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Many of us are guilty of making a detour past Starbucks on our way to work.
Yes, we could make our own coffee at home, but there is something special about having a delicious cup of Joe (or a refreshing frappuccino) made by an experienced barista.
If you are active on Social Media, you might have heard of the dog version of a frappuccino—a puppuccino!
It’s a small espresso-sized cup filled with a delicious puppy-friendly drink, but what is it? And, should you take your four-legged friend with you to ask for one?
What is a Puppuccino?
A puppuccino is a (not so) secret Starbucks order and something you can ask for even though it isn’t on the menu.
Any Starbucks barista will know what it is, and many dog owners treat their pups to a puppuccino while getting their own favorite drink.
While it sounds exciting, it’s nothing more than whipped cream in a small cup.
Do dogs need puppuccinos?
No. Can it be fun to share the Starbucks experience with your pup from time to time?
Who Can Get a Puppuccino?
While puppuccinos aren’t made with some secret recipe (it’s just whipped cream—we promise), your dog will probably love it!
These special canine treats are available to anyone who asks for them at Starbucks, and some other coffee shops might offer their versions of the doggy drink, too.
In the rare case of a barista not knowing what a puppuccino is, simply take a minute to explain, and they’ll likely get it for you!
Extra whipped cream in an espresso cup—that’s it!
How to Order
All you need to do is to go through the drive-through at your nearest Starbucks and ask for a puppuccino.
To our knowledge, there is no rule preventing you from ordering puppuccinos without a dog, but it might seem a little strange.
Instead, use it as an excuse to go on a fun car ride together with your dog (it is an excellent opportunity to practice safe behavior while in a car)!
It can get a little messy, and you might consider bringing a few tissues or wet wipes.
Cost of a Puppuccino
Perhaps the best news?
Puppuccinos are often free!
Starbucks usually won’t charge you extra for your dog’s whipped cream cup, as it tends to be a courtesy when buying any beverage or food item.
Indeed, it does not exist on the menu, but the principle is the same as when you ask for extra whipped cream with a drink.
Remember that some store locations may charge you a small fee since it is not an official menu item.
In most cases, however, it’s free.
This could also be the case with other coffee shops and chains that offer puppuccinos or equivalent.
Are Puppuccinos Safe for Dogs?
Whipped cream might not be the healthiest puppy snack, but it is provided in such a small amount that it doesn’t tend to have any adverse effects.
However, moderation is important and you probably shouldn’t make puppuccino-runs part of your dog’s daily routine.
Whipped cream does contain dairy but is not toxic or dangerous for dogs in any way.
It is also a good idea to let your dog try a few licks the first time to make sure it doesn’t cause stomach upset.
If your furry friend is prone to gastrointestinal upset or other health issues—consider consulting your veterinarian before introducing new snacks.
How to Make Your Own Puppuccino
No Starbucks close by?
You can always make your own and save some money in the process.
Start by making yourself a cup of coffee to get to share that pretend Starbucks experience with your pup, and then proceed to whip up some cream.
If you purchase pre-whipped cream, see if you can get the unsweetened kind.
Now, all you need is a cup!
Small plastic cups for kids prevent unnecessary waste as they can be washed.
Serve the whipped cream, grab your coffee, and enjoy bonding time with your best fur friend.
Healthy Alternatives to Try at Home
Are you not comfortable with serving whipped cream to your dog, or do you simply prefer a healthier alternative?
Dogs are great because they’re not usually picky, and there are other things you can serve in a cup while you enjoy your afternoon coffee.
Here are some quick, simple, and healthy puppuccino alternatives:
- Banana/Yogurt Cup
Mash a banana and mix it with plain (unsweetened) yogurt for a simple and delicious dog treat! You can also dilute the banana with water if you prefer to avoid dairy altogether or mix it with unsweetened coconut milk.
If you want the treat to last a little longer, try leaving it in the freezer for a few hours to turn it into a pupsicle!
- Pumpkin Puree Cup
Mashed pumpkin is another tempting doggy snack and one that is known to be good for digestion!
Buy canned pumpkin puree (just make sure it is 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, as the latter is filled with sugar and additives) and prep your little pup cup!
If you want to dilute it, use water, plain yogurt, or anything else you have at hand that is considered dog safe.
- Mashed Carrot Cup
Do you have carrots in your fridge? Great!
Many dogs love carrots! Try boiling the carrots and mashing them up, and serve your dog a cup of delicious carrot puree. You can also try adding apple to the mix for added sweetness.
If you haven’t gotten your dog a pup cup or a puppuccino yet—what are you waiting for?
They may not be featured on the Starbucks menu, but most store locations will give them to your fur friend if you ask nicely.
Keep in mind that too many cappuccinos or frappuccinos aren’t healthy for humans, just like too many puppuccinos aren’t good for dogs.
However… the occasional whipped cream treat likely won’t hurt.
Try one the next time you return from the park, and let us know if your dog liked it!