BarkBox Review: Classic and Super Chewer Subscription Box

Katy is a frugal, loving dog owner looking for great stuff for her pups. She scours the stores and the internet for great products.

Barkbox is a dog subscription box with toys and treats. It's fun for both dogs and their humans, but it's hard to know what to expect before you receive the first box. Some versions of the subscriptions require a 6 or 12-month commitment, so you want to know if it's worth it before you enter a credit card number.

I'll give you the honest, practical review of BarkBox so you don't have to risk any of your own money.

Barkbox Review: Large Dog

My two large dogs were kind enough to "share" a BarkBox subscription for a few months. We have one dog who is an aggressive chewer, so we upgraded to the Super Chewer box for him. Find that review further below.

Check out what we thought about the classic box:

Toys (2 in each box)

We love toys at our house! Some hold up for weeks and others are shredded immediately. Having the variety and a constant supply was great.

Most of the toys we received were plush. About every other box had a non-plush toy like a rope or puzzle toy.

Treats (2 in each box)

We don't usually buy dog treats. They were nice to have but inflated the price of the box with something we didn't use much. Something to consider when deciding to sign up.

All treats from Barkbox are organic so we didn't have anything to worry about. They let you put in allergies for your dog when you sign up, so the treats you receive don't have of those ingredients.

Chew (1 in each box)

You only get one chew per box so they had to fight over this one.

The dental chews were really helpful for our dog that won't chew on bones. Normally he has no interest in chewing anything so his teeth suffer, but there was enough of a flavor with these chews that he wanted to lay down and attack it until it was gone.

Super Chewer Review

Super Chewer is a Barkbox option that sends durable toys for aggressive chewers. It's $8-9 more per box, depending on the subscription length (see prices in the table below).

Instead of the stuffed toys, your pup will get rubber and tough rope. There's no fluff to pull apart. These toys really do stand up to a good chewer!

More Durable Plush Option for Classic Boxes

At no additional charge, you can get more durable plush toys for the Classic box. But the option isn't available on their website. You have to ask for it from customer service. The easiest way to do this is via chat. A rep can add that on to your subscription immediately.

Is BarkBox Worth It?

You want to know whether subscribing to BarkBox will be worth it before you pull the trigger. There are two things to consider: the cost per item and how much money you're willing to spend on your dog.

Cost Per Toy/Treat

Each box has two toys, two treats, and one chew. The amount you're charged for a box is less than all the items would retail for together. So, it's definitely a good deal compared to buying them outright. See the table below for subscription options and what comes out to on a "per item" basis.

Blowing the Dog Budget

As any wise person with a subscription service will tell you: a good deal doesn't matter if you don't need the item. Or in this case, if you have way too many dog toys!

Barkbox Subscriptions and Prices

Classic (6 mo)Classic (12 mo)Super Chewer (6 mo)Super Chewer (12 mo)

Total Cost: $150

Total Cost: $252

Total Cost: $204

Total Cost: $348

Cost per Box: $25

Cost per Box: $21

Cost per Item: $34

Cost per Box: $29

Cost per Item: $5.00

Cost per Item: $4.20

Cost per Item: $6.80

Cost per Item: $5.80

Can You Cancel Barkbox at Any Time?

No, you can't cancel your Barkbox subscription at any time. This is the real danger of Barkbox. Why? You're locked into paying every month until your subscription is over. They aren't as upfront about that as they could be, so I think some people get sucked in. Please understand that by signing up you're committing to the whole subscription period.

Beware: The Auto-Renewal!

Pay attention because there's another trap: Your subscription will renew automatically if you do nothing.

If you're like me, you signed up for BarkBox and meant to reassess at the end of the subscription. But if you forget, it will automatically be renewed for the same length. So, if you weren't happy with the service or have just accumulated too many dog toys (that's us!), you'll be locked in again.

© 2018 Katy Medium

tribedbiker on September 08, 2020:

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Jessica W. on September 20, 2019:

My dog destroys most of the superchewer toys. A few have survived but not many. Most of the toys are awful. Company does send replacement toys, although most of them are cheap as well. Treat bags are tiny. Chews last less than 30 seconds. When trying to reach customer service via text/email, it often takes several tries before anyone answers and then they say they never received my messages. Boxes don't ship when they say they will. Responses from company are always generic, childlike, and do not take issues seriously. I am unfortunately stuck in a year long subscription that I cannot get out if and every month dealing with this company feels like a battle. I expect better for the price.

Time Out, What is BarkBox?

BarkBox is a subscription service provided by a company called Bark. Bark is run by dog lovers whose mission is to provide high quality treats and toys to dogs everywhere.

Bark offers two subscription boxes BarkBox and SuperChewer. Each box follows a different theme, like Christmas or “Back to School” and so many more.

In a standard BarkBox, dogs get two plush toys, two bags of treats and a chew. The toys come in a countless variety of characters, including squirrels, cinnamon rolls, lobsters, and so many more (those are just a few of Bruce’s favorites).

You can fully customize your box according to your dog’s size, allergy or food sensitivity, and age which helps Bark know what size treats and toys to send in your dog’s box.

There are different subscription price options that you can choose from to make sure you are getting the one that suits you and your pup the best!

Customer Reviews


By Gary G., Destin, FL, Verified Reviewer

I have tried to stop the products by calling and texting but they won't stop. I have changed credit card numbers but they still get thru to my credit card. I talked to a lady who said that it would be taken care of but it still comes. It doesn't even matter that my dog died. My wife sent one box back with "return to sender" on it and they just kept it. BEWARE OF CROOKS.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


By Lisa L., Arizona, Verified Reviewer

Customer service is not good. They say they want to make things right but they don't do anything to correct the concern.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

No “pros” were specified in this review

Not a live person to speak to

My puppy destroyed the toy in no time

They will not let you cancel your subscription

Zero stars if that were an option

By Karla S., Delafield, WI, Verified Reviewer

My pup almost died. toys did not last. Our last shipment a piece broke off within minutes and although I thought I caught it all as fast as it happened I hadn’t. two surgeries and a feeding tube in over the course of 4 days and we finally got her stable.

Length of Use: 3–6 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

The auto ship was cool if it was quality

Great box! If it ever get delivered.

By Jasmine G., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Verified Reviewer

What has changed since summer? Over the past 6 months, I have had issues with my account. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel going around in the same circle. Every month I get charged, I don't receive my box. I email their customer service and talk to someone and explain my issues. They promise to refund me and/or send an extra box. I agree and thank them for their help. Most of the time I get my money back, but I never received my box. Like, ever. it's been four months. I do really enjoying having the toys treats, etc. but I am getting seriously annoyed by their customer service. How hard is it to ship a box every month? They sure don't ever forget to charge me. It's sad, but I need to cancel. I can't have my pup waiting around forever.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

FALSE advertising

By Elizabeth C., Lousiana, Verified Reviewer

My pomeranian Teddy loved his Grinch from BarkBox last year. I was so excited to see they were offering it again but you had to subscribe for 6 months plus $5 for the Grinch. I decided to subscribe for 6 months just so I could get him a new Grinch. They sent me an email saying Teddy would have his Grinch in his paws soon. Today the box arrived, there was no Grinch in it. I tried contacting them but you can't call them, you can only email them. I told them I wanted to return the package and cancel the subscription since this was false advertising. Still have not gotten a call back. I have had to call PayPal to have the issue resolved. So beware.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


By Caitlin F., Louisiana, Verified Reviewer

In 2017 I started getting my rescue dog the Super Chewer BarkBox. Since 2018 it has been her only source of toys. They used to seem good but I've noticed this year the service has become really bad. The didn't send me a July box even though I paid the whole year in advance and made no real move to correct the error. And some of the toys were looking REALLY tough and hard. even for a "strong chewer".

One day I was in the yard throwing her toys for her and I noticed she wasn't picking them up. That's when I realized about half a centimeter of her lower canine was completely gone. Wondering what the hell she did to do that, I brought her to the vet. That's when I learned the Super Chewer hard nylon toys are absolutely not safe in any way for dog teeth. Horns, bones, antlers, nylon hard stuff - all bad. BarkBox had been increasingly sending harder and bigger nylon chews but I just assumed, since they're a company claiming safety and testing in their toys, that these things were fine.

She had to be referred to a vet dentist who verified what my vet said. She was scheduled for a root canal. While under anesthesia the vet discovered other chipped teeth and a rear one with a fracture. Thankfully those were less drastic repairs but it was heartbreaking to think she had been suffering in pain for who knows how long. This whole ordeal has also cost thousands of dollars.

When I contacted BarkBox I asked to cancel and be refunded the remainder of my subscription. At first they were very defensive - claiming their toys are perfectly safe and tested beforehand. When I asked them for documentation showing their testing is inclusive of safety for teeth they backtracked. They began apologizing profusely and stated they would close and refund my account and that a senior Ambassador would be contacted me directly. That was weeks ago and neither has happened.

Save your dog the pain and yourself the THOUSANDS of dollars in tooth repair - run far away. A quick google search for "vet dentist-approved toys" should provide options that are actually safe. I wish I had known that this company was completely deceptive in their reputation of having "safe" and "tested" toys.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Didn’t deliver box, then didn’t stand by what they promised to "make it up to me"

By Buffy S., Charlotte, NC, Verified Reviewer

I have a yearly subscription with BarkBox and they added this new feature with the additional toys called the "double deluxe box" and it started with the October box and I was super excited for it being a huge fan of Halloween and so I said sure, why not, I will pay the additional $20.38 to make it almost $50 for the month! It would be a fun little treat.

The box was "shipped" and when I went to track it I saw that it was delivered to a completely different state! BarkBox could not find my box!

Told me that they would send me another one that week, but never did. I kept asking when were they going to send me the box because October was almost over and I really wanted my box.

Then they said they were going to send a November double deluxe box for free and said "double the fun" for the dog.

Then I see an email at the beginning of November that says I agreed to the additional toys (which I did not!) and they were going to charge my card $20.38 on the 5th and then I also saw they were charging me for the box too! I was under the impression that was free when you say are giving me the November double deluxe box for free that means that I am NOT paying for the whole thing!

Maybe 95% of their problem is the fact that they communicate exclusively via text/email and they don’t do it well!

I know that I will NOT be renewing with them even though as someone who actually loves the toys and treats and actually was one of the very early customers that they had when they first started and left them for the same damn reason I am leaving now. customer service!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

They suck

By Stephanie C., West Virginia, Verified Reviewer

When I signed up for BarkBox, I'm pretty sure it said $22 a month for Super Chewer, however, there is nothing listed in my account as far as the price and it was charged to my PayPal account but they charged me over $400 at once, which comes out to about $35 a month. So not what I was quoted. The first box I got had a squirt toy gun in it and my dog chewed/ate pieces off of it within minutes. They would replace that for free with another one but I didn't need another one that he could again chew/eat in minutes. I have a Husky and he is a big chewer and thought these toys would be durable enough but they aren't, and all BarkBox will do is replace it with the same thing, which defeats the purpose as he will have it chewed up in minutes. I tried to cancel seeing as how these toys aren't durable enough and they won't let me. There is fine print that states you cannot cancel (you can but they won't refund any money and will continue to send a box each month). When I did email them to cancel, I got several replies from a different person there each time and none of them read the last email I sent to them or the emails from their co-workers and I kept repeating myself until I got tired of it and just stopped replying to their emails. Their customer service is fast but not efficient at all. So I would not recommend them if you have a heavy chewer.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

No non destructible dog toys

By Lisa O., Cary, NC, Verified Reviewer

First box I received, cute theme, but my dogs had the toys chewed up within an hour so I contacted their customer service and was told about the Super Chewer box, so I switched to that box and they sent me replacement toys. So far, it sounded good. The replacement toys lasted about a week. The next month, I received a super chewer box, treats were good, toys lasted less than a week. Tried contacting them again via email, never heard back. They stated on their website they have a "Scout’s Honor" promise that your pack will love their BarkBox, and they would work with us to find the right plan, etc. I guess that only applies if you can get them to respond. Kept receiving the boxes for a few months, still toys only lasted a day to less than a week. So I tried to cancel the subscription, good luck navigating their web site to actually cancel the subscription. Finally located an old email from them and sent them an email to cancel, to which they responded that I needed to login to my account in order to cancel. Tried that, but after many efforts was finally able to cancel the subscription. I would not recommend this subscription service due to its inconsistent customer service, and website that is deliberately hard to cancel a subscription.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Very misleading company

By Sarah H., Honolulu, HI, Verified Reviewer

Unable to cancel a subscription even if you move or have travel plans that do not require the same address once given. This company was not accommodating and only tried to convince me to switch toys or put the YEAR long subscription on hold. WOW BarkBox, this was initially supposed to have been a fun treat for my dog, but has turned into a huge burden of payments for an entire year which I no longer have a need. DON'T SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY. There are other dog services out there who have better flexibility policies and who actually donate to charity, whereas BarkBox does NOT actually give a portion to helping animals.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


By Lori S., Aurora, IL, Verified Reviewer

BarkBox IS DISGUSTING. Customer support NEVER answers its phone calls or emails or even direct live messages. You are not allowed to cancel your membership even if you are unhappy with the product and service. NONE of the toys we received were anywhere close to being indestructible.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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What’s in a BarkBox?

Each BarkBox includes 5 items: 2 bags of treats (all natural, made and sourced in the US), 2 toys and a dog chew. Their customization options mainly revolve around the size and breed of your dog and whether or not they have any allergies. BarkBox subscription boxes also center around specific BarkBox themes every month, which is the same regardless of your pup’s info.

These themes have included “Snowbound hounds”, “Thankstuffing”, and the limited-edition Grinch box, featuring a BarkBox Grinch stuffy. Adorable, right? This $5 BarkBox was recently available when you signed up for a new plan, with the addition of a free extra toy every month (I didn’t know about this and wish I had snagged it for my girl!).

Is your BarkBox pup a BarkBox chewer? BarkBox also gives the ever-important Super Chewer BarkBox option, which includes two fluff-free toys for tough chewers. Everyone knows a dog that tears apart any toy (any item really) that they can get their paws on. And while I don’t believe this was an option when I was subscribed to BarkBox, I definitely would have chosen it if it was.

Watch the video: Super Chewer May 2019 Dog Subscription Box UnboxingReview + Coupon (July 2021).