What is a puppuccino and are they safe for dogs?

gunther enjoying a puppuccino

Puppuccinos have been a (not so) secret menu item in Starbucks for several years now. They’re so popular that many smaller coffee shops have also started doing “pup cups” to tempt canine customers to their cafes with their owners in tow. But what’s in a puppuccino? And are they actually safe for dogs? Let’s find out.

What’s in a pup cup? 

Gunther is a pup-cup connoisseur. We’ve given him puppuccinos from any coffee shop that offers them, and they’re all the same: a large blob of canned whipped cream. 

Dogs love them because they are palatable and high-calorie, just like other favourites cheese and chicken. Dogs are big fans of junk food—just like us. 

Are pup cups safe to give dogs?

Yes, pup cups are safe as an occasional treat for most dogs. Just don’t make a habit out of it. (There are healthier enrichment options for your dog.)

Dogs with sensitive stomachs should probably stay away from them, unless you’re willing to put up with smelly farts (or worse) for a couple of days afterwards. 

Are pup cups bad for dogs?

Gunther loves a pup cup

Pup cups can make certain dogs very ill. Dogs with severe allergies could have bad vomiting and diarrhoea after a pup cup, which can mean dehydration and a vet visit. 

Dogs with a history of pancreatitis should also avoid puppucinos due to their high fat content. This could cause a flare-up and lead to a vet visit. 

You have to be careful with small dogs as they are at risk of piling on weight if they have too many. Pup cups have a high calorie content.

Finally, the extra sugar in the whipped cream can lead to tooth decay. If your dog has dental issues, be careful. 

With all that said, we give our dogs a pub cup every two weeks or so. Gunther would love one more often, but it probably wouldn’t be great for him. 

Can I make a pup cup at home?

Yes, if you buy canned whipped cream in the supermarket you can make your own pup cups at home. Just make sure it’s xylitol free. However, we don’t recommend this because of the probability of your dog putting on too much weight. 

Pup cups are free, so making them at home doesn’t save any money. Keep them as a special treat to keep them occupied when you go out for coffee. 

We love treating the boys to the occasional puppuccino when we’re on a long drive or grabbing coffee with friends. It keeps them busy (for about five seconds in Gunther’s case) and can be used as a reward for good behaviour in public. 

Remember that all dogs are different, though, and puppuccinos may not be a good idea for some. Look at your dog’s individual needs and make a decision based on them and you can’t go wrong!