I am the owner/operator of a Doggy DayCamp (daycare for dogs), and I was searching for unusual, but fun toys for two DayCampers having their one-year Birthday. I could have ordered the same toys via Amazon Prime but I decided that I wanted to see what BarkBox was all about. Huge mistake. They are the worst. They took my money and never shipped birthday gifts.
Bark & Co is the New York-based startup that’s dedicated to making dogs and their humans happy. Since launching in 2012 with BarkBox, a monthly box of treats and toys, Bark & Co has shipped more than 30 million products and expanded into creating its own products, experiences and entertainment with BarkShop, BarkLive, and BarkPost. To learn more go to Bark.co.
Claire's and Emmy's thoughts: First off, every one of these boxes helps other dogs in need, which is just so incredibly awesome and something you can feel good about. Barkbox donates 10% of profits to different shelters and rescues in the US and Canada; Dapper Dog donates $1 per box different rescues, shelters, and other pet organizations; and PupJoy donates $2 from every subscription box to the Bissell Pet Foundation, which works with rescues to provide resources for pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping, and foster care. Yay for giving back!
Emmy likes: The collegiate-themed box, including a frat bro and bona fide Bark University "acceptance letter," was *adorable*. (Or should I say...adogable? No, I shouldn't. I'm sorry.) Tico doesn't discriminate when it comes to treats (we're talking about a dog who ate a slimy days-old banana lying in the dirt the other day), and he loved them all equally — but it's great that you can customize the box to accommodate any allergies your pup has. Oh, and you can join its "extra toy club" and receive an additional toy in your box for an extra $9. Starting at $21/month, Barkbox is also the most affordable subscription we tried.
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Nothing beats a game of fetch, and a good ball should be in every dog's toy box. From our wide variety of styles, sizes, colors, textures, even sounds, you are sure to find the perfect ball for your game! For something less ordinary, you can also choose between different styles of latex, rubber, and vinyl dog toys, in shapes like bones, fire hoses, hydrants, and animals.
"Hide and Seek" is a fun game for dogs to play. "Found" toys are often much more attractive. Making an interactive game out of finding toys or treats is a good rainy-day activity for your dog, using up energy without the need for a lot of space. For example, scattering a handful of kibble in the grass or on a patterned carpet will require your dog to use his nose to find the food.
Rescue Box is a subscription box for dogs or cats, including toys and treats for your pet and accessories for pet lovers. For dogs, choose from small (up to 20 pounds), medium (20-50 pounds), and large (50+ pounds). Rescue box is associated with Greater Good (the folks who brought you The Hunger Site, The Animal Rescue Site, and more) and your purchase of a subscription will help provide food and vaccines to shelter pets!
So instead, BarkBox use this as a retention opportunity. Co-founder Matt Meeker started the service because his 150 lb. Great Dane kept destroying toys designed for smaller dogs. By designing boxes for different dog sizes, customers are more likely to get treats and toys that are tailored to their pet in the very first box. Therefore, they will continue to order.
Claire likes: I was pleasantly surprised at Dapper Dog's great customer service — when I said I had a young puppy, someone emailed me within a day confirming that I did indeed have a puppy, so they could make sure to include age-appropriate toys. I appreciated the thoughtfulness and that Dapper Dog followed through by adding a puppy teething bone to Ruggie's box, which she gnaws on with the passion of a thousand suns.
One of the many things we love about Barkbox? The company devotes itself to helping at-risk pets through a generous philanthropic program using some of their sales proceeds. We can’t help but share this inspirational video that demonstrates the heart behind Barkbox. See what they did to celebrate one dog’s incredible journey back from a life of terrible abuse.
Pup-people with questions about BarkBox can now choose to privately and playfully interact with a dog (in lieu of a human) via direct messages on Twitter, and get information via a series of awesomely punny puppy questions that BarkBox built using Reply.ai. BarkBox’s chatbot (or dog bot) is as quirky as you’d imagine. It answers frequently asked questions and helps customers find the right BarkBox for their dogs by guiding them through some tail-waggingly fun questions. If the dog bot can’t fetch an answer, Zendesk Message detects this and hands the question off to a trained BarkBox support agent to resolve.