Subscription Box Saturday: Pawbox vs. BarkBox


If you read my blog somewhat regularly, you know that I subscribe to BarkBox, a subscription box for pooches. I am absolutely smitten with BarkBox. So much that when the opportunity came along to try another doggie subscription box, I jumped right on it.

PawBox is relatively cheaper than Barkbox. With Pawbox, I got an introductory offer for $4.99 for the first month from a doggie deal site called Coupaw. Thereafter, I would be charged just $10 per month. BarkBox ranges from $17.50 – $29 per month, depending on how many months you pay for up front.

But let me tell you, there is a world of difference between the two companies!

Since you can read about my BarkBoxes from November, October and September, I’ll focus on my impressions on the two PawBox packages I received.

Before I canceled.

My first email indicating that the box would be shipped was a little strange.

Here is how it looked in my inbox:

FROM: PawBox

SUBJECT: Package Shipped to You from Pawbox

But when I clicked on the email to open it, the look was very different:

FROM: 慐䉷硯

SUBJECT: 慐正条⁥桓灩数⁤潴夠畯映潲慐扷硯‏

Huh? Written in Asian characters? I’ve never had this happen EVER before. Hmm… I wonder what that’s about. The rest of the email was in English, so I could track my package.


The dogs were just as excited for me to open the PawBox as they were the BarkBoxes. However, they do get excited when I receive a Love with Food box, Goodies box and even a Birchbox, so I guess that is not saying much.


Benny ended up in another picture. Believe it or not, once upon a time, Benny hated getting his picture taken. He’d always turn his head and look away. In fact, he still does. Unless, of course, I have food or I’m opening a subscription box!

I do adore the paw print tissue paper in the box! I’m re-purposing it for some doggie gifts this Christmas. Sophie, too, gets excited when I open these boxes. She’s always anxiously moving and it’s hard to get a still photo of her:


The first PawBox I received wasn’t bad at all. Of course, the box is smaller than that of Barkbox; but for the price, that’s to be expected.

Contents name

Isle of Dog Shampoo, Likety Stik, Fido’s Cookies, Dr. Harvey’s Veg to Bowl, Doggie Walk Bags

I loved the fact that there was doggy shampoo in there. The cookie was cute and made in the USA of all natural ingredients. I split that up for the dogs right away. We got some poopy bags in a recent BarkBox so we are now stocked.

But the Veg to Bowl had me curious. You just add the mix to 1/4 cup of hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Then you stir in a half-pound of cooked or raw protein to the mixture. I added canned chicken. My pooches seemed to like it.

And the Ingredient List:

Sweet potatoes, carrots, diced potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, green beans, peas, beets, parsley, calcium citrate, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, ginger, papaya leaf and peppermint leaf.

Each veggie on the list was marked if it was dehydrated or freeze-dried.

I received a similar sample at the Wags & Whiskers 5k. This dog food “pre-mix” was made by Sojos and instructed me to mix it with 2 Tbsp of raw beef or poultry and 1/2 cup warm water. Then to let it all soak for 15 minutes before serving. I feel a little strange serving my dogs raw meat, even though I know that dogs would eat it that way in the wild all the time. So when I do eventually make this one, I’ll be using cooked stuff instead.

The Likety Stik treat was just weird. It’s in a package that reminds me of roll-on deodorant. The premise is that the dog will lick it and it’ll keep rolling. But it stinks really, really bad! Sophie loves it, but I only let her have a few licks before I take it back because the smell is so horrendous. Benny doesn’t really get it. I put it by his mouth and he tries to bite it.  A coupon came for this thing, but I will NOT be using it.

I got the same strange email upon the shipment of my second PawBox. This one had a theme:

WOOF! Your dogs healht is important to us.

“WOOF! Your dogs health is important to us.”

I highly doubt that. The contents kind of scared me:

Maybe they scared sophie, too?

Maybe they scared Sophie, too?

HEre they are.

Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Raw Meals, Yummy Chummies Salmon Grain-Free Treats for Puppies and Dogs, Darford Omega Boosters, Pet-Tabs Complete Daily Vitamin-Mineral Supplement, Amazing Tooth Saver Dog Toy

We all know that the FDA is much more lax on dog food and treats than they are on food for humans. So I like to read labels when I feed my pooches. If it isn’t real food, then I get a little leery about feeding it to them.

Primal Pet FoodThere were no directions on how to use this product. There were just two small rectangles in the package and no ingredient list. They just checked the box “Canine Beef”. There was also an insert to receive a free Starter Pak, but again, no info on how the food works or list of what it is made. Is it just freeze-dried beef? They look like biscuits.  I just can’t bring myself to feed these to my dogs.

Yummy ChummiesThe package reads “soft ‘n chewy”; however, these feel hard like stale gummy worms. The ingredients look okay. But because these are so hard, I felt like I was given some leftovers that they were trying to get rid of.

Pet-TabsWhy would I give my dogs a vitamin-mineral supplement if it wasn’t recommended by my vet? If these included glucosamine or chondroitin that Sophie needs for her luxating patella or that any old-man dog like Benny can benefit from, I might have given them a try. But that’s not the case. Another item I won’t use.

Omega Boosters – Do dogs need boosts of Omega? I have no clue. Again, it’s not something I’d give to my dogs unless recommended by my vet. Sure, it says that the ingredients are tuna, tuna broth and tuna oil; but this product is made in Thailand. It’s also marked as a product intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding. Not feeding to my dogs.

With most of these products, if tried, how would one know if they are really benefiting the dog? So I’m a little thrown off by this box.

Oh… and the toy is a knotted rope ball. Nothing exciting nor something my dogs will use.

I guess you get what you pay for.

I requested a cancellation on my PawBox and here is the email I received in return:

Dear Maureen,

Your subscriptions has been successfully canceled.
We will appreciate if you can share with us what the reason you would like
to cancel your PawBox subscription.
We refund your  Credit Card on total amount of $10. Please ignore the
shipping notification we send you earlier today.

Looking forward to see you back. 

Warm Wags,

First you don’t get my name right. Then your email has the grammar of a scam email. Boy am I so glad I’ve canceled.

I’d highly recommend BarkBox over PawBox any day.

If you’ve tried either of these boxes, which one do you prefer?

If you have a pooch, what is your/your dog’s favorite dog product or toy?


10 responses »

  1. Those are actually a few amazing products to get in a box, but the emails do seem extremely fishy. I manage a natural pet food store, and cab tell you a little about that last box. Primal is a high quality raw pet food. What they sent you is samples of their new freeze dried raw complete meal nuggets, but usually it comes with a detailed brochure. Most vets don’t understand nutrition and wouldn’t recommend a vitamin supplement, but most animals actually don’t get a complete diet regardless of what the food package says. A vitamin supplement just fills in the blanks. Omegas are great for the skin and coat as well a healthy brain and eye function. That was a supplement not a food to be fed daily which is why it read a supplemental feeding.

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  3. You really need to do your research before shooting down all of these products. You got some really good stuff. For example primal is a high end food that can only be found at high end independent pet stores. Theyre normally really pricey but is better than most commercial pet fooda. Omega boosters and wild alaskan salmon has a ton of health benefits. Vets aren’t given a lot of nutritional education at vet school. Most of them are paid to promote really crappy food. Hollistic vets have a lot more knowledge on the matter. I have barkbox but I was planning on canceling and switching to pawbox because thier products are more high end. Your pets are missing out on great nutrition. Do your own research and don’t listen to everything your vet recommends.

    • I wrote this before reading what SoCalJen wrote and we’re pretty much on the same page. I’m glad someone else also chimed in with advice

  4. Im so glad I found your review as I was looking for someone who had compared to two services. Regardless of what actually was in the paw box I think I like the sound of the bark box better and will end up giving it a shot. The other box I came across is Bugsy’s Box. Have you heard anything about this one? Its about the same price as bark box… The only thing that confused me was that it told me boxes were shipped out on the 15th, and later on on the same page it said the 1st.. Any ideas on this one?

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