Review: BarkBox (March 2017)

If you have a dog, you probably have at least heard of BarkBox.

I’ve always wanted to try BarkBox. They have a great reputation, and I’ve never heard of anyone being disappointed with them, but they’re American so the not-so-favourable exchange rate has always kept me from biting the bullet before now. We enjoyed our Canadian-made Bowzer Box’s in September and October, but Kaylee’s on a diet because she’s um… a little… er… fluffy right now… and BarkBox has more toys and fewer treats in it, so it seemed like a good fit.

The last few months have been rough in our house, and Kaylee has been pretty sad. She misses her brother, and I really hoped a BarkBox would be just the thing to cheer her up.

BarkBox is the original monthly subscription box for dogs – each box “has at least 2 innovative toys, 2 all-natural bags of treats, and a chew, curated from each month’s unique themed collection.”

Costs for BarkBox vary depending on how long a term you sign up for, from $21/month for a year’s subscription, to $29/month for a one-off. They also have the option to “pugrade” to an extra toy each month for $9. Small, medium and large dog boxes are available, and they also have options for dogs with allergies, and special toys for power chewers.  (Keep in mind, these prices are in American dollars. Ouch). I did manage to score a groupon that added the extra toy for free, so that certainly helped.

This review is for the March 2017 BarkBox, with it’s “Bento & Blossoms” theme.

BarkBox does a GREAT job on their themes. So much fun!
BarkBox does a GREAT job on their themes. So much fun!

Here’s what we got!
(All descriptions taken from the BarkBox shop, BarkShop.com. Most of the products in this box are exclusive to BarkBox, or made specifically for them… that’s buying power for you!)

Adorable!
Adorable!

Etta Says 10″ Liver Chew – $4 USD – Treat Planet
Determined dogs love this Beef Liver Super Chew because it’s delicious, nutritious, and a whole heckuva lot of fun to chew. Nutrient-dense beef liver is blended with super-tough beef ligament to make a flavor-packed chew that doesn’t give up easy. Made in the USA by Treat Planet, it’s tough and crunchy for dogs who love to work for their reward.

Clearly not going to last long, but looks like fun.
Clearly not going to last long, but looks like fun.

Mr. Sakay Salmon and Rice Treat – $6.00 USD – Mountain Country Foods
Just like the best Teishoku House in Japan, we’ve curated a complete treat made from delicious fresh salmon and hearty brown rice. These soft and chewy morsels were made in the USA with no weird dyes, fillers, or preservatives. With wholesome ingredients and a delectably delicate flavor, these treats are sure to make your dog say “Arigatou.”

I'm digging how themed this box is!
I’m digging how themed this box is!

Snickity Snacks Wheat-Free Shareables Granola Clusters – $8 USD – Treat Planet
Open a bag of Coconut and Cranberry Shareables dog treats, and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is who gets the last bite. Made in the USA by the the folks at Snicky Snaks, this crunchy treat is for your dog AND you. Baked with USDA organic-certified ingredients, the 100% human-grade recipe features sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat flakes, and dried cranberries, blended together in rich coconut oil. With these tasty, crunchy treats, you and your pup will have all the fuel you need for your next nature walk, camping trip, or couchsurfing marathon.

NomNomNom... can I have some? Wait... "not for human consumption" right on the back. Damn.
NomNomNom… can I have some? Wait… “not for human consumption” right on the back. Damn.

Murphy’s Mochi – $12 USD – A BarkBox Exclusive
This dessert-inspired mochi toy is sure to tickle your dog’s squeak tooth. Three kawaii mochi, with squeakers inside, slide up and down a t-shirt rope, making a games of tug sweeter than ever. Easily whipped and flipped, your pup will be entertained for ages by thrashing around this string of smilin’ gems.

Bahahaha
Bahahaha

Sydney’s Salmon Nigiri – $10 USD – A BarkBox Exclusive
othin’ but raw fun here. This palm-sized toy is ideal for a game of fetch with your favorite fine diner. The picture-perfect piece of sushi houses a high-pitched squeaker to enhance the experience of play. It’s a delicate noise for the delicate simplicity of Nigiri. Mmm, chewmami flavor.

Has sushi ever been so adorable?
Has sushi ever been so adorable?

If it holds treats, it’ll be a hit.

Bella’s Bloomin’ Lotus Blossom – $12 USD – A BarkBox Exclusive
Traditionally, the lotus flower represents elegance, purity, perfection, and grace. If that doesn’t also describe dogs… well at least the perfection part does. This toy is a multi-layered playtime staple befitting its beautifully complex namesake. Crinkle-lined petals create the soundtrack for finding treats that can be tucked into the pockets inside the toy. Made with durable canvas and reinforced seams, this is not a delicate flower.

It holds treats... she'll like it!
It holds treats… she’ll like it!

 

All in all, this was a really awesome box. I actually ordered in early April, but BarkBox sends out your first box right away, which meant we didn’t have to wait till mid-month to receive it.  The extra toy was definitely a great addition for Kaylee. I don’t know why, but having more toys makes the box feel more… worth it, I guess? I do feel like this was a good value for what we paid. But the most important question is… what did Kaylee think?

Well…

Kaylee devoured the liver chew. It didn't last long, but she thoroughly enjoyed it for the three minutes she had it. I was hoping for a longer chew, but if it's soft, it's gone in this house. 7/10.
Kaylee devoured the liver chew. It didn’t last long, but she thoroughly enjoyed it for the three minutes she had it. I was hoping for a longer chew, but if it’s soft, it’s gone in this house. 7/10.
The Mr Sakay Salmon and Rice treats are a hit! They're big, but soft and easy to break. I also appreciate the nutritional info - including the all-important calories - on the back of the package!
The Mr Sakay Salmon and Rice treats are a hit! They’re big, but soft and easy to break. I also appreciate the nutritional info – including the all-important calories – on the back of the package! 9/10
I really honestly almost ate one of the Granola Clusters myself. These smell unbelievably good... they say in a couple different places on the package "not for human consumption" and now I understand why. These are pretty hard, and kind of calorie-dense, but they'll be nice "special" treats. I think I loved these more than Kaylee, but they still get a 8/10.
I really honestly almost ate one of the Granola Clusters myself. These smell unbelievably good… they say in a couple different places on the package “not for human consumption” and now I understand why. These are pretty hard, and kind of calorie-dense, but they’ll be nice “special” treats. I think I loved these more than Kaylee, but they still get a 8/10.
A tug toy with soft squeaky bits?! That makes for a happy girl in this house. She's gone back to this one multiple times, and I think it's a new favourite. 10/10.
A tug toy with soft squeaky bits?! That makes for a happy girl in this house. She’s gone back to the Mochi multiple times, and I think it’s a new favourite. 10/10.

This is a fun one.. pretty adorable, but I suspect I'll come out one day to find it de-fluffed before long. Still, a solid 8/10
This is a fun one.. pretty adorable, but I suspect I’ll come out one day to find the Nigiri de-fluffed before long. Still, a solid 8/10
I had reservations about the Lotus Blossom. Kaylee ... uh.. struggles a little bit with puzzles at times... heh... but this one was fun for her! She really enjoys digging and chewing. It'll be gross before long, but it's easy to stuff with low-cal treats and will keep her busy for a few minutes. It also seems really durable...even after some serious tugging and pulling it's in great shape! 10/10
When we pulled it out of the box, I had reservations about the Lotus Blossom. Kaylee … uh.. struggles a little bit with puzzles at times… heh… but this one was fun for her! She really enjoys digging and chewing. It’ll be gross before long, but it’s easy to stuff with low-cal treats and will keep her busy for a few minutes. It also seems really durable…even after some serious tugging and pulling it’s in great shape! 10/10

Anything to make my girl happy.
Anything to make my girl happy.

Overall verdict?

BARKBOX!
BARKBOX!

I only ordered the one month – with exchange and shipping, this bad boy ended up costing $46.55 CAD ( and that’s with the groupon for the free toy…which would normally be another $9 USD). That isn’t a bad value for what we got in our box – in fact it’s pretty good – but is a little rich for every month. We’ll definitely be ordered again in the future though! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend BarkBox – it’s just what we all needed as a pick me up.

If you feel so inclined, use our referral link to get a free box with every 3, 6 or 12 month subscription, and be sure to check out  Barkbox.com or find them on facebook, twitter and instagram!

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