Kinky Friedman was right when he said that money can buy you a fine dog but only love can make him wag his tail. Or at least he was until BarkBox appeared on the horizon, and gave dogs everywhere another reason to wag their tails faster and harder than ever before.
But before we get into the ins and outs of BarkBox, we need to backtrack a little bit and take a quick look at the cultural phenomenon that inspired Bark to make their box.
The Subscription Box Explosion
Subscription boxes are a twenty-first-century idea that started life as a curio geared toward a small, niche audience before exploding in popularity to assume their own peculiar place in the annals of the hall of success stories.
The boxes are a monthly delivery of products that cover specific areas of interest, such as beer, food, comics, or genre films and books, that last for the duration of a specific subscription period, or until the customer receiving the boxes cancels his or her subscription to the service.
While it sounds like a no-brainer, and a guaranteed recipe for any company to hit a home run with by selling products to an incredibly specific target audience, the runaway success of subscription boxes was, and is, due to an inexplicable “X” factor that has elevated them to undreamed levels of popularity.
And that strange variable that drew people to subscription boxes like Winnie the Pooh to a hidden jar of honey, was, and is, that the contents of every box are a surprise. No one actually knows what they’re going to get in the boxes that they happily, and readily, pay for.
All they know is that everything inside their box will be collectively worth more than they actually pay for it and that the contents will have something to do with their particular sphere of interest.
It sounds crazy, but given the popularity of the boxes, it would appear that the thing that most people want more than anything in life, is a little unpredictability and craziness.
And given how popular they became and are, with humans, it was only a matter of time until some savvier companies and brands started offering subscription boxes to pets. Which brings us to one of the more popular subscription box services available for, and offered to dogs, BarkBox.
What Is BarkBox?
BarkBox is a monthly subscription box service owned and operated by Bark that builds each box around a specific theme and contains a number of toys and treats that your dog will adore.
The company was established in two thousand and twelve to fill a specific void in the market and was founded with one purpose in mind.
To supply subscription boxes to dogs and their owners. And they must be doing something right because they have over a million happy subscribers in the United States.
What Does BarkBox Contain?
That used to be an easy question to answer, but with the recent expansion of the services they offer, it’s a little more complicated than it used to be. But we’ll run through all of the different box options that Bark offers.
BarkBox – The original and still the most popular subscription box that Bark sells, every box contains two wonderfully innovative and inventive toys, two bags of natural treats, and a specially selected chew.
As we’ve already mentioned, each box is geared toward a specific theme, which in the past has included everything from a ScoobBox (based around everyone’s favorite crime-solving Great Dane, Scooby-Doo) to Peanuts (in which the world’s most famous beagle, Snoopy took center stage) and Lick Or Treat (Happy Halloween for pooches) to the carnival based box, Fairground Pups.
The Super Chewer – Aimed at the good boys and girls who love to chew a little more than most, this box includes two super tough toys, two full-size bags of natural treats, and two all-natural meaty chews.
While it’s a newer service than the original BarkBox, the Super Chewer has started to find its own audience, which might have something to do with the appeal of the box’s contents and the fact that every box is gender-oriented, and designed to suit your four-legged friend’s individual needs and tastes.
BarkBright – Another of the company’s newer services, BarkBright is their dental service.
Granted, it’s a more owner than hound friendly service, but as the dental treats that designed to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in prime condition are formulated to taste good, it means that your best boy will be as happy as you are to have clean fangs, a happy tummy and to stay away from the doggy dentist.
BarkEats – Barks’ premier meal service delivers a personalized blend of perfectly proportioned meals with a wellness advisory plan that’s been tailored to suit your best friend. It’s the food delivery service that your dog never knew they wanted but secretly, they always knew that they needed.
It’s a lot to choose from, and as each service is tailor-made and designed to suit your dog, Bark has ensured that each of their boxes is designed to be as individual as possible.
When you sign up, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your dog, and each service uses a different questionnaire that has been created to deliver everything that your dog needs, and loves.
How Does BarkBox Work?
When you sign up for the BarkBox service, you’ll be asked a number of different questions about your best pal. They’ll ask you the gender and size of your dog, but don’t worry. Bark isn’t phishing for information about your dog.
They just want to know some details so that they can make sure that the contents of the box are suitable for your four-legged friend and that they love everything that their box contains.
As soon as you’ve signed up, your dog’s first box will be packed and sent within twenty-four hours and every month after that, they’ll receive a box that contains two toys, two bags of treats, and a chew.
Although the contents of the box are set by each month’s theme, they’ll remain a mystery until you and your pal open it when it arrives.
And all it will cost you to treat your dog like royalty and set them up with a BarkBox subscription is twenty-three dollars a month.
In all honesty, when you compare the cost of the boxes content to their actual financial worth (the contents of each box are always worth at least forty dollars), it makes absolute economic sense to spoil your boy with a box rather than take a monthly trip to the pet store, which as you already know, would probably cost you twice as much for the same toys and treats that you’d get in a BarkBox.
More Reasons To Subscribe The Bark Way Of Doing Things
If you need any additional incentive to sign up to BarkBox, the business model that Bark follows should seal the deal and make you want to sign on the dotted line (well, fill the online forms in) immediately.
What makes Bark different from every other pet brand? We’re glad you asked, and we’ll happily tell you.
They actually care about your dog’s allergies and will make sure that every box that your boy or girl receives will be free from anything that might trigger an allergic reaction.
Every treat and chew in a BarkBox is made in America or Canada is one hundred percent natural and doesn’t contain any soy, wheat, corn, or artificial preservatives or flavors. And the toys in each box are designed to stimulate your dog and encourage them to play and stay young mentally and physically.
Best of all though, Bark donates ten percent of its profits to animal shelters across America and Canada and has a patented program that they call BarkGood that runs in partnership with three thousand other shelters to ensure that every dog is given the opportunity to be someone’s good boy or best girl.
Then there’s Bark’s Scout’s Honor pledge. This pledge states that if your dog doesn’t like something in their box, you can send it back to Bark and they’ll swap it for something that your dog does like, no questions asked.
They want to make sure that every dog loves the contents of all of their boxes, and if there’s something in one of those boxes that your dog particularly loves, then you can always visit the Bark shop and buy it for them again. It sounds like a win-win situation doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
Is BarkBox Worth It?
That’s one of those loaded questions like “How long is a piece of string?” and depends entirely on your point of view. If you don’t own a dog and have no intention of ever owning a dog, then no, BarkBox probably isn’t worth the monthly fee.
But if you do own a dog, and you know just how precious and important they are, then there is no better way to make your dog happy than with a monthly box full of doggy joy. Is BarkBox worth it? Yes, it absolutely is, and it’d be cheap at twice the price.