By Tricia Roberts
First of all…what is it?
A pup cup, also called puppachino, is simply whipped cream in a small cup. Some food establishments (especially those with a drive thru lane) have pup cups available for dogs. You won’t find them on the menu, though.
Oliver, our 2-year old yellow Labrador retriever, loves pup cups. Thanks to him, I’ve involuntarily learned the best local places for the treat.
We’ve got two spots for the best pup cups in town: Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. Here’s why.
Chick-fil-A is always delighted to add a pup cup on our order when we visit the drive thru. Even if I’ve placed my order ahead of time with their mobile app, they’re glad to add on the request when I get in line. His pup cup is always served with a smile. There is no additional charge to add a pup cup to your order at local Chick-fil-A restaurants.
Starbucks, who refers to the complimentary treat as a puppachino, is equally happy to make your dog’s day with a tasty treat. During one visit with Oliver, they even upgraded his cup to a larger size once they saw he was a big dog. He wouldn’t have known the difference, but that extra little touch made an impression on me.
Other fast food establishments, such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s, offer vanilla soft serve ice cream. I’ve never met a dog that will refuse one of these cold treats, but since there is more fat and sugar in ice cream than the whipped cream alternative, ice cream treats may lead to upset tummies. Also, check ingredients to make sure the ice cream doesn’t contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
While Oliver would prefer a pup cup every single day of the week, we only allow him to indulge in the treat once a week. With dogs and ‘people’ food, everything should be in moderation. Even at that frequency, Oliver knows when we’re in line for a pup cup. He starts drooling as soon as we enter the drive thru line and gobbles his pup cup or puppachino up quickly. He doesn’t understand the art of savoring the snack. He also doesn’t understand the art of keeping a car clean. So, if you plan to take your dog to get a pup cup, it’s a good idea to have a towel on hand.
If you decide to let your dog enjoy a pup cup, we hope he or she likes it as much as Oliver does!