BarkBox Review: Spoiling Our Pups Has Never Been Easier
Few things are as magical as seeing a dog's eyes alight with joy when they receive a new toy or treat. You know the look. Eyes wide and sparkling, ears at attention, the whole world forgotten.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s hard to find the time to treasure hunt for new toys and treats. Because of that, the chance to do a BarkBox review was a welcome adventure for everyone in our household—dogs and humans alike!
For us, BarkBox did a great job of taking the work out of shopping for new goodies for the dogs while still giving them fun new treats and toys.
🕰️ Short on time? Here's a recap of our BarkBox review!
- Ships right to your door every month automatically
- Contains 2 unique toys, 2 bags of all-natural dog treats, and 1 chewy treat
- Each box has a creative, unique theme (ours had aliens!)
- You pick what type of subscription fits best: monthly, 6 months, or 12 months
- Multi-dog discount available
Why We Liked It
There are a lot of things I loved about BarkBox. First is the convenience. The box ships right to your door automatically with no hassle necessary. Without going to the pet store, we were able to give the dogs something new and exciting.
Second is the novelty. The contents of each BarkBox have a creative theme with unique toys. I was surprised to find that not only are the toys unique each month, but they also vary from box to box.
I thought the combination of dog treats and toys was just right. The two youngest dogs in our home are obsessed with toys (and food), but the older two are, admittedly, more interested in treats than toys. I worried they would feel left out in all the excitement, but they loved snacking while the puppies played.
Who Should Use It
Any dog would love BarkBox. For humans, though, BarkBox works best for busy people who want to try new things.
- Comes with a money-back satisfaction guarantee
- Our dogs absolutely loved the toys and treats!
- Convenient—no trips to the store necessary
- Customizable for pups with food allergies, serious chewers, and more
- Treats are free from wheat (a common allergy in dogs), corn, soy, and fillers
- Really creative and fun toy designs—nothing cookie-cutter here
- Plush toys are cute but not chew-proof
- Canceling your subscription isn't easy
- Auto-renewal for your subscription
- Higher cost for the month-to-month option
How We Reviewed BarkBox and Why You Should Trust Us
In order to give the most impartial BarkBox review, we paid for the box ourselves to get the whole experience and weigh the value against the price.
If you buy BarkBox through our affiliate link we do earn a small commission, but it won't cost you a cent. It just helps us to write this content for free.
To help you decide if BarkBox is right for you, we've put together this BarkBox review. We’ll share what you can expect from ordering and shipping, what our dogs thought of the box and all of the answers to your burning questions.
Our 4 dogs loved the BarkBox we tried. They picked out their favorite treats, tested the toys' durability, and had a blast.
What is a BarkBox?
BarkBox is a monthly subscription box filled with creative toys and treats to surprise you and your dog(s). Once you pay for the subscription, a box magically appears on your doorstep once a month filled with themed toys and treats tailored to your dog's needs.
BarkBox is mainly for busy pet parents. Let's face it: life is crazy. And for those who want fun new things to surprise their dogs without the hassle of shopping, a subscription like BarkBox is just the thing.
BarkBox tailors their subscriptions to fit allergies and preferences. They even offer a Super Chewer Box for dogs who are masters of destruction. But for more complex allergies or incredibly specific toys, BarkBox might be tricky territory.
If you have strong needs or preferences (or just like to shop), then BarkBox might not be for you.
But if you like the idea of unboxing something unique and fun with your dog while saving time and energy, then BarkBox would be a perfect fit.
Things to Consider Before Getting a BarkBox Subscription
BarkBox was invented based on a simple concept: dogs make life better. And because of that, BarkBox strives to make the world a better place for both people and dogs.
To do so, they sell BarkBox—a way to give dogs a bit of extra joy at home with a monthly themed subscription box of toys and treats. The brand also aims to give back to the community by educating, providing resources, advocating for fostering dogs, and backing community services that help prevent the surrender of dogs.
BarkBox is a great product all on its own, as well. The monthly themes are wildly creative and fun, they are able to tailor their boxes to your dog's needs, they come at reasonable prices, and there are different subscription options (including half-sized boxes).
Meet Gojira: Our Toy Expert
We have a whopping 4 dogs in our house: Maxx, Monster X (also known as Brother), Shiloh, and Gojira.
Gojira is definitely our resident toy expert. Sure, the other dogs like toys, but Gojira is obsessed with them. He loves them even more than food! And he was delighted when the BarkBox package came just for him.
Like the other three, Gojira is a Heeler mix. He just turned one, is the lightest of the four at a medium-sized 40 pounds, and he's been known to cause a bit of mischief. Gojira doesn't have any allergies or health issues. He's just a high-energy pup who loves squeaking toys and playing fetch more than anything in the world.
Only the most durable dog toys survive Gojira's wrath, though. He's not only a toy expert… he's also an expert at destroying them in record time.
1) Ordering the Box
Ordering the box was pretty easy and intuitive. We had to answer a short quiz to give some basic information about our dog:
Based on all this information, BarkBox chose the best toy sizes for our dog.
2) The Arrival of the Box
Shortly after ordering, BarkBox sent a confirmation email and shipping information that included an estimated arrival date and tracking number. Two days later, the box arrived.
To my surprise, Gojira found the BarkBox before I could even get to it. Turns out the mailman decided to deliver it right to our backyard. Strange, but the mail works in mysterious ways.
As if psychic, Gojira knew the box was his and was halfway through tearing it open in the backyard before I knew what was happening. He was pretty put out when he couldn't open it outside then and there!
Despite the mailman's strange mode of delivery, I was pretty impressed while unpacking everything. The box design is fun and playful, the two dog toys were high quality, cute, and incredibly creative. The two bags of treats and the chew were in sleek packaging with tasty flavors listed right on the front.
A booklet with instructions and an informational flyer came with it. It went over the theme of the month (“The Playlien”) and all of the alien-themed toys that were released as a part of the collection.
3) The Content of The Box
So, what exactly came in the box? Here's the breakdown of what arrived in our BarkBox:
- 2 Toys: The two toys that we received were incredibly cute! One was a fun alien squeaky toy and the other was a UFO squeaky toy. They both fit the “Playlien” theme of the month.
- 2 Bags of Treats: 2 full-sized bags of treats were also included. We received Swimmy Jerky Bars (Salmon Recipe) and Cheesy Peasy Soft Bakes (Cheese Recipe). All four dogs agreed that the Cheesy Peasy Soft Bakes were their favorite!
- 1 chew: The “Chicken Stick Recipe” chew that came in our box was made with real chicken and had no soy, corn, or wheat.
- Instruction Booklet: The instruction booklet mostly went over what is included in each box every month (2 toys, 2 treat bags, and 1 chew) and welcomed us to the pack.
- Informational Flyer: The informational flyer included information about the theme of the month (“The Playlien”) and what toys were a part of the collection. It was fun comparing which random toys we received versus what others were included in the themed collection!
4) Gojira's Review of BarkBox
Gojira was beyond excited about his BarkBox! Given the chance, he would have torn the box completely apart right there in the backyard to get to the new toys and treats.
Once it was in the house, Gojira watched with bated breath as the new treasures were unveiled. After a quick peek to see what was inside, I let Gojira pick a toy from the box. At that point, our other puppy (Monster X) peeked around the corner, curious as to what was going on.
Both puppies grabbed a toy and like a bolt of lightning, they were off—sprinting down the hall at high speed, squeaking all the way. It was a magical moment to see them shocked and overjoyed, running through the house with their newfound toys.
In all the excitement, the two older dogs in our home came over to see what was going on. Maxx was confused and curious, and even Shiloh who suffers from arthritis limped over to see what all the commotion was about.
I felt guilty that there were no more toys in the box, but Maxx and Shiloh are much less toy-obsessed than the younger pups. When I pulled out the bags of treats, though… then I had their full and undivided attention.
Even Gojira and Monster X paused their enthusiastic squeaking to run over and beg for treats.
The verdict is: they were all delicious. Especially the Cheesy Peasy Soft Bakes. Some of the dogs were so excited about the treats that they nearly ate my hand in the process! It was so much fun for me and the dogs, though, and despite there being only two toys, all four dogs had a blast.
Gojira made it pretty clear that he loved the new toys best of all. We could hear him squeaking for the rest of the night!
I mentioned before that Gojira is an expert at destroying toys. These were no exception. True to his name, Gojira destroyed both toys within 24 hours. To be fair, he destroys almost all plush squeaky toys within 24 hours!
Their early demise didn't put a damper on his fun, though. To this day, he still loves to play with their squeaker-less husks.
5) 2 Weeks Later
Even though the puppies destroyed both toys within 24 hours, they continued to play with them. They love the squeakers, especially! We even sewed the alien back together in an attempt to extend its life. (Unfortunately, the UFO could not fit in the sewing machine).
After 2 weeks, our older dogs had lost interest in the toys but were still enjoying their treats.
Gojira and Monster X continued to play with both toys. As time went on, the special novelty wore off. That isn't to say they stopped enjoying the alien and UFO—but rather that they have become equal in interest to the pups' other toys.
6) Is BarkBox a Good Value?
Getting BarkBox feels like splurging (although who doesn't love to splurge on their dog?), but the price is about what you'd pay at the pet shop for the same amount of high-quality toys and natural, healthy treats.
The monthly boxes are a bit spendy. But the 6-month and 12-month subscriptions are significantly less per month and honestly, a good deal for the amount of stuff you get.
I didn't get this by trying the month-to-month option, but if you opt for the 6-month or 12-month subscription options they will put double the toys and treats into your first box. That really sweetens the deal!
BarkBox Price: How much are you going to pay for it?
BarkBox costs the same for dogs of all sizes, but the price does vary depending on your subscription length. Here's the breakdown:
- Monthly subscription: $35 per box
- 6-month subscription: $25 per box
- 12-month subscription: $20 per month
BarkBox also offers a half-sized box: Classic BarkBox Lite. The Classic BarkBox Lite is $14.99 per month.
BarkBox Reviews: What do other dog owners think about this dog subscription box?
All in all, BarkBox gets pretty good reviews. Most people love the creative toy designs, the value for the price, and the delicious high-quality treats. The only complaints are for toy durability and the hassle of canceling a subscription.
BarkBox isn't the only box you can buy for your dog. There are alternatives to BarkBox, and here are some of the most popular ones:
Like BarkBox, PupBox offers personalized items tailored specifically to your dog. It comes at a similar cost, too. The main difference is that PupBox also takes into account your dog's age—specializing in puppy and senior boxes!
BullyMake is specifically for dogs who love to chew. It comes with more durable toys that can take a bit of abuse, and its customized boxes take size into account. It's also a similar price to BarkBox.
BarkBox Super Chewer
BarkBox also offers a box for power chewer pups. It's called “Super Chewer” and comes with extra durable toys. Like the regular BarkBox, each Super Chewer box comes with 2 toys, 2 bags of treats, and a tasty chew. Only downside: the Super Chewer box is more expensive than regular BarkBoxes.
RescueBox is another great subscription option. It is similarly priced to BarkBox, takes size into account, and includes an option for cats! RescueBox also helps fund food for shelter animals!
Are BarkBox toys safe?
BarkBox toys are safe to cuddle and squeak. If your dog loves to chew, the Super Chewer option might be a better fit for them.
Do BarkBox toys squeak?
Yes, BarkBox toys squeak! Our dogs love squeaking them.
Does BarkBox have a Return Policy?
BarkBoxes cannot be returned. You can email their support team to ask for replacements or a refund, though.
Can you cancel your BarkBox subscription?
Yes, you can cancel your BarkBox subscription. According to them, if you log into your account, go to your account page, and then go to the subscription settings section, you can cancel right there. I had trouble with this but was able to cancel by email.
Does BarkBox replace toys?
BarkBox can replace toys. If something doesn't work out you can email their support team for help.
How to choose between a Bark Box and a Super Chewer Box?
Simply put, if your dog is an expert at destroying toys then the Super Chewer Box would be a better fit for them. A regular BarkBox has plush toys with squeakers inside. A Super Chewer Box has sturdier toys intended for rougher play.
Where are the BarkBox toys made?
BarkBox toys, natural treats, and chews are made in the USA and Canada.
Is BarkBox legit?
Yes! As soon as the order was placed I was given shipping updates, and the box itself arrived quickly. Everything was accounted for and the dogs loved all of the toys and treats. The only tough part of the process was canceling our subscription.
Are the BarkBox toys high quality?
The BarkBox toys we received were of good quality. They were about the same quality you would expect from mid-priced dog toys at your local pet store.
Is the BarkBox good for large dogs?
Yes! BarkBox asks for your dog's size during the ordering process. They offer toys in three size categories: small (for dogs under 20 pounds), medium (for dogs 20 to 50 pounds), and large (for dogs over 50 pounds).
So, is BarkBox worth it?
Seeing all four of our dogs brimming with excitement for new treats and toys that had magically appeared was worth the price alone.
The convenience of having everything shipped to our door, the fun monthly themes, and the value for the price was spot on, too. And, judging from the way that all four dogs gobbled down the treats… I'd say BarkBox makes some pretty tasty treats, as well.
So, was it worth it? Absolutely. From the human's point of view, it's a great deal and a ton of fun to unbox. And from the dog's point of view… according to Gojira, the toys are perfectly squeaky and the treats are downright heavenly.
Plus, by the time the treats run out, it will be time for another BarkBox.
I'm Michelle Ropp, a writer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA. For all my life, I've been in love with dogs and the written word. I grew up surrounded by incredible dogs, and share my home with four amazing Heeler mixes now. It was only natural for my two passions to combine, and I've enjoyed writing about dogs ever since.