping, if you like). Pour into a mold, small cup, or dog puzzle, and freeze until set. It’s that easy!

Whipped Treats for Lactose-Intolerant Doggos

is whipped cream bad for dogs

Not every doggy can enjoy a pup cup from their favorite barista at their local coffee shop. Luckily, dog owners can make their very own coconut whipped cream at home with a can of coconut milk! Coconut whipped cream is safe for a lactose-intolerant dog because it is dairy-free.

If your canine has health issues when it comes to dairy, you can rest easy knowing a homemade dollop of coconut whipped cream won’t mess up his tummy. And if that doesn’t work out, there’s always peanut butter!

Final Thoughts

If you are unsure of sharing sugary treats with your pupper, it’s always a good idea to just not give it to them until you get veterinary advice. Weight gain, heart disease, and bloating aren’t worth a little sugar rush from a treat out of a Starbucks cup. A healthy dog is a happy dog!

Dog lovers: Remember that caffeine is dangerous to your pup. Don’t share anything caffeinated with your dog like an espresso cup, a latte with vanilla syrup, frappuccino, cappuccino, etc. Stick to puppucinos.

What, Exactly, Is A Starbucks Puppuccino? Here’s How You Can Make Your Fur Baby’s Day

TIANJIN, CHINA - 2018/07/21: A poodle is tasting the Ice-cream specially for pet dog by a pet-friend.

Going on a Starbucks run for a mid-afternoon caffeine boost is one of life’s little pleasures, and there’s no reason your dog can’t join in the fun, too — minus the caffeine part, of course. After all, we get our kids Starbucks drinks, and everyone with a dog in the family knows they’re your other kids. If you spend even a tiny amount of time looking at dog content on social media, then you’ve likely seen Starbucks fans bringing their pups along for a ride through the drive-thru, where they’re served their very own Starbucks Puppuccino. The pictures speak for themselves: This treat is 100 percent doggo-approved.

But are Puppuccinos safe for your pet? And how do you even order one, anyway? If this is your first time investigating the Puppuccino craze, then you no doubt have questions.

Before you load your dog up for a trip to Starbucks, here’s everything you need to know about Starbucks’ dog-friendly snack, including how to order it and why it’s such a hit with pups and their owners. (Oh, and a quick pro tip: Have your camera at the ready to capture a photo of your pup enjoying their first Puppuccino, because your dog’s reaction is sure to be priceless.)

What is a Starbucks Puppuccino?

There’s nothing fancy about the Starbucks Puppuccino, and that’s exactly why it makes for a good treat for most dogs. A Puppuccino is just a cup of whipped cream. No caffeine or sprinkles are involved, so dog owners don’t have to worry about any hidden ingredients. Additionally, the barista usually decides on the size, so you might want to let them know if you want a small cup for your chihuahua or something a bit larger for your Great Dane.

How do you order a Starbucks Puppuccino?

The Puppuccino is part of Starbucks’ (not-so-secret) secret menu. That means you won’t find the option listed on the order board or the app. However, if you ask your barista for a Puppuccino or simply a pup cup, they’ll know exactly what you mean. The best part of all is the special dog treat is free. (But you should definitely consider giving your barista a tip as a thank you for Starbucks’ dog-friendly secret menu item.)

Are Puppuccinos safe for all dogs?

Since Puppuccinos are simply cups of whipped cream, the main ingredient is dairy. Most dogs can handle a bit of dairy in their diets just fine. But just like with humans, some dogs have food sensitivities, and yes, your dog can be lactose intolerant.

If your dog has had small amounts of whipped cream or other dairy products in the past without experiencing any stomach upset, then they should be OK with a Puppuccino. On the other hand, if your dog is on a special diet for a sensitive stomach or has had bad experiences with dairy, you might want to skip this drive-thru treat.

When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask your vet for advice before trying out a new treat, and even if your dog is perfectly fine with dairy, a Puppuccino should be a special treat given in moderation.

Where else can you get a pup cup for your dog?

Starbucks is serious about keeping the Puppuccino exclusive to their stores. In fact, they trademarked the name in May 2021, per Insider. Still, there are a few other chains who are getting in on the puppy treats action:

  • Chick-Fil-A: While it’s not advertised, some Chick-Fil-A drive-thrus will offer your dog a special dog bone treat, while others have their own version of a pup cup featuring a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Culver’s: This chain offers cups of vanilla custard and bowls of water to keep your joy-riding friend cool.
  • Dairy Queen: The DQ has a pup cup on its secret menu, too. It’s a small cup of vanilla soft serve that may come with a dog biscuit, depending on the location.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Like the Puppuccino, Dunkin’ Donuts’ pup cup is a simple cup of whipped cream that is free for pups at most locations.
  • Johnny Rockets: From pup-friendly burgers to ice cream, Johnny Rockets has an impressive selection of treats for dogs. Check the menu before you go since availability varies by location.
  • Shake Shack: Most chains don’t put their dog-friendly options on the order board, but Shake Shack is the exception. The famed burger and shake destination has a small menu for dogs that includes a Pooch-ini, which is a special ShackBurger dog biscuit served with peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard. If your dog can’t handle dairy, they also sell their dog biscuits in a five-pack.
  • Sonic: Ask your car hop for a pup cup, and you may get either a cup of whipped cream or a small cup of vanilla soft serve.
  • In-N-Out Burger: It’s safe to say dogs love burgers just as much as people, and In-N-Out knows this, too. So the next time you hit this famous Cali fast food spot, ask for a Pup Patty. It’s void of all the toppings your pup shouldn’t be eating and is a juicy unseasoned burger sealed in a literal doggy bag.

These eateries may not be some of the more well-known establishments, but if you’re ever passing by any of these restaurants, order yourself and your pup some delicious beverages.

  • Dutch Bros Coffee: There are more than 500 western chains nationwide.
  • Brusters Ice Cream: There are over 200 locations in 22 states
  • Graeter’s Ice Cream: There are 50 locations on East Coast.

Can you make a Puppuccino at home?

Absolutely! If you’re whipping up a batch of fresh whipped cream, you can pop a bit in a cup for your pup for a special at-home Puppuccino that they can enjoy while you’re sipping on a very real cup of coffee.

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