For those of you who have been reading here for a while, you know that my dog, Yasha, was my very first “baby.” I’ve had her for over 13 years now, so she’s officially been with me longer than my husband has. When I picked her up in college, I didn’t know much about feeding myself properly– let alone a dog– so I never took her diet into much consideration. I’m pretty sure I bought whatever dog food had the best TV commercial at the time.
However, shortly after Austin and I got married, our vet found a tumor in Yasha that turned out to be cancerous. She was only 7 years old at that point, and even though they were able to surgically remove most of the tumor, it quickly grew back and continued growing rapidly. The next step in their protocol was to offer her radiation and chemotherapy, but these treatments were not only pricey, they also sounded like a scary experience for us all– so we decided to enjoy the time we had left with our dog (they gave her about 6 months with the rapid growth rate of her tumor) and to change her diet to see if that would help keep her more comfortable.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, the diet change had a profound affect on her health and her tumor stopped growing completely soon after we switched her to a grain-free dehydrated dog food. (We feed her The Honest Kitchen’s Embark formula.) Instead of having 6 months left with our dog, we’ve had another 6 years(!), and we couldn’t be more grateful. I’m especially happy that she’s been around to bond with our son, and I hope she’ll get to meet our newest little one soon, too.
We’ve been pretty diligent about keeping Yasha grain-free, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite 2-ingredient frozen treats that we like to make for her. Since her high-quality food is significantly more expensive than the dry kibble we used to feed her, making her healthier treats at home are an easy way to save money while ensuring I know what ingredients are going into her little body. (We also save money by having fewer trips the vet… which she appreciates, too.)
I hope your own furry friends might enjoy them, as well!
2-Ingredient Frozen Dog Treats
Makes 12 small treats
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup unsalted & unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup of water, or more as needed to blend
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. If your batter seems too thick to pour out of the blender, add more water 1/4 cup at a time– if your dog loves ice as much as mine does, it doesn’t really matter if the flavor gets diluted a bit. (The icier the treat, the longer it lasts, too!)
Arrange a silicone mold like this one onto a sturdy baking sheet and pour the batter into each crevice, making about a dozen treats. (It’s important that the silicone mold is on a sturdy baking sheet BEFORE pouring the batter into the mold, as the silicone is very flexible and could cause the batter to spill when you transfer it to the freezer.) Freeze until firm, about 2 hours, then pop the little treats out of the mold and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
These treats can clearly be customized as you see fit, and would also be a great way to sneak any supplements into their diet. (We give our dog a cranberry supplement to help with urinary tract health, so sometimes I’ll add that in, too.)
2-Ingredient Healthy Dog Treats
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup unsalted & unsweetened peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of water , or more as needed to blend
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. If your batter seems too thick to pour out of the blender, add more water 1/4 cup at a time-- if your dog loves ice as much as mine does, it doesn't really matter if the flavor gets diluted a bit. (The icier the treat, the longer it lasts!)
- Arrange a silicone mold like this one onto a sturdy baking sheet and pour the batter into each crevice, making about a dozen treats. (It's important that the silicone mold is on a sturdy baking sheet BEFORE pouring the batter into the mold, as the silicone is very flexible and could cause the batter to spill when you transfer it to the freezer.) Freeze until firm, about 2 hours, then pop the little treats out of the mold and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- These treats can clearly be customized as you see fit, and would also be a great way to sneak any supplements into their diet. (We give our dog a cranberry supplement to help with urinary tract health, so sometimes I'll add that in, too.)
Per Serving: Calories: 71, Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 2g
Note: Certain nuts are not recommended for dogs due to their high fat content and other properties. If making substitutions, be sure to research if another nut is safe for your dog to ingest. I’ve heard that there are concerns around almonds, walnuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts, among others. If you’d like a lower-fat treat for your pup, double the banana in this recipe so it will stretch further!
I’ve totally been tempted to pour this batter into the mini popsicle molds we use for my son, too. They are just as human-friendly as they are pet-friendly!
Reader Feedback: Do you make any homemade treats for the pets in your home?
Questions and Reviews
Nice! This is very similar to the doggie ice cream I make for my pups. I use a large container of whole milk, plain, organic yogurt + a big glob of organic pb + one organic banana. Whiz it in the Vitamix and pour into tiny plastic gladlock containers with lids. My boys love them! Much more cost effective, and healthy, than the store bought options.
Fantastic result to hear about on the diet change and cancer. I wish I had known about the best way to feed my boys from the beginning, but it was a journey. They’ve been on dehydrated/freeze-dried (rotate around Honest Kitchen, Sojos, Grandma Lucy’s, etc.) + raw (with organs/bone ground in) for a number of years now. The 75 lb dog is 13.5 and the 60 lb dog is almost 13. I just got the ingredients to make golden paste for them (turmeric supplement) which I hope will help with arthritis. 🙂
I will definitely try these for our gang of five (all rescued), as some of them need special food, too, due to chronic deseases/allergies.
I usually stuff rubber toys with yummy stuff and freeze them for midday snacks on hot days. Keeps them entertained for a while when it is too hot for a walkie/working session.
Becareful giving dogs too much fat (peanut butter) in their diet, it can easily cause pancreatitis!
Love frozen treats! I do spinach-apple-cranberry for a low calorie treat which my Bernese loves. Sometimes I add a bit of unsweetened coconut or carrots or cinnamon. Super easy in vitamix or food processor.
Thanks! Putting the greens and carrots etc in is a great idea!!!
PLEASE make sure none of the products you use for dogs contain XYLITOL which is POISONOUS to DOGS!
I made this recipe for my pups and they just LOVE them! One of my dogs loves ice, the other will eat it occasionally but looks at me like I’m trying to trick him. The first time I gave him one of these frozen treats I don’t think he even tasted it! Just gulped it as fast as he could. Now I give them each half!
Where did u get those sweet dogs bone trays…
Amazon! I ordered this two-pack: http://amzn.to/2boSI3v
I made these today but put in the little plastic cups with lids. Easy to grab treats. Teddy loved them:-)
I have got to send you a picture of my baby, Rocket. He could be your dod, Yasha’s twin!!!
So interesting about the diet change. I heard a similar story about a dog with liver cancer. She figured oh well if she’s going to go I’ll just give her regular food so she can enjoy herself and 10 years later she was still going! I just got a leaflet from my Vet (i just got a puppy) saying grain free diets cause heart problems and NOT to feed them home made diets and then I got nervous. I have been feeding my puppy canned (wild) salmon with his dog food. I will look into the food you mention, thank you for that and the great recipe (I make this for myself I can attest to how yummy it is! 🙂
My Cockapoo loves the mixture of Plain Greek Yogurt mixed with pumpkin. I freeze it and Finn just loves it. It’s a great source of fiber and a Probiotic as well