It’s a nice gesture, but did you know the “puppaccino” you get at the Starbucks drive through is really “just” whipped cream? No big deal, right? Not so fast.
According to the Starbucks website, their whipped cream contains cream, milk, mono- and diglycerides, and carrageenan.
Let’s break down those ingredients, shall we?
According to Peter Tobias, DVM, “Most adult dogs lack lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose – the milk sugar. The inability to digest lactose can lead to bowel inflammation and diarrhea.” In other words, many dogs are lactose intolerant. Lactose is most prevalent in cow’s milk.
Mono- and diglycerides
Mono- and diglycerides are food additives used as an emulsifier. They are a type of trans fat. While they might not be as harmful to healthy pets as they are to humans, they are not essential and should be avoided in pets prone to weight gain.
Carrageenan is a thickening agent often found in ice cream and other creamy products. It is suspected of being a carcinogen, and has been linked to intestinal inflammation. The National Organic Standards Board voted recently to remove carrageenan from the list of substances approved for use in food items labeled “USDA Organic.”
Make your Own!
As much as we like to think differently, even the smartest dog isn’t going to know the difference between a free puppaccino at the drive through and a healthy treat you make for her. If you like the feeling of sharing a cuppa’ with your furry friend, why not make your own? This recipe is easy peasy, takes 5 minutes to make, and even less time to consume.
1 cup goat or sheep milk yogurt (fresh from a local farm, preferably)
1/2 cup organic pure pumpkin puree
1/2 organic banana
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Cookie for garnish (check out ours here!)
Mix the first three ingredients using a NutriBullet or smart stick until smooth and creamy. Pour into two containers. Sprinkle with cinnamon, add a cookie for garnish. Give one to pup and place the second in the fridge for treat time on another day. Although goat and sheep milk yogurt include lactose, there is less than in cow’s milk. In addition, the live organisms in yogurt aid digestion (as does pumpkin). As with any food, start with a small amount to be sure your pup doesn’t have any adverse reaction. And remember, this is a treat — too much of a good thing is still too much.*
*Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist if you have questions about your pet’s diet.