What Is A Starbucks Puppuccino And How Do You Order It?

Ohhhh, dogs. They make us laugh with their silly nature. They seem to know when we're down and make us feel better with extra cuddles. They protect us (or at least try to) by sniffing out or barking at strangers. They make great co-workers. Studies have even pointed out that when we lock eyes with our dog, the "love hormone" oxytocin is created, making us feel happy (per Science). It's no wonder, then, that we want to shower our four-legged best friends with delicious dog treats to show them we love and appreciate them.

One company that acknowledges this treat-giving desire is Starbucks. Starbucks doesn't just satisfy human coffee cravings, they also offer our furry buds an unofficial menu item called a "Puppuccino." A portmanteau formed by putting the words "pup" and "cappuccino" together, Puppuccino is pronounced "pup-ooh-chee-noh" and seems to generally be a safe treat for pooches. So, the next time you make a coffee run with your trusty pup by your side, satisfy that sad, give-me-some stare as you take a swig of your latte by giving them a treat of their own. Here's how you can order one.

What is a Puppuccino?

For those not in-the-know, a Puppuccino is just a short or espresso-sized Starbucks cup filled with sweetened whipped cream. There's no coffee, tea, or caffeine of any kind in the cup — just yummy, whipped topping in a tiny cup perfectly sized for a dog's snout.

If you've never heard of a Puppuccino, the best way to get acquainted with it is to check out social media. There's no shortage of videos, like this one on Twitter, of excited pups sticking their faces into their Puppucino cup and voraciously lapping up the treat next to their human parent at a Starbucks drive-thru. Check Instagram for the hashtag #puppucino, and you'll also find more than 18,000 posts of pups enjoying this popular snack.

As far as ingredients go, Starbucks uses the same whipped topping for a Puppuccino as it does for your fave Frappuccino or White Chocolate Mocha, and it consists of just two ingredients: heavy cream and vanilla syrup. According to Grounds to Brew, Starbucks of course uses a professional whipped cream dispenser and whipped cream chargers with nitrous oxide. This pressurized gas aerates the cream and vanilla syrup quickly and neatly so the barista can dispense the fluffy cream into the cup.

How do you order a Puppuccino?

Since you can't order a Puppuccino through the Starbucks app, the best way to order one is at the drive-thru window. You'll obviously want to give your dog some instant gratification and let him or her enjoy their treat right away. According to Bark Post, just tell your barista that your furry best friend is with you in the car and would really love a Puppuccino. You can also refer to this "secret menu" treat as a pup cup, or simply ask for a small cup of whipped cream for your pooch, and your barista will know exactly what to whip up.

It's important to note that Starbucks does have a "no dogs in store policy," unless the pet is a service dog, as this official Starbucks story points out. Starbucks will welcome dogs outside the store, though. So, after you secure your pup and run in to pick up your mobile order plus a Puppuccino, Fido can his enjoy his treat next to you on the patio.

How much does this treat cost?

And now for the most amazing news ever: Puppuccinos are totally free (like many fast food restaurants wanting to feed your dog)! This is great for you, since your pet probably has no money. Though, if you are going to order a Puppuccino, the etiquette is really to only request it if you're ordering something for yourself, too (per Mental Floss). While there haven't been any reports of customers paying for Puppuccinos, Starbucks does leave it up to a particular store's management (per Superfoodly). So be warned, if you're waltzing into Starbucks every day to take advantage of this free perk without ever ordering for yourself, your barista might take notice and start charging. 

It's also good form to add a little tip to say thanks, especially if your barista automatically offers you a Puppuccino after eyeing your cute pup in the car with you. Or maybe offer a little tousle on the head through the window, if both parties are willing and your barista is a dog person.

Are Puppuccinos safe for dogs?

As mentioned previously, this treat is just whipped cream in a small cup mixed with Starbucks vanilla syrup. Though, there is some disagreement about whether it's okay for dogs, especially on Reddit. In this thread, the original poster explains that the amount of sugar in the pup cup is "not safe for dogs," and that "the amount of sugar in the whipped cream can cause your dog's blood sugar levels to spike." Of course, other Redditors piped in and the debate ensued, with no clear consensus.

According to Yahoo News, while there isn't anything toxic in sweetened whipped cream, sometimes dairy products just don't agree all too well with some dogs' bellies. So, while your furry friend should usually stick to dog food and the occasional treat, there's nothing wrong with a Puppuccino every now and then as a special treat, such as for their "got ya" anniversary or birthday — unless your dog already has digestive issues. Then you'll want to steer clear.

If you're really worried about whether you can give your dog a bit of whipped cream, you can always ask your vet first.

Starbucks may be making the Puppuccino an official menu item

It looks like Puppuccinos may even make it onto the official Starbucks menu at some point. Starbucks applied to trademark the term "Puppuccino" in May 2021 (via Coffee At Three), after realizing someone beat them to it.

In fact, Starbucks had to oppose an already registered trademark for Puppuccino in August of 2020. Apparently, some clever New Jersey applicant tried to trademark the term and the case went to court (via Smith & Hopen). Of course, as much of a pain as this probably was for the company, let's be honest. As a mega-corporation grossing over $5 billion in 2021 (via Macro Trends), we can guess who won the case. This makes us wonder, though: Will Starbucks be adding other pup-friendly drinks and items to the main menu any time soon? A Catpuccino perhaps? We'll just have to standby with our furry friends to find out.