The Pup Cup: Is Starbucks Puppaccino Safe for Dogs?

Dog looking at owner holding two coffe cups

Key Points

  • The Starbucks puppuccino is a trendy treat for dogs that is made up of the signature Starbucks whipped cream.

  • The pup cup is an item off the Starbucks menu that can bring your dog a lot of happiness.

  • If given in moderation, the Starbucks puppuccino isn't inherently dangerous for your dog.

  • Just like humans, some dogs are lactose intolerant, making the pup cup a no-go.

Many food chains have taken notice of how important dogs are to consumers and began making meals and snacks specifically for our adorable four-legged family members. One of the most popular canine snacks from a major food chain is the Starbucks puppuccino.

Puppuccinos have gained this mass following and popularity with good reason. They're delicious, easy to feed, and there's nothing more adorable than seeing your pup with some whipped cream on their nose after they're done digging in. Most dogs will lick the cup clean because of how delicious the Starbucks puppuccino is!

The next time you pull into a Starbucks drive-through to get your caffeine fix and happen to have your dog with you, you may wonder: is the Starbucks puppiccino safe for dogs?

Sharing food with our furry family members is something most dog owners do at least once — and some more than others. Dogs love to dig into whatever delicious snack we're enjoying, and as long as the food is safe for dogs, there's nothing better than finding a snack you and your dog can enjoy together.

Navigating which foods are safe for your dogs can be quite the process. Some human food is perfectly safe for your dog to enjoy, and even offers health benefits, while others can pose major health threats if your dog accidentally gets into them.

This article covers the Starbucks puppuccino basics and everything you need to know about this trendy drink for dogs. By the end of this article, you're sure to feel confident about your decision on whether or not you should order a Starbucks puppuccino on your next coffee run.

What Is A Starbucks Puppuccino?

Starbucks puppuccinos, also known as pup cups, are a well-known Starbucks menu item and loved by many dogs all over the country. They offer a sweet treat to enjoy alongside their owners.

A Starbucks puppuccino consists of whipped cream, which many people enjoy regularly. There is no espresso, coffee, or caffeine in it. Whipped cream is the perfect topping for ice cream, birthday cake, and even a glass of hot chocolate on a cold winter night while you snuggle in front of the fire. Whipped cream goes with a variety of different sweet treats. It's the perfect combination of sweet and creamy, and convenient to add if you have a can in your refrigerator.

Whipped Cream Basics

To understand if a pup cup is safe for your dog to enjoy, it's important to know what ingredients are inside one.

Whipped cream is exactly how it sounds: cream that has been whipped into a fluffy, light texture. For that sweet flavoring, we all know and love, vanilla, sugar, and other flavorings are also added.

To maintain a longer shelf life, store-bought whipped cream brands contain preservatives that prevent them from going bad in a matter of a few days. That being said, there aren't necessarily any harmful or toxic ingredients in whipped cream that your dog should absolutely avoid. Even dairy-free alternatives of whipped cream, that use ingredients such as soy, coconut, or almonds, use the same ingredients and process to achieve that fluffy cloud texture and taste.

Is Starbucks Puppuccino Safe for Dogs

While there are no toxic ingredients in whipped cream, this doesn't mean that it's necessarily safe for all dogs.

Some dogs have sensitive digestive systems when it comes to certain foods, including dairy products like whipped cream. Many dogs tolerate milk, yogurt, and other dairy products without any issues but for others, this may not be the case.

Unfortunately, certain dogs are lactose intolerant just like humans. When they consume whipped cream or other dairy products, some dogs may experience the same symptoms as lactose-intolerant humans. Vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and an upset stomach are all common signs a dog may not be able to process whipped cream easily.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog after consuming dairy, it's probably best to keep these ingredients out of their diet. If an absence of dairy is the cure to their digestive issues, it's a safe bet to assume that your pup is lactose intolerant. Even if your dog isn't lactose intolerant, Starbucks puppaccinos can still pose a health threat. While they are relatively safe, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Starbucks puppaccinos and other dairy products can also be a source of excessive calories, which can lead to obesity. Obesity is a very dangerous condition for any dog. Being above an ideal weight can lead to joint problems, heart issues, and more. To avoid these health problems, it's essential that you limit excessive calories and treats in your dog's diet. While an occasional pup cup or slice of cheese won't cause much harm, it's best to avoid making these usual occurrences. Having a balanced canine diet is the key to ensuring that your dog is living a healthy, happy life.

In addition to obesity, diabetes is another possible health risk if too many puppaccinos are included in your dog's diet. Dogs don't process sugar the same way as humans. Too much sugar in their diet can cause some serious health concerns, such as diabetes. Diabetes is a very serious condition that can effect all dogs, though some are more at risk than others. To avoid putting your dog's health at risk, be sure to avoid an overabundance of whipped cream and other sugary treats.

Whipped Cream Health Benefits

While whipped cream may be delicious and good for the soul, it offers little to no health benefits for your dogs.

Whipped cream doesn't contain any meat, fish, or vegetable nutrients, which are the main source of vitamins for both you and your dog. Without these vitamins and nutrients, your dog doesn't really benefit from whipped cream, ice cream, or any other sweet, dairy product.

If you are looking for a way to improve your dog's health and diet, puppaccinos and whipped cream aren't the best choices. While this is unfortunate, there are many other human food options that taste delicious and offer plenty of health benefits.

How To Safely Feed Your Dog A Starbucks Puppaccino

If you are just introducing a pup cup into your dog's diet, it's best to do so slowly and carefully.

Consider breaking out some whipped cream at home to see how they like it. Start with a spoonful of whipped cream or any other form of heavy cream at a time. This way you're able to see how their stomachs react and if any other health issues arise. If they seem fine after the first portion is ingested, feel free to increase the amounts of whipped cream a little at a time. If no other issues come up, a Starbucks pup cup is most likely safe for them to consume.

While a Starbucks pup cup may be safe for your dog to enjoy, this doesn't mean that every dog owner should regularly feed their dog this sweet treat. A pup cup should always be a once-in-a-while treat to avoid potential health issues. Thankfully, the Starbucks puppaccino comes in a small cup. If your dog is a large breed, such as a Great Dane or Labrador Retriever, they can likely handle eating an entire pup cup at once. Smaller dog breeds, such as Yorkshire Terriers or Pomeranians, typically shouldn't eat an entire pup cup at once. While they are in a small cup, this portion can still be too much for their digestive systems to process.

When feeding your dog whipped cream, always stay away from sugar-free whipped cream options. These whipped creams can contain a harmful sugar substitute called xylitol, which is extremely toxic and dangerous to dogs. Always check that your whipped cream doesn't contain xylitol or any other sugar substitutes.

You won't need to worry about this ingredient when ordering a Starbucks puppaccino off of the Starbucks secret menu. This coffee establishment doesn't use xylitol or any other toxic ingredients in their canine treats.

Should You Take Your Dog to Starbucks For A Pup Cup?

While your dog will almost always enjoy a puppaccino, taking them with you to get it can be a different story. Some dogs tolerate traveling in the car better than others, if this is the case for you and your dog, the entire experience should be a pleasant one. 

If your dog does experience anxiety, while on a car ride and begins whining or shaking, consider bringing this special treat home for them, rather than having them tag along with you for the ride.

While dogs can go through the Starbucks drive-thru, going inside of your local Starbucks to order a puppaccino is another story. Most businesses that serve food, such as grocery stores and restaurants, have a strict no-dogs-inside policy due to health codes. These health codes keep food from becoming contaminated and limit the risk of others becoming sick.

If you are hoping to bring your dog with you on your coffee and puppaccino trip, it's best to opt for the drive-thru. When you're visiting a Starbucks that doesn't have a drive-thru, consider leaving your dog at home and getting them a puppaccino to enjoy when you get back. Leaving your dog in the car during warmer months or for long periods can be extremely dangerous.

Other Sweet Treats For Your Dog To Enjoy

If you're looking for a treat to feed your dog that tastes delicious but want to keep their whip cream consumption to a minimum, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.

Many of these snacks contain additional nutrients and vitamins. Not only will your dog enjoy the taste of the yummy treat, but they'll also gain the health benefits these foods provide. While pup cups are great for an occasional treat, there are plenty of other options for your dog to enjoy that can give you peace of mind.

Yogurt With Fruit

Some dogs are lactose intolerant. If you have found your dog's digestive system isn't upset by dairy products such as whipped cream, consider feeding them yogurt with fruits. Yogurt and fruit contain some great health perks, such as fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and more. You can even freeze this yogurt and fruit mixture for a refreshing summer treat.

Consider filling a refillable dog toy, such as a puzzle toy, with this yogurt mixture and freezing it. This will not only offer your dog a delicious treat but will also keep their mind stimulated as they try to find the best and easiest way to get to that delicious yogurt treat. When feeding your dog yogurt with fruit, always be sure that the yogurt doesn't contain any xylitol or other harmful ingredients.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a staple. Just like humans, most dogs love peanut butter. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet and can be combined with many different foods.

For example, apples and bananas are all great complements to delicious peanut butter. Peanut butter is a great snack that can be fed to your dog in a variety of ways. It can be stuffed into a refillable toy for mental stimulation, which can help in the prevention of many health conditions, such as canine dementia.

Peanut butter can also be used to sneakily hide medication for your dog. Simply sneak a pill into a scoop of peanut butter and your dog will likely gobble it up and enjoy it too!


If you are looking for a dairy product to share with your furry friend aside from whipped cream and puppaccinos, cheese is a great option.

Blend mild cheese with bananas and peanut butter to put in your dog's puzzle toys. Simply blend and freeze once the toy has been filled; providing your dog with a fun and engaging snack to enjoy. Cheese can also be fed to your dog as an occasional treat or used to disguise medications your dog doesn't like taking.

Always start with small amounts of cheese to see how your dog's digestive system reacts. If they seem to have no digestive upsets to cheese, consider using it as a reward during training or as praise.

Human Foods To Avoid

While there are many human foods dogs can enjoy safely, there is also an abundance that need to be avoided.

Any food with xylitol or other sugar substitutes should be avoided at all costs. While peanuts are safe for your dog to enjoy, this isn't the case with other nuts, such as almonds which can be toxic for dogs. Many fruits are safe for dogs to eat with yogurt, but not all. Grapes and avocado can pose potential health issues for your dog. Stick to feeding them fruits safe for dogs. Mangoes, pineapple, bananas, and even apples are all safe fruit choices for your dog. When feeding your dog any foods, including produce, always ensure that they are dog safe.

With proper preparation and education, your dog can enjoy an abundance of different foods and flavors without any health concerns. In time, you're sure to find dog-safe human foods that your dog loves to share with you.

Pup Cup It Up

The next time you take a trip to your local Starbucks, you may ask yourself: Is Starbucks puppaccino safe for dogs? The quick answer is yes, this sweet treat is safe for your dog in moderation.

While this is the case for most dogs, those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and lactose intolerance should avoid a pup cup. The whipped cream in pup cups can be dangerous for dogs with certain health issues or when it's not given in moderation.

A Starbucks puppaccino consists of minimal ingredients, including whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla flavoring. These ingredients are generally safe for your dog, but this may not always be the case.

If you notice any unusual behaviors or symptoms in your dog after eating a puppaccino or other food, such as diarrhea, lethargy, or vomiting, be sure to get them to a vet as soon as possible. Many dogs may react differently to various human foods than others. Overall, pup cups are a great treat to give your dog in moderation. Additionally, yogurt, fruits, peanut butter, and various veggies are great to introduce into the diet of your dog. Doing so can provide nutrients, vitamins, and flavors that they may be missing out on.

The next time you visit your local Starbucks for a latte or a refresher, you won't have to worry about whether or not letting your dog enjoy a pup cup is safe. Order this delicious, sweet treat on occasion and have peace of mind that your dog can enjoy it safely.

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