dogs having puppuccino

If you are in the habit of watching cute dog videos through social media, you’ve probably seen dogs wolfing down Puppuccinos at a Starbucks drive-thru. It’s adorable! But do you know what a Puppuccino is? Should you give one to your dog?

As a very occasional treat, a Puppuccino is okay for your dog. But it is not something that you should give them daily or even weekly. Doing so is not a life-threatening situation, but it could prove to be over time.

Here, we go over what Puppuccinos are and why they aren’t great for your dog in the long run.

What Exactly Is a Puppuccino?

Puppuccinos are from Starbucks, but they don’t contain coffee or caffeine of any kind. It’s an espresso-sized paper cup that’s filled with whipped cream.

Puppuccinos aren’t advertised (except through social media) and don’t appear on the Starbucks menu. They are free, but it wouldn’t be good form to go in and demand one (or more) without making a purchase.

What Are the Ingredients in the Puppuccino?

There is just whipped cream in a Puppuccino, and whipped cream contains cream, milk, carrageenan, vanilla syrup, and monoglycerides and diglycerides. Here, we break down what these ingredients are and whether they are safe for dogs.

Monoglycerides and Diglycerides

Monoglycerides and diglycerides are emulsifiers, so they are capable of blending oil and water. This means they are often used as food additives. This could mean that Puppuccinos don’t contain whipped cream, but rather whipped topping. Monoglycerides and diglycerides do contain a small amount of trans fat but are considered safe for dogs. Still, these aren’t the kinds of ingredients that you want your dog eating regularly.


Carrageenan is a substance extracted from red seaweed and is used to thicken food and sauces. It’s commonly used in canned pet food. There is a bit of controversy over the use of carrageenan in cat and dog food.

The Cornucopia Institute reports that carrageenan can potentially cause tumors, ulcerations, intestinal lesions, and gastrointestinal inflammation. The National Organic Standards Board recommended removing carrageenan as an ingredient in 2016, but the USDA rejected the recommendation due to a lack of available substitutes.

It is still commonly found in canned pet food and dairy products.

Milk and Cream

Most cats are lactose intolerant, while most dogs aren’t. But while only some dogs become lactose intolerant, it is generally advised that dogs shouldn’t be given milk products regularly.

Too much milk can lead to gastroenteritis, which can include vomiting and diarrhea.

Whipped cream in a bowl with a spoon
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Vanilla Syrup

Vanilla syrup contains sugar, as well as artificial colors and preservatives. For one thing, dogs shouldn’t eat sugar. It can cause stomach upset, dental issues, obesity, and diabetes.

The occasional lick of something sweet is okay, but sugar does not belong in a dog’s regular diet.

If Your Dog Is Lactose Intolerant

If your dog has bad reactions every time they ingest dairy products, your dog might be lactose intolerant. If you already know that your dog has this condition, you should not knowingly give your dog any dairy products. Puppuccinos are not recommended.


If you give your dog a Puppuccino and your dog experiences nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or itchy skin, there’s a chance that your dog has an intolerance to lactose and therefore, diary.

When these symptoms do occur, it might take minutes, hours, or a day for them to fully subside. After that, be sure to take your dog to your vet.

Final Thoughts

While your dog will probably love licking up a delicious Puppuccino, just keep in mind that it isn’t a healthy treat in any way. If your dog isn’t lactose intolerant, it should be okay if it’s for a special occasion and no more than once a month.

Speak to your vet if you’re unsure. This is an important step to take when you introduce any new foods or treats, though it’s best to try to keep to treats for dogs. Whipped cream was never meant for pets.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock