Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Barkbox Review - March 2014 + $5 off your first box!

March 2014 Barkbox goodies

Once again I am impressed with how fast our Barkbox reached us. It ships out on the 15th of each month from New York and travels across the country and the Pacific and into my mailbox by the 17th. Holy cow! That's fast even for airmail. Even if the box did ship out a day early (as they sometimes do) three days is still uber fast.

Barkbox is a monthly subscription filled with treats, toys, and sometimes hygienic products for your pooch companion. I've noticed they contain mostly treats (because what pup wouldn't like more treats?), but there is always at least one toy each month. The boxes are curated according to your best friend's size: small (up to 20 lbs), medium (20-50 lbs) and large (50+ lbs). Boxes start at $29 per month and get cheaper the longer the subscription. I picked up the 6 month plan for $19/month (paid up front). This review is for a medium sized dog Barkbox.

This month's theme was all about breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Whether you're a cup-o'-joe-and-go kind of person or a bacon-and-egg-complete-breakfast fan, it's nice to know your best friend is enjoying his breakfast as well. March's Barkbox contains goodies that taste like breakfast, freshen breath, and will get your pup mentally prepared for the long day ahead. Let's dig in!

March info card

Wagatha's Breakfast Organic Dog Biscuits (Value: $5.48)

We received a box of Wagatha's biscuits in last September's box in Tuscan pizza flavor. Macho didn't care for it at first but warmed up to them after a while. This month's Breakfast flavored biscuits contain hints of apples, bananas, and maple oats. They are wheat, corn, and soy free so they may be suitable for pups with some food allergies. I love that this company uses only organic ingredients that you can find in your own kitchen (i.e. nothing I can't pronounce). Hopefully the pups find these yummy.

Safemade Biggie Bone - Medium size (Value: $9.99)

I like that this bone is made for tough chewers (more on that later). I like toys that can be stuffed with treats because it challenges the pups a little. I don't like handing out treat freebies, especially to dogs who live for treats (e.g. mine!). Gotta make them work a little for it. Call me a strict mommy, but I don't even give them their dinner until they sit patiently. This toy is similar to Kong or Wigzi toys in that it has a pocket to put treats in. Ideally you want to stuff it with treats that require a bit of prodding to get out. With all the treats we've received from Barkbox over the months I'm sure finding a perfect treat will be no problem.

Baker's Best Wild Pacific Maple Glazed Salmon with Blueberries (Approx. Value: $5.99)

I couldn't find any pricing info on Baker's Best treats so $5.99 is a complete guesstimate. Maple glazed salmon? Mmmm. Not sure how it'd taste with blueberries, but I'll leave that for the furbutts to decide.  I've heard that salmon is supposed to keep your best friend's coat healthy and shiny, but it makes their breath so stink! I currently give them salmon training treats and their breath smells yucky afterwards, especially the puppy. I guess no doggie kisses after they eat this.

Twistix Dental Chews - Yogurt Banana Flavor (Value: $5.99)

Macho received Twistix chews in his November Barkbox in vanilla mint flavor. He gladly consumed the first few sticks but seemed to get bored of it after a while. But then again, he was never a mint fan. I don't think he's ever tried banana-flavored anything before so this should be interesting. It's a good way to keep him out of my hair for a while AND clean his teeth. Win-win!

Aussie Naturals Leather Bone - Bacon (Approx. Value: $9.99)

What?? Another toy?! Yup. I was so happy that we received two toys this month, but that excitement was rather short-lived. This toy, targeted toward medium chewers, claimed to be multi-scented, and judging on the word "Bacon" on the tag I figured smelled like bacon. It really just smelled like leather to me, but I guess dogs and their keen sense of smell can pick up on slightest hint of something that scrumptious. Macho quickly took this toy and hovered over it like a vulture. With every step I took toward him I saw him giving me the side eye and watching my every move as if I found it just as appetizing and was going to steal it or something. Ha. Dogs. Anyway after 10 minutes it looked like this:

Poor toy didn't stand a chance :(

I guess he's not a medium chewer after all. I'm kind of bummed about this one since we had to toss it so quickly, but at least we still have the Biggie Bone...

Update 3/19/14: So here's more brownie points for Barkbox: I emailed customer support yesterday complimenting them on the awesome shipping and asking if they made boxes for heavy chewers (along with sending the sad photo above). They got back to me today and the best part: it wasn't an auto-response! The rep thanked me for the nice words and said she'll mention both things at their meeting next week. She also noted Macho down as a heavy chewer (yes, she used his name, meaning she actually did go and open up my account because I didn't mention his name anywhere in my email) so that he'll receive toys made for tough chewers. 5/5 stars for excellent customer service!

This month's box had a total estimated value of over $37 and I'm sure we can use everything. I'm not sure how the pups will take to the Wagatha's biscuits and the banana flavored Twistix, but the whole fun of this box is discovering new things for the furpups to enjoy. Overall I am happy with this month's Barkbox (even though one of the toys wasn't sufficient for Macho's jaws) because I honestly think they make a concerted effort to respond to customers' requests. Each month Barkbox sends out a survey asking for feedback on the month's items.  In November I commented that I'd love to see more mentally stimulating/treat dispensing toys and sure enough in December we got such a toy. Last month I mentioned that I noticed the boxes have been kind of heavy on treats lately and that I'd love to see more hygienic products, even if it were just dental chews. And whadya know? This month we get a treat dispensing toy AND dental chews. Could all this be coincidence? Possibly, but of course I'd like to think I had something to do with it. ;)

If you'd like to spoil your pup (and what pup doesn't deserve to be?) please use my link to get $5 off your first box! Trust me, your canine will absolutely ADORE you for it.

Note: Post contains referral links. All reviews are my own. I was not compensated for this box in any way.

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