Surprise My Pet rounds out our top three best monthly dog box subscription boxes as a newcomer that’s already making a paw print among its competition. Launched in early 2015, Surprise My Pet stands out for its unique features, namely its paw for paw guarantee — if your dog is totally uninterested in one of the products, you can email them, and they’ll send you a replacement item for free.
Total price of items, if bought individually: ~$45.96 for Ruggie's box (grain-free turkey jerky chips, mini donut toy, "Puppy's First Bone" toy, pineapple bow tie, snail-hippo toy, aloha-print bandana) and ~$48.98 for Tico's box (grain-free turkey jerky chips, antler chew, AppleBerry Zensations treats, hippo treat-dispensing toy,aloha-print bandana). Prices sourced from Amazon and Dapper Dog's website.
The subscription service has already touted itself as an experience for dogs and their owners, with a new theme to each month’s arrival. Past themes have tapped into holidays (Halloween is a popular one), pop culture (including a whole box dedicated to the ’90s), and other creative ventures that often involve a good pun (including “Secrets of the Rainfurrest”). Many BarkBox subscribers also share these experiences via social media through “unboxing” videos on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
I love barkbox ! We switch [sic] from petbox to here because we heard they offered much more variety ! Which they definitely did ! Amazing way of trying new products out for your pup big or small . It’s like Christmas every month for my Lhasa apso when the mailman delivers his barkbox ! Again worth it for the money! — Maddie R., Influenster.com, 6/17/2015
Unfortunately I had to cancel my bark box subscription. I have huge dogs, aggressive chewers. Each month they send a toy, a stuffed toy. Which lasts all of 15 minutes with my dogs… I contacted Bark box month after month requesting non stuffed toys. Each month they stated OK we will fix this, each month a stuffed toy. — Kathleen K., k9ofmine.com, 2/23/2015
The first time I ordered from BarkBox I had a bad experience. They lost my order, and I had to contact them several times to receive my order. I thought I would give them a second chance and I placed an order on 8/22 for my granddog's birthday on 8/29. I received an email stating the order would be received in 2-5 days. It is now the 29th, her birthday, and my order has not even left the warehouse yet! I will not be giving them a third try. From now on I will be ordering from Amazon. They are much more reliable.
The first BarkPark is scheduled to open on September 8 in Nashville, Tenn. It will be open daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through November. The BarkPark will encompass a landscaped green space designed for dogs to run around as well as access to plenty of Bark-branded toys and treats. (Bark currently produces more than 430 new toys each year.) The park is promised to be cleaned regularly, and there will be BarkPark “hosts” who are also trained professionals to monitor dog play and ensure safety for all attendees.
“When you tell customers when they should expect their shipments, they’re pretty good at holding you accountable to that,” Snowden says. But the homegrown fulfillment solution BarkBox was using made it difficult to communicate with customers when delivery information changed, and nearly impossible to get timely feedback when something went wrong. In the event of a delay, the information might not reach the customer until it was too late, and worse still, the customer would oftentimes reach out to the carrier’s customer support to get help. “The carriers of course do everything they can, but we as a brand lost the control over that experience,” Snowden says.
Some months come with a comic strip, a treasure hunt, or a fill in the blank activity that you can take a shot of your dog with and share on social media. The option of being able to connect and meet new friends with the use of special hashtags every month is great. You’ll have so much fun with other pet parents showing off their pups and monthly goodies!
Hey there Diana and pack! Thanks so much for the kind words and for the great review. We are so happy to hear that you and the pups are getting so much joy out of the monthly boxes! Barkbox day is the best day monthly! Then in the meantime if you guys need anything else going forward please don't hesitate to let us know. We are always happy to help at any time.
Durable doggy toys can be hard to find, especially if your puppy loves to chew. Good thing Academy Sports + Outdoors carries a variety of tough dog toys, including brands such as Dogzilla and Kong dog toys. Many feature cavities, so you can insert treats that fall out as your pup plays. The erratic bouncing action from the rubber construction is a great way to keep your pooch stimulated and eager for games of fetch. These virtually indestructible dog toys come in handy when your pup is in a gnawing mood.
That’s not because Reggie doesn’t like it. It’s actually his favorite. I’ve spoiled our dog with more toys than I care to admit, but he regularly trots up to me with the Hol-ee Roller for a game of fetch. I’d learned about the ball from friends we’d dog-sat for; their two Shih Tzus were always dropped off with one apiece. Yes, two dogs, two toys. It was easy to see why the pups didn’t want to share: The Hol-ee Roller is a hybrid bouncy ball and chew toy, with big holes that make it easy for smaller mouths to catch and grip and fling about. The rubber is durable but not inflexibly hard, so errant tosses aren’t a breaking hazard, and the ball’s squishiness absorbs its own noise and shock, which is nice news for your downstairs neighbor.
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For $20 a month, dog owners get a box of predominantly Bark-branded toys, treats and chews. Boxes are arranged around a theme, which run through the choice of treats, toys and package inserts. This month's holiday-themed box had Howliday Spectacular Dancer tug toys and Holly, Jolly, and Gabe squeakers. The boxes have cartoons to entertain pet parents, as well as an insert with a number they can text to buy their favorite items.