The study suggests that the craziest dog people might go into withdrawal when they are away from their dog and lean on technology for quick fixes. Many dog people admit they have watched their dog on a webcam (17%) or Skyped or FaceTimed with them while they were away (14%). “This is especially true of Millennials, who are more likely than non-Millennials (24% vs. 13%) to watch their dog on a webcam. In fact, Millennials are nearly three times as likely as their older counterparts (23% vs. 8%) to Skype or FaceTime their dog.”
When we went to meet (and ultimately take home) our rescue mini-schnauzer mix Reggie a year and a half ago, we took four things with us: a collar and leash, a small plush hedgehog, and this weblike rubber ball. The plush hedgehog is now a flat hedgehog — like most dogs, Reggie takes great pride in disemboweling his stuffed toys — and the leash and collar are a little worse for wear, but the Hol-ee Roller rubber ball is still going strong. In fact, it looks pretty much new.
Super fast shipping! I got my box two days after my first subscription. I use BarkBox SuperChewer because my puppy will destroy all plush toys. She’s been loving it so far, it’s super durable. She also loved all of the treats they’ve delivered. I love how everything is natural and high quality, it gives me a piece of mind. My pup didn’t like some of the toys and customer service told me they can replace it. So far so good!
I am so far only subscribed for a month but I am so glad I did. What made me subscribe, believe it or not was the customer service, they were great. I had a ton of questions when I was browsing their website and not because I was being difficult but because I got burned by my last subscription with Pupbox. Upon receiving the first box, my decision to bite into a 6-month plan was very easily justified. Everything in the box was good quality as promised. It was a fun surprise opening the box. There were a couple of things in the box that we didn’t quite like because it had poultry, but all I had to do was email them and they sent a replacement immediately. They also explained that the welcome box is like a sample box and is in my experience whatever we didn’t want or work will be replaced, no questions asked.
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My first order my dog tore apart toys within one hour. I called to cancel, and they won’t let me! They said I signed up for a year and I’m stuck. They keep shipping every month and charging my PayPal account. So I have a balance with PayPal, and I keep sending the boxes back unopened. Total scam! Now I can’t use my PayPal account or cancel it! Ugh! Don’t sign up!
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).
I have been a BarkBox subscriber for 4 years and have previously found them to be mildly inefficient but the billing is accurate, the toys are cute and the packaging is tidy. However, I recently placed a gift order to BarkBox and things have gone badly. I got a delivery eta of a week out. Package not received 2 weeks later, multiple (5) follow-up emails entirely ignored by BarkBox. Response that finally came cited “mass email” to all subscribers (never received, although I continue to receive lots of sales emails from BarkBox) and “ongoing warehouse inventory”, and hopes that the box will ship in the next week or so. There is no mechanism for expediting support requests, and the front line folks appear to working from scripts intended to appease and retain customers, regardless of whether or not the problem can be addressed.
The Barkbox team uses product testers like Scout, (That dog is positively adorable!) an 18-month old Miniature Schnauzer to select products. The products are 100% organic and made from highest quality ingredients. (The ingredients and products are a real treat for my dogs and they are unusual too, once we even got a non-alcoholic dog beer called Bowser Beer in our June 2013 box.)

I really love the BarkBoxes that come to the door. It really has good treats and cute toys for our fur babies. There is two things I would change. 1. Months with holidays given the option to choose holiday toys or regular. Like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, 4th of July... etc. I would choose the holiday every time. 2. On the birthday months, you sent out a email asking about the birthday cake treat. I wished it would have arrived before the birthday, instead of 5 days later. It was disappointing.


I've always wanted to try a subscription for my pups but I'm a bit ashamed that this was my first experience. BarkBox was good but had major hits and misses. I have giant, playful, strong dogs and though this was indicated, I don't feel as though any size consideration is evaluated when selecting toys for the boxes. I do like that they always came with two toys because it meant each dog had 15 minutes of play time before I had to wrestle their jaws open to dig out the stuffing and bits of squeakers they were about to ingest. The treats have been great! They especially loved the apple cider treats that started to ferment when left in a cookie jar and made all their other treats reek of beer. As a consumer that willingly signed up for the box and entered my debit card information freely, I should have read more in-depth. I did not know that when you terminate your subscription that you will continue to be charged until you reach the year mark of signing up. For me it meant 9 more months of money that was to be taken out of my account had I not caught it. I like true month to month boxes where a cancellation is immediate and I wish they had made their rather off-kilter ways of charging and processing more visible. I can think of some major changes that they could make but ultimately some of the blame rests on me for not reading better. I know my pups will be sad as they've grown accustomed to their box but I can buy more durable and healthy big dog treats for just a little more money and I know it would be more worth it.
Almost two years ago we tried and reviewed 7 of the subscription boxes on the market. Since then, we’ve tried boxes from another 6 or 7 companies. We’ve tried a lot of these boxes more than once. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen about 50 subscription boxes from 14 different companies and I’ve written two comprehensive comparison posts. If that doesn’t make us experts on dog subscription boxes, I don’t know what does.
Tico likes: I loved the stuffed "pup noodles"! Mom doesn't let me have any real noodles (something about allergies, I don't know what that word means), so this is the closest I could get to the real thing. I even wondered if there were real noodles inside, so just in case, I made sure to destroy the whole thing in under 10 minutes flat. There weren't any noodles.

Sarah has loved and trained both dogs and horses from a very early age. Her Staffordshire bull terrier, Mona, is trained as both a therapy dog and disaster stress relief dog. In addition, Sarah has trained her German Shepherd, Soren, as a service dog. Before starting her full-time writing business, Sarah worked with a top pet food company as a consultant to veterinarians conducting weekly classes on canine and feline nutrition for the doctors and staff. Read more posts from Sarah...

Ask a handful of businesses whether their service that allows the option of subscribing to boxes of goods is a "subscription box service," several will likely explain why they are not. Stitch Fix eschewed the label when marketing its public offering to investors, sources have told CNBC. (Stitch Fix offers customers the chance to buy without a subscription or change the frequency of their subscription.) Amazon similarly contends its Amazon prime wardrobe service is not a subscription box service.
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