Saturday, November 16, 2013

November Bark Box - keeps my pups happy!

One thing I look forward to every month is my dogs' Bark Box. Bark Box is a subscription service that sends you a box full of goodies for your dog every month - from my experience, you get one toy every month and then a few packs of treats. We've gotten a huge bone (seriously, they still are gnawing on it, 3+ months later!) and an antiseptic spray (haven't used it yet). Some of my dogs' favorite toys have come from Bark Box, so I kind of wonder if they know my dogs or just have some really great insight. A few months ago, the box overall was just average but it contained this rubbery (latex free! have a latex allergy so pay attention to this) green bone that they LOVED. Seriously for three days Boris (my boston) didn't put it down. it was the only toy he touched!

My two dogs share the small dog sized box (they have three sizes that I know of) - I have a pug (Hammy is 21 lb) and a Boston Terrier/Boston Terrier mix (Boris is about 30lb). The small box is for dogs up to 20lb, medium is 20-50 lb, and the large is 50+. Both of my dogs are rescues, for what it is worth - the rescue group had Hammy and his family, so we know he is true pug, and he acts it. As for Boris, we're not sure. A former boss breeds prize-winning Bostons and he thinks Boris is more like the original Bostons because he is larger in size and has the dot on his forehead. Whatever, they're my two boys and I love them pure bred or not. Boris is very tough on toys though! If you give him the average stuffed toy, in ten minutes he has the stuffing pulled out. He demolishes most bones. Hamlet can be a tough chewer, but takes much longer. Also worth noting that Boris has some food allergies (likely just wheat, but may also have problems with corn - many dogs do). Most of what we get in Bark Box is safe for him to eat!

This month's Bark Box contained some treats we haven't tried yet, but so far this is one of their favorite boxes so far! The first thing we pulled out is a stuffed zucchini - to be fair, I had no idea what it was at first! My husband recognized it as a zucchini right away though, so maybe it's just me? The zucchini is made by Pet Lifestyle And You (PLAY) and both the husband and I love that it is made tough with AZO-free fabric and double stitching. The stuffing is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Immediately Boris nabbed it, before we even grabbed the tag off of it! The tag also has more info on it and a recipe for zucchini dog cupcakes! After about an hour it was still together and Hamlet got a chance to play with it. Both dogs give it a great rating!

We also got N-Bone (had three) which claim to clean teeth and give dogs fresh breath. Have you smelled my dogs' breath? I'm doubtful a bone is going to help much with Hammy. We try to keep up on brushing his teeth a couple of times a week, but we'll see how the bone does (if it helps even a little, i will update!). The downside to having two dogs sharing a box is times like this - 3 bones, no easy way to divide that up (but that's more of my problem than Bark Box). They also got Bocce's Bakery Truffle Mac and Cheese treats. They've only had one, but as soon as I opened the box, they were excited (Hammy could barely sit still). I appreciate that they use organic and local ingredients. There was also one chew from Etta Says - saving that for a day I need them to be well behaved. Lastly we got some sausage like snacks from Happy Howie's that are turkey sausage. All-natural, and easy to break into portions. The dogs liked their first taste, but it doesn't seem to be their favorite.

As someone with some chronic health issues, Bark Box is great - I don't have to worry about going out to get them treats as they get delivered straight to my house. They typically last us the full month too. Keeping my dogs happy and occupied makes my life a little easier. Now, convenience and quality treats don't come cheap but I think it's very much worth it. Their treats are never cheap anyway, plus this gives them variety. One month of Bark Box is $29 (free shipping) but you can also sign up for 3 or 6 month subscriptions (I do 6 months and it comes out to $19/month - less than I would spend on the treats all together! For example, if I bought a toy equivalent to the zucchini they got this month I would easily spend at least $10, probably more). Yes, you could argue having dogs is expensive (and it is!) so if you're like me and have plenty of prescriptions and co-pays, you definitely have to decide on where you want to splurge. For my husband and I, our dogs make our lives so much better and are worth it.

You can sometimes find Bark Box on Groupon or Living Social for a really great deal (that's how I got started) or sign up under me to get $5 off your first box - Yes, I end up earning free boxes if people sign up under me but you get $5 off too :)

Do you use Bark Box? How do you like it if you do?
Hi there! I wanted to create a blog about living with chronic health issues, but also how while my life can be difficult, I am very blessed and have a wonderful life. I was talking with a friend recently when she said, "Wow! Your life must be difficult - you and your family have been through so much". While I can't argue that my family has had its' fair share of difficulties, I don't think anyone in my close family would describe their life as anything less than pretty good!

I also wanted a space to talk about subscription boxes, and hopefully any secrets that will help make my life or anyone else's a little bit easier!