Emmy likes: The blue hippo toy is super durable and has a little slot where you can slip in some treats, which will keep Tico occupied for a wee bit when I leave the house. Also, wow: the appleberry treats smell like cinnamon cookies! (They're made from all-natural ingredients including applesauce, blueberries, honey, and cinnamon.) The jerky treats are "chippable," so you can break off just a little at a time, which is great for ~portion~ control or as training treats. Also, the "heavy chewers" box is just $5 more than the cost of a regular box, and it's customizable for common allergies; you can also email them if your pup's allergies aren't listed and they'll be happy to accommodate.
Thinking that maybe I needed to communicate dog to dog, I had my 4 Goldens and 1 Pyr (all rescues) send a personal plea to please get the box right, because their mom was threatening to cancel their subscription and buy their toys in other places. Again, received a cute email response (not nearly as cute as the email my 5 sent) basically saying we were wrong (really? It takes a month to ship something in the United States? And I have a transcript of the previous chat that specified what my BarkBox was supposed to contain, which it did not?!?)...and promises to make things better. THEN, literally 3 days later, another email was received about the glitch in their distribution center and OH - replacement items are now out of stock!
Subscriptions seem to be on autorenew. Right now, I pay for a year at a time. I can't remember if there is an option to pay for a month at a time or not. I am thinking not. Subscribers set up an account and from there, you can cancel if you desire. That option appears to be easy to figure out and not hidden like some autoship companies. The one thing I did not like is not getting a notification of when it was time for my yearly subscription rate being charged to my credit card. It's possible there was an e-mail but if there was, I didn't see it. I realize it is my responsibility to keep track of that. I do not know if it is possible to cancel mid-subscription if, heaven forbid, something would happen to my dog. I have to think it's possible as getting a new BarkBox could be painful shortly after losing a pet.
Emmy + Tico: I adopted Tico from the Brooklyn Animal Care & Control shelter last year, and he's 45 pounds and about 5 years old. According to his DNA test — because of course I needed to know — he's a pit bull mix and potentially part rat terrier! Tico is a medium- to high-energy dog, and the sweetest pup in all the land; he was even tasked with being a "greeter dog" during his stint at the shelter, and made new dogs feel comfortable. 😭
The subscription service has already touted itself as an experience for dogs and their owners, with a new theme to each month’s arrival. Past themes have tapped into holidays (Halloween is a popular one), pop culture (including a whole box dedicated to the ’90s), and other creative ventures that often involve a good pun (including “Secrets of the Rainfurrest”). Many BarkBox subscribers also share these experiences via social media through “unboxing” videos on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
It is nice to have the bark box come each month, both for the dog and its owners as I feel like we all sit around to read the theme and analyze the toys and treats. Sometimes the toys are a little redundant and the treats may not always be ones you approve of, but overall the experience is pretty solid. I do wish they had an option where you wouldn't receive toys that squeek. His favorite toy to date is the Bison!
Claire dislikes: So Ruggie loves the Hippo, Trek Treats and the Banana Safari Snacks but tbh, I didn't even give her the lion toy because even though she would love it, toys with that kind of long hairy stuff make her gag. And maybe I'm being paranoid (new dog mom over here!), but that butcher's bone seemed kinda gross. I mean, it had a "no carpet" warning on it because it would leave stains, and if I can't have something on a carpet, why would I want the bone gunk all over her fur, which then would get all over her bed? Idk, maybe I'll give it to her as a puppy kindergarten graduation present and have her eat it in the kitchen.
When I contacted customer service the person I was chatting with made me feel like I was incompetent and that it was my own fault for not understanding and reading the very fine print that was smaller than the other wording at the bottom of the page, so needless to say I was very upset. I was not offered a refund and basically, they told me to just deal with it. So I canceled my credit card and went about my way. I did a review of them after the chat and told them why I was upset and what my issue was.
Decided to try Barkbox for my 2 Malinois and my Boston Terrier. They are sharing one box started three months ago. All but one toys from the first 2 boxes are still intact. And they like the baked treats. My third box was stolen from the post office parcel box, and the company replaced it even though it was clearly not their fault. Would highly recommend this. The dogs and I have fun with the boxes!

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.
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