Tested and fully approved by a cocker spaniel
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Credit: photo by teresa sabga

There are literally thousands of drinks on the Starbucks secret menu, but only one of them is dog-friendly. It’s called the Puppuccino, and apparently, pups love them, as witnessed by the dozens of videos on social media of dogs devouring Puppuccinos in seconds flat. One such video of a police pup from Ohio slurping up a Puppuccino made the rounds on the internet this week, and spoiler: It was adorable AF. So naturally, I started scheming, trying to find a pup could I “borrow” to take to Starbucks for a Puppuccino so I could watch the joy happen in front of my eyes. Also—and this seemed like an important detail to nail down—I had to figure out what is in a Starbucks Puppuccino.

It sounds fancy, but this Starbucks secret menu item for dogs is simply an espresso cup filled with whipped cream. And nervous dog owners need not be concerned about accidentally making their dog sick, because whipped cream is generally safe for dogs to eat. It shouldn’t be an everyday thing, of course, but letting your dog join you on a Starbucks run once in awhile shouldn't affect their health.

I also reached out to Starbucks to ask if the Puppuccino was even a real thing, and a spokesperson explained to me that, despite what folks on the internet were saying, “A Puppuccino is not an official menu item.” However, “All customers have the ability to order extra whip cream for a beverage, and we’ve seen customers order this for their dogs.” There were also some rumors that the Puppuccino is free, but that’s not necessarily the case. “As with any beverage customization,” the spokesperson added, “the cost will vary by store.”

Armed with this information, all I needed now was a dog. Enter Snickers, a cocker spaniel who just celebrated his first birthday this week, which seemed like a good a reason as any to treat him to a Puppuccino. And once I convinced Snickers’s mom Teresa Sabga, Extra Crispy’s wonderful assistant food and drinks editor, that this secret menu item wouldn’t make her pup puke in her apartment, we were off to Starbucks.

Here’s the thing that I’ve learned about the Starbucks secret menu. More often than not, if you order a Chunky Monkey Frappuccino or a Lucky Charms Frappuccino, the barista will have no idea what you’re talking about or how to make it. But the baristas at Starbucks are friendly, and if you explain what you want, they’ll make it.

And that’s exactly what happened when I ordered a Puppuccino. The barista had no idea what I was talking about, but when I explained that all I wanted was an espresso cup full of whipped cream, she very kindly served it up without any further questions, charging me a cool $1.09. She also laughed a bit that I explained that it was for my friend's dog, not me, but didn't ask any further questions, which I appreciated.

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To be fair, it’s not really like Snickers knew what a Puppuccino was either. He’s a dog, after all. But damn if he didn’t enjoy it.

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So if you want to treat your pup to some Starbucks, don't expect your barista to know what a Puppuccino is, but you should fully expect your dog—or your coworker's dog, as the case may be—to love every bite of it.

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder