DOG PRODUCT REVIEW: Dog subscription box services fad or future (part 1 of a series)

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By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Blogger,

Dog subscription box services are a growing trend and may be the solution to having enough toys, treats and health items on hand for your pup. Like wine or fruit of the month clubs, you can get a doggie box delivered to your home every month. And there are a surprising number of companies to choose from, each providing a variety of goodies for your canine companion

The belief is dogs get bored with the “same old, same old” just as we humans do.  And they are usually more interested in new or perceive new toys as reported in Cesar’s Way. Since we all reward our dogs with new toys and treats, why not subscribe to a monthly dog toy box.   But by having dog subscription boxes delivered to your home, are you truly saving time and receiving the fun, healthy treats and toys that you want?

When I first started writing this article, I only knew of Bark Box and Bullymake Box, but as I researched I found several others and a few who are now out of the business.  I’ve tried the two mentioned and quickly learned that not all subscription dog boxes are the same, especially when you have two heavy chewers in your family.  And I found them a bit expensive since I don’t usually buy my dogs 4 new toys a month.

So the jury’s still out on dog subscription box services.  I will say researching the various services available and finding the ones which have the option to choose toys or treats (as well as getting value for your money) should help you decide on the right service for you.  And a box full of different treats and toys each month may just be the answer to having a happy content (and slightly spoiled) canine.

I will continue testing other boxes with the dogs,but for now here is a breakdown of Bark Box and Bullymake Box.

BARK BOX $29.00/MONTH free shipping/auto renewal

Every BarkBox has at least 2 innovative toys, 2 all-natural bags of treats, and a chew, curated from each month’s unique themed collection.  In addition they add something for the dog owner such as photo frames, stickers, etc.

Their basic selection is based on non chewers and heavy on cutesy.

They do have a Heavy Chewer Program which is a free upgrade to the subscription that delivers their most durable toys.  These toys consist of stronger materials such as puncture resistant fabrics (like ballistic-grade nylon) instead of plush. Even with a special request for HEAVY CHEWER the toys provided only lasted a couple of hours with Penny and Autumn.   I did learn they have a SUPER HEAVY CHEWER option which I have now requested to try.  Should have more to share on that in a couple months.

The Super Chewer BarkBox comes with an additional cost depending on duration of subscription about $39/month.  They do give a guarantee with these toys, “If your dog defeats a toy, we’ll send you another for FREE!” which is what they will do for any of their toys 🙂

In addition, Barkbox has a separate store to purchase the toys and treats you like and have the option of getting an extra toy for $9/month which is about what the other subscription companies offer.

Their guarantee:  If your pup doesn’t totally love an item in their BarkBox, we’ll send them a replacement for FREE! No muss, no fuss, no disappointed pups.  I did not take them up on this guarantee since the dogs destroyed every toy in the basic subscription.

For videos of Penny and Autumn with the Barkbox visit our YouTube page.

BULLYMAKE BOX $39.00/MONTH free shipping/auto renewal

Each box contains 2-3 “extremely rough and tough chew toys” and 3-4 “delicious and nutritious treats”, including some of their own toys made in-house.

Their basic selection is based on dogs with heavy chewing tendencies.  The toys are supposedly “the toughest around”. They are made from a variety of materials and all toys have a 14 day longevity guarantee.

You pick your dog’s weight in 10-pound increments, and receive toys and treats specifically tailored for heavy chewing dogs (no plush toys).  They have an option for dogs with allergies as well as one not to receive treats (which I chose).

Penny destroyed one of the toys they sent so I decided to test their guarantee.

To receive a new toy you need to send a photo less than 1M of the destroyed toy to Bullymake within the 14 day period of shipment.  Alternative ways to send the photo are 1. Private message the image to Bullymake on Facebook Messenger along with your email or 2. upload the image to and send the link of the image to Bullymake.

The replacement toy takes about 7-10 days to be shipped “because this will be handpicked separately”.  Since I had made the request I now need to wait 30 days before I can ask again for a replacement…what happened to the 14 day guarantee?

Be sure to check back on Spike’s Dog Blog for more subscription dog box reviews in the coming weeks.  Next Penny, Autumn and I will review Pet Gift Box, Pet Treater Box,  and PupJoy to name a few.



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