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BARKBOX: A SUBSCRIPTION BOX REVIEW
Pets, Reviews, Subscription Boxes,

Barkbox: A Subscription Box Review

This post is part of a series reviewing different subscription boxes.

I first tried BarkBox over a year ago, when I first got my own dog. I was so excited, because I’d been waiting since I started college to get him – my parents’ graduation present to me. I wanted to welcome my furry child Leo to our home by spoiling him with treats and toys, and BarkBox seemed like a great way to do that.

Fast forward to today – one of my favorite old coworkers from Groupon now works for BarkBox. He’s the perfect fit for the job – he loves dogs and recently got a Shiba Inu that he loves to death (and now gets to bring to work!). He hooked me up with a free box so that I could share with you what a typical BarkBox looks like. If you’re wondering what to expect, this should help to answer your questions.

BarkBox Subscription Box Review

Here’s what was in the BarkBox I got:

Benny’s Bully’s Beef Liver and Banana (Treats) – $8 value

These are good treats to have on hand that pack a nutritious punch. I usually shy away from treats with ingredients like beef liver (I have weird food aversions even if I’m not the one eating it!), but obviously dogs don’t have any problem with those tastes.

Nature’s Bits Salmon with Strawberries and Sweet Potatoes (Treats) – $8 value

If you like supporting local farmers and businesses, then you’ll feel really good about giving your dog these treats (and reordering them if your dog falls in love). The ingredients are 100% sourced locally!

Swag Co. Parrot (Toy) – $9 value

Leo is not as excited by toys as he was when I first got him, but he loves toys with a squeaker. He also loves to get new things about as much as me, so this went over well when I first gave it to him.

Safemade Pet Pineapple (Toy) – $10 value

Same notes as the previous toy, but this one was designed to be more safe for dogs. What I like about it is that it’s flat and easy to store.

BarkBox Subscription Box Review

Aussie Naturals Salmon Half Cigar (Treat) – $5 value

This was a larger treat for a small dog. Before ordering a BarkBox, the system prompts you as to what size dog you’re buying it for (based on weight). Although this treat was physically large compared to Leo, he enjoyed the hell out of it. It was cute to watch him consume it, and it was gone in minutes. Definitely a special treat I’d get for him again. The only downside – it’s crumbly. Hopefully your dog is good at cleaning up scraps!

Total value: $40

Depending on what plan you get, BarkBox subscriptions range from $19 to $29 per month. Obviously, the more months you buy upfront, the better discount you get overall. BarkBox does lot of promotions for first timers (at least one month free or free premium toy upgrade each month), so sign up for their emails to start receiving the offers. Besides promotional, the emails always have fun pictures and stories for dog lovers, which I enjoy.

Overall, I love BarkBox. There hasn’t been one I disliked. Leo usually loves the toys and demolishes the snacks. Sometimes you’ll find handy extras you wouldn’t think to get – one I got awhile back had a medical wound spray that could really come in handy. I guess if I had to critique anything, it would be the number of snacks. Leo is a small dog and I like to give him treats, but I don’t want to overfeed or completely spoil him. There are just so many that by the time you get next month’s box, you’ve maybe given your dog half of them (or less). That’s actually the reason why I originally cancelled my Barkbox subscription – I was overstocked on treats!

My suggestion would be to start with a 1 or 3 month box and see what you think. If your dog powers through snacks and toys, consider a 6 month or one year box. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried Barkbox yet? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

chicago cheap ass (2)
Events, Life, Pets,

Dog Dayz of Summer: Chicago Dog-Friendly Events

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Summertime in the Chi. The most anticipated time of the year for Chicagoans. After months of sub-zero temperatures, excessive cab fares, crowded bars and commuting while wearing half your wardrobe, we all are ready for some time in the sun. Especially the four-legged members of our community.

Let’s face it, as much as we hate being cooped up indoors during the Winter it can be equally depressing for our pets. Dog park? Forget it. Long walks? Better have boots and a coat. Picking up after your dog in the snow? Worst thing ever (but necessary – don’t be a jerk!).

So Chicagoans here we are, on the cusp of July. By now I’m sure you’ve got your own routine down with your dog and your other dog owner friends. Personally, I’m a fan of packing a few cocktails and going to the park but sometimes I like to switch it up. I want to let you know of a few little swanky dog-friendly events going on within the Bucktown and West Town areas.

First up on the Cheap Ass pet calendar is Lotties Pub located at 1925 W. Cortland Ave in Bucktown. This bar is one of my personal favorites. Super friendly, good food and specials, old Chicago styled pub and of course…a dog friendly patio. If you’re looking for something to do this July 4th before your festivities start or just want a change of pace check out their Independence Day Celebration benefiting the Veterans Service Dog Program! Featured specials include:

  • $4 – Two Chicago Style Hotdogs (100% of the proceeds go to the program)
  • $4 Fireball (c’mon, it’s America’s birthday)
  • $15 Buckets of Veterans Beer (not sure which brew will be served, heard this stuff is good though)
  • Dog Body Art available
  • Doggie Fro-Yo

If you can’t make it to Lotties Pub this 4th no need to worry. The Rush and Division group are hosting the West Town Pup Crawl. A “Yappy Hour” event every Tuesday night from 6-9pm until 10/16/2015. What they’re doing is at select venues the have happy hour specials for humans and some dog treats, beverages and gear for your pawsome partner. 15% of the sales from the evening will go to a different rescue each week. Featured venues include:

  • Mahoney’s Pub & Grille, 551 N. Ogden Ave
    • $2 Tacos
    • $5 Margaritas
  •  G&O (Grand and Ogden), 459 N. Ogden Ave
    • $5 House-Batched Cocktails
    • $6 Burgers
  • The Aberdeen Tap, 440 N. Aberdeen St
    • $1 Drafts
    • $5 Wings
  • The Matchbox, 770 N. Milwaukee Ave
    • $7 Pooch Hooch Punch
    • $5 Old Style Tall Boy w/Bartender’s choice of shot

That’s all I got Cheap Asses! I’m looking forward to updating you all with some other pet friendly events and activities this summer!