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.
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.