November’s BarkBox Review: Be Thankful I Even Wrote This!

November’s BarkBox Review: Be Thankful I Even Wrote This!

Awwwwww, I’m just joking about the title but my, oh my, did November get away from me!  November was filled with conferences, trainings, meetings and, oh yeah, Thanksgiving.  In the midst of all that, a BarkBox came and was enjoyed and I apologize, dear readers, for the delay in telling you about it!  So, let’s get into what was in November (before December shows up on my doorstep).

The BarkBox came with a reminder card that the BarkShop is open.  They actually have cute stuff, and I have a $10 credit, so I should probably get a stocking stuffer or something from there.  Oh!  I just noticed the postcard offers me $10 off my first purchase too!  I wonder if I can stack those.  I will definitely check that site out after I write this.  The theme this month is, duh, Thanksgiving.

 

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First look at the box.

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All the fixin’s!

So this box included Petsafe Squeak ‘ Treat Booya, $13.  This is a great heavy chewer toy (thanks, BarkBox) and you can also put treats in it.  These are the best kinds of toys, and the reason I keep subscribing.  (Although, I found it here for $12).  I actually said to my husband as we unpacked this box, “this is a good box” and I am sticking to my first impression.  http://www.dogtuff.com/busy-buddy-squeak-n-treat-booya-pet-safe-large.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiAhvujBRDUpomG5cq_mI0BEiQA7TYq-h_o7n2rMs2u12jbF6e0HL07e5JT_kR2Zu3qc0LsZB0aAkfm8P8HAQ

Wagatha’s Kitchen Sink are treats that Albie felt “OK” about.  He expresses this emotion by abandoning a treat but then later going back to find it and eat it.  Wagatha got 3/5 tail wags.  They are all-organic, GMO-free treats filled with a ton of really good stuff (thus, the kitchen sink)!  BarkBox prices these at $5 and I could only find a bigger box for $12 so we will let BB’s price stand.  http://www.amazon.com/Wagathas-Kitchen-Sink-Organic-Biscuits/dp/B00AN6A8ZS

Feel Good Treat Company Slow Roasted Rosemary Turducken (Oat & Rice).  Albie was not leaving these, he was LOVING these!  These were a hit, guaranteed to prevent the dogs from begging for your turkey.  I don’t know about that, but he does really like them.  BarkBox says this is a $6 item but Albie says no amount is too high! (and I cannot find them online)

Diggin Your Dog Charki-O’s was also in the box and Albie has never met a bone he didn’t like.  This is actually more than a bone, as it is freeze-dried beef trachea topped with liver sprinkles.  BarkBox prices this at $4, and I may just reorder this with my BarkMoney (if that’s possible) because it was a huge hit.  We actually did give this to Al on Thanksgiving and he was delighted.  I can’t find the exact one, but that price seems legit and actually very reasonable.  http://canvaspet.com/shop/diggin-dog-charki-o-hip-joint-8-9-dog-chew-single/

Finally, the box had Safemade Apawthecary Cleaning Wipes, $4.  These are cute and perfect to throw into my bag when we go on a hike.  I love wipes.  I keep baby wipes in my car and my “baby” is 12.  They’re for me.  Baby wipes get coffee stains out of shirts, not that I’m always spilling Americanos on myself (I am).  I couldn’t find these online either!

Not my best review, I apologize but I have recently had the flu and was feeling so guilty for stalling on posting this!  If you ever have a blog topic (dog related) you would be interested in my writing about, please comment below!  As always, we loved the BarkBox and feel that it is well worth the cost (it added up to $32, we paid $18).  Pop around on Groupon and other such sites if you ever decide to subscribe because you can often find a coupon code.  Do you get BarkBox?  What do you get in yours?

 I’m really looking forward to December’s box because I love a well-curated holiday box and as we all know, Santa is coming to town!

October BarkBox: Something Wicked This Way Comes

October BarkBox: Something Wicked This Way Comes

What a treat to receive a Halloween-themed BarkBox today!  Too bad Albie literally tried to bite the hand that feeds him- I swear we are 5 barks aways from the mailman macing Al.  Anyway, this box came with something I found to be incredibly awesome- A Scout’s Honor Tail Waggin’ Guarantee!  Now, if you recall from last month, Albie really hated one of the treats that came in the box.  From now on, apparently, BarkBox is guaranteeing only pleasure from the box.  Team BarkBox now promises “that if your pup ever doesn’t ruv an item in their box, we’ll replace it.  For real.  No fee.  No fuss.  No disappointed pups.  That’s our guarantee and we’re sticking to it!  Should your pup ever turn up their snout at something, just give a friendly holler to our BarkBox happy team… (and) we’ll get that tail back up wagging by sending a replacement item that’s better suited for them, or issuing a credit of equal value to our brand new BarkShop”.  That’s totally awesome!  This will be great for those toys that I know will last 15 minutes.  Solid toys and delicious treats only!  If that doesn’t convince you that this is the best subscription box out there, nothing will!  With that said, let’s talk about what we got this month:

 

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First look at October’s BarkBox

My husband, who is so rarely home for the unveiling, and I both thought it looked a little light.  Husband asked how many items usually come in the box and I said 4-5.  This time we got 6, but it still definitely seems like less bang for your buck than usual.  Although, I must admit, both toys looked pretty awesome.  I don’t know if 3 jerky sticks was necessarily the way to go, but I do appreciate that one of the toys has a treat chute.  I can stuff those sticks in the creepy face  toy when we go to Seattle for a few hours without feeling too guilty about our abandoning King Albie.

 

IMG_37373 jerky-style treats are cool but we typically like slightly bigger bags that last through the month

The first thing that caught my eye was Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher (hahahaha… who named this?  They should see if Essie  or OPI are hiring) USA-made of durable material, this crazy toy has an erratic bounce, American Horror Story-worthy grin and can even float!  It also has a hole in the back for the aforementioned treats.  I found this online for $12, but BarkBox prices it at $14.  We’ll split the difference and give it a $13 value.  In doing an image search I was psyched to see pictures of big dogs playing with this toy.  I think this will last awhile.  Hooray!

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Snoggz RIP Van Fetcher: $13 value

Max and Ruffy’s Pumpkin Patch Bites are made in Maryland and are GMO-free as well as being free of animal products, preservatives, and dairy.  On a more superficial note I find them adorable and festive.  $4 value according to BarkBox and I can’t find this exact size or packaging online so let’s go with that price.

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Pumpkin Patch Treats: $4 value 

Snicky Snacks Cinnamon Crunch Bar is organic and USA-sourced and promises to set your pup’s tail a-waggin’.  $2 value and pictured above.  These I found for much higher online, actually.  $3.50 plus shipping.  So I’m going to say $3 value.

Hare of the Dog Rabbit Jerky Stick promises to be super tasty and can easily be broken into smaller portions if your dog is watching his weight.  As my dog gained 4 pounds in as many months, I should maybe take this stick up on its offer.  $3 value and pictured above.  I can’t find single sticks available so we’ll go with that price.  That’s actually something I love about subscription boxes- a chance to try things you may not want to pay for the full size version of with no prior knowledge.

Heartland Premium Weasand Strips are made from 100% cow gullet (ew) and hail from Nebraska (like Connor Oberst!).  I bet Albie will love these.  $3 value and pictured above.  Again, I could only find whole packages of these, so we’ll go with the $3 value.

Finally, we have an American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball.  I have actually considered buying this exact toy at Petco but have balked at the cost.  BarkBox says $10 value, but I’ve seen these for up to $15.   We’ll split the difference here and price it at $13.

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American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Ball: $13 value

So, even though it did seem a bit lackluster at first look, it seems that this box actually had a pretty sweet value.  $39 plus shipping is what this box would have cost if piecemealed together, but I paid about $18 a month by signing up for 6 months with a coupon code.  Of course, cost is only part of what makes these boxes so cool.  It’s nice to try new things, get surprises, and have themed goodies delivered to your best friend.  Looks like we’ll need some supplementary milk bones to get through the month, but I’m still really pleased with this box after examining its contents so thoroughly.

Did you get a BarkBox?  Did you like it?  Let me know!  You can also subscribe here: https://barkbox.com/r/3QNTBTUXEV?utm_source=old_ref&utm_medium=referrals&utm_campaign=url_copy&utm_content=100008

September 2014 BarkBox: Go Team!

September 2014 BarkBox: Go Team!

I felt like this box took a really long time to get here, but it looks like it was August 25 when the last one came so I guess I was wrong.  Anyway, what a treat to get a Homecoming-themed box on the first day of fall.  This box contained some of Albie’s tried and true favorite items (insert your favorite “be true to your school” emotion/ pun here) and a treat that he was really not into.  Which is which?  Let’s read on and find out!

What would Homecoming be without the big game?  Included in this box is a PetProjekt Skrubal Football.  This is a brand that we love around here because these toys are built to last.  Also, they’re kind of pricey so I would balk at buying them in a store.  You may recall (because you read my BarkBox reviews like the literary treasure that they are) that Albie received a PetProjekt egg in one box that he loved so much we actually reordered it when he lost it.  As soon as I opened the box he was jumping to get the football.  Play on, player.  Enjoy.  Hut hut hike, etc.  Barkbox says this is a $14 toy, but on Amazon it was $16.  Aim high, Bark Box; as any Captain of the football team knows, you never undersell yourself!

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Etta Says Duck Chew.  Oh, Etta Says.  Albie always loves these and this is a nice, long one (that’s what she said?).  This will be great to give Al when the whole family goes out for hours on a weekend.  Made from American duck, this is a treat that we are always thrilled to see in BarkBox.  $4 value.

 

Safemade Pet Berkeley Pennant.  I’ll add a whole box picture so you can see the duck chew and pennant.  This is actually a BarkBox exclusive.  Very cute, and full of that crinkly material with a durable exterior.  This probably will last awhile with the big chewer.  It’s not a lifer toy like PetProject, but I don’t have to regift this one.  $7 value. (Edited: It didn’t make it through the night.  I really need to start giving away anything that’s not serious plastic/ tire material.)

 

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Petsafe Indigo Smokehouse Strips- Bacon.  Who doesn’t love bacon?  Mmmmmmm, bacon.  Oh, sorry.  Where was I?  Made with 100% American pork and no artificial anything, these are so fresh that they should be refrigerated after opening and used within 3 days.  An airtight canister is also recommended.  BarkBox says this is a $7 treat, but as I can only find double the size online for $10, I’m going to say this one is a $5 value.  And it’s also an award winner!

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Which brings us to our final item: Barkworthies Sweet Potato Steak Fries.  Now, listen, I want to be straight with you: I have seen Albie eat poop.  Both his own, and random other animal’s poop.  He’s not really that discerning.  And yet, he literally turned his nose up at these.  He sniffed, turned away, and never gave it a second look.  It’s still lying sadly on my kitchen floor.  These are made from 100% sweet potatoes and are “pawfect for sensitive bellies and pups with allergies” but I guess undesirable to those who prefer to eat poop, paper towels, a couch made by my deceased Nana when she was still with us, and flip flops.  BarkBox says these have an $8 value, but Albie says they are worthless.

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All in all, this box had a $40 value.  I paid about $18/ box for the 6 month subscription.  As always, we love BarkBox and think this is one of the best subscription boxes out there!

Want to subscribe?  Get 10% off by using this link: https://barkbox.com/r/3QNTBTUXEV?utm_source=old_ref&utm_medium=referrals&utm_campaign=url_copy&utm_content=100008

Let me know if you got a box and what was in it!  I’m off to kick up some leaves with Al!

 

BarkBox Review: August 2014

BarkBox Review: August 2014

Albie’s August BarkBox came and was greeted with the usual enthusiastic tail wagging and happy sniffs.  I’m not sure how he knows it’s for him (I mean, I imagine it’s the smell) but I like to pretend he can read and he sees the doggy logo and is like, Oh thank god, I have been waiting for my monthly treat.  Mother, get the scissors and get it open.  Shhhhh, I’m not weird.  You are.  Anyway, we have gotten this subscription for over a year and we love it!  As with most subscription boxes, the longer you sign up for the less it costs.  Boxes are customized to your dog’s size and chew-desire.  Albie is, as you may know if you have been following, both a giant and a super-heavy chewer.  I love this box because some of his all-favorite and most durable toys have come from it, and it stops me from buying treats every time I’m at the store because I know they’re coming each month.  How’s that for justifying cost?  I think it actually saves me money!  So what did he get this month?

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First Look at the box

In order for me to be able to take any pictures I had to get Albie out of the way.  I teased him with that big ol’ ball and threw it at him.

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Look how nice I sit, Mommy!  Throw it! (I took off the paper first)

The theme this month was “Ahoy, matey”.  The description card promised a “mighty ocean inspired journey” that will allow your pup to have fun both on land and at sea.  A fairly new, and very cool, feature is the ability to text to reorder favorite items.  I think that everything should be able to occur through texts.  That sounds more dystopian that I intended, but for something like a reorder of a subscription box item a text seems efficient and hassle free!  The information cards are really cute, featuring cartoon pups, quality paper, nice font, and clever puns.  This box really does feel like a treat for Al and us.

So that big ol’ ball I threw to Al is Jolly Pets Romp and Roll: it’s a combination ball and rope that allows pups to have an exciting playtime.  It floats!  It has endless possibilities!  It is just a red ball now because Albie ate that rope off so quickly!  Hahahaha.  We don’t hate the player, just the game (or something) so this is not a critique of the toy.  Albie is an animal, and I mean that metaphorically not literally as, obviously, he’s an animal.  Aren’t we all?  His new red ball seems very sturdy.  BarkBox says this toy was worth $11 but Amazon has it priced higher.  They claim it’s a $19 item but you can have it delivered by drones for $13.29 and free prime shipping.

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Jolly Pets Romp n’ Roll

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The rest of the box

Usually there’s 5 items in the box, so this one felt a wee bit light.  Besides the big ball, Albie received a lobster toy and 2 seafood-themed treats.  On a related note, I wish I had lobster rolls and cheddar biscuits right now.  This review is bringing out the seafood lover in me.  Which is to say that Albie received:

Grandma Bowser’s Cheddar Biscuits He has received this brand before and enjoyed it and these biscuits are no different.  They are made in the USA and free of wheat, corn, and soy (because it’s important to give our pets as many food restrictions as we give ourselves!)  BarkBox quotes these as an $8 item and the internet agrees!

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Bocce’s Baker Lobster Roll Treat These yummy looking treats are made with locally-sourced lobster from the coast of Maine and are wheat-free.  Organic rye & barley flour, lobster, kelp, and parsley are the only ingredients.  Hmmmmm… maybe I could have lobster rolls tonight!  (Just kidding.)  BarkBox and the internet price these at $10 a bag.

The final item Albie received was a Pet Rageous Lobster.  This came with its own information card.  It said that the “Lobster will be happiest when swimming around in some water- whether that be rivers, lakes, a backyard pool, or dare we say… a bathtub!  Your pup’s new Lobster friend is not intended to be a chew toy but rather one to be enjoyed during some supervised, watery fun.”  Well, Albie doesn’t really understand that anything isn’t intended to be used a chew toy (including a beautiful pair of Madewell flats, eyeglasses, and a coffee table) so this one has stayed in the box.  Actually, I have a friend who is expecting a baby so I may just be sending this on her way to use as a bath toy for the new baboo.  Albie would demolish it in a good 3 minutes and it sure is cute.  BarkBox said that the lobster is worth $8  and I’m having a hard time finding otherwise, so we can go with that price.

All totaled, using the BarkBox prices, even though they seem to err on the lower side, this box had a value of $37, putting it well above the $18/ box I paid at subscription.  Also, part of the value comes from not paying for shipping, which if you live in a rural town like I do, where the nearest Target is a 25 minute drive, is really important.  Part of the fun, of course, is getting things you don’t see everywhere and the surprise of what you will get.  I used to personally subscribe to other boxes for myself, like ipsy, yuzen, and pop sugar, but stopped because the items didn’t always justify the cost as they were things I already had, didn’t need, didn’t want, or could find cheaper online or at Marshalls.  I don’t ever feel that way about BarkBox.  Worst case scenario, we get a cute toy like the lobster that I just know he will tear up but can regift to a pal.  Once in a while we get treats he’s not immediately feeling, but eventually even those get eaten because, like Nicki Minaj, you can tell he’s not missing no meals.  (Real talk: that song is dumb.  I hope Sir Mix-A-Lot got paid.  His song was awesome).  

All in all, I would give August’s BarkBox 4 out of 5 tail wags.  Do you subscribe?  Do you want to?  Subscribe here: http://ruv.barkbox.com/x/4h8mpj

 

We Ruv Barkbox!

We Ruv Barkbox!

It started with Birchbox- makeup and skin care samples- and then the subscription box world EXPLODED. There are boxes for almost everything: lifestyle, scarves, underwear, food, bicycling, babies, kids, and, of course, pets. Of all the pet subs, I like Barkbox the best. It’s a nice mix of treats and solid, chew-proof toys. Truly, some of Albie’s favorite toys have come in the box. In fact, the dogegg from Friday’s Favorites was a Barkbox exclusive! Barkbox let’s you customize for your exact dog. You say how big your dog is, as well as what kind of a chewer s/he is.  This allows Barkbox to ensure that you get things you can use. I’ve seen reviews of Barkbox where the owner has smaller dogs, they usually get more treats or toys to make up for the fact that the larger dogs get more expensive (and usually more intense) toys. With all subscription services, the longer you subscribe, the more you save. We renew every 6 months. Basically, getting the box keeps me from impulse buying treats and toys when I’m out. So what was in May’s?

Let’s see:

 

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A toy!  Bionic rubber FDA approved chew stick.  Albie approves too!  You can see a video of its indestructibility on the website.

http://www.bionicplay.com, extra large urban stick, $29.99

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Look at that tail go.  You know Albie wants something when he sits without being asked.

And many treats!

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 Hee hee- look at that snout a-sniffing!

Nootie Jerky: Made in the USA (so important!  Have you heard about all the dogs getting sick from treats made in China?) BBQ chicken jerky broken into bite-size pieces.

, $12.99

 

Snicky Snacks: Made in the USA, 100% organic and GMO-free these apple cobbler treats look adorable.  Plus, just yesterday, we realized that Al really likes apples!  My husband was snacking and Albie was begging as usual and finally my husband was like, “here, buddy, you won’t like it” and Al was all, “I beg to differ, dad”.  So apples!  Hooray!

couldn’t find a price on this, I’ll estimate it at $7.

 

Zuke’s clean crisp bones with farmer’s market flavors.  Again, made in the USA with organic ingredients.  I love big treats like this for when we leave Al for an extended time, like on the weekend if we go shopping.

http://www.zukes.com/store/dogs/z-bones.html, $3.99

 

So,  all totaled the box was a retail value of almost $54 and I paid what amounted to $18 for the month.  Barkbox, we ruv you!

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