BarkBox Review – Delivering A Howling Good Time

Does your household suffer from bored dog syndrome? Feel like you can’t keep your pooch satisfied? Let BarkBox come to the rescue. A BarkBox subscription gives your pup a surprise gift box every month, full of new toys, healthy treats and grooming products.

BarkBox saves you time shopping around for a variety of quality toys and all-natural treats your dog will love. Winner of our Best Dog Subscription Box comparison, BarkBox delivers compared to the dozens of other dog subscription boxes on the market. Read our BarkBox review to see why.

What is BarkBox?

BarkBox was founded in 2011 by dog lovers Carly Strife, Matt Meeker, and Henrik Werdelin, who felt the need to fill a gap in the pet retail market. While it’s always been an option to walk into a pet store and pick out a toy or treats for your pet, there was no market out there for someone else to do it for you–never mind having a personalized box delivered to your door.

BarkBox’s personalization factor is truly what has made them one of the fastest growing subscription services ever. Their popularity is also due to the fact that they give you a pretty good deal: each box is valued at over $40, with a subscription starting at $22 per month.

BarkBox’s monthly subscription box is completely personalized to your individual pup. BarkBox takes into account your dog’s age, size, breed and more to come up with a uniquely themed box tailored to them. Dogs (especially puppies) need constant stimulation and entertainment. This monthly box helps switch things up for them on a regular basis, while saving you time and money.

Let’s lay it all out on the table in this BarkBox subscription review and take a look at some of the pros and cons:

Pros
  • By filling out a short quiz and selecting a subscription plan, you receive a monthly box delivered to your door, always customized to your dog
  • Each BarkBox saves you money with an estimated value of over $40 per box and subscription options starting at $22 per box
  • BarkBox offers 3 billing options, which allow you to save more money depending on the level of commitment you’re comfortable with
  • BarkBox’s treats are made in the USA and are allergy friendly
  • BarkBox offers free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States
  • If your pup doesn’t like a particular toy or treat that month, BarkBox will replace it with something else, free of charge
  • All boxes are dog tested and approved
Cons
  • While delivering to Canada used to be an option, BarkBox has had to temporarily suspend its Canadian orders and now only delivers to the US–this was and still is a major bummer to their Canadian subscribers
  • If you want to save money, you have to commit to BarkBox for a minimum of 6 months, otherwise you have to pay an extra $4-7 per month
  • If you forget to uncheck the renewal option, your subscription is automatically renewed at the end of your 6- or 12-month subscription period, with no option for a refund
  • While many products are advertised as being durable for tough chewers, many can be easily destroyed (my American Bulldog has personally experienced this with BarkBox toys)
  • You can give BarkBox as a gift–having said that, a BarkBox gift starts at $35, which is more than the cost of a 1-month subscription

What’s in a BarkBox?

What’s in a BarkBox?

Each BarkBox includes 5 items: 2 bags of treats (all natural, made and sourced in the US), 2 toys and a dog chew. Their customization options mainly revolve around the size and breed of your dog and whether or not they have any allergies. BarkBox subscription boxes also center around specific BarkBox themes every month, which is the same regardless of your pup’s info.

These themes have included “Snowbound hounds”, “Thankstuffing”, and the limited-edition Grinch box, featuring a BarkBox Grinch stuffy.  Adorable, right? This $5 BarkBox was recently available when you signed up for a new plan, with the addition of a free extra toy every month (I didn’t know about this and wish I had snagged it for my girl!).

Is your BarkBox pup a BarkBox chewer? BarkBox also gives the ever-important Super Chewer BarkBox option, which includes two fluff-free toys for tough chewers. Everyone knows a dog that tears apart any toy (any item really) that they can get their paws on. And while I don’t believe this was an option when I was subscribed to BarkBox, I definitely would have chosen it if it was.

How Much Is BarkBox?

As mentioned, BarkBox does have different subscription options. While conducting this BarkBox subscription review, I noticed that while none of these longer-term subscription options require you to pay for the entire period up front, they do require a certain level of commitment. Let’s take a look at the options:

  • For a 1-month subscription you’re going to be paying the most at $29, with no commitment period
  • For a 6-month subscription you’re looking at $25 per month, billed monthly
  • For a 12-month subscription you’re going to be getting the best value for your money, at $22per month billed monthly, but you’re going to be locked in for a year

BarkBox Competitors

While BarkBox is arguably the most well-known dog subscription box out there, it certainly does have some competitors. So it’s only fair to at least briefly compare them in a BarkBox subscription review. While they do have more than three competitors, we will just be focusing these:

Bullymake vs BarkBox

Bullymake’s monthly subscription box is specifically for the ultra-tough chewer, which is similar to BarkBox’s Super Chewer. This box contains 5-6 treats and toys every month and offers some customizable options.

Their options focus on size, weight, possible allergies and toy preferences. Bullymake has four subscription options and variable pricingranging from $39 for 1-month and $31 per month for 12-months.

PupBox vs BarkBox

PupBox is a monthly subscription box for your puppy as they grow. Boxes are curated based on the unique developments in each month of your dog’s first year of life, which is pretty cool. You can still sign up for PupBox if you have an adult dog, it just won’t be quite aspersonalized.

A PupBox contains 5-7 products, with at least one of the products being a bag of training treats. The rest will mostly be toys and chews, customized to your puppy’s current needs. PupBox has four subscription options, which range from $39 for a 1-month plan and $29 for a 12-month subscription.

Dapper Dog Box vs BarkBox

Dapper Dog Box is another monthly subscription box and the only of these that includes an accessory. Each month, you’ll be sent a super cute limited-edition doggy bandana, designed by Dapper Dog. This box is not overly personalized, as the only information they really ask you for is what size your pup is.

Dapper Dog Box includes 4 other size dependent items, being toys, treats and/or chews. This box is $35.99 per month and does not give an option for a longer commitment for a cheaper price.

Is BarkBox Worth It?

So, after doing a BarkBox subscription review, do we think BarkBox is worth it? If we’re talking value for money, BarkBox does seem to be worth it, regardless of whether you choose the discounted option of being locked into a commitment. 

Having said that, you do need to be extra careful about whether or not you’ve selected a traditional BarkBox or a Super Chewer BarkBox. While this is not a Super Chewer BarkBox review, it’s important to keep in mind that if your dog does like to tear apart their toys as soon as they get them, a regular BarkBox is not going to be worth your money.

While there are no BarkBox reviews on the brand’s website (minus some adorable BarkBox Instagram photos), there are a few red flags based on other online reviews. One of the main issues is exactly as I mentioned above: customers did not select the Super Chewer option and their dog immediately destroyed their toys.

The other issue is hugely related to billing. In more than one BarkBox subscription review, customers did not notice the option to deselect automatic renewal–and there’s been a considerable amount of complaints about BarkBox’s lack of sympathy (and refunds) when it comes to this issue.

BarkBox Promotions & Discounts 

Looking for some BarkBox promos? For this BarkBox subscription review, we hunted for the best deals. Here is what we were able to find:

Get $10 off your first box with a 6- or 12-month subscription with BarkBox promo code: SUPERNOVABBX

Get $15 off your first box with a 6- or 12-month subscription with BarkBox coupon code: RUCKUSESKIE

Get a free BarkBox when your unique referral code is used to purchase either a 6 or a 12-month subscription – you can find this code in the Invite section of your account.

There is currently a Groupon BarkBox deal available for a One Month Box Subscription with an extra toy for $29 and a Three-Month Box Subscription with an extra toy for $79. Both have a savings of 20%, so snatch these up while you can!

How to Get BarkBox

A BarkBox subscription review found that signing up is a simple processOn the BarkBox home page, you’ll immediately see the option to “Choose Your Box”. From there, you’ll be taken through a short quiz, asking for some simple information about your dog.

You’ll start with their name and gender and move onto size and breed. You’ll then be asked for their birthday (so BarkBox can send you some special BarkBox birthday treats) and you’ll have the option to select whether or not they have any dietary restrictions.

After you’ve spent all of 30 seconds inputting this information, you’ll choose the length of your subscription plan and pay. Done! Keep in mind, if you’re looking for the Super Chewer BarkBox option, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the homepage, where it will direct you to a different webpage and quiz.

It’s also important to note that you can buy individual items outside of your BarkBox, such as the ever popular BarkBox Pigs in a Blanket in their Bark store. With this option, you can repurchase toys you may have loved in your pup’s BarkBox for a gift, or as an eventual replacement for a worn out toy.

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