Is A BarkBox Subscription Really Worth The Price?

From toys to clothing to specialty food, America's pet owners have an incredible array of options when shopping for — and spending more than ever — on their pets. Plus, thanks to the popularity of subscription services, they can also have it all easily delivered to their homes. According to research from the Business Research Company, the market size for subscription boxes is expected to reach $36.8 billion in 2024. This market is also expected to continue growing, with projections putting it at $71.77 billion by 2028. This, combined with the growth of pet spending across the country, has created the perfect market conditions for BarkBox, which has been around since 2012.

For those who might not already know, BarkBox is a themed subscription service that delivers a combination of dog toys and treats to your door every month. The base-level subscription includes a monthly box with two plush toys, two bags of treats, surprise activities, and access to 24/7 customer service. What has made BarkBox one of the most popular options out there is its unique monthly box themes. From partnering with upcoming film releases to showcasing classic holidays, every month provides uniquely themed toys (and treats) that make the experience of the subscription appealing to both humans and dogs alike. BarkBox also provides an online shop where you can buy more treats and toys. This can be especially helpful if your dog picks a favorite and you want to stock up on spares. With this said, however, is a BarkBox subscription worth its price? Let's break it down.

BarkBox subscription options

Like with many subscription services, BarkBox offers several levels of customization during the ordering process. One of the most helpful options is that BarkBox lets you designate if your dog has allergies, which can ensure you get the right treats for your dog's specific dietary needs. Another important consideration is the size of your dog. With three size options, BarkBox has toys for dogs ranging from 2 pounds to over 50 pounds. The company also offers a Super Chewer box that comes with denser and stronger toys that are meant to be sturdier than more traditional toys. This can be an especially good option for anyone with a stronger dog or a dog who enjoys ripping toys apart.

Another option for consumers comes down to pricing. For starters, Barkbox offers one-month-only boxes for $35 (Classic) or $45 (Super Chewer). While you do end up paying more for each box with the one-month plan, it lets you cancel your subscription at any time. For those looking for a longer commitment, however, BarkBox also offers six-month and 12-month subscription plans that lower the monthly box price. The 12-month plan drops the monthly box price to $20 (plus shipping), while the six-month plan makes your monthly box cost $25. BarkBox also offers a half-box option, which includes one dog toy and one bag of treats for a lesser monthly rate. These Lite versions run $14.99 per month (Classic Lite) or $19.99 a month (Super Chewer Lite). There are also additional monthly add-ons available for subscribers.

Is subscribing to BarkBox worth it?

The mix of toys and treats, along with the unique monthly themes makes BarkBox stand out in the dog subscription-box arena. In fact, Forbes even declared BarkBox its pick in 2024 for the Best Dog Subscription Box Overall. That being said, if you have certain product preferences (like prioritizing treats as opposed to toys) or if your dog has specific habits (like they're a heavy chewer), you might find other dog subscription boxes that better fit your needs. This is also true for shoppers who might have multiple dogs or even those who might prefer being able to specifically select the items that go into their box. With that said, as a basic subscription box that works for most dogs and offers a few different pricing options, you really can't go wrong with a BarkBox subscription.

It's also important to realize, though, that BarkBox pricing can move away from affordability (and contribute to the hidden costs of pet ownership) if you choose add-ons or if you need specialty items (like, for example, the Super Chewer box); although, signing up for a longer subscription plan can make receiving a monthly box far more affordable and competitive than other subscription services out there. It's worth mentioning that the only way to ensure free shipping on your box is to add on extra toys and/or treats to your BarkBox order; otherwise, monthly boxes have a $3.99 shipping fee on top of the box price. Also, for shoppers in the BarkShop online store looking to buy additional toys or treats, there's also a $5 flat rate shipping fee for all orders under $35.