BarkBox is a monthly subscription that sends you items for your dog. One box contains both fabric toys and treats. In general, the cost of the items in the box is $10-$15 less than buying these items in the regular market. Or it was. When I first started getting the BarkBox the toys included were from mainstream toy companies that I had heard of and seen in the local pet stores. Items that I didn't buy because of cost. So waiting for the surprise of a BarkBox made sense.
After about 6 months with a Large dog subscription it was clear that they had no idea what a "large" dog played with. And after many toys were destroyed in mere seconds I took them all away. Later I would get a puppy, and I changed the box to "medium" thinking they would be appropriate for a smaller poodle. Of course they were for a puppy. But that is about it. If ever a toy was left behind the older dogs made quick work of it. Every single fabric toy they were allowed to play with was destuffed, ripped, swallowed, and sometimes pooped out in the yard.
After 6 months old my youngest poodle was no longer a friend to her toys. They aren't heavy chewers, but they nibble, grinding their teeth into fabric. Within a minute they can have the fabric toys open and destuffed. Of course one of them is going to roll around in the fluff of the murdered stuffy. But even the "destuffed" toys aren't great. Because dogs will chew up and swallow the squeakers. So really, there is no stuffed toy that they can have for very long. If its a harder fabric then its no fun to chew. Chasing a ball is their only real job, so long as it isn't a tennis ball. Fluff on a ball is yucky.
Recently, though I decided to give BarkBox another try. Not for my older dogs, but for the new puppies.
The medium BarkBox is great for puppies. I am able to hold on to the toys, and change them out regularly. This brings us to how I found out about their new marketing scheme. So while I am a new/old customer I get random emails. Too many in fact, asking me if I want to buy more toys. Or reorder toys. I will tell you that the toys have changed. Now the fabric toys are exclusive "BarkBox" label. So they found a way to cut down on cost by sending us their own toys. They are cute, but they didn't get any better quality.
The last email I saw was telling me I could join the destroyer club. Here is the link to there promotion.
I have to hand it to them, Barkbox found an interesting promotion. Not only do they send you toys for $10 that they make for pennies, toys that have no regulated quality control, but they are promoting the destruction of these toys so that you have to buy new one. And presumably you'll buy them from BarkBox.
The rampant consumerism of America is a little disgusting, most of the time. On rare occasions, where the wonton waste is right in your face, it's nauseating. All these toys you let your dog tear up go in the trash. Or maybe you are composting them, but I doubt it. They go into a plastic bag, that goes into a hole in the ground where it lives for hundreds of years. So where do you think we are going to live when all out land is filled with the plastic trashbags? More to the point, where are we going to live when our land is filled with our dogs discarded toys?
Shame on you BarkBox. Champion of homeless pet donations. Warrior for quality time with pets. Creator of endless amounts of garbage. I can make a pull toy from an old t-shirt. I can get a cheap stuffed toy from the thrift store. Or I can teach my dog to fetch and not create any garbage. Except perhaps for the balls we left in the woods because the were in a puddle to deep and gross for me to fish them out of. It's way past time for us to look at our own actions and change our effect on the environment.