Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream?

Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream or Starbucks Puppuccinos?

Pure unsweetened whipped cream is safe for dogs. Starbucks uses sugar-sweetened whipped cream in its puppuccinos, so occasional espresso-sized Pup Cups can be a safe treat for most dogs.  Avoid processed and non-dairy whipped toppings like Cool Whip and any whipped cream containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol.

Small amounts of high quality milk products are a healthy treat for most dogs – including hand-whipped organic cream. However, additives in processed foods like whipped cream products can contribute to canine diabetes, obesity, allergies, food sensitivities, inflammation and even hot spots. Lactose intolerant dogs can experience upset stomach from dairy. Products with artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be fatal.

Rest assured though, you can share the occasional Starbucks Puppuccino with your favourite Fur Soul! There are also lots of whipped cream alternatives for those birthday pup-cakes!

Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream
Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream

What is Whipped Cream?

Pure whipped cream is a simple dairy product that starts with heavy unsweetened cream,  whisked until it becomes light and fluffy.

Food manufacturers have complicated a simple thing and developed whipped cream products that come in spray cans and tubs, along with added ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. These are the most common types of whipped cream and whipped cream products:

What Types of Whipped Cream are Safe for Dogs?

The most common types of whipped cream are:

  • pure heavy or light cream (hand-whipped cream)
  • sugar-sweetened whipped cream (the kind used in Starbucks Puppuccino)
  • aerosol whipped cream (spray can)
  • Cool Whip (non-dairy topping in tubs)

Here are the safest kinds of whipped cream for dogs, from most to least safe.

Can Dogs Eat Pure Whipped Cream? (Whisked Heavy or Light Cream)

Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream?

Pure unsweetened organic whipped cream is the safest type of whipped cream for dogs. This is liquid dairy cream that you freshly whip when you need it (just like grandma made to top her homemade pumpkin pie). It has no additional ingredients. Pure cream is high in fat to help hold its shape, so avoid giving to dogs who are prone to pancreatitis. One tablespoon of heavy cream (36% butterfat) provides 5.4 grams of fat, while light cream (30-35% butterfat) has 2.9 grams. Just 1-2 tablespoons can provide a 30 pound dog with almost a third of his daily fat requirements. Of course, don’t give any dairy products to dogs that are lactose intolerant or have sensitivities to the milk protein known as casein.

Can Dogs Eat Sugar-Sweetened Whipped Cream?  Starbucks Puppuccino or Pup Cup

Dogs don’t need sugar, but when you’re ordering that Starbucks caramel macchiato for yourself,  it’s ok to ask for a “Pup Cup” of sugar-sweetened whipped cream for your excited dog. It’s the second safest whipped cream product for dogs.

Starbucks offers dog owners a free puppuccino or “Pup Cup” for their fur babies. A Pup Cup is a tiny espresso size cup of straight up sugar-sweetened whipped cream. Starbucks uses a whipped dairy cream product with typical added ingredients, including mono- and diglycerides and carrageenan. Vanilla syrup is added for flavour, so your pup will also get sugar, water, natural flavors, potassium sorbate and citric acid. When completely full, an espresso cup holds 3 ounces (90 mL) or about 6 tbsp of whipped cream.

As long as you don’t make this a regular treat, your dog should be able to enjoy this once in a while. Just watch for stomach upset.

Starbucks Pup Cup is a secret menu item, so dog parents need to ask for it.

We aren’t aware of dairy-free puppuccinos yet, but you can always ask for an espresso cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk if you prefer to give your dog dairy-free alternatives.

Can Dogs Eat Aerosol Whipped Cream like Reddi-Whip? (Spray Cans)

Is Whipped Cream Bad for Dogs?

If you don’t want to whisk cream yourself, you can buy it ready-made – with some added ingredients – just don’t give this to your dog. Instant whipped cream in a pressurized can uses nitrous oxide gas to “whip” the cream into an airy texture (what would grandma say?). Some products like Reddi Whip still contain real cream, but avoid giving your dog aerosol whipped cream because he doesn’t need these extra ingredients:

  • sugar/glucose-fructose
  • skim milk powder
  • cellulose gel
  • locust bean gum
  • cellulose gum
  • carrageenan
  • mono and diglycerides
  • polysorbate 80
  • nitrous oxide

Can Dogs Eat Cool Whip? (Non-Dairy Whipped Topping in Tubs)

whipped cream for dogs

Cool Whip is one of several brands of imitation whipped cream. Although marketed as “non-dairy”, it contains skim milk and the dairy protein casein, which is an allergen for some dogs. With a long list of extra ingredients and sweeteners, non-dairy whipped toppings are the worst choice for your dog:

  • hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • skimmed milk
  • light cream
  • sodium caseinate
  • xanthan and guar gums
  • polysorbate 60
  • sorbitan monostearate
  • sodium polyphosphate
  • beta carotene

Is Whipped Cream Safe for Dogs?

Unsweetened hand-whipped cream is safe for dogs, unless your dog has a dairy allergy or can’t tolerate the high fat content. Make it organic to increase nutritional value and avoid genetic manipulation.  Sugar-sweetened whipped cream like the one in Starbucks Pup Cups is ok in small amounts. All other types of whipped cream products have added ingredients that aren’t a good choice for your dog, such as sugar substitutes, corn syrup, and cellulose gel. 

Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

Although not deadly, sugar is well known for causing inflammation, and contributing to chronic inflammatory diseases, diabetes, obesity, stomach upset, reduced immunity and imbalanced gut flora (dysbiosis) in dogs. 

Limit the amount of sugar-sweetened whipped cream you give your dog to an occasional Pup Cup. More importantly, never give your dog any dairy product that contains artificial sweeteners like the harmful sugar substitute xylitol, which can be deadly.

Dogs don’t have a “sweet tooth”, so don’t give them sugar.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is a natural spice that is safe for dogs in small amounts (such as the amount used in the vanilla syrup added to Starbucks Pup Cups). 

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup’s negative effects are similar to sugar. In addition to contributing to obesity and diabetes, research also links corn syrup to heart disease including hypertension and metabolic syndrome (in people). As one of the world’s largest genetically modified crops, corn now contributes to food sensitivities, allergies and inflammatory diseases. In dogs, the most common reactions to corn include allergies and hot spots.

Don’t feed your dog any products with corn syrup or related processed sugars (caramel, glucose, fructose, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, cane juice, beet sugar). If there is corn syrup in your whipped cream, don’t feed it to your dog, or at least limit it to a very small amount on rare occasions.

When used as a life saving measure in emergency veterinarian medicine, corn syrup can rapidly increase blood glucose in hypoglycaemic dogs. However, it is not part of a healthy diet. 

Cellulose Gel

Used in food, cosmetics, packaging material – and whipped cream products – this genetically modified bacteria product is used extensively to mold items and maintain their shape. It is also used as a cheap filler for livestock feed (fibre) and used extensively in dog food to bind water and modify the quality of dogs’ feces (stool). 

Recognized by the FDA as “generally safe”, it is also used in foods as a stabilizer, thickener, gelling agent and suspending agent. 

FAQs

Is whipped cream good for dogs?

When real whipped cream is made from unsweetened organic, grass-fed dairy, it provides a good source of fat and protein, along with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamins D and E, calcium and phosphorous. A little bit is a healthy treat for dogs who aren’t lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy. Unless dairy is from cows on an organic grass-fed diet, limiting these products is recommended. 

Does whipped cream have too much fat for dogs?

Cream has a high butterfat content (30%–36%) which makes it easier to hold its shape. Since most dogs should keep their fat intake to about 5-20% of their diet, there is a potential for weight gain in your whipped-cream eating dog. In dogs with health conditions like pancreatitis, high fat diets can be especially hard to digest and injure their digestive organs.

On a deeper biological level, when cows are forced to eat corn, soy and other grains instead of grass, their milk and meat contain higher levels of inflammatory Omega-6 fats, which must be balanced by Omega-3 fats. Balance your dog’s Omega-6 fat with healthy omega-3 rich oils such as green-lipped mussel oil, ahiflower oil or hempseed oil. 

Can dogs have lactose intolerance?

Most dogs can have small amounts of dairy products like milk or cream, without stomach upset associated with lactose intolerance.  Certain dogs are unable to digest the milk sugar known as lactose and can show signs of intolerance such as: diarrhea, gas (flatulence), nausea or vomiting. Puppies tend to more tolerant to lactose in mother’s milk, so a dog may develop an intolerance as he ages. If your dog is lactose-intolerant, choose dairy-free alternatives such as coconut cream or almond milk. 

Avoid dairy from concentrated caged animal feeding operations; choose organic, grass-fed dairy.

Starbucks Pup Cup

How much whipped cream can I give my dog? 

Stick with a few tablespoons (for a medium to large sized dog) of unsweetened organic grass-fed whipped cream for the occasional treat. Larger amounts on rare occasions won’t hurt a healthy dog, but pay close attention to sign of upset stomach like diarrhea, vomiting or nausea. An espresso-sized container of sugar-sweetened whipped cream from Starbucks is fine as an occasional treat a couple times a month. 

What can I use instead of whipped cream for my dog?

dog birthday party

If you’re planning to bake some homemade cookies or a cake for your dog’s birthday pawty, there are safe and healthy toppings besides traditional whipped cream. Use organic cottage cheese or cream cheese, whip full fat coconut milk, or blend lightly cooked vegetables and fruits for a colorful topping. 

If you’re a Cool Fur Momma or Poppa, try these delicious ideas:

  • Spread a thin layer of plain organic cream cheese on top your dog’s birthday cake
  • Bake grain-free peanut butter cookies with a drizzle of melted carob (never use chocolate) 
  • Scoop some plain organic cottage cheese on top of grain-free carrot pupcakes
  • Whip up some coconut cream or full fat coconut milk into an airy topping and dab onto these stress reducing homemade La-La Lavendar Dog Biscuits
  • Sprinkle chopped or blended fresh fruits on top of grain-free cookies  Healthy choices are apples, bananas and blueberries
  • Puree lightly cooked carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and spread onto these homemade Halloween “Spookies” (cookies)

What are Concentrated Caged Feeding Operations (CAFO)?

Perhaps the most concerning issue with most mass-produced dairy products is that they come from concentrated caged feeding operations (CAFO). CAFOs use low quality, genetically modified food, antibiotics, growth hormones and other drugs for confined cows. Stressful and cruel conditions for the animals leads to a quality of dairy that we wouldn’t want to nourish ourselves or our dogs with. Check with your local dairy farmers to find out what’s in your milk and cream.

 

Be kind to all living beings. Respect the earth we all share.

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