Katy is a frugal, loving dog owner looking for great stuff for her pups. She scours the stores and the internet for great products.
BarkBox is a dog subscription box with toys and treats. It's fun for both dogs and their humans, but it's hard to know what to expect before you receive the first box. Some versions of the subscriptions require a 6- or 12-month commitment, so you want to know if it's worth it before you enter a credit card number.
I'll give you an honest, practical review of BarkBox so you don't have to risk any of your own money.
BarkBox Review: Large Dog
My two large dogs were kind enough to "share" a BarkBox subscription for a few months. We have one dog who is an aggressive chewer, so we upgraded to the Super Chewer box for him. Find that review further below.
Check out what we thought about the classic box:
Toys (2 in Each Box)
We love toys at our house! Some hold up for weeks and others are shredded immediately. Having the variety and a constant supply was great.
Most of the toys we received were plush. About every other box had a non-plush toy like a rope or puzzle toy.
Treats (2 in Each Box)
We don't usually buy dog treats. They were nice to have but inflated the price of the box with something we didn't use much. Something to consider when deciding to sign up.
All treats from BarkBox are organic so we didn't have anything to worry about. They let you put in allergies for your dog when you sign up, so the treats you receive don't have those ingredients.
Chew (1 in Each Box)
You only get one chew per box so they had to fight over this one.
The dental chews were really helpful for our dog that won't chew on bones. Normally he has no interest in chewing anything so his teeth suffer, but there was enough of a flavor with these chews that he wanted to lay down and attack it until it was gone.
Super Chewer Review
Super Chewer is a BarkBox option that sends durable toys for aggressive chewers. It's $8-$9 more per box, depending on the subscription length (see prices in the table below).
Read More From Pethelpful
Instead of the stuffed toys, your pup will get rubber and tough rope. There's no fluff to pull apart. These toys really do stand up to a good chewer!
More Durable Plush Option for Classic Boxes
At no additional charge, you can get more durable plush toys for the Classic box. But the option isn't available on the website—you have to ask for it from customer service. The easiest way to do this is via chat. A rep can add that to your subscription immediately.
Is BarkBox Worth It?
You want to know whether subscribing to BarkBox will be worth it before you pull the trigger. There are two things to consider: the cost per item and how much money you're willing to spend on your dog.
Cost Per Toy/Treat
Each box has two toys, two treats, and one chew. The amount you're charged for a box is less than all the items would retail for together. So, it's definitely a good deal compared to buying them outright. See the table below for subscription options and what the prices come out to on a "per item" basis.
Blowing the Dog Budget
As any wise person with a subscription service will tell you: a good deal doesn't matter if you don't need the item. Or in this case, if you have way too many dog toys!
BarkBox Subscriptions and Prices
|Classic (6 mo)||Classic (12 mo)||Super Chewer (6 mo)||Super Chewer (12 mo)|
Total Cost: $150
Total Cost: $252
Total Cost: $204
Total Cost: $348
Cost per Box: $25
Cost per Box: $21
Cost per Box: $34
Cost per Box: $29
Cost per Item: $5.00
Cost per Item: $4.20
Cost per Item: $6.80
Cost per Item: $5.80
Can You Cancel BarkBox at Any Time?
No, you can't cancel your BarkBox subscription at any time. This is the real danger of BarkBox. Why? You're locked into paying every month until your subscription is over. The site isn't as upfront about that as it could be, so I think some people get sucked in. Please understand that by signing up you're committing to the whole subscription period.
Beware: The Auto-Renewal!
Pay attention because there's another trap: Your subscription will renew automatically if you do nothing.
If you're like me, you signed up for BarkBox and meant to reassess at the end of the subscription. But if you forget, it will automatically be renewed for the same length. So, if you weren't happy with the service or have just accumulated too many dog toys (that's us!), you'll be locked in again.
© 2018 Katy Medium
tribedbiker on September 08, 2020:
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Jessica W. on September 20, 2019:
My dog destroys most of the superchewer toys. A few have survived but not many. Most of the toys are awful. Company does send replacement toys, although most of them are cheap as well. Treat bags are tiny. Chews last less than 30 seconds. When trying to reach customer service via text/email, it often takes several tries before anyone answers and then they say they never received my messages. Boxes don't ship when they say they will. Responses from company are always generic, childlike, and do not take issues seriously. I am unfortunately stuck in a year long subscription that I cannot get out if and every month dealing with this company feels like a battle. I expect better for the price.