Picture this: You’re out-and-about driving around town with your four-legged friend, and you pass the local Dairy Queen. It looks so good you decide to stop by and order a Blizzard. Your little fur baby looks up at you, wags his tail as if to ask, “Does Dairy Queen have dog ice cream?” Hhmm, you wonder, so let’s read on and learn – what is a Dairy Queen Pup Cup?
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What Is a Pup Cup?
You may have heard of pup cups. They are snack-sized cups, around 3 ounces in size, that contain a treat specifically for dogs. Maybe you’ve seen fur babies getting Puppuccinos – little cups of whipped cream – while you were waiting at the drive-thru at Starbucks.
Does Dairy Queen Have Pup Cups?
Yes, Dairy Queen serves pup cups – at participating locations. You’ll have to find out if your local Dairy Queen is among them. It’s as easy as asking when you make your Dairy Queen order. You can even get free pup cups on special days of the year, such as National Puppy Day.
What exactly is in the Dairy Queen pup cup? The Dairy Queen pup cup contains about a half-cup of vanilla soft serve ice cream served in a cup and topped with a dog biscuit. Cute, right?
In addition to Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donuts serves pup cups filled with whipped cream. Other restaurants that serve dog treats include Shake Shack, In-N-Out, Culver’s, Johnny Rockets, and Chick-fil-A.
How Much Is a Pup Cup at Dairy Queen?
Years ago, pup cups were free at Dairy Queen, but today they cost a bit more than a dollar – not a bad price to pay to make your pup happy!
Some Dairy Queen outlets across the country partner with animal shelters on occasion to raise funds. For example, the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Queen, which operates 13 locations in North Carolina, donated all of its proceeds from the sales of pup cups in September 2020 to five area animal shelters.
What Are the Ingredients in Soft Serve Ice Cream?
Who invented soft serve? It depends on who you ask.
Some say Charles Taylor, Taylor Freezer Corp., invented it by developing a tabletop ice cream maker machine in 1926. Others say Tom Carvel, founder of Carvel Ice Cream, invented it when his ice cream truck broke down on the side of the road in 1929, and he continued to serve the softened ice cream.
The Dairy Queen story says it was invented by Dairy Queen Founder J.F. McCullough and his son, Alex, in 1938 near Moline, Illinois.
Whichever version is correct, soft serve took off in the early 1940s as Dairy Queens throughout the country began offering it. Legend has it that after the McCulloughs convinced their friend Sherb Noble to serve it in his Kankakee, Illinois ice cream shop in 1940, Noble dished out more than 1,600 servings in the first two hours. From there, Dairy Queen shops expanded all across the U.S.
What exactly is soft serve? Soft serve is ice cream pumped with air during the freezing process, so it contains less milk fat than regular ice cream.
The ingredient list is as follows:
- Milk fat and nonfat milk
- Corn syrup
- Mono and diglycerides
- Guar Gum
- Artificial flavor
- Polysorbate 80
- Vitamin A Palmitate
Soft serve arrives in stores in either a powder or premixed liquid form. The process to produce the frozen concoction involves putting the powder or liquid into the machine and then adding air.
Is Ice Cream Good for Dogs?
Unfortunately, ice cream isn’t the best treat for dogs. After puppyhood, dogs don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down milk proteins. But because soft serve has less milk fat in it than regular ice cream, it may cause fewer issues than regular ice cream.
What kind of issues can ice cream cause for your doggo? Well, if your pup is lactose intolerant, he might experience bloating, gas, stomach ache, diarrhea, or vomiting. Furthermore, dairy products with high-fat content can lead to pancreatitis. No one wants that for their fur baby!
In addition, your pup could suffer from milk and dairy-related food allergies. Signs of this include red, itchy skin, vomiting, and diarrhea.
No matter what, make sure that whatever you serve your dog does not contain xylitol. This sweetener substitute is toxic to dogs. Also, be sure to avoid serving your pup chocolate ice cream, as dogs’ bodies can’t process some of the chemicals and caffeine found in chocolate.
How to Make Your Own Pup Cup
While the Dairy Queen pup cup is a fun treat to serve your dog on occasion, consider one or more of the following if you’re looking for alternatives:
- Frozen yogurt. Freeze plain, fat-free yogurt. Stay away from sweetened yogurts that contain too much sugar or low-sugar versions that may contain xylitol.
- Frozen bananas. Take two frozen bananas and blend them in the blender. Don’t give your pup too much, as bananas contain sugar, too.
- Pumpkin puree. Blend frozen pumpkin puree with a drop of honey and a dash of cinnamon.
- Frosty Paws copycat. Blend 16 ounces of plain yogurt with one ripe frozen banana and one-third cup of natural peanut butter. Freeze for two hours.
Parting Thoughts – What Is A Dairy Queen Pup Cup?
It’s a lot of fun to be out with your dog and to get him a treat. You probably can’t resist his wagging tail and his doggie kisses of appreciation!
So is it a big deal to buy your doggo a pup cup at Dairy Queen once in a while? Probably not. Just be sure he’s not lactose intolerant and doesn’t have dairy allergies.
Of course, there’s always the option to make your own homemade dog ice cream. It’s not that hard and you control the ingredients.
Whichever you choose, don’t give your dog too many treats. You’ll want to make sure his calories stay at a reasonable level so he can stay fit and trim for the long run!