All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.
Based out of New York, New York, BarkBox is a subscription-based online service where members receive monthly surprises for their dogs, consisting of all-natural treats, hygiene products, and toys. The service is for dogs of all sizes, including puppies, medium-sized adults, or even large breeds such as Great Danes. As such, BarkBox carefully crafts each of your monthly boxes to your specific dog’s size—and because you never know what you’re going to get, each of the 4-6 items you receive will always be a surprise.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider's Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Lab/whippet mixed pup Nora (45 pounds, 8 years) rarely cares for any kind of traditional dog toy. She’s intimidated by toys that squeak, and toys that hit the floor with a loud thud. She doesn’t play fetch unless other dogs are around. However, she does take to treats meant for chewing. After trying bully sticks (hurt her gums), antlers (made a terrible sound against her teeth), and others, I came across the Himalayan Dog Chew: a softer chew made from yak and cow milk. It’s still tough enough that it lasts her a few days of on and off chewing but soft enough that I’m not worried it’ll hurt her mouth. Once the chew reaches the last nubbin—which you don’t want your dog to swallow whole—you can briefly pop it into the microwave to soften it into a cheesy treat.
After my comparison posts, I get a lot of people asking which subscription box is our favorite. After my last comparison post, I promised to reveal our top 3 subscription boxes. I’m going to cheat a little though. I am not ranking them in order because they are all great in their own ways. No matter which one of our tip 3 boxes you pick, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I have always looked forward to the monthly boxes, as well as my pups. However, my recent experience will cause me to never use your service or recommend to others. The cancellation policy and what seems to be a trend of complaints, was a three month process. My dogs' last box contained treats that made them quite sick. Two of my three dogs were up all night vomiting and diarrhea. I’m not sure I would have made the connection to the treats until an email from BarkBox today. They have never reacted to what you are saying was a mislabeled “included barley” response.
I have been using BarkBox for over a year now. And even as I write this and was speaking aloud my dog sat straight up and looked at me when he heard the words BarkBox! It has become a phrase in my house to get the pups to come or do as I say by simply saying those two wonderful words BARKBOX! I have two dachshunds that absolutely love their toys every month, and have even learned when each month to start expecting them and literally watching out the window! But my babies aren't the only ones in love with this company... Over the past year I have found the BarkBox employees to be by far the most kind caring and helpful of any company I have ever dealt with. I have never done one of these reviews before but I created an account for just this company. Greatness like this should be acknowledged!
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 read about this strange mammal-cephalopod hybrid toy during Fugly Week and immediately bought it to see if Reggie would also take to it like crazy. He did. The combination of plush animal head, ball-shaped body (with wake-the-dead squeaker inside) and dangly, flappy limbs is dog magic, and when he’s not flinging his foxtopus (and buntopus) about he’s using it as a pillow.
Are your dogs bored? Are finding it difficult to keep up with all you require to make your dog happier each month? BarkBox comes to your assistance and lifts your pooch out of boredom. With a Barkbox subscription, you give your doggy companion a surprise treats every month. You can expect excitement, happiness, and fulfillment from your pup with new toys, healthy treats, and collections of different grooming products every month.
Playtime is also a great opportunity for puppy teaching moments. You can train your dog through play, and with dog toys. Chewy carries the best dog toys from top dog toy makers like USA Bones & Chews, Nylabone, and KONG. There are dog balls and dog fetch toys, dog chew toys, plush dog toys, interactive dog toys, dog puzzles and rope and tug dog toys for your pup to play with. KONG dog toys are durable and made to last. If your canine’s a rascal with a strong jaw, KONG toys can be the perfect alternative to your designer furniture. KONG tough dog toys include balls of all shapes and sizes, and even cuddly plush toys. Plush dog toys are great for canine’s seeking comfort as they can ease some pup anxiety. Interactive dog toys help stimulate your pup’s mind, which is the key to a fulfilling life. If your pup loves to chew on your prized possessions, dog chew toys can come to the rescue. Chew toys can keep your pup busy for hours, and away from your closet. Playtime with your pup is a priceless experience pet parents cherish. Make the most of pup play with dog toys from Chewy.
They ask about my animals by name and have checked up on me twice since to see if my little ones are enjoying the gifts from Bark Box. They also are looking into making sure that other people can understand the terms of their boxes and do not make the same mistakes that I had, as well as working with their chat department to better their customer service in the future.
Consumer products know that until you enter your card details, you haven't made the decision. There will be a drop-off at that point. So this allows them to capture you in their system even if you don't complete the purchase. If you sign up after this, great. If you don't, then expect nurturing emails over the next few weeks until you come back and get the box for your dog.
But the data also shows a wide range. The lower bound is under $15, while the upper bound is over $35. This means there is scope for BarkBox to “complicate” their pricing. Consumer products try and keep pricing simple to reduce the friction in the sign-up. This often leads to them leaving money on the table. Here, BarkBox has options at both the premium level and the lower priced level:
Bone (pit bull, 40 pounds, 6 years) loves to retrieve and chew tennis balls, but tears into them within minutes. The Chuckit Ultra Ball in medium is the same size as a standard tennis ball but made entirely of rubber. It’s much more difficult to chew through, so she’s able to chomp on it for a while (with supervision); the balls have lasted for up to a year. Plus, the Ultra Ball is bouncier on turf than most tennis balls, which makes for more stimulating games of fetch. The bright orange hue makes it easy to spot—even in tall grass. And the Ultra Ball floats in water, so she can fetch it from a lake, too.
Fine Print: PupBox can be ordered for adult dogs too, but while PupBox for puppies is customized based on your dog’s size and age, for full-grown dogs, you won’t be age customized. Another cool thing about PupBox is that is customized way beyond just size. Pupbox also asks for information on your dog’s coat length and environment (city vs. country) so that they can really provide a customized experience.
Reviews from She Speaks and Influentser speak to the indestructibility of this toy. They also recommend freezing the toy with peanut butter filling as a refreshing summer treat. Our own testing revealed that even the smaller size of this toy was surprisingly durable and it was great for games of fetch. Our test dog couldn't get enough of the KONG Extreme Dog Toy's bouncing action, and the toy remained intact against her sharp puppy teeth.
I was so excited to love BarkBox. First box, first toy, my pup pops the seam in less then 5 minutes (tug o' war with another dog). I request a replacement and was told "Not to worry, I am going to go ahead and send you out that replacement! I went ahead and marked you down for our more durable plush option at no extra cost, since you said she loves her plush toys. I know you said you wanted to test out a puzzle toy so I am going to go ahead and send you one right now:) Please tell Tonks it should arrive within 3-5 business days!"
PupJoy also earned big points with us because their mission is to do good and make a significant difference. They support the little guy by sourcing from small suppliers who are focused on creating quality, responsible products, they give a lot more to charity programs – almost 50% – than other subscription box companies, and they have also fostered a community of dog lovers like you, who together are capable of doing some good and making an impactful change.
The page is designed to get you signed up for six months, paying now. The “most popular” banner and the clear signal of how much it costs (“$138 billed today”) draw the eye to that option. This is a great example of pricing page design. With just two simple elements, BarkBox can get customers signed up for at least six months and get that cash in advance.
Claire likes: While I don't want to know exactly what's in my box because it kinda takes some of the surprise and fun away, personally, PupJoy's customization options are a godsend for people who have allergy-prone dogs or already have a trunkful of toys. I thought the red bone thing was really cool — it had a soothing feel to it and a crunchy texture on the inside. Also WOW, this box is a good deal.
I ended up canceling my subscription. I was guaranteed replacement toys for my pup, a free toy for his birthday month and July’s Barkbox, and somehow they lost all three packages. They assured they would replace them, then canceled them without telling me. I only found out because I asked two weeks after the last conversation. There are so many options out there, shop around and stick within your country!
Since your dog is pretty much going to always love what you give them, ultimately choosing a dog subscription box is all about what ***you*** want. If you're someone who loves a theme and wants treats and toys at an affordable price, BarkBox is for you. If you want a mix of treats, toys, and wearables for your pup, then The Dapper Dog is a pretty solid bet. If you're someone who loves customization for a great deal, then PupJoy could be up your alley.
A good dog toy will amuse your dog for a little while, but a great dog toy will keep him busy for hours at a time. Choosing the perfect dog toy is about finding something your dog likes that will also stand up to some rough play and maybe some heavy chewing. Not all dog toys are created equal, and each dog has his own unique preferences. If you were to test all of the dog toys on the market, it would take you ages. Fortunately, we've done the work for you to find the best dog toys out there.
Membership at BarkPark encompasses one dog and up to two humans. (Bark suggests “each dog to come with his/her two favorite humans, so bring a friend, a coworker, or a hot date.”) Memberships will go on sale in mid-August, and pricing is tiered at daily ($19), monthly ($48), and season passes ($78). Discounts are available for multi-dog homes and local Nashville businesses. Events held at the park, like the comedy show and yoga meetups, are free to attend for all members.