Is BarkBox Worth It? What Comes In A Box, How It Works, & What To Expect

Written by: Samantha Erb

March 11, 2022

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that dogs are the absolute best. At everything. Even if they bark at a blowing leaf, they’re the best. Pee in the house? All right, that’s a little annoying, but wait, they’re still the best. Carpet-cleaning will never come in the way of my relationship with my dog. We are the OTP.

Get double the stuff in your first BarkBox FREE when you sign up! (That’s two extra toys, two extra bags of treats, and a whole extra chew, folks.)

If you’re reading this, a bag of meaty treats says you feel the same way. The best dogs deserve the best of everything, which brings me back to BarkBox.

How Does BarkBox Work?

It’s simple! After we hammer out the details of your dog’s customized BarkBox (we’ll get to that next), you will:

  • Choose your subscription length (starts at $23/month for a 12-month plan, over a $40 value!)
  • Your first box ships immediately, and you wait impatiently by the window for the mailman to arrive.
  • A phenomenon known as “cardboard confusion” may occur, in which your dog assumes every box that arrives is actually for them—a common side effect of BarkBox joy.

When you sign up for your first BarkBox, we want to collect some basic info about your dog to make sure their box is built JUST for them. First, you give us your pup’s name, birthday (for special surprises!), any food allergies, and which size toys they prefer, and we do the rest!

I have been a subscriber for a few years now and absolutely love them. I never have to buy treats or toys because I’m supplied monthly with enough to get to the next month.

They have excellent customer service and will swap a toy out if your dog doesn’t like it. They stand by their product and that means a lot to me. When my previous dog passed away, they donated a box to a shelter in his name. Definitely recommend.

Golden Retriever Mama

Is your dog no friend to plush? Try BARK’s Super Chewer box instead! It’s always 100% fluff-free and includes an extra tasty chew. (P.S. you can even chat with our Happy team to ask about getting more toys/fewer treats, all toys, no chews… whatever works best for your dog. We’ll make it happen!

What If My Dog Has Allergies?

We want to make sure the treats and chews in your pup’s box get along fabulously with their tummies. Any allergies to chicken, beef, or turkey are totally customizable, and if your dog has any other dietary restrictions (or picky-eater preferences!) a quick chat with the BarkBox Happy Team is all it takes to make their dreams come true.

What Comes In A BarkBox?

Each BarkBox (sans-customization or upgrades) contains two meticulously-designed toys, two full-size bags of treats, and a head-over-paws delicious chew. Let’s dig into these goodies a little more.

BarkBox Toys

In addition to being some of the coolest, most creative people, the BarkBox toy designers are so in tune with their inner canine, it’s borderline weird. They help produce around twenty original toys each month to suit every exciting BarkBox theme (think rough ‘n’ tumble vikings, colorful rainforest creatures, and dastardly comic book adventures), all with a bevy of engaging features, fabrics, and surprises.

Consuela the cactus dog toy

My dog gets so excited to open his BarkBox and once I cut the tape, he can actually do it himself now because he’s so thrilled. The toys, in my opinion, are THE BEST. I was extremely skeptical because they are stuffed toys and my dog is a toy destroyer. I don’t think he’s ever had a stuffed toy last longer than a day without getting to the stuffing. But these toys are shockingly resilient and extremely well made.

Amanda of Liverpool, NY

If your dog falls in love with a particular plaything, go ahead and hunt it down to reorder on!

Toy Design Details

Our toy material medley includes a variety of textured fabrics, crinkle paper, soft & stretchy t-shirt rope, long fuzz, short fuzz, tough ballistic nylon, and soft faux fur, to name a few. Not to mention our literal library of squeakers, including the infamous spiky ball! (Don’t miss it: Even the classic squeakers get a designer’s touch if your pup manages to free them from their plush prison.)

If you opt for the Super Chewer box, the design changes to support those eager chompers and still foster a healthy amount of creativity.

For example, the “Slingin’ Air Rose” features a rubber rose ball that will fly off the nylon stem when you hurl it across the yard. The hardcore “Shred Velvet Cake” has a fuzzy plush wrap designed to be torn away to reveal a squeaky rubber stack of pancakes inside.

Other Super Chewer toys feature nooks and crannies for peanut butter, hollow treat-dispensing insides, and good ol’ squeakers so dogs can still get all the joy out of playtime—it just lasts a little longer.

BarkBox Treats & Chews

Every treat and chew is all-natural with proteins sourced in the US and Canada with domestic and imported ingredients, and never contain corn, wheat, or soy.

Bags of treats that come wit barkbox

How Much Is BarkBox?

The longer the subscription length, the less each month costs. For BarkBox, pricing starts at $23/month for 12 months not including upgrades, with 6-month and monthly options available as well.

subscription options for barkbox

We value each box at around $40; let’s unpack the “Galapagos: Tails of the Tropics” theme as an example of what BarkBoxes are made of:

Beneath that museum-worthy wrapping paper (thank you, designers) and fun #barkboxday challenges for you social media gurus, you might find “Santiago Seal” and “Sergio Sea Turtle.”

We stuffed the chonky little seal with fluff, crazy crinkle, a squeaker, AND a hidden toy (the food chain is relentless)—all wrapped up in super-soft plush. The sea turtle flaunts a squeaky shell, crinkle, and floppy whip ‘n’ flip limbs great for tossing and tugging. That’s a whole lotta toy in one box!

penguin and seal toys from barkbox

But they’re not the only toys in the Galapagos theme. Depending on your dog’s size, upgrades (like extra toys or double deluxe, more on that later) and customized toy preferences, you may be surprised with Bibi Booby, Isabela Iguana, Baltra Batfish, or other tropical friends.

What Is The Extra Toy Club?

Add an extra, premium toy to your pup’s box for an additional $7/month. These bonus toys are no joke—past boxes have included “SQUIRRELZILLA” of the “Toxicritters,” (our largest toy EVER), “Releash the Kraken” with a surprise bonus toy inside, and “Karla the Chameleon,” our first color-changing toy (the heat of your dog’s breath changes the pup-safe fabric from blue to pink).

This is a great option for triple-dog households or single/double-dog homes with super spoiled puppers. Baltra Batfish features tuggable fins and “legs,” fluff and a squeaker, and a pocket in his mouth great for hiding a treat or two for extra rewarding play.

fish dog toy from the galapagos themed barkbox

What Is Double Deluxe?

Every month, you have the option to double your box to receive:

  • 2 additional toys (4 total)
  • 2 additional bags of treats (4 total)
  • 1 additional chew (2 total)

Get Double Deluxe boxes monthly for a recurring $17 extra per month, or just once for $22.

Monthly Add-Ons

In your account dashboard you’ll find a wonderland of add-to-box toys, treats, home products, and wellness supplies that rotate each month. Whether you’d like to add a BARK Bright Dental Kit, a cozy dog bed, or a few extra toys and treats, the options are nearly endless.

a gif displaying all the items that can be added to a barkbox

Scout’s Honor Guarantee

Every BarkBox comes with Scout’s Honor; it’s a 100% happiness guarantee, so if you or your dog is less than absolutely giddy about your box, we’ll make it right.

What Makes BarkBox Different?

The thing about BarkBoxes is they’re not JUST for your dog. You and your dog, your family and your dog—that’s the dream team, so we make sure each box gets everyone involved in the experience. Whether that means you’re on the other end of a tug toy, taking pose ‘n’ play pics, or teaming up to get into some mischief with the October 2021 “Mischief Mutts” box, you and your dog are doing it together.

Every box includes a way to engage with the social BarkBox community on Instagram—for the “Mischief Mutts” box, that meant cutting out a fun dog-shaming-inspired sign to catch your pup red-pawed in the trash can, digging holes, or just posing with with their pre-Halloween prank toys.

March’s “The Great Barkini’s Magnificent Magic Box” theme included instructions for a few different card tricks you could perform with your pup. Short training sessions are an awesome way to have some fun, get some treats, and strengthen your already unbreakable bond.

an example of the inserts included with a barkbox

You see, dogs love to play, to work their brains and release energy, but what really makes them happy is getting to do those things with YOU. Whether it’s playing fetch with a bouncy spiky ball toy, or prepping for your next doggy magic show, dogs are overjoyed to simply be by your side.

SPOILER ALERT: That’s really what BarkBox is all about.

After all that, do you want to give BarkBox a go? Each month, get two original toys, designed in-house, two full bags of all-natural treats, a savory chew, and a whole lotta fun. Sign up here to get double the toys for FREE in your first box!

Featured image c/o @ruger.thesilverlab

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Written by: Samantha Erb

March 11, 2022

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.