BarkBox Subscription Review

In this review we ordered and reviewed BarkBox, a monthly subscription service providing dog products, services, and experiences.

BarkBox is a monthly subscription service that delivers a box of treats and toys to your doorstep. In this review we discuss the pros and cons of this companies products and service. If you're interested in service, product variety, and price, we have all the information in this guide.
Who Is This dog food Best For?
They provide high quality all-natural dog treats and innovative toys
You are able to reorder certain items or purchase items from other collections online
BarkBox donates 5% of their profits toward supporting organizations that provide free or low-cost vet care 
They offer a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn't like every item in the box
Boxes are tailored to fit your dog's size, and options are available for dogs with allergies
Monthly box is delivered right to your door step
Who Won't Love This dog food?
Your subscription automatically renews if not cancelled
Some of the plush toys included may not be ideal for heavy chewers 
Subscription can be costly if you don't buy treats and toys regularly
The box items are limited to treats, toys and chews

How BarkBox Got Started?

Bark & Co launched BarkBox in 2012 as a monthly themed subscription of all-natural treats and fun dog toys. The New York-based startup is dedicated to making dogs and their humans happy. BarkBox has fun themed boxes that come in three sizes for small, medium, and large dogs. Each box has a theme and contains two all-natural bags of treats, two original toys, and a chew. If your dog doesn’t like an item, they will send a free replacement.

Bark & Co has shipped more than 38 million products and expanded into creating its own products, experiences and entertainment with BarkShopBarkLive, and BarkPost, one of the largest publishers dedicated to dogs online. To date they are reaching over 1 million dogs every month and have expanded into many new product categories, as well as thousands of retail locations.

How We Tested?

You may have come across many BarkBox subscription reviews in your search and unfortunately anyone can gather information from other reviews and make their own. Or maybe the review is skewed because they received the product for free in exchange for a more influential outcome.

Just to put your mind at ease, this review isn’t sponsored or supported by BarkBox in any way, shape or form.

We went through the ordering process explained in this review and paid with our own money. We also did not contact BarkBox to let them know that we would be reviewing their product at any point.

Since our review of BarkBox is completely independent, we did not feel pressured to please them in any way. Our goal is to provide you with a sense of what the actual consumer experience is like from beginning to end.

We provide real reviews because you deserve real tried and true opinions, along with pros and cons that can help you make a well-informed decision about whether the product in question is something your own dog will enjoy or benefit from, and whether you will benefit in any way.

To get started, we ordered a subscription box from BarkBox, making sure to test all the products that they offer in the shipment. A real dog ate the treats, chews and played with the toys in order to provid us with immediate, trustworthy feedback.

Why You Should Trust Our Review of BarkBox?

We actually “tested” the products on one of our own dogs. We did not copy or sum up information from other websites or pet parents’ experiences, and we did not re-post BarkBox’s claims. We also wanted to see and smell the toys and treats for ourselves, as well as witness how our dog responds to the treats compared to what he normally eats.

Because my dog is constantly trying different treats and toys and transitions quickly, without issues, he was the dog used for this review. His name is Sampson and he is a 6 year old shepherd/pit bull mix who eats anything and everything, but is not fond of dog toys. Sampson doesn’t have any health concerns, conditions, or special needs but could stand to lose 5 to 10 pounds and be more active.

After placing an order with BarkBox and receiving it, Sampson spent the next 7 days trying the treats, chew and playing with the toys.

During the trial period, we watched for changes in Sampson’s health and behavior. Since he eats treats only on occasion and rarely has chews, we watched his poop schedule, weight and over all excitement for treat time.

Who This Review Is For?

With so many subscription box reviews out there for every-day pet owners, we decided to go further. Standard pet owners just want a little encouragement in order to decide if a product is safe, palatable, and nutritious enough for the average dog to eat.

This review is different. We wrote it with committed pet parents in mind. The people, who like us, only want the very best for their furry family members. People who want convenience and quality and are willing to spend a few extra dollars doing so.

Our Experience

Signing up to have BarkBox delivered to your doorstep is pretty simple. We started by going to BarkBox’s website to check out what they have to offer. The fist step is to sign in to BarkBox and answer some questions about your dog’s personal needs. Then you will need to choose which plan to try which can be one month, six months or 12 months.

They have many positive customer reviews on their website as well as pictures of dogs who were tagged using BarkBox products. The site also links to their many other websites with everything from meal plans to dental care for your pup.

With positive customer reviews, additional website offerings and adorable pictures, it’s hard not to be convinced they offer a great product, but that is not enough for us.

Once you get past the plan selection BarkBox will ask for your dog’s size. This goes from small (under 20 pounds), medium (20 to 50 pounds), and large (50 and up pounds). This is so they can customize the box for your four-legged friend with the type of dog toys, treats and chews you want in the box as well as the toy features and edible ingredients you prefer.

We went ahead and chose the seasonal themed box for large dogs for the one month subscription service. For each box you will receive 4-6  customized items for your dog. Most the monthly boxes include:

  • 2 All-Natural & Healthy Bags of Treats
  • 2 Adorable Dog Toys
  • A dog chew

Unless you choose a specific theme then each month will be a mystery. BarkBox ships its products on the 15th of every month and has an estimated delivery of 2 to 8 business days in the United States and 4 to 12 business days in Canada.

The Unboxing

The BarkBox arrived within 5 days of ordering and was sitting on my porch. The box is clearly marked with the BarkBox name and was easy to flap open. The box was packed with two featured toys, two featured 4.5 ounce treat bags and a 12 inch turkey chew stick. The featured toys were so cute and the packaging on the treats was also adorable.

The treats BarkBox provides are free from corn, wheat, soy or by-products to ensure that dogs with allergies are safe. The label states the treats are made in the USA or Canada with domestic and imported ingredients. If your dog is sensitive to certain products they will customize your box.

The toys felt very durable with a squeak feature but may not hold up to aggressive chewers.

 

What Does Sampson Think About BarkBox?

As soon as I opened the box of BarkBox I showed Sampson everything and started him with the turkey chew stick. We went on to try the treats and then I laid the toys down for him to sniff.

The dog treats included came in chicken and duck flavor and are soft, chewy round disks. Each bag has a resealable zip top for easy storage. I only allowed Sampson two treats each morning because he is a little bit on the heavy and lazy side.

Needless to say, Sampson devoured the turkey chew stick in no time flat and seemed disappointed there wasn’t more. He did appear to really enjoy both flavors of treats as well. He waited near the pantry every morning for treat time.

As for the cute Snoopy and Woodstock dog toys, he wasn’t too interested. I tossed them around and he just stared blankly at them. After a few days I did catch him tossing the Woodstock toy in the air and catching it in his mouth, which was surprising. This happened one other time and gave me hope he may start playing with toys.

During the seven day trial of BarkBox’s products, Sampson’s weight stayed the same because of the limit on treats. He did not have any adverse reactions to any of the products and started playing with the provided dog toys.

There was no change in Sampson’s poop schedule but being he was only trying treats that is expected. He did run around a little bit more when playing with the dog toys but I only caught him two or three times during the trial.

What We Liked:

  • High quality all-natural dog treats and innovative toys
  • Reorder certain items or purchase items from other collections online
  • Donates 5% of their profits toward supporting organizations that provide free or low-cost vet care
  • Offer a money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like every item in the box
  • Tailored to fit your dog’s size, and options are available for dogs with allergies
  • Delivered right to your door step

What We Did Not Like:

  • Subscription automatically renews if not cancelled
  • Some of the plush toys may not be ideal for heavy chewers
  • Can be costly if you don’t buy treats and toys regularly
  • Box items are limited to treats, toys and chews

How Much Does a BarkBox Subscription Cost?

If you regularly buy your dog toys and treats, then BarkBox maybe worth it for you. However, if you don’t usually spend $20 to $30 a month on just those items then BarkBox might not be a great deal for you. BarkBox prices vary depending on how many months you sign-up for.

For a one-month subscription, you will pay $29 and a six month subscription will be around $25. The best value is the 12 month BarkBox plan which will cost you $22 per month, but you do have to pay for the entire year in advance.

BarkBox’s Returns & Warranty

BarkBox does not process the return of any complete BarkBoxes nor individual items. If something doesn’t work for your dog or you, connect with The Happy Team so they can make it right and ensure your pup is happy. They do ask that you share any unwanted items with a furry friend or donate them to your favorite shelter.

Is BarkBox a Good Choice?

Yes, it is a good choice if your dog is spoiled with treats and toys on a regular basis. BarkBox only provides premium treats and toys from trusted, reliable suppliers who use high quality ingredients. All of their products are tested by the BarkBox team’s own puppy squad, so your subscription box dog toys and treats are guaranteed to please your pup.

If your dog has tried BarkBox, please let us know in the comments below!

Do you have a product or food you’d like us to review before you commit to it yourself? Let us know!

Amy

Amy has volunteered at several pet shelters for over 15 years. She has had pets as far back as she can remember and is currently the owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog. Amy is currently a freelance writer and contributes to several pet related websites.

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