Should you be alarmed if your dog had food containing whipped cream from Starbucks? Or could you give whipped cream to your dog as a treat? Find out here!
The component in whipped cream that could cause issues for your dog is lactose. Adult dogs lack the enzymes needed for breaking down lactose, which slows down the process. In small amounts, dogs can eat whipped cream from Starbucks without much discomfort. However, too much can cause diarrhea or vomiting.
A further read will tell you why specifically adult (and adolescent) dogs can be in trouble when eating whipped cream. I will also cover what can happen when your dog eats too much whipped cream and why the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting can lead to a vet appointment. Lastly, using whipped cream from Starbucks as a treat will be discussed. This will also include an alternative to normal whipped cream.
Table of Contents
Why Can’t Adult Dogs Break Down Lactose?
Like any other mammal, dogs do not eat solid foods right away. A puppy will drink its mother’s milk until it is about six to eight weeks old. This mother milk also contains lactose, and the puppy is equipped with the right enzymes to digest it completely.
When the puppy is about three months old, these enzymes become useless as the dog has stopped drinking milk. In response, the dogs’ body starts producing less of it and eventually stops production. This means that by the time your pup has become an adolescent, it can no longer easily handle dairy products like milk and whipped cream.
Small amounts will pass through the digestive system without problems, only causing slight discomfort like cramps. Larger amounts could cause short term or long term problems.
What Happens When My Dog Had Too Much?
A normal healthy dog can deal with a small amount of whipped cream from Starbucks. But what is considered a small amount for a Great Dane could be too much for a Chihuahua. Judging if there is a risk your dog could react to the lactose should therefore be done by the size of your dog.
If your dog has eaten too much whipped cream, it will likely get symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Its stomach and digestive system might get upset, and small behavior changes associated with discomfort could occur. These are side effects of lactose and the high rate of fat found in whipped cream.
If your dog eats whipped cream or other dairy products regularly, it might result in irritation and inflammation of its digestive system. Unwillingness to eat and fever are among the symptoms of this. If you notice these issues, it is advised to have your dog checked out by a vet.
A regular lactose intake can also spark lactose intolerance, and some dogs can be intolerant from the start. A small amount of whipped cream will then lead to the same symptoms a large amount causes.
However, a one-time accident isn’t likely to need medical attention. There is no reason to panic when you notice your dog helped itself to the tasty treat. There is no guarantee that there is going to be any noticeable symptoms, let alone that they will be life-threatening.
What Are the Potential Dangers?
Despite just telling you a one-time accident isn’t likely to need medical attention, it is always a smart move to keep an eye out for your buddy. A severe case of diarrhea or vomiting can cause dehydration.
Both symptoms do ask for a different approach. When your dog is vomiting a lot, it loses water by throwing up. Giving it food or water is not a good idea because it may upset its stomach even more, causing more water loss. This opposed to diarrhea, where making sure your dog keeps upon its water intake is the way to go.
Advice is to check in with your vet if the problems have been going on for one to two days. Symptoms of dehydration are also a great indicator that veterinary care is needed. You can easily check this by doing three tests on your dog: Does its skin stays up after you carefully pull it? Do its eyes seem sunken into its skull? Are its gums dry? If you can answer yes to one or more of the above questions, it’s a good idea to contact your vet immediately.
Giving Whipped Cream From Starbucks as a Treat
Most dogs love the taste of dairy products, and a love for whipped cream is no exception. Starbucks plays into this well with its Puppuccino. But is it a good idea to give whipped cream to your dog as a treat?
I have already concluded that an occasional small amount of whipped cream is not very likely to cause much trouble for your dog. Keep in mind that whipped cream from Starbucks mainly consists of fat which means that the treat offers minimal health benefits for your dog. But if your dog has no known health issues or intolerances, it should be fine. It’s up to you to decide if this momentary joy is worth the gamble.
Besides traditional whipped cream, you could also make whipped cream with coconut milk. Coconut actually has some health benefits for dogs, as opposed to dairy. A boost in a dog’s immune system is the most important one. It can also benefit its coat and lead to overall better health of its mouth. But before assuming that this makes it a healthy alternative to feed your dog regularly, there are some nuances to be made.
Like normal whipped cream, coconut whipped cream is a product made from milk. Coconut milk does not contain lactose, but it does contain high amounts of fat. Too much at a time could also cause diarrhea and health risks linked to fat. Another thing to look out for when deciding to make coconut whipped cream is getting coconut milk that is as pure as possible. The fewer additives, the better. Some additives, like sweeteners, could be toxic to dogs. So before using the first coconut milk you find, it’s best to check the ingredients.
While a small amount of whipped cream from Starbucks isn’t very dangerous for your dog, it shouldn’t be given regularly. You can save yourself the hassle of cleaning up diarrhea and vomit by giving your dog small amounts if you feel you have to. It’s, however, best to steer clear of whipped cream if your dog is intolerant. When your pup does get severe issues, and they last longer than a day, or there are signs of dehydration, it’s best to contact your vet.
When you would like to treat your dog to whipped cream on special occasions, it’s a great alternative to look into making coconut whipped cream. Despite also not being great in large amounts, there are health benefits to it and fewer risks.
Lastly, it’s up to you to take the risks your dog will run into account before feeding it any type of whipped cream as a treat. I would personally not feed any of it to a dog with digestive issues and a sensitive stomach, like my own.
Hi! My name is Joan. I’m 25 years old, and I live in The Netherlands. I work in healthcare and study applied psychology. Besides this, I am helping my dog Chester recover from a bad start in life.