Pet product subscription box — it’s the latest trend for pet parents who want to spoil their “kids.”
The idea of subscribing to a box of goodies delivered by mail each month isn’t exactly new. Fruit, wine, books, beauty products, baked goods, even underwear — all of them have made their way to people’s doorsteps by way of subscriptions. Considering how much people spend on their pets, it’s no wonder savvy entrepreneurs have taken the “subscription box” concept to the dogs.
In 2011, a group including Henrik Werdelin founded BarkBox. The idea was to offer a monthly subscription service offering treats for dogs. Today, that little company has more than 50,000 subscribers. According to Business Insider, as of last year BarkBox generated more than $1 million per month in revenue.
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Dozens of companies are now cashing in on the pet treat subscription business model. With so many options, how do they all stack up? For this article, I decided to put 3 prominent companies — PetBox, Happy Dog Box and BestFriendBox — to the test.
First, Some Basic Info
Most subscription companies ask for the same 3 steps for enrollment:
- Select your pet and size.
- Select your membership plan (most offer single purchases, or 3-, 6- or 12-month subscriptions).
- Select your payment option.
Subscribers begin receiving their boxes within 2 to 4 weeks. A new package will arrive once each month.
Our “Review Team”
For the purposes of these reviews, 4 furry volunteers were selected to provide feedback:
- Itzi, a 4-year-old Anatolian shepherd
- Luke, a 4-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo
- Juno, a 3-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo
- Jemma, a 2-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo
Disclosure: The panel members were not paid, although they did receive complimentary review boxes from the 3 companies. However, the opinions presented here are entirely their own.
PetBox is based in San Diego. The company says it delivers “joy and happiness” in each carton. PetBox allows subscribers to choose their own goodies from a menu each month, or the company will select customized treats for the pet. Subscriptions are offered for dogs or cats — or both. Currently, plans include:
- $39/month for 1 purchase
- $37/month for 3 months
- $35/month for 6 months
- $29/month for 12 months
Shipping is included in the price, and a portion of the proceeds supports rescued-animal food programs. Subscription and product information is available at getpetbox.com.
Our PetBox arrived in an attractive blue corrugated box. Contents included:
- 8 oz. box Smooches Chicken & Cranberry Recipe Dog Treats
- 5.3 oz. bag Glow for Skin & Coat Soft Chews
- 5 oz. cup Healthy Dogma Pumpkin Ginger Flavor Barkers
- 30-piece box NoviPet Multi Vitamins
- .5 oz. Sliders Beef & Cheddar Recipe Tender Stikz
- 2 fl.oz. Earth Heart Canine Calm Mist spray
- Suede, felt, rope canvas duck toy
- $4 off Honest Kitchen purchase coupon
- Emergency pet door sticker
- $10 gift card for DogTV
PetBox Review (1 paw = fair; 5 paws = excellent):
2. Happy Dog Box
Happy Dog Box is based in Las Vegas. The company promises that its goodies will “surprise you with the most amazing, hand-picked, all-natural dog treats, toys and other super cool dog products!” Happy Dog Box subscriptions are available in 3 plans:
- $25/month for 1 purchase
- $25/month for 3 months
- $21/month for 6 months
Shipping is included in the price, and a portion of the proceeds supports animal shelters and rescue foundations. Subscription and product information is available at happydogbox.com.
The Happy Dog Box goodies were delivered in a brown, logo-embossed corrugated box. Contents included:
- 1.9 oz. bag Bubba Rose Peanut Butter Crack! Breakable Training Treat
- 1.76 oz. bag Jump Your Bones Roo Jerky Dehydrated Kangaroo Meat
- 5 oz. Dynamo Dog Bacon & Cheese Hip & Joint Treat
- Earth Rated PoopBags Dispenser, with bags
- Monster Mouth Vanilla Scented Rubber Treat-Dispensing Dog Toy
- Barkworthies Rawhide Chew Stick
Happy Dog Box Review (1 paw = fair; 5 paws = excellent):
BestFriendBox is the self-proclaimed “club for animals run by animal lovers.” The company is located in Bronx, N.Y. BestFriendBox offers subscription services for dogs and cats. Membership programs are available and customized by animal and size:
- $30/month for a cat
- $30/month for a small dog
- $30/month for a medium dog
- $30/month for a large dog
Shipping is included in the price, and a portion of the proceeds supports animal charities in the United States. Membership continues monthly unless canceled. Subscription and product information is available at bestfriendbox.com.
The BestFriendBox treats arrived in a white corrugated box with the company logo patch in blue. Contents included:
- 4 oz. bag Grin for Dental Health Soft Chews
- 4 oz. container Hare of the Dog Rabbit Recipe with Organic Carrots Treats
- 2 oz. bag Bare Bites Natural Beef Liver Dog and Cat Treats
- Rogz Bounce and Fetch Dog Ball
- 20% off coupon for Wags.com purchase
BestFriendBox Review (1 paw = fair; 5 paws = excellent):