Starbucks Puppuccino

Secret menu items are a little contradictory. If everyone knows them, how are they secret? Regardless of technicality, your dog will love the (totally secret) Starbucks Puppuccino.

This tasty treat has become more popular for its adorable clientele and simple recipe. Since this menu item isn’t official, it’s not listed on the menu. What is a Starbucks puppuccino, anyway? Is it actually safe for your dog to eat?

We’ll look into the popularity of the puppuccino (also known as the pup cup) and what you should know.

The Origin of the Puppuccino

the origin of the puppuccino
Image: Christopher Chapman

The puppiccino is an adorable portmanteau of pup and cappuccino. This food item is part of a growing Starbucks campaign to create a few official treats for dogs.

Wait, didn’t we say it wasn’t an official menu item? As of now, it’s not on the menu, but the puppuccino might become official very soon. Whether there’s a trademark or not, your dog will likely enjoy this fluffy treat.

It certainly shakes up the usual cardboard dog bones and plastic chew toys!

What is a Puppiccino and How is it Made?

No worries your dog won’t be zooming around the living room on a caffeine high. The puppuccino is a simple Starbucks treat of whipped cream in an espresso cup.

That’s about it, really! Since dog dietary habits are more finicky than they appear on the surface, this recipe is best kept simple.

Is There Coffee in a Puppuccino?

Starbucks puppuccinos never come with coffee. Coffee is actually toxic to dogs due to its caffeine levels.

How Much is a Puppuccino?

how much is a puppuccino
Image: City of Santa Clarita

You’ll be happy to know the Starbucks puppuccino is free. That said, we highly recommend giving your barista a tip for making your dog’s day.

Can I Make a Puppiccino at Home?

Absolutely! Starbucks has a special whipped cream recipe that uses heavy whipping cream, vanilla syrup, and half-and-half.

Be careful when making a puppuccino double-check the ingredients list to make sure there are no additional preservatives or food dye your dog could be sensitive to. You also need to refrigerate your recipe as soon as possible so it doesn’t spoil and make your pet sick.

When Should Dogs Have a Puppuccino?

dogs have a puppuccino

You may be concerned about giving your dog sugary food. We have a list of which dogs benefit the most from a puppuccino.

Dogs Who Have Been on Their Best Behavior

The puppuccino is frequently a reward for good behavior. If your dog has been extra well-behaved at the vet this week, follow it up with this sweet treat.

Dogs Who Get Plenty of Exercise

The extra calories in the puppuccino won’t mean much if your dog is very active. Sedentary dogs should get this treat more rarely.

Dogs Who Could Use More Variety in Their Diet

If you want to introduce your dog to new foods, a trip to Starbucks does the trick. Broaden your pup’s horizons once in a while with a puppuccino.

Which Dog Should Not Have a Puppiccino?

dog should not have a puppiccino

Part of being a responsible dog owner is keeping a close eye on your dog’s diet. Not all dogs should have a puppuccino and we’ll list which ones below.

Dogs With a Lactose Intolerance

Does your dog have a sensitivity to any dairy products? Skip the puppuccino. Whipped cream is a mixture of milk fat and sugar, so you don’t want to accidentally give your dog the runs.

Dogs That Need Fewer Calories

If your dog needs fewer calories, the puppuccino could prove too fatty. Depending on how much whipped cream the barista swirls in, your dog could get between 100 to 250 calories.

Dogs With Dental Problems

Yes, dogs can get cavities or gum disease, too! Constant sugar consumption puts your dog at risk of repeat dental visits. If your dog already has dental problems, we recommend skipping the puppuccino.

Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs

Does your dog get bloated or nauseous easily? The sugar and fat-heavy puppuccino may be too stressful for their constitution. Consider giving them a different treat like a slice of watermelon or cooked sweet potato.

What Foods Should Dogs Not Have?

foods should dogs not have

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health. Always double-check the ingredients of a puppuccino before feeding it to your pet. Below is a quick list of foods that are commonly found in cafes that dogs can’t eat.

Coffee

As stated above, coffee is bad news for dogs. Caffeine toxicity could send your dog to the hospital, so make sure your cafe doesn’t accidentally mix in espresso!

Chocolate

Chocolate is commonly associated with Starbucks, but keep it away from your dog. This food contains stimulants dogs can’t digest.

Milk

This last entry is partially true milk is safe for dogs as long as it’s in small amounts and your pet doesn’t have a lactose intolerance. Too much milk may give them diarrhea, bloating, or nausea.

We’ll go into how many puppuccinos your dog can have below.

How Much Whipped Cream Can a Dog Have?

whipped cream can a dog have

Your primary concerns here are calorie count, sugar count, and fat count. A puppuccino that’s too big could make your dog nauseous or could pile on extra calories.

Use your dog’s weight as a metric for its puppuccino size and frequency. Light to medium dogs in the 15 to 30-pound range should do fine with a standard puppuccino. Larger dogs may do well with a slightly larger size. Pay close attention to your dog’s dietary habits and consider asking your vet for a professional opinion.

It’s best to keep puppuccinos as a once-per-month or once-every-other-month treat.

Do Other Places Sell Puppuccinos?

other places sell puppuccinos
Image: Lian Chang

While Starbucks is hard at work patenting the puppuccino trademark, other businesses have their own variations.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Major coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts offers a pup cup on request. Called Pup For Cup, these treats are sometimes free and sometimes cost $1.

Dutch Bros. Coffee

Dutch Bros. is not to be outdone and offers free puppuccinos on request. Their offering is a classic swirl of whipped cream in a cup but comes with an extra dog treat.

Shake Shack

It’s not just humans who get a cold snack at the Shake Shack! Your dog can get a simple pup cup with whipped cream upon request.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen has a fancy version of the pup cup. Instead of whipped cream, they use soft-serve vanilla ice cream with a dog biscuit. This spin would be a fantastic addition to your dog’s next birthday!

Sonic

Sonic shakes things up with two versions of the pup cup one with whipped cream or one with ice cream. They also sell cute bandanas or toys if you feel like spoiling your furry baby.