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.
Loot Pets is a subscription from Loot Crate. Its focus is on geeky dog toys, treats, and gear! You can expect apparel, accessories, toys, treats (Treats available in the USA only; An item of equal value will be substituted for international orders.) and more. Loot Pets also helps pets in need by donating $1 from each subscription purchase to local and national pet charities.
I was dubious that we really needed yet another plush toy, but after Gus (Chihuahua-poodle mix, 18 pounds, 18 months) loved playing with the Outward Hound Hide A Squirrel at a friend’s place, I had to get one. He typically has trouble paying attention to squeaky toys for more than a few minutes at a time, but the more challenging setup of three squeaky squirrels in a tree-trunk-shaped pouch will keep him going for hours. He fishes squirrels out, then runs around like crazy with whichever one is left in his mouth last. I can send the next one sailing the moment he’s back with the first, making it easy to tire him out. He also loves to chew on and shake the tree stump. The pieces are relatively tough too: After three months of near-daily playing, I have yet to do any mending to sew up holes (your mileage may vary—it’s still a plush toy).
“While social media platforms are great forums for exchanging and airing opinions, it’s often hard for customers to get their specific needs addressed. The new Twitter Direct Messages features allows businesses to personalize experiences in an automated, interactive and engaging way. When used in conjunction with Zendesk Message to manage all conversations, businesses can be certain that no customer will get left behind.”
Earlier this year, Bark & Co (the company behind BarkBox and BarkShop started using Zendesk Message to manage their conversations from Facebook Messenger. BarkBox’s average response times decreased dramatically—from 60 minutes to 4 minutes—even as the number of conversations doubled. Today, the company is extending their support offering to Twitter Direct Messages to reach an even bigger audience with a unique and compelling experience.
But as much as this is a place for dogs, it is clearly also meant to be a space for their human companions to enjoy well, tapping into the documented trend among consumers looking to spend more on experiences—especially those that photograph for Instagram well—these days. The park will be putting on a number of events, at least twice weekly, including “Downward Dog Yoga” and “Okto-Bark-Fest.” The park will also host some of Bark’s existing programming already held routinely in other cities, such as the Open Bark Night comedy show.
According to the BarkBox website, all edible items are tested in-house, are sourced directly from the U.S., Canada, South America, Australia, and New Zealand, and are never processed with formaldehyde. Because BarkBox’s founders are dog lovers as well, they wouldn’t send anything to your dogs, that they wouldn’t send to their own. In addition, the company claims that at least 10% of all profits are given to canine-related shelters, rescues, and welfare organizations.
“The Bark & Co support team always strives to deepen customer relationships through social. However, with the sheer volume of direct messages coming in every day, it’s sometimes a challenge to maintain the levity and respond to customers promptly. Fortunately, with Zendesk Message and the use of a chatbot, we are able to escalate high priority conversations to our agents. This ensures that our support team can handle the more complex queries, leaving customers happier.”
By focusing on a specific task —such as repeatedly returning a ball, Kong, or Frisbee® or playing "hide-and-seek" with treats or toys — your dog can expend pent-up mental and physical energy from boredom in a limited amount of time and space. For young, high-energy and untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.
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.
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