The Subscription Box Everyone’s Been Barking About

If you’re anything like me, your Facebook and Instagram feed have probably been inundated with advertisements of happy, smiling dogs chewing on toys and treats courtesy of BarkBox. BarkBox, a dog subscription box service, provides two (or more) treats and toys for your pup every month, each based around a certain theme.

As a fan of both themed items and spoiling my dogs, these advertisements got me instantly hooked, and I purchased a BarkBox for my dogs for Christmas. The box, appropriately Grinch-themed, contained four treats and four toys, all of which were ridiculously adorable. From a mini-Grinch to squeaky presents, the dogs loved it (and I loved taking pictures of them).

The toys lasted a surprisingly long time (especially given both of my dogs are very large and prone to destroying toys), and it was about three more months before I decided to buy them another box. This one was themed like a candy shop, with licorice squeakers and a rope toy lollipop. Again, thanks to a coupon, this box was doubled, with four toys and four treats in total.

After buying two boxes, both of which my dogs immensely enjoyed, you’d probably think I’m a BarkBox subscriber for life. However, this isn’t quite the case, for one specific reason — price.

Buying a single BarkBox retails for about $29 USD ($38.67 CAD), plus shipping, bringing the total price to around $50 CAD. The price goes down, but not by much, if you opt into a multi-month plan. In addition, unless you have a coupon, each box contains two toys and two treats — that’s $12.50 per item! In addition, multi-month plans don’t have an option to skip months, meaning that there’s no way for you to spread out deliveries. This doesn’t mean that I’m saying “don’t get a BarkBox” — that would be pretty hypocritical of me, after all. However, it is important to consider how often your dogs would need new toys, and if the BarkBox works for your lifestyle and budget. I currently have been waiting for promotions that double the number of toys, which makes the price a little more fair. In addition, I purchase one box for my two dogs to share, which is a lot cheaper than getting two separate boxes!

If you love the look of the toys, there’s also the option to purchase individual items on the BarkShop website. It’s more expensive per item, but if there’s only one or two things you really want, it might be a good option for you! However, if you don’t have your heart set on one specific thing, you might want to buy at your local pet store, as it’s often a lot cheaper.

Overall, the BarkBox is a cute, fun and exciting treat for your dogs, but probably isn’t feasible (especially on a student budget) as a subscription. Instead, keep your eyes peeled for individual box deals and, in the meantime, give your dog an extra snuggle from me.