Without realizing it, our dogs do so much for us. They’re not only cute and cuddly, but they’re there for us even when we have an awful day we’d happily forget about. Loyalty like this deserves to be repaid by spoiling our pooches with their favorite treats and toys. Even exploring new doggy products can show them how much we appreciate them.
Subscription boxes like BarkBox give us a way to experiment with new items to see how well our dog reacts to them. While BarkBox is one of the most popular, it’s not the only subscription box for dogs out there. That’s why we took a closer look at eight competitors to help you choose a great option for your dog. These comparisons include monthly and quarterly subscription boxes that are filled with all sorts of goodies to spoil your dog with.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
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The 8 BarkBox Dog Subscription Alternatives Compared
1. RescueBox vs BarkBox
The first BarkBox alternative we looked at was RescueBox, a subscription that supports a worthy cause. Shelters and rescues often struggle to keep up with the number of pets left on their doorstep. In response, RescueBox funds meals for 142 animals in shelters and rescues across the USA. Not only can you support animals that deserve all the love in the world, but you can also spoil your pooch—or your cat—with a selection of five premium pet products every month. BarkBox’s classic subscription also includes five dog products every month, starting with two toys, two treats, and one chew.
Both subscriptions deliver boxes monthly and feature toys, treats, and chews tailored to the size of your dog. They’re also themed so you can supply your pooch with seasonal treats. One nice feature RescueBox offers is free shipping for pet owners who are worried about the cost.
Overall, RescueBox and BarkBox offer pretty similar subscriptions, with similarly sized boxes and fun themes. RescueBox is a little harder to cancel, though, and our dogs seemed to like the toys in BarkBox boxes more. The feature that tips the balance for us is RescueBox’s charitable side. Supporting animals in shelters is pretty amazing, so you can feel good about treating your dog to RescueBox.
2. Hotspot Pets Box vs BarkBox
Subscription boxes like BarkBox are a great way to spoil your dog, but they can also be a little expensive. That’s why we took a closer look at Hotspot Pets Box, which is an affordable monthly box filled with natural chews. With 15–18 chews in each box and reasonable pricing, Hotspot Pets Box provides a lot of value for your money. BarkBox only sends you one chew per box, along with two bags of treats and two toys.
Hotspot also offers two subscription plans, one for large dogs or aggressive chewers and another for small and medium-sized dogs or medium chewers. Each box contains 4–5 types of chewable treats designed for promoting dental hygiene, including bully sticks, ear chews, jerky, and meat bones.
Since there’s no way of choosing what types of treats you receive, some of the treats are the same in each box. Fussier dogs may grow bored with the lack of selection. And if you want your dog to enjoy treats, chews, and toys every month, you’ll want to stick with BarkBox. But if you want to save money and have a heavy chewer dog, you may want to consider Hotspot.
3. BoxDog vs BarkBox
Monthly subscription boxes like BarkBox can quickly clutter up your home. An alternative company, BoxDog, counteracts this by packing handmade treats, vegan skincare products, doggy gear, gadgets, and toys into boxes that are delivered quarterly instead. Along with the toys, each box contains handy gadgets and other gear to help you keep your pooch happy. The selections are also chosen to suit the seasons.
Compared with BarkBox, we were impressed with BoxDog’s selection of goodies, like the handmade treats that are safe for both humans and canines. If you’ve ever wanted to try doggie skincare products, this box can get you started with vegan nose balm, paw salve, and shampoo. You can also receive smaller, monthly boxes if you choose the monthly subscription plan.
On the other hand, despite the free shipping, BoxDog is one of the more expensive BarkBox alternatives we looked at.
4. PupBox vs BarkBox
Puppies grow up before you know it and it can be difficult to know what treats and toys they need at different ages when you’re a new dog owner. PupBox is an interesting BarkBox alternative that allows you to tailor the monthly boxes to your dog’s age and allergies with a personalized puppy profile. As your puppy grows, the box’s contents are carefully selected to match their stage of development including into adulthood and seniority. BarkBox, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any boxes designed specifically for puppies. They recommend the Classic box for dogs over 6 months old.
Each PupBox contains treats, chews, toys, and accessories. There are even handy training tips included for first-time dog parents. If you’re a new puppy parent, this can be a lot of fun – and very reassuring! If you’re a more experienced dog owner, you may be less interested in these options.
Although PupBox has free shipping and four plans to choose from, the subscription is one of the more expensive options available.
5. PupJoy Eco-Friendly Goodie Box vs BarkBox
Caring for the environment can be difficult where monthly deliveries are concerned, but the PupJoy Eco-Friendly Goodie Box allows you to adjust the number of deliveries depending on your preferences. You can schedule your boxes to arrive bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly. Regardless of the subscription plan you choose, each PupJoy Goodie Box contains four natural treats, two grass-fed bully sticks, and two high-quality toys. The packaging is also made from eco-friendly materials.
BarkBox doesn’t offer a lot of eco-friendly features, but their natural rubber chew toys are recyclable.
Some of PupJoy’s toys can be unsuitable for certain breeds due to their size, as sometimes they’re too big or too small. And unlike BarkBox, which offers a Super Chewer subscription, PupJoy’s subscription box option isn’t designed with aggressive chewers in mind either and the toys may not be durable enough to withstand determined chewing.
The flexible schedule and eco-friendly features are pretty appealing in the PupJoy Goodie Box, but it’s a little too expensive for many budgets and not suitable for heavy chewer dogs.
6. The Dapper Dog Box vs BarkBox
Chews and treats are well and good, but sometimes you just want a bit of fashion. The Dapper Dog Box is a BarkBox alternative that puts its own twist on dog subscriptions. Doggy bandannas are the perfect way to give your canine best friend a unique fashion style, and The Dapper Dog Box will keep your dog’s style fresh. Along with the usual toys and treats, each box contains a limited edition bandanna so your dog can keep up with changing fashion trends.
Dapper Dog’s monthly boxes are designed to follow themes, just like BarkBox, and they also contain natural chews, treats, and handmade cookies for your dog. One nice touch is that your subscription helps to support the welfare of rescue and shelter dogs so they can find their forever homes.
Several doggy parents have had issues with the durability of the toys contained in the boxes. Due to the soft toys, The Dapper Dog Box is unsuitable for aggressive chewers. Fussier canines might dislike the included treats.
7. Pup Mom Crate vs BarkBox
Another dog subscription box that we compared to BarkBox was the Pup Mom Crate. The unique feature of this box is that it gives you the chance to spoil both yourself and your dog once a month. While your dog can chow down on treats and enjoy a new toy, you can benefit from the extra accessories for human companions. Along with the canine treats, each box also contains jewelry, mugs, oven mitts, tumblers, and exclusive coupons for special discounts.
Your subscription can be tailored to both the size and gender of your dog, much like BarkBox.
Some Pup Mom subscribers have found that the “Dog Mom” items are cheap and the included mugs often arrive broken. The toys are also on the small side and might be unsuitable for large dog breeds. If you like the idea of opening gifts for yourself and your dog every month, you may want to consider the Pup Mom Crate,
8. Pawstruck Natural Dog Chew Box vs BarkBox
Chew toys only last so long and often break into pieces as your dog gnaws on them. If you feel like you have enough dog toys to last for years, you may be interested in our last subscription option, the Pawstruck Natural Dog Chew Box. This box contains natural chews made from beef, lamb, and pork to keep your pooch entertained. There are four different types of chew included in each box and include bully sticks, filled bones, cow hooves, and fun shapes. However, you won’t find anything else in the boxes, like toys or treats, and you may miss BarkBox’s fun themes.
Delivered to your door once a month, every Pawstruck box contains 10–20 chews. The plans can be tailored to suit your dog, just like with BarkBox, whether they’re a large, medium, or small breed depending on their weight.
Depending on the size of the treats, you may receive more or fewer chews than you expect in each box. Some of the chews can be too big or small for your dog. There are also no toys included in this subscription box, unlike BarkBox. If you’re interested in a chew-only subscription, Pawstruck could be a good option. But we prefer the variety found in BarkBox.
What are Dog Subscription Boxes?
Subscription boxes allow you to test out new doggy supplies without spending too much time researching the products. Companies like BarkBox prepare the boxes based on your preferences and their stock, allowing you to spoil your dog. Many subscription boxes also allow you to personalize how often it’s delivered, tailor it to dogs with allergies, and even provide tougher toys for aggressive chewers.
How Much are Dog Subscription Boxes?
If you buy dog supplies like treats and toys regularly, subscription boxes are a good way to save some money in the long run. However, depending on the box you choose, the contents, and how often it’s delivered, the price for each plan can vary.
Subscription boxes with high-quality toys, treats, and other doggy gear will generally cost more than a basic package with a few treats.
What do You Receive in Dog Subscription Boxes?
The contents of a subscription box depend on the company that makes them and whether or not they allow you to personalize what you receive. Subscription boxes can contain one type of item, like an assortment of treats, or a mixture of treats, toys, training tips, and doggy-related gear.
Some options, like PupBox, allow you to create a puppy profile and the company then tailors the supplies they send you to your dog’s age. This ensures the box grows with your puppy and it’s less likely to result in treats that are too hard for puppy teeth.
Other companies are less open to customization but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If your dog goes through a lot of treats and often gets bored with similar flavors, a monthly box of chews is a great way to keep their interest.
There are all sorts of subscription boxes out there and more than a few are dedicated to man’s best friend. One interesting BarkBox alternative is RescueBox, a fun subscription that uses your funding to pay for the meals of shelter animals in need. We also liked the affordable Hotspot Pets Box, which is filled with chewy treats to help support your dog’s dental hygiene. Overall, though, BarkBox has a lot to offer, and you may find that you prefer to stay with the original!
Check out the options in these comparisons and consider your dog’s personality and preferences. You’ll find a dog subscription box that your dog will love in no time at all.
Featured Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock