SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
This weekend, millions of coffee lovers will head out for National Coffee Day 2018 freebies. While there may not be coffee freebies for your pets, there might be free or really cheap pet-friendly items on the menu—many you might not even know existed.
For example, though Starbucks has no coffee day freebie, you can order your dog a free “pupaccino”—a Starbucks cup of whipped cream—for your pup to enjoy. So if you’re in the drive-through at Starbucks for your own caffeine fix, your canine sidekick can get a treat, too.
Starbucks isn’t the only national eatery with secret menu items for dogs or advertised offerings for pups in tow. Here are seven restaurant brands serving humans that will also serve up a dog treat, if you know enough to ask. They are listed here in alphabetical order.
When ordering the Pup Cup at Dairy Queen or DQ, you’re really getting a child-sized or junior-sized cup of vanilla soft serve ice cream. Or at least that’s the price I’ve paid when asking for a pup cup for my pups Oscar and Sadie. That’s fine—I don’t expect to get a cup of ice cream for free.
When bringing Fido to In-N-Out Burger, order the Pup Patty. It’s a regular hamburger, no salt, minus the bun. In other words, it’s a beef patty for your puppy.
Clearly a mall location of Johnny Rockets is not going to be dog friendly, but those with outside seating often are, according to the Bring Fido website. In fact, in addition to a free bowl of water, you can order certain treats and meat products for your pup when you place your own food order.
My family makes the annual trek to Rita’s Italian Ice on the first day of spring, when they give out free product as a first day of spring national food holiday. There have been times that we’ve brought the dogs along, too, and they get their own doggie treat: vanilla custard with a dog treat on the side. The brand loves being pet-friendly so much that, on its Facebook page, it even asks customers to post pictures of their pups enjoying their trip to Rita’s.
According to the publication Pet Business, Shake Shack has what it calls “treats for those with four feet.” Shake Shack’s dog-friendly menu includes a bag of doggie bones (bone-shaped treats) for $7.50 and an ice cream treat called Pooch-ini. It’s vanilla custard, peanut butter sauce and at least one of those aforementioned doggie bones. It cost about $3.
If you’re heading to Sprinkles for its National Coffee Day freebie, check out the brand’s dog-friendly treat called Pupcakes. These are a sugar-free cupcakes topped with yogurt frosting and priced from $2.50 to $3, depending on store location.
Starbucks offers the aforementioned “pupaccino”—the free cup of whipped cream for your dog.
If you think it’s crazy to add pet-specific items to the menu at restaurants for humans, consider this. Upserve, a restaurant management platform, surveyed adults from around the U.S. They wanted to find out what—aside from food and great service—would bring them back to a restaurant. The results may surprise you—or not, if you’re a pet lover.
Turns out diners are a lot more interested in figuring out a way to get Fido onto the patio. In fact, 56 percent of respondents said that a restaurant being a family- and dog-friendly establishment was important or very important in their decision. Additionally, 32 percent said it is one of the top three things they would consider when deciding to return.
If I hear of other national restaurant chains or regional eateries with multiple locations that offer dog menus, I’ll write a follow-up article to this one.
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