How to Choose Dog Treats and Chews

Rolled fish skin dog treats

Treats and Chews Provide Enrichment for your Dog

There’s a reason your dog drools when you offer them a treat: consuming treats and chews is an immensely pleasurable pastime. Chews provide mental and physical stimulation that most dogs need to be happy, while treats can be used as an acknowledgment of a job well done. Most dogs appreciate any treat or chew they’re offered, but we work to find healthy products that you can confidently give to your canine.

When choosing treats and chews, the protein type and overall ingredient panel are key for dogs with food sensitivities. And if your dog regularly eats treats or chews, calories count. Making sure the calories of all treats and chews don’t exceed ten percent of your dog’s diet prevents overeating and nutritional imbalances.

Most Dogs Crave Variety

Rotating between different treats can add variety into your dog’s diet, but there’s no need to risk buying treats that your dog doesn’t love. Mud Bay samples all treats we carry, so you can test what treats make your dog salivate. We also have a Treat of the Week program that allows us to give a free sample of a different treat every week to all our store customers.

Types of Treats

Biscuits: These crunchy treats come in all sizes, flavors and shapes to delight your dog.

Freeze-dried & Dehydrated Treats: Many treats in this category are made from 100-percent meat, while others use a mixture of dehydrated vegetables and meats.

Jerky: Often made from strips of dehydrated meat, these treats are immensely satisfying for dogs who love to chew.

Soft Treats: Older dogs may prefer these easier-to-chew treats with more pungent aromas.

Training Treats: Food-oriented dogs often respond to these small morsels as rewards for learning.

A selection of dog chew treats and dog biscuit treats

How Does Your Dog Chew Treats?


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Gummers like to lick chews. For these dogs, taffies, skins and some ears give them the taste they desire without having to change their chewing style.

Nibblers want to slowly consume a chew over the course of several days. Dried protein chews give them just the right amount of challenge and palatability.

Gnawers will gradually wear down a chew by starting at one end and slowly working to the end. Bully sticks, rawhide and some bones provide some chewing difficulty while still being pleasurable to consume.

Chompers chew as quickly as possible until the chew is completely consumed. These heavy chewers often relish antlers, hooves and horns.

Gulpers prefer to devour chews in a single swallow. Large bones help them safely resist this urge.

Click the icons above to learn more about each chew preference.

Picking chews is a bit more complex than picking other treats, so Mud Bay developed a tool to help you match your dog’s chewing style with a safer chew. Once you know your dog’s chewing style, you can size the chew to match the size of your dog. And when you’re ready to give that chew to your dog, stick around while they chew. Not only will you be able to see their evident approval, but you’ll be able to intercede when the chew gets too small.

How We Choose Dog Treats and Chews

Choosing treats and chews is first about ingredient quality and overall palatability. Ensuring quality ingredients isn’t just about reading labels, it’s also about partnering with companies we trust will source their ingredients from reputable places. We also avoid artificial colors out of concern for your dog’s health and the color of your carpet. In addition, Mud Bay tries to find a wide range of treats and chews that align with different canine diets and food sensitivities.

While dogs often like incredibly smelly, rich treats and chews, we also recognize that these types of consumables don’t work for every household. Low-calorie treats and chews are great for dogs who have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. They also make great training treats. Chews with less pungent aromas make it easier for the humans in the household to enjoy chew-time.

Dog biscuits in the shape of biscotti

For chews, safety is also a significant concern

We don’t carry chews that have a reputation for splintering or causing gastrointestinal upset, but all chews carry at least some risk. Having chews with different firmnesses, proteins, and sizes help reduce the risk of your dog chipping a tooth, swallowing a chew or upsetting their stomach.

Once an item enters our store, Mud Bay continues to evaluate it. We listen to customer stories and feedback from Muddies to make sure that the items we stock continuously meet our expectations. Mud Bay also works to make sure that every treat or chew meets our standards for value.

Having chews with different firmnesses helps reduce the risk of your dog chipping a tooth.