Subscription boxes for dogs seem to be all the rage these days. A few months ago, I reviewed one such service, PetBox, and since then I’ve seen several other types of monthly subscriptions advertised (Dogster looked at BarkBox here). The great thing about this kind of service is that you receive a mix of products you might never have discovered, generally a bit cheaper than retail and delivered right to your door.
So how does a curious dog mama or papa decide which subscription to choose? I got the opportunity to sample PupBox, which stands out from the pack by customizing each month’s box to suit the needs of your puppy. Give PupBox your dog’s age in months, along with some other basic information like coat length, and PupBox will select developmentally appropriate products for training, grooming, and playing with your puppy.
Like other subscriptions, PupBox has a price structure that allows you to save money by signing up for more months in advance. One month of PupBox is $39, three months is $34 per month, six months is $29 per month, and 12 months is just $24 per month.
Besides catering to puppies, PupBox is poised to offer another unique service to its subscribers. PupBox plans to create a store where you can reorder any products your dog really enjoyed from one of her boxes. Since the store isn’t up and running yet, I can’t say whether PupBox will offer these products at competitive prices, but given how difficult it can be to track some small companies down on the Internet (or find retailers near your home that carry such unique products), I think it is a great idea.
Ace is almost three years old, but for the purposes of this review PupBox sent me their current box for a three-month-old puppy. I was the mama of a three-month-old Ace not so long ago, so I put myself back in that mindset while looking over the goods in my PupBox.
My PupBox contained the following items:
- Crumps’ Naturals Beef Tendersticks, 1.9 oz. (about $6): These are 100-percent dried beef treats made in Canada. They would be good for training if broken into small pieces.
- Waggers My Little Wolf Duck Hunter Recipe Dog Treats, 5.29 oz. (about $10): These small, moist, grain-free treats would also be appropriate for training; made in the U.S.A.
- Barkworthies Sausage Roll, small ($4.20): This treat includes pork sausage and pork skin; made in Brazil.
- Planet Dog Snack Sack in harvest orange ($12.95): A treat bag is essential for training, and this one seems sturdy and colorful like other Planet Dog products.
- KONG Goodie Bone toy, XS (about $8): Part rope toy and part teething rubber toy; made in the U.S.A.
- Patchworkpet Pastel Octopus 8” (about $11): The toy is exceptionally soft and includes a squeaker.
- Unique Natural Products Pet Odor & Stain Eliminator, 4 oz. that makes one quart ($5.25): This product uses bacteria to remove the stains and smells that come with raising a puppy.
- Training guide
The contents of my PupBox were generally of a good quality and value. I like that most of the treats seemed like what I would choose for Ace (the Crumps’ Naturals and Waggers treats look great). These products are definitely appropriate for a three-month-old puppy. I remember when Ace was that age I was feeling joyful and also quite overwhelmed, and I imagine I would have welcomed a box of helpful goodies that I didn’t have to agonize over choosing from a store.
The approximate retail value of the contents of by PupBox is about $57, which is a huge savings even if I purchased only one month of PupBox for $39. With a 12-month subscription, this PupBox was over 50-percent off retail. Very impressive, PupBox.
The training guide is a nice touch, which adds to the value of PupBox. The guide recommends positive reinforcement and explained what this means and how it applies to different training goals like housebreaking. The training guide included a “trick of the month,” which for the little guys is learning to sit. The instructions throughout the guide match what Ace and I learned in our obedience training classes, so it seems reliable.
I also like the tone of the writing, which is laid back and at times humorous. For example, “Negative reinforcement at this age is counterproductive and will simply scare the sh-t out of your little darling, and it will most likely end up on your rug.” There is also a Yoda reference. I noted a few typos and misspellings in the guide; I think it would be more authoritative with these errors corrected.
Dogster Scorecard for PupBox
- Quality: Most of the products included in my PupBox were quite nice! I especially liked the Crumps’ Naturals beef treats and the Planet Dog treat bag.
- Style: My PupBox included some familiar brands as well as a few brands that were new to me.
- Function: It’s easy to sign up for PubBox online.
- Creativity: PupBox is a great idea for busy, overwhelmed puppy parents, or dog owners who would like to be exposed to new kinds of products.
- Value: I received about $57 worth of dog products in my PupBox, which would have cost between $24 and $39 depending on my subscription plan. Good deal!
Pupbox is a subscription that grows along with your puppy, providing quality, developmentally appropriate dog products and training advice at a substantial savings.
Dogster readers, share your experiences with subscriptions like PupBox in the comments!
And read more reviews from Ace’s Mama here!
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About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers’ markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.