Puppy about to try a Puppuccino

Puppuccino Australia -
Learn Recipes & How To Make Them

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that a Puppuccino is a new trendy drink that tastes of bacon and woofs at you. With the confusion I get facing a Starbuck menu nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised! A puppuccino is far simpler than you might think and a lovely treat for your dog when you’re on the go.

In this article, we’ll discuss puppuccinos in their entirety. What they are, where to find them and how to make your own. Let’s dive in!

Check out our YouTube video on What Is A Puppuccino?


What Is A Puppuccino?

“Puppuccino” is the cutesy name for the simplest possible liquid treat for your dog.

It’s a cup of whipped cream.

That’s it! Starbucks birthed the idea as an insider’s off-menu item for your canine friend. It’s completely free and should be offered at all Starbucks outlets across the globe.

Other coffee outlets may have similar offerings but are always off-menu. If you ask for a cup of cream for your dog at a coffee shop, they shouldn’t charge you for it. Cream is extremely cheap and plentiful for coffee stores hence why free puppuccinos were created.


Are Puppuccinos Safe For Dogs?

Well, is a cup of cream good for anyone?

All jokes aside, the answer to this question is quite nuanced. Most dogs are lactose intolerant on some level. While milk isn’t the worst food in the world for your loveable canine, it does cause stomach upset in large quantities.

“Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhoea and other digestive problems for your pup. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause them to itch,” - Amy Flowers, DVM, PetMD (1)

Of course, you wouldn't know it! Your pup probably loves the stray lick of an innocent child’s ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day. But that’s just one of those examples of who we like the things that are bad for us. That’s a universal fact of the animal kingdom, not just humans. Dogs love chocolate too but it’s extremely toxic to them.

Luckily for our purposes today, milk and dairy products aren’t toxic to dogs. That includes cream. But if the smallest amount of milk or cream makes your dog vomit or induces diarrhoea, then avoid it at all costs.

Generally, a small puppuccino won’t hurt them as an occasional treat.

The issue can lie in any additions to the puppuccino. Starbucks staff know that their recipe needs to be a simple cream in a cup formula. No added extras. When you make a puppuccino at home, you can be more creative. Danger can lie in what ingredients you choose to add to your masterpiece.

Later on, we’ll discuss some recipes for different types of puppuccinos and how you can mix and match your own safely.


Where Can I Get A Puppuccino For My Dog?

The official puppuccino is a Starbucks product. You can get it for free at any Starbucks outlet. Other coffee outlets may have similar options but call it something different. “Puppy lattes” is a common name for them too.

Alternatively, just ask the barista for a cup of whipped cream for your dog. That’s a puppuccino in essence without the fancy name.

You can also make them at home which is what we’ll talk about next.


How To Make A Puppuccino: 5 Recipes

If you don’t live near a Starbucks (like me) or if you’re just not a Starbucks fan, you can make your own puppuccinos at home quite easily. Here are five simple recipes you can make at home in minutes.

1. The Classic Puppuccino

Simple and classic, the basic puppuccino is a crowd-pleaser to all dogs.

Ingredients

  • 100ml Heavy/double cream or whipped cream in a can (sugar-free if possible)

Method

  1. Grab a small cup or small bowl.
  2. If you have heavy cream, you need to whip it up to get the right texture. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment to add air and fluff to your cream. It should only take a minute on high speed to make fluffy whipped cream.
  3. Take your whipped cream and place it in your bowl or cup to give to your dog. Garnish with a small dog treat if you like!

2. The Pumpkin Puppuccino


To add some extra sweetness, pumpkin puree is a wonderful addition. Give this recipe a go to elevate your recipe.

Ingredients

  • 50ml Heavy/double cream or whipped cream in a can (sugar-free if possible)
  • ⅛ cup Pumpkin puree (canned)
  • ⅛ cup Greek yoghurt (sugar-free)

Method

  1. Find a small cup or bowl.
  2. Mix the pumpkin puree and Greek yoghurt in the bowl or cup.
  3. If you’re using canned whipped cream, you can just squirt on the whipped cream as dressing, and you’re done! If you have heavy cream, you need to whip it up. Place it in a large bowl under a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat for 1-2 minutes on high speed until you get the desired texture.
  4. Add the whipped cream to the top of the pumpkin mixture. Add a dog treat to garnish.

3. The Lacto-Free Puppuccino


If your dog is very gassy after eating milk products, they might be lactose intolerant. You can create a lacto-free version with the multiple lacto-free alternatives to cream on the market. This recipe uses lacto-free dairy.

Ingredients

  • 100ml Lacto-free whipped cream or heavy/double cream (sugar-free)

Method

  1. Grab a small cup or bowl.
  2. Mix the lacto-free heavy cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment for one to two minutes. If you’re beating by hand, use a reliable whisk. It may take a few minutes to get the right texture.
  3. Place the whipped cream in the bowl and serve. You can add any additions you like (see guidelines below).

4. The Dairy-Free Puppuccino


Want to avoid dairy altogether, how about coconut milk? It’s a little harder to work with but creates fantastic results if you don’t mind the extra effort.

Ingredients

  • 100ml canned full-fat coconut milk

Method

  1. Chill the coconut milk can in the fridge for a day.
  2. Empty the solid coconut cream into a large, chilled glass or metal bowl and set the liquid aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream until you get a fluffier consistency. I wouldn’t recommend beating coconut cream by hand. It’s very thick!
  4. Serve the whipped coconut cream in a small bowl or cup. Garnish however you like.

5. The Puppuccino Extravaganza


This recipe goes all out. I recommend this one for a doggy birthday or Christmas celebration! Savour for a special occasion.

Ingredients

  • 50ml whipped cream or double/heavy cream ready for whipping (sugar free)
  • ⅛ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ⅛ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 piece of banana
  • Peanut butter for dipping
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

  1. Choose a small cup or bowl.
  2. Mix the puree and the Greek yoghurt in the bowl until blended.
  3. Dip the small piece of banana in the peanut butter to coat. Place the piece in the bowl with the yoghurt.
  4. If you have double cream to whip, whip it up! Use a stand mixer or hand mixer for one to two minutes at high speed.
  5. Place the whipped cream on top of the yoghurt and puree mix.
  6. Garnish with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon and a dog treat.

Creating Your Own Puppuccino Variations

Maybe you want to create your own puppuccino recipe. I’m a whiz in the kitchen so I love to experiment. While basic whipped cream is simple to source, you can spice things up. The trick is to know what’s safe for your dog to eat and what’s not. Here is a short guide on how to create variations of your homemade puppuccino.

What To Include In Your Puppuccino Recipe

There are lots of things you can add to a puppuccino to make it tastier, smellier and more nutritious for your pup. I have outlined 5 below but do your research on other fruits and flavours you can add-in. We have a few articles on what could be safe for your dog to eat in our Canine care section.

  • Peanut butter

Dogs love peanut butter! It contains fatty acids that help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. That said, peanut butter is fat so it can contribute to obesity. You should use it in small quantities as an occasional treat.

To add it to your puppuccino, I would place a dollop at the bottom of the cup or bowl and put the whipped cream on top. It’s a secret surprise for your pup at the end of their frothy drink.

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs and provides a little extra sweet smell to the drink. It’s not entirely clear if cinnamon has the same pleasing taste to dogs as it does to us, but it certainly adds appeal to the senses. It also looks like a real Starbucks coffee!

To add to your puppuccino, sprinkle a tiny bit on top of the whipped cream as a small garnish. Too much cinnamon can cause stomach upset and irritation. (2)

  • Bananas

Many dogs love bananas. They’re a great source of nutrients and minerals that your dog needs for strong health. Magnesium and potassium are primary vitamins you can expect from bananas that help with cognitive function and muscle cramps. Bananas are a good source of fibre too.

So what’s the catch? As with all fruit, bananas are full of sugar. Having too much sugar can rot your dog’s teeth and worsen diabetes. Be mindful when feeding your dog bananas.

To add to your puppuccino, batter the bananas into a puree and either mix into the whipped cream gently or place at the bottom of the cup/bowl and put the whipped cream on top.

  • Strawberries

Sweet and bright, strawberries are another favourite fruit for some dogs. They’re so fragrant and sugary that your dog will love this addition to their treat.

“Strawberries are full of fibre and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them.”  - Marisa Sarbak DVM, American Kennel Club (3)

Again, the caveat is the sugar content. Strawberries should be an occasional treat for your pup and not a mainstay in their diet.

  • Honey*

Who doesn’t love some honey? Your pup is definitely part of the honey-loving crew. This natural source of sugar is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Although it’s worth mentioning that the results for dogs on this matter are inconclusive. (4)

So, why the asterisk? It is very high in sugar so many dogs should steer clear. Any diabetic or obese dogs shouldn’t have honey. If in doubt, contact your vet for guidance.

To add honey to your dog’s puppuccino, you only need a small amount. You can put half a teaspoon in the cup or bowl before your put in the whipped cream or you can drizzle clear, runny honey on top. Yum!

What Not To Include In Your Homemade Puppuccino

There are lots of human foods that you shouldn’t feed your dog. We have plenty of guidance on this in our canine care section. The internet is also a great resource. If in doubt, Google!
This is just a short list of foods that you may consider fitting for a dog-themed drink but are actually a terrible idea. Let’s discuss.

  • Coffee

Even though “puppuccino” is a cute play on words for “cappuccino”, it doesn’t contain coffee.

I repeat. Do NOT put coffee into your dog’s puppuccino!  Dogs are extremely sensitive to caffeine, and it will cause many issues. 

“Caffeine raises blood pressure and causes cardiac arrhythmias, which can be dangerous. Pets may also lose muscle control and have tremors or seizures. Caffeine affects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Vomiting may be a helpful side effect since it can remove some of the toxins from the body.”  - Renee Schmid, DVM & Ahna Brutlag, DVM, VCA Hospitals (5)

Ingesting large amounts of caffeine can kill your dog, so this is not to be messed with.

In general, you would ruin a perfectly good cup of cream by adding coffee anyway. Dogs aren’t attracted to the bitter taste or woody smell. If in doubt, leave it out.

  • Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most well-known killers of canines. Though dogs love the smell and taste of chocolate, it is extremely toxic to them.

Cocoa powder is more toxic than dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate and so on. But in general, the smallest amounts of cocoa solids can land your dog in doggy hospital, or worse, doggy heaven.

Steer well clear of chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate powder, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate milk.

  • Sweeteners

Your dog’s drink doesn’t need to be unnecessarily sugary. We humans may love a coffee ladened with caramel syrup and filled to the brim with stevia, but that’s not what your dog wants or needs.

Sweeteners can be dangerous for your dog because of certain chemicals that are in them. One is xylitol. It’s a sweetener that is typically found in candy and toothpaste. It’s very toxic to dogs.

Your dog doesn’t need sweeteners so leave them out. If you want to make the puppuccino tastier, try natural sweetening foods like bananas.

  • Sugar

What about a sneaky dollop of white or brown sugar in your dog’s whipped froth? Is that allowed?

Technically it’s okay but pure sugar is incredibly bad for your dog’s tooth health. Sugars encourage tooth decay and stomach upset. If you want to make your dog’s drink sweeter, you’re better off with fruit or honey in tiny amounts than pure crystallised sugar,

  • Nutmeg

Nutmeg and cinnamon are similar right? Perhaps to us but not to your pup! 

“Cinnamon might not be toxic to dogs, but nutmeg is another common baking spice, and it can have toxic effects. Nutmeg and cinnamon are often used together in recipes, and nutmeg contains the toxin myristicin. Myristicin can cause hallucinations, increased heart rate, disorientation, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, dry mouth, and even seizures.” - Anna Burke , American Kennel Club (2)

It’s wild to think that cinnamon and nutmeg seem so similar and yet have such different reactions in your dog’s body. Nutmeg and cinnamon may seem the perfect pairing, but when it comes to your dog, steer clear!


Puppuccinos: The Final Verdict

Like all treats, pupuccinos are perfectly harmless in small quantities. As an occasional treat, you can delight and surprise your dog with some fatty, sweet goodness. To tailor to your dog’s taste, give one of the recipes a go or make your own.

Let us know how your dog likes their puppuccino in the comments below!

References

  1. Flowers, A. February 13, 2020. “Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat”. PetMD. Retrieved February 14, 2022. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat
  2. Burke, A. March 27, 2017. “Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 14, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-cinnamon/
  3. Sarbak, M. August 20, 2017. “Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can or Can’t Eat”.  American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 14, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/
  4. Burke, A. May 10, 2017. “Can Dogs Eat Honey?”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 14, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-honey/
  5. Schmidd, R. Butlag, A. Buzhardt, L. “Caffeine Toxicity in Pets”. VCA Hospitals.  Retrieved February 14, 2022. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/caffeine-toxicity-in-pets

Olivia De Santos

Olivia is a professional writer and animal lover. She loves spending time with her Podengo and Flat Coated Retriever, and writing pieces to help people to be better dog owners

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