Barkbox Subscription Box Review

Subscriptions boxes are a wonderful way to try out new products, such as different treats and toys, and something that you and your dog can look forward to. We first started trying out Barkbox over a year ago and it’s something that my Boston terrier, Nickel, has happily dove into. My family and I have found great joy in seeing her run around joyously unsure of what toy or treat to start with! It’s something that we have recommended to friends and family with dogs and today I’m going to break down the pros and cons of Barkbox for you based on our year’s worth of experience in receiving this subscription.

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Nickel in the midst of her Barkbox treats and toys thoroughly enjoying herself. She gets immensely excited to open it every month.


What Is Barkbox?

Barkbox is a monthly subscription box aimed at creating a fun, safe, and stimulating experience for your dog and you to share together. The creators of Barkbox are all ardent dog owners that funnel their experiences with their dogs into making an amazing dog subscription box. Barkbox is very passionate about dog safety and has even extended their line into the Barkbox Super Chewer subscription box, which are all American made treats and toys designed to last longer for dogs that go through chews and toys quickly. Each month’s box has a different theme designed to enthrall you and your dog!

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Nickel wearing a cute paper crown from a medieval themed Barkbox while enjoying a chewie from the box. This fun medieval theme made my family and I giggle and Nickel enjoyed it too!

What’s In A Barkbox?

Each classic Barkbox includes American made products including:

  • A dog chew
  • 2 dogs toys
  • 2 bags of treats

The bags of treats are full size and Nickel has really enjoyed all the different treats she has tried. If your dog has an allergy, Barkbox does have an option for an allergy friendly box. In addition, Barkbox treats are always all natural and don’t have corn, wheat, or soy in them. I really appreciate the care Barkbox takes with choosing better treats for our dogs and it’s something that does boost my opinion of the box.

All of the Barkbox toys are thoroughly tested multiple times throughout the creation process. Barkbox even has office dog product testers (their dogs!) to try the toys out to make sure they are highly enjoyable, good quality, and safe for your pup. Nickel loves chewing and whacking her toys back and forth in the air which can be very rough on her toys. Despite this, all of her Barkbox toys have held up beautifully. She has toys from almost a year ago that are still in great condition! I was very impressed with how well these seemingly flimsy, cloth toys held up with my dog aggressively chewing on them constantly. Her favorite toy is a blue dragon that is breathing fire and I’m constantly finding it in her bed or being carried around with her.

Each month’s Barkbox has a unique and fun theme to it, which adds to the delight in opening it. I personally love the fun names that Barkbox gives the treats and the fun touches added to their toys. My favorite theme to date was the Grinch and Barkbox collaboration! I am an enormous Christmas and Grinch fan so giving Nickel a stuffed Grinch toy and “Stink, Stank, Stunk” treats was seasonally appropriate, very cute, and it added to the overall charm of the box. Other themes that I’ve received include knights of the hound table (King Arthur style), a Frankenstein Halloween box, and Chewrassic Bark to name a few of my favorites.

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Nickel taste testing treats from her Barkbox. She gives them an A+!

What Hasn’t Worked For Us

The main issue that we’ve had with receiving Barkbox monthly is the huge overload of treats. Nickel is about 22 pounds and is right on the edge of the dog sizing options for the boxes. She was originally receiving boxes for the 20-50 pound dogs which led to us getting overwhelmed with the treats. We switched her to the smaller dog option, which is 0-20 pounds, thinking that this would decrease the amount or size of the treat bags. Unfortunately, it did not decrease the treats which was frustrating. Another critique we have is no option for staggering when you receive a subscription box. Due to the overload of treats, it would be a wonderful option if you could opt to receive a box every other month or every third month to space out the influx of treats and toys. If you have two dogs receiving a box monthly might work out better since you have two mouths to eat and play with your items. With just Nickel though, we are overwhelmed with the treats and it’s been hard to watch her weight as a result.

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Nickel with her Christmas barkbox. We saved it for Christmas day so she could open it while we were opening our gifts from each other. Nickel seemed to really like this idea and it was incredibly fun to watch her tear into her Barkbox present.  

Quick Pros And Cons Of Barkbox


  • Cute monthly themes
  • Allergy options for personalizing your box
  • Free shipping in contiguous USA
  • Box pricing is the same regardless of your dog’s size (3 dog size box options available)
  • Barkbox does active charity work and you can suggest a charity for them to support
  • You can repurchase or buy the rest of any month collection if your dog loves a particular item!
  • Hugely concerned with safety and high quality ingredients in their toys and treats
  • Includes full sized bags of treats, dog toys, and a dog chew every month
  • Less expensive than many competing dog subscription boxes


  • Receiving more treats than your dog might need
  • We struggled to watch Nickel’s weight due to excessive treats and had to be very careful with feeding her.
  • No options to customize how often you receive a box (ie. every other month vs. monthly boxes)

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This chew kept Nickel busy for several hours. I find the Barkbox chews last well and Nickel is always happy to test them out!

Who Might Barkbox Be Good For?

Barkbox is an incredibly fun service to surprise your dog with. There are many amazing factors and a few negative things we’ve discovered after being subscribed to Barkbox for a year. As we’ve discussed, an overload of treats can definitely be problematic particularly if you are trying to help your dog lose weight or stay slim. With some coordination between everyone feeding Nickel, she’s been able to go back to being trim while still enjoying her treats, so I wouldn’t personally consider this an absolute deal breaker but I would suggest thinking it over. If you have more than one dog, I would suggest trying out one box for both dogs to enjoy together. This is a great way to save money and your dog’s waistline while still giving them a spectacular present. The largest benefit to me is giving your dog absolute joy with this monthly box. Nickel gets so excited that she can’t even pick anything up because she’s bouncing back and forth so much. At the end of the day, I would still recommend this subscription due to the high quality toys and treats, amazing themes, and strong regard for safety for your dog. The joy from giving your dog a Barkbox is incredible and truly a gift to you just as much as your dog.

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