Back in 2016, the Starbucks Puppuccino was all the rage in the dog community. Fancy as it sounds, it is actually a drink especially made for doggies. However, most people were not aware of it since it is not on the cafe’s official menu.
This “secret” menu item is served free to dog owners who like to order an extra cup of whipped cream for their pets. If you haven’t heard of it before, it is just basically just an espresso cup filled with whipped cream.
That leads us to our topic for today: is whipped cream a wholesome indulgence for dogs? Seeing all those pictures on the internet of dogs enjoying their cup of whipped cream, it makes us think it’s probably fine for them.
On the other hand, we all know that whipped cream is technically dairy and it is not easy to digest for most dogs. If that is the case, this makes whipped cream a questionable treat for hounds. Let’s hear the opinions of canine experts.
Whipped Cream: How It’s Made
A standard whipped cream recipe only requires granulated sugar and heavy cream. The sugar and the heavy cream are combined using a hand or a stand mixer until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
The thing is, heavy cream is normally produced using dairy milk and most of us are aware that dairy is a no-no for the majority of canines. Other than that, heavy cream may have high amounts of fat, especially if it was made using cow’s milk.
The good news is that not all dairy has the same amount of lactose. Goat’s milk, for instance, contains less lactose compared to cow’s milk. This is the reason why goat’s milk is gaining popularity in the dog world. Many savvy owners add raw goat’s milk to their fur baby’s diet.
Supposing you have enough time to make your own heavy cream, you may try substituting cow’s milk for goat’s milk. Although it contains lactose, it is easier to digest compared to other types of animal milk. Besides, goat’s milk is nutrient-dense. Young dogs can safely consume it as an alternative to their mother’s milk.
When making a homemade whipped cream recipe using fresh goat’s milk, choose the best type of goat milk for your pooch. Opt for milk from grass-fed and pastured goats. These are the type of animals that are naturally raised and are free from unwanted substances such as antibiotics.
Canines and Lactose Intolerance
Similar to humans, canines can also become lactose intolerant. Milk isn’t really toxic for doggies. In fact, many dogs would die for milk. However, it is common for them to be unable to digest dairy products and dogs can be allergic to the protein found in dairy.
Can Dogs Have Whipped Cream?
Whipped cream can be given to pups only once in a while. Also take into account if your pet is capable enough of digesting dairy. Lactose intolerance in dogs is often characterized by nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Take note that whipped cream is non-toxic to canines but remember that it can still negatively affect your dog if he eats too much of it, so keep that old adage in mind: “Anything of excess is bad”. The whipped cream’s effect on your pup depends on the amount he consumed and the ingredients of the product.
Don’t offer whipped cream to your dog if he is lactose intolerant, unless, of course, you know where it came from. As we mentioned earlier, some whipped cream recipes do not contain dairy. Pay attention to the ingredients, especially if you are using store-bought whipped cream.
Is Whipped Cream Bad for Dogs?
Whipped cream can be bad for dogs not just because of the heavy cream in it, but also because of the sugar used it making it. As any pet owner knows, too much sugar can be a bad thing for dogs.
Based on the nutrition facts of a well-known store-bought whipped cream, a 6-gram or two tablespoons has around 1% sugar. That may seem low, but when you look at the ingredients, you will see that it also contains quite a lot of sweetener alternatives.
Homemade whipped cream requires around two tablespoons of powdered sugar for a two-cup recipe. That amount of sugar will not really cause you harm but that’s already a lot for a dog.
A dog’s body is not designed to eat sugar because it has no real added value. This is the main reason why you should give your pet sugary foods only once in a while.
Another thing to consider is the fact that dogs could suffer from inflammation from consuming excessive amounts of sugar. If you have an obese dog or a pup with weight issues, giving him whipped cream may not be a good thing.
A certain brand of whipped cream listed corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gum, and artificial flavors as the ingredients. There are sugar-free whipped cream brands out there but take note that the heavy cream or the non-fat milk they used may still contain a certain amount of sugar.
Did you know that a tablespoon of whipped cream contains as much as 5.5 grams of fat? Out of these, 3.4 grams is saturated fat that can clog your dog’s arteries, as Livestrong emphasized.
Going back to that Puppy Latte craze, it is worth noting that Starbucks’ whipped cream is made of cream, mono and diglycerides, and carrageenan. Let’s investigate whether these things are safe for doggies or not.
Let’s start with carrageenan. This food thickener has long been a subject of debate not just in the dog community but also among health-conscious consumers. A study by the Cornucopia Institute suggests that carrageenan can cause intestinal inflammation as well as life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Sad to say, this food stabilizer derived from red seaweed is present in almost 70% of canned dog food. The worst part is that, just like sugar, it does not contain any nutritional value.
Whipped Cream Ingredients to Avoid
Not all whipped creams are created equal. Many store-bought creams contain flavoring agents that are harmful or considered mildly toxic to canines. Flavored whipped cream is hands down the best dessert you could make when you are in a hurry.
Simply spice up your basic whipped cream with a few ingredients and you have a dessert you can even serve at parties! But wait, you got a dog who likes to eat anything you eat. Is it fine to let him lick some of that peanut butter or chocolate-flavored whipped cream? Or is it a recipe for disaster? Remember to avoid these ingredients when choosing the right whipped cream for your dog:
Agave – is considered to be mildly toxic to dogs. This is due to the tiny oxalates found in the succulent. Instead of using agave, you can try using maple syrup as this one is safer for dogs.
Lemon – there are whipped cream recipes that use citrus flavorings like lemon. As you might know by now, the acidity of lemons is one thing that makes them bad for canines. Lemon juice causes stomach upset in dogs.
Vanilla extract – some recipes use vanilla extract, which is notorious for causing harm in dogs. It is considered mildly toxic to canines because vanilla extracts contain 35% alcohol. Be aware that even imitation vanillas may contain alcohol.
Chocolate – the thought of eating chocolate whipped cream makes us crave. Even your dog could find it inviting, but don’t give him any, because chocolate contains a compound that is known to be toxic to canines.
Espresso – caffeine is not recommended for dogs because it raises their blood pressure. Caffeine could even cause arrhythmias in canines, which is a dangerous condition. But don’t fret too much because it will take 10 cups of espresso for your dog to get seriously ill. Only add a very little amount of espresso in your whipped cream if you are planning to share it with your pooch.
Salted caramel – is not toxic to dogs, but don’t forget the fact that caramel is made by heating sugar. If you want to avoid sugar in your doggie’s diet, don’t even think of giving him salted caramel at all.
While there are certain ingredients to avoid, there are actually flavored whipped creams that are canine-friendly. Here are some dog-friendly flavored whipped creams that you can try at home:
Peanut butter whipped cream – simply add around two tablespoons of peanut butter for every cup of chilled heavy cream. Peanut butter is safe for dogs as long as it does not have xylitol.
Berry whipped cream – if your dog loves berries, treat him to a mouthwatering serving of berry whipped cream. You only need to add two tablespoons of berry jam of your choice to your basic whipped cream recipe.
Maple whipped cream – what’s nice about using maple syrup is that you don’t need to use a lot of sugar because it is sweet enough. A tablespoon of maple syrup for every cup of heavy cream is enough to achieve the right level of sweetness that even your pooch will love.
Peppermint whipped cream – in tiny amounts, peppermint is considered safe for canines. In fact, it can help in freshening your dog’s breath. You only need ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract for a cup of heavy cream.
What If Your Dog Ate Some Whipped Cream?
Your dog could suffer from mild gastrointestinal irritation if he ate a lot of whipped cream. Keep an eye out for symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting in the next 24 hours.
There is no need to panic or call the vet right away because this type of problem normally straightens out on its own after one to two days. But if you wish to lessen your pup’s discomfort, you may administer Pepcid.
This over-the-counter medicine is a brand of Famotidine and is used to lower the acid amount in your dog’s stomach. It is effective in treating acid reflux in canines.
In case the symptoms are still present after 48 hours, it is possible that something else is making your dog sick, not the whipped cream. That’s when you might want to consider visiting your veterinarian for a consultation.
Non-Dairy Whipped Cream Recipes
If your dog loves whipped cream but he is lactose intolerant, consider making your own dairy-free whipped cream.
Coconut Whipped Cream – the main ingredient of this recipe is full-fat coconut milk. If you don’t have this on hand, you can also use canned coconut cream. Coconut-based products are safe for dogs.
Cashew Whipped Cream – cashews are one of the safe nuts for doggies. When making your own whipped cream out of cashews, consider using the unsalted version.
Almond Whipped Cream – in moderate amounts, almonds can be a nice treat for canines. This nutty, flavored whipped cream is also perfect for making icing for cakes.
Tofu whipped cream – instead of using milk, this recipe uses soft tofu as the base. The added apple juice, maple syrup, sea salt and agar flakes give the whipped cream a unique flavor.
A dollop of fluffy whipped cream makes any sweet treat taste better but it does not have much to offer in terms of nutrients. In case your dog wants to lick some, don’t be afraid to let him eat it in small amounts.
Limit his treat and you will surely not encounter any problem. Regular consumption of whipped cream can be bad for animals, as it is for humans. High amounts of whipped cream do not have a promising effect on dogs.
If you want to treat your fur baby with whipped cream, better make it yourself because many store-bought whipped creams contain too much sugar. Let your dog indulge in whipped cream from time to time, it is a perfect treat for dogs with a sweet tooth. An occasional lick will not hurt dog!
In the event that you are afraid to give your dog some whipped cream, remember that there are dairy-free alternatives out there that you can use instead of milk. The best dairy-free and vegan alternative is coconut.