After we attended BlogPaws we got quite a few offers for products in exchange for a review. One or two I jumped on, a couple looked intriguing and worth a shot and a bunch of others weren’t a good fit for us.
One of the offers that looked intriguing was the BarkBox. When you sign up for the service, they send you a box in the mail every month with goodies for your dog. It’s like a grab box because you never know what you will get.
UPDATE (2/14/15): I have reviewed many more subscription boxes since I first published this review. I have kind of become addicted to the surprise. BarkBox is one of my top recommended boxes because they have been around the longest. That means they have had time to get feedback and improve their boxes and also that they are established and very unlikely to go out of business (whereas I have seen a lot of other boxes come and go).
They send you stuff based on the size of your dog. Their website says “you will get anything from bones to treats to shampoos, leashes and innovative Gadgets.”
I love mail, love a surprise and I love to buy a lot of doggie stuff. I decided it was worth a try.
The box arrived in the mail yesterday. They only ship out once a month so it comes pretty much the same time every month. We “ordered” our pretty close to that date so it came fast.
I immediately busted it open. Inside I found a bag of treats, a roll of poo bags, a chewy treat , a squeakie toy and some doggie bubbles (yes, you read that right. They were “peach flavored”).
I looked at the treats first. To my very pleasant surprise these soft little treats were grain free and contained omega oils. I immediately dismissed the chewy treat. It was one of those things that is pretty much made out of potato flour and resembles a Greenie. Greenies can pose a choking hazard and they have no nutritional value (plus they get chewed in 2 seconds in our house) so I don’t give them to Chester and Gretel.
I gave Chester the squeakie toy which was made of hard plastic and shaped like a steak. He took off with it like he was hoarding a real steak.
I opened the bubbles and tried them with Gretel. I guess dogs are supposed to chase, bite at them and pop them. She was confused and showed no interest. In the trash they went.
I checked on Chester with the squeakie steak because he likes to chew them up ASAP (which is usually 1.5 seconds). Hard plastic is cheap and easy to chew. Sure enough he had already torn a few chunks off the corner. In the squeakie steak’s defense, it DID still squeak….all the way to the trash can.
They LOVED the treats (of course) and I loved the cute little pattern on the poop bags. They’re almost my wedding colors. Maybe I should save them for use on the big day. Ha, ha.
So out of contents of the box, the poop bags and treats were winners but they rest bombed.
I checked the website again and the cost per month is $17 if you buy 6-months at a time. Opening the box was fun and you never know what you will end up with but $17 seems a little steep to me for a roll of poop bags and a 6 oz bag of treats.
They do say that “a portion of proceeds of each box will go to help doggies in need”. When I looked further, 10% of proceeds goes to “a shelter” (which is not listed). They do request that you email them if you have a favorite in-need shelter.
Is the cost of the BarkBox worth it? Yeah, if you like getting surprises and accept that some months you may get a lot of items you want (I am guessing here since we only ordered one box) but some you might get only a few or none at all. Personally, I would rather spend the $17 a month on goodies I know we are going to like (even though the “grab bag” aspect IS really enticing).
I DO think this would make a really awesome gift for the doggie lover in your life. You can purchase just a one-time delivery, three months delivery or 6 month. I will keep this in mind the next time I am looking for gifts. It’s definitely fun and unique.
You can check out pictures on their Facebook Page and decide for yourself if you might like to try it or not.