Last week my wife and I took a stroll through town with our dog and decided to sit outside our local Starbucks. My wife went inside and asked for a bowl of water, and to her complete surprise, the barista offered us a Starbucks puppuccino… and until then, we had no idea what a puppuccino at Starbucks was or what the puppuccino cost would be.
If your dog has ever been offered one, then you might already know a lot of this stuff. But for the un-initiated amongst you, here’s my guide to Starbucks; puppuccinos. It includes how you order them, what’s in them, whether they are safe, and how much a Starbucks puppuccino costs.
How much is a puppuccino at Starbucks?
Puppuccino are free at Starbucks and won’t cost you a dime. You might see an entry on your check, and if you do it will probably be listed as a sundry item costing $0 dollars.
The reason being; it’s not an official product on the menu, and instead is something that the workers and management at your local Starbucks will offer at their own discretion.
So, the next time someone asks you how much does a puppuccino cost at Starbucks, the answer will always be nothing… or at least at time of publishing this guide.
What is a puppuccino at Starbucks?
A puppuccino at Starbucks is a small paper cup filled with whipped cream. It contains nothing else, so no caffeine, added sugar, or sprinkles. It’s just the whipped cream that is normally squirted onto human drinks. It is not found on the menu and is typically free of charge as long as you are with your dog.
As you will already know, Starbucks is renowned for a wide selection of specials, but most will be chock full of calories. You can order your own liquid refreshments: hot and iced espresso beverages, iced coffee, or a Frappuccino – almost everything will have caffeine in.
It’s important to understand that the standard Starbucks offerings should never be given to your dog. Almost all of their menu could be potentially toxic to your dog. It’s because caffeine is a stimulant that causes high heart rate in canines and can also poison them.
The Starbucks puppuccino does not contain caffeine, so in theory is safe for your dog to consume.
However, it’s really not that simple, and if you are a responsible dog owner, please stick with me to read more on some warnings… but first, how much do they cost?
How to order a puppuccino at Starbucks?
If you want to get a Starbucks puppuccino for your own dog or puppy, it’s not something that you can officially order. In most cases you can’t even take your dog into a Starbucks, as they are actually banned, unless they are service dogs.
Whilst the Starbucks dog policy means you probably can’t take your doggy in (unless the management provides an exception or it’s a registered service dog), you can sit outside with them.
Based on that, there are two ways that you could order drinks and foods. First, you could use the mobile app which requires you to sign up in order to instruct any Starbucks store that you will come to pick your items indoors.
When the barista comes out, bring attention to your dog, and ask them whether they will let you order a puppuccino in addition to the main items brought out. If your local Starbucks knows about puppuccinos, hopefully they will bring one out.
The second way is if you have a registered service dog.
Walk into the coffee shop, tell them you have a service dog, but be prepared to have the proper identification. Some Starbucks staff will ask you to see proof of registration before letting your service dog into the premises.
From what I’ve learned, it’s far easier to order a puppuccino at Starbucks for dogs who are helping a disabled owner as a service dog. Once they have received your order, you will have to wait for a few minutes before your dog’s cup of whipped cream arrives.
How to order a puppuccino on the Starbucks app
If you install the Starbucks app, don’t expect to be able to order a puppuccino. It will not be on the official list of the principal items.
What is in a Starbucks puppuccino?
The ingredients of a Starbucks puppuccino are a blended whipped cream mix. This is a mixture of cream and sugar. It breaks down like this:
- Cream: Whilst cream does contain calcium, which is an essential element that stimulates growth, but in this format, it’s not particularly beneficial to your dog’s health. Yes, calcium does make dog’s bone stronger, whipped cream contains lots of sugars.
- Milk: Just like cream, milk also has calcium and could result in your dog’s teeth being stronger for chewing, as well as bone strength. But in the whipped cream form found in Starbucks’ puppuccinos, it’s unlikely to have any health benefits.
- Mono and diglycerides: In this case, they are used because they synthesize water and oil. Thus, the texture of food is said to be made better.
- Carrageenan: This is an additive that’s used to thicken up and emulsify cream. There is some research to suggest it could even cause cancer in animals in large quantities.
Breaking down the elements further, here’s what else you can find in a Starbucks puppuccino.
- Protein: 1 to 2 grams.
- Sugar: 3 to 6 grams.
- Sodium: 10 to 20mg.
- Cholesterol: 40 to 80mg.
How many calories in a puppuccino at Starbucks?
There are between 120 to 240 calories in a puppuccino at Starbucks depending on whether it’s served in a small or large cup.
Ask yourself, is that something you really want your dog to consume?
I crunched some numbers to find out how many calories two average sized dogs should eat each day; a French Bulldog and a Labrador. Vets say that:
- Dogs should only eat 25 calories for each pound they weigh each day.
- The average Frenchie is 25 pounds and should eat no more than 625 calories daily.
- The average Labrador is 70 pounds and should eat no more than 1,750 calories daily.
Based on these numbers:
- Small Starbucks puppuccino (120 calories): 19% French Bulldog / 7% Labrador daily intake.
- Large Starbucks puppuccino (240 calories): 38% French Bulldog / 18% Labrador daily intake.
For a small breed, a Starbucks puppuccino is a lot of calories (not to mention the sugar).
Are Starbucks puppuccinos safe for dogs?
In all honesty, it’s unlikely that one Starbucks puppuccino will have an adverse affect on “most dogs”. However, some could become ill due to the dairy, or possibly suffer with allergies.
I would not let my own dog have a Starbucks puppuccino and don’t think you should too.
In large and regular quantities, whipped cream could even lead to coughing, respiratory problems, loss of weight, heart diseases, dehydration, diarrhea and fever.
Puppuccinos contain a high level of cream and sugar, neither of which are good for dogs and can cause stomach issues amongst other things. Here’s a list of potential problems:
- Stomach upsets.
- Dental problems.
- Weight gain.
Do all Starbucks do puppuccinos?
No, not all Starbucks to puppuccinos. With outlets in more than 70 countries, it’s down to the individual store management from location to location. Many Starbucks will only offer them to service dogs.
The bottom line is; don’t expect to be able to order a puppuccino at Starbucks, as you could be disappointed.
Puppuccinos, whilst fun sounding, aren’t a good idea for your dog.
Ultimately though, it’s down to you, but personally we won’t be letting our pooch consume sugar and whipped cream.
You should always consult with your own vet before letting your dog have anything of this nature.