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Monkey the Saint Bernard Tries Out BarkBox

Did our new reviewer like his box of dog products? He's a picky pup, after all.

Daisy Barringer  |  Nov 13th 2014


Editor’s note: Due to their busy schedule, Ace and his mama are handing over Dogster reviews to Monkey and his human, Daisy Barringer. Read more about the new team after this, their first review.

Monkey loves care packages. Not because he wants what’s inside of them, but because “OMG CARDBOARD BOX. GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME.” (Seriously, why do dogs love cardboard and paper so much?) But when Monkey’s BarkBox arrived last week, it was an extra-special care package because not only was he excited by the box itself, he was also excited about what was inside. (I know this because sniffing.)

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Our new reviewers may not always see eye to eye on products.

In case you’re not familiar with BarkBox, it’s a monthly subscription service that delivers a box of dog goodies to your doorstep. Each box has four or more products for your pup and can be anything from toys to treats and other items. It’s typically stuff you’re not going to find at your local pet store (unless your local pet store is super hip!), so it’s a chance to find out about new brands your doggy might like. And you choose your box based on your pup’s size (from “Tiny” to “Big and Bold”), so the items inside are guaranteed to be a good fit, literally. Oh, and 10 percent of the company’s profits goes to rescue groups. Pretty cool.

Monkey's first BarkBox.

Monkey’s first BarkBox.

Of course, none of that matters unless your dog actually likes what’s inside the box. Monkey, as always, was happy to put everything to the test and give you his official thoughts.

Everything came packed neatly in a box. Since it was a cardboard, we were off to a great start. Sometimes I wonder why I get my dog toys at all when I could just give him my Amazon packages after I take out my stuff.

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Colorful! And right off the bat, I knew he would love those treats. Because they’re treats.

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Surf’s up! Monkey’s BarkBox had a beach theme, which was nice since actually taking him to the beach can be such a pain. I know, I’m a terrible dog mom but ohmygosh, the sand. The sand!

The box contained:

Loopies Fish Bones Toy
Value: $15
A durable fishy friend for tugging and tossing. It has a squeaker AND a rattle.

P.L.A.Y. Giant Squid Plush Toy
Value: $14.50
You can add an extra toy to your box for $9 per month. This was the bonus toy. It has a squeaker, which is a big hit around these parts.

Bixbi Chicken Breast Jerky Treats
Value: $10
Jerky treats: Enough said.

Healthy Dogma Coconut Flavor Barkers
Value: $8
These treats are on the larger size, which is awesome for Monkey.

Etta Says Duck Chew
Value: $4
Monkey loves these. He goes through them pretty quickly, actually, so it’s hard to keep them stocked in my house.

Mr. Barksmith’s Pina Colada Smoothie
Value: $2
A frozen treat for hot days. I haven’t given this one to Monkey yet. I’m skeptical, but he loves ice cubes, so he might love this.

So what’d he think of the toys?

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Monkey’s a little weird about toys. He doesn’t go nuts for them like some other dogs, but the way I can tell he liked this fishy is …
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He immediately took a nap with it. That’s a major seal of approval. AND I found it in the hallway later, which means he totally played with it while I was out.

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He also loved the squid. I mean, it squeaks and has tentacles. He was into it.

My concern with BarkBox is that it would add clutter to our life were we to sign up for future boxes. Monkey has a lot of toys; I’m not sure he needs two new ones every month. (He’s staring at me right now as if to say, “Mommmmm. I do TOO need new toys every month.”) I would be more into it if the box came with just treats since those are guaranteed to be eaten and enjoyed.

Still, I think it’s an amazing gift to give someone, whether they have a new puppy or just a dog you love. You can give one box for $29, three for $24 each, six for $21 each, or 12 for $18 each.

Dogster scorecard for BarkBox

  • Quality: BarkBox has super-high standards for what it puts in its boxes, and it’s apparent.
  • Style: I love how every month has a theme. I thought both of the toys were super cute and colorful, and I won’t mind seeing them on my living room floor.
  • Function: The toys are definitely just for fun, but the treats are all great and save me a trip to the pet store.
  • Creativity: Such a fun box for Monkey and me to open!
  • Value: Pretty good, especially if your dog loves what’s inside.

Bottom line

BarkBox is a monthly box of dog goodies that will make the Monkey in your life really, really happy.

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No, seriously … that’s his happy face.

Dogster readers, do you subscribe to BarkBox? If so, please add your review in the comments below. Also, tell us about any other dog-centric subscription services you recommend.

Read more Dogster reviews:

About the Author: Daisy Barringer grew up in San Francisco and didn’t let the fact that she’s a city girl keep her from getting her dream dog: a Saint Bernard. She and Monkey love to romp in the snow in Tahoe, visit dog-friendly bars, watch 49ers football, and drool. Yup, both of ’em.