Sunday, October 19, 2014

BarkBox Review - October 2014 + 10% Off A New Subscription!!

First off, happy birthday to my doggy Macho! Three years ago the world gained a crazy, chew-happy corgi. October's BarkBox came at a perfect time so now I don't have to buy him a birthday present :) 

What: Barkbox is a subscription box for dogs filled with 4-6 treat, toy, and hygiene items. Boxes are curated according to your dog's size. This review is for a medium-dog box.
When: Ships monthly on the 15th
Cost: $18-$29 per month depending on the length of your subscription
Fun Fact: 10% of proceeds from each Barkbox goes to rescue groups! This month Barkbox is donating to the Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center.

Before I continue, I'd like to announce my stupidity to the world. Up to you if you want to read about it or skip to the next paragraph, but somehow I feel like if I publicize my blunder it'll make me feel less stupid and hopefully remind my non-continental US friends to crunch some numbers before taking advantage of some awesome deals. I started subscribing to Barkbox before they started charging $5/box shipping to AK and HI for the longer plans. As you may know I live in HI, but I was grandfathered into the free shipping. A few months ago I used a Groupon for a 3-month sub for $42.50, or $14.17/box. I put my current account on hold and had to create a new one which was subject to the shipping charge, bringing up the cost to $19.17/box. Doh!! Totally forgot about that. I ended up paying more per box than if I had kept my original 6-month recurring subscription active at $19/box. Anyway, after that expired I reactivated my old account in hopes that it was still earmarked for free shipping. Nope! So now I'm paying $24/box when it could've still been $19 had I not taken advantage of that Groupon. Grrr. It's actually all my fault for not doing the math ahead of time, but I still feel well, dumb. I'm trying to cut down on sub box spending and have 86'd all the recurring subs with shipping fees (in fact right now I'm down to only 3 boxes!), so I was seriously debating whether to cancel Barkbox too. But then I looked at my dogs and how much they love their boxes. Macho doesn't even bother sniffing any of the other boxes sitting on the table anymore; he only as eyes for Barkbox. In the end those puppy eyes won and here I am again with another box!

This one was taller than normal. I like guessing what's inside when they use different-sized boxes. Last year for Halloween, Barkbox included a whole bag of Fruitables minipaks that we were supposed to pass out to other barkers on Halloween, but no pups came by so spoiled Macho got to eat all of those packs. Well except one. He gave one to my cousin's dog because I called him fat and made him feel bad.

The packing paper design was so cute this month! Definitely getting me into the Halloween spirit.
Dogs don't care about seasons (mines don't anyway), but they do know and love special occasions and holidays. So of course October's box is all about Howlloween (as if the spooky doggy paper didn't give it away). Whether you have a Zombeagle, Ghoulden Retriever, or....Corghoul..., they all love treats, and Halloween is the perfect time for sweets and treats!

Barkbox recently started a texting-based reordering system. Just text the reorder code on the info card to the number given and voila! Your new goodies are on their way. But what if you don't like an item you receive in your Barkbox? That's where Scout's Honor comes in. Scout is the official Barkbox taste tester and face of their new tail waggin' guarantee. If your pup doesn't love something, Barkbox will replace it with an item better suited to your dog for free. Lately our boxes have been total wins so I haven't had to ask for anything, but it's great to hear how seriously they take customer satisfaction! Time to see if October's box continues the awesome box trend:

American Dog Toys Flash & Glow Jr. Ball (Value: $9) - It glows. It floats. And as if that isn't enough to keep a dog's attention, this ball flashes upon impact. It's a freakin dream come true for my dogs. It's great for nighttime play, which I'd totally do if it weren't for the millions of toads that occupy my backyard at night. Forget worrying about the dogs eating them, they freak ME out. But I'm safe until nightfall so we'll be getting some hours out of this.

Closeup of Snicky Snaks Cinnamon Bar
Snicky Snaks Cinnamon Crunch Bar (Value: $2) - Mmm, cinnamon spice and everything nice is perfect for fall. This bar is made of human grade ingredients and now I wish I snuck a bite before letting the pups eat it. It contains cinnamon (duh), oats, and eggs. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it didn't have any plastic wrapper or anything on it. It was just the bar itself slipped into a cardboard sleeve, so 800 fingerprints could be all over that little exposed heart part. But whatevs, I gave it to the dogs anyway AND THEY EFFIN LOVED IT!

Excuse the cone. Pebbles just lost her mojo

Hare of the Dog Rabbit Jerky Stick (Value: $3) - I'm pretty sure this little piece of jerky is not worth $3 but the company's shop goes to a dead link so I can't find their pricing info. We received Hare of the Dog Apple & Dandelion biscuits in an earlier Barkbox but the dogs didn't like it as much as I hoped. I think it was the dandelion that turned them off, but since this jerky stick is 100% rabbit there shouldn't be any problems.

Wet Noses Howlin' Goodies Pumpkin Biscuits (Value: $2) - How cute is this box of treats? These are Halloween treats made exclusively for Barkbox. Look, they're even in spooky shapes! I'm gonna wait till Halloween to give this to the pups. These cute cookies are completely organic and contain only ingredients that humans eat too. They're also rich in Vitamins C, K, E, beta-carotene, and fiber. Since I missed out on sampling the Snicky Snaks I think I have to try this one. I say that as if I'm entitled to dog treats. Whatever, don't judge me. It smells like ginger cookies.
Dublin Dog Snoggz Rip Van Fetcher (Value: $12) - I don't think this is meant to be a Halloween toy, but the fact that it's says r-i-p is Halloween enough for me. This is a bouncy rubber toy that has an unpredictable bounce and floats on water. The entire thing is also hollow so you can hide treats in it. I for sure will use this to hide Pebbles' treats in. Macho drops toys to get the treats out, but Pebbles will actually throw it up in the air. I totally want to see her reaction when it starts bouncing all over the place.

Superior Farms Venison Crepe (Value: $8) - Holy giant meatballs, this thing is huge!! The Superior Farms website sells this for $6 if you want to pick this up and save a couple of bucks. This is a piece of venison hide seasoned with venison liver. The first part sounds okay, but liver? Seasoning? Ugh. But the furballs loooooove their chews. The grosser it is the more they like it. I'm really not sure how to cut this in half so I guess they'll just have to tug of war to see who gets it. Not on the carpet though, I don't want internal organ shavings all over my carpet.
All that brown stuff? Liver.
Once again a fantastic Barkbox! This month's selection had a $36 value and every single dollar is worth it because we'll happily use everything in here. I thought they did a really good job of sticking to the Halloween/fall theme with the cinnamon & pumpkin treats and the toys. The cinnamon bar is already gone and I'm planning on hiding treats in the Rip van Fetcher for Pebbles tomorrow. We'll play with the Flash & Glow as soon as the hurricane passes and it stops raining outside...and there are no toads out. I'm saving the pumpkin treats and rabbit jerky for Halloween when I need to keep the fluffies occupied when kids come to the door. I really don't know how I'll give them the huge venison chew because I'm 90% sure they'll end up in some kind of fight. Macho is super protective of his treats and Pebbles thinks everything belongs to her. Plus those liver shavings!

If you have a dog that would enjoy discovering new goodies every month (and what dog wouldn't?), you can sign up here to receive 10% off your new subscription of any length! Your pup gets toys, you get more doggy love, it's a win for both sides. :)

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Wow!! Your box was totally different than BOTH of my boxes! I'm getting the allergy and the regular for three months just to see how different they are. I am very sorry to hear about your Groupon debacle. :*( Poor Hawaii, they get the shipping shaft way too often.

    1. I heard there was also a squeaky cat plushie. Did you get that one too? They need to make one that meows. The dogs would go insaaane! Yeah shipping sucks big time but I guess that's just the way it is. More incentive to make my own dog treats!

  2. Your box was very different from ours. Do you get a medium size box for your corgis? I have one corgi and one smaller dog but we get the small box and my corgi destroys all of our toys. Do you happen to know if they customize for heavy chewers?

    1. Yes! And Yes! We get the medium box because our older guy would definitely destroy the small box toys in an instant. And his little sister is worse than he is! After one particular toy-killing session, I sent Barkbox a photo of the aftermath and asked if they offered boxes for heavy chewers. They do! Since then we've gotten lots of thermoplastic rubber toys that can withstand tough jaws pretty well. I hope that helps!

  3. Can I just buy the all natural dog treats pumpkin flavor?

    1. I don't think that particular one with the Halloween shapes is available anymore, but it looks like there's still a similar pumpkin flavored one available on the Wet Noses website. Hope your pup enjoys them as much as mine did!