Buying treats and dressing up are the things my furbabies and I love doing. It is our bonding moment, and I can’t express the joy I have whenever what we buy lightens up their day. The smile and kisses you’ll get! If you have pups, you can definitely relate.
However, the busyness of life can often hinder us from going to the pet store to pick those treats and keep them up on the latest trend. There are times when they would have to go for months waiting to get a fresh new look or have new things to chew on. As a fur-parent, it breaks my heart that this happens, but I had to prioritize.
That is why, when I heard about BarkBox, it did not take long before I decided to give it a try. Taking away the hassle of physically scheduling a store visit while giving my pups what I know will make them happy was an easy decision. While at it, I also did this review.
So, what is Barkbox?
Today, subscription services are available for almost anything! And yes, that includes those that cater to what your pets need. Simply put, that is what BarkBox is.
When you subscribe to BarkBox, you can stop feeling guilty about not being able to shop for your pups. During the months you are signed up, they will do the shopping for you and have all stuff delivered where you want them.
They have specific themes where they pattern the toys and treats that they will send. But to make the experience even more fun, not just for your pet but even for you, what you will get is a surprise! I don’t know about you, but I do love the excitement whenever a box is opened.
All you need to do is sign up to be subscribed to their services. Once all is done, your mystery box will start getting sent to your doorstep as frequently as you choose.
Your BarkBox Subscription Mechanism
Your subscription to BarkBox takes some setting up before it begins. Well, it goes for every similar service because they cannot proceed based on assumptions. So before anything, they will need some information from you.
They need to know the size of your dog so that they will know how to tailor-fit everything. This is the guideline that the company uses:
- Small – under 20 pounds
- Medium – 20 to 50 pounds
- Large – above 50 pounds
The treats they send must be made of ingredients that are not harmful to dogs. They would usually go for treats that do not have allergens, such as wheat, corn, and soy or its by-products. You have to ensure that you inform them if there are other things your pet is allergic to so that they can avoid sending any of that.
Aside from what they already prepared for your order, you may also add other stuff you might like. You can check out their website to see if you need something else included in your box. Going there will also give you a glimpse of what might be in your mystery box.
After you have signed up, you will be billed for your subscription the month after your first order. This is usually scheduled on the 3rd while shipping the Barkboxes is on the 15th of the month.
What’s Inside the box?
So, the first subscription I made was to test the waters. I did not give any explicit instructions to see how creative they would be. All I supplied was the size of my dogs, which is above 50 pounds. There were no add-ons, just the basic package.
When the package arrived, I was a bit anxious. However, when I opened the box, I breathed a sigh of relief and was as excited as my furbabies were upon seeing the contents.
The theme was New York City, and the box was filled with items and goodies honoring the company’s hometown! There were two bags of treats, two toys, and a chew.
Specifically, these are what we unboxed:
- Plato Pet Treats Hundur’s Crunch Fish Treats
- Bacon Cheddar Flavor Sojos
- A pretzel tug toy
- A squeaker ball Lady Liberty toy
- 12-inch deer chew
Manufacturer and Quality
What we really appreciate about all that came with our BarkBox is that nothing looks and feels cheap. Everything is produced with high-quality materials and ingredients.
The treats are entirely free of wheat, corn, and soy and their by-products. With the way my dogs enjoyed them, I can say they are tasty too!
The toys and the chew are also worth every penny. They are durable, and they are not just fun but are also very engaging and interactive.
According to their website and my quick interaction with customer service, not all items are from the US. They also import from Canada for the treats.
On the other hand, the chews are often sourced from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South America, and of course, from the USA.
The rest of their products, such as toys, grooming, and hygiene products, are from all over the world. This should not pose a concern, though, as they have a team of quality checkers that ensures that all is perfect and safe. They actually test the stuff on their pets first, just to prove a point.
Can BarkBox Cater Allergic Dogs?
Being concerned about your pet getting allergies is valid. It is actually the reason why I really want to do the shopping myself. That should not be a concern when you choose BarkBox because they completely understand, and they will help.
First, as stated above, they do not send out stuff with ingredients or contents that are common allergens to dogs. Secondly, they are also gradually transitioning to single-ingredient treats as much as they can. And lastly, you can specifically instruct them about your pet’s condition, and they would accommodate all limitations.
I can attest to all of those I mentioned above because my dogs are sensitive and have allergy concerns, and I have had no issues with my subscription so far.
Who Must Subscribe to BarkBox?
Everyone who has dogs is encouraged to subscribe, but it is most beneficial to fur-parents who are so busy with other stuff that going to physical shops isn’t feasible. Whether you just like to spoil your pet, or they really need something, this service is perfect for you!
It is also beneficial for those whose dogs quickly get bored and want various activities and toys. It is a fun bonding experience for both of you as you get to open a different surprise each month that you are subscribed to BarkBox.
Are the Subscription and Pricing Reasonable?
The straightforward answer to that question is yes. Of course, like most purchases, prices go down as you buy more, or in this case, if you stick longer to the service.
A month’s worth of subscription will cost $29. This is a very reasonable price considering all the things you will get. If you extend your subscription to six months or a year, the monthly rate can go to as low as $25 to $21 monthly.
You may also upgrade your subscription. The prices mentioned above are for the basic plans. If you are a spoiler fur-parent, you can add more to your mystery box! For an additional $9, your dog can enjoy one more premium toy. I find it funny that they termed this “pupgrade.”
I also appreciate it so much that they offer a free pupgrade for heavy chewers because mine is like that. With this upgrade, you will be sent extra durable toys so that they will last long.
However, if your dogs are beyond just a heavy chewer, you may want to upgrade their Super Chewer option further. Prices for this plan are pretty higher than the basic. A month would cost $39; for the six-month and 12-month plans, it would be $34 and $29, respectively.
Don’t worry, this upgrade is worth it, I assure you. If your dog still destroys the toy that comes with the Super Chewer subscription, you will be sent a replacement for free! I learned that their confidence in this warranty lies in the fact that these toys were tested on wolves.
If you are looking for a way to save some bucks, BarkBox can give you that by using coupons and promo codes.
The best place to look for them is in Groupon. You can find various promotions for new customers on that website. Just key in the “BarkBox” keyword and see what you can use for a particular purchase.
You may also go to your favorite search engine and type “BarkBox promo codes” or “BarkBox coupons.” I often do that before making online purchases, and almost always, something comes up.
Another way to score one is to refer your fellow dog owner to try their service. A successful referral would win you a free box! so, just keep spreading the word, and you might end up having a year’s worth of supply.
Are Ordering and Shipping Convenient?
Ordering was not a problem, in my experience. When you go to the website, you can see that the layout is straightforward. You can see all that you need at once, and you can easily follow the flow. In short, it is very user-friendly.
Once done ordering, you will be provided with a package tracker, and their support system is very active; you can email them for your concern, and they will eagerly reply. For our order, the shipping took only four days from the time we placed our order.
There was no additional charge for the shipping, but I have read on their website that purchases outside the 48 contiguous states will have to pay another $5, which I think is reasonable.
If you like what you got from your first order, re-ordering will be even easier. You can do so using your phone. You may either text them or download their app, and soon, your purchase will be at your door.
What’s My Verdict on My Barkbox Experience?
Based on my personal experiences, I am recommending BarkBox for the following reasons:
- All boxes are tailored to fit your dogs.
- They stay away from treats that may cause allergies, such as wheat, corn, and soy.
- They have varieties of toys and chews; your dogs will enjoy the novelty.
- They can accommodate your specific requests, especially if your pet has allergies to chicken, turkey, or beef.
- Their customer service is very responsive.
- All their treats are sourced from countries that only produce high-quality products.
- They have a very user-friendly website, so ordering is a breeze
- It is effortless to re-order products using your mobile phone.
- You can avail of coupons and promos.
- They will send a replacement for any treat or toy that your dog will not like, and it is for free!
- 10% of their proceeds go to over 3000 shelters; it is heart-warming to know this.
Then again, it cannot be all perfect, right? There is always room for improvement, and here is my take on that.
- Some toys may not be suitable for dogs, like those chews that only have one hole. My dog would lick inside at times, which creates a vacuum, and the tongue got stuck. I think they should consider working on that, for it can become a safety issue.
- Cancellation of subscriptions is not automatic. You would have to do it manually. That means, if you want to prevent getting billed repeatedly, you have to go through the online process, which is simple enough.
Do I Recommend BarkBox?
There may be some minor downsides to signing up for a subscription service, but with BarkBox, I can say that it was worth it!
I am now one chore left while giving my pups that feeling of joy and excitement that comes with the box. As a pet parent, it is like the same joy you will feel when opening a gift on Christmas eve.
I have read another customer review, which agrees with mine. The products are high-quality, the process is smooth, and the customer service is superb.
So, yes! I would recommend BarkBox. Look for coupons, then try it out. I guarantee you will not regret this.