PupBox vs. BarkBox- Which is Better?

Filed in Dog Subscription Boxes on January 18, 2019

A PupBox and BarkBox next to each other in this comparison articleAre you debating whether to sign up for PupBox or BarkBox?

Learn some of the key differences between these popular dog subscription box services.

Just so you know, I may collect a small commission from the links below, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy.

What is PupBox?

PupBox is a monthly subscription service that will change as your puppy grows.  They offer toys, treats and training guides customized for your puppy.

What you get in a PupBox

While PupBox caters to puppies, they also offer boxes for adult dogs.  In each box, you’ll get:

  • Training materials
  • 1 bag of training treats
  • 4-6 additional products including toys, chews, and grooming/cleaning accessories based on the age and characteristics of your dog

How PupBox is different

The unique thing about PupBox is, unlike most of its competitors, they offer valuable training information based on the age of your dog.

Let’s face it: raising a small, energetic puppy is challenging for even experienced dog owners, let alone, new puppy parents.

You’ll learn things like:

  • How to’s of Crate Training
  • Teaching Puppy to Come on Command/Recall
  • Visual/Hand Gestures/Commands
  • Potty Training
  • Puppy Proofing Your Home

As far as the toys, some customers report that the toys are not as high quality as they expected. If you read the comments at the end of this post, you will find some toy complaints. I don’t know if PupBox has or will make any changes, but they are aware of the complaints since they responded in my comment section.

PupBox Coupons/Promos

50% off Your First Box (Use Code PUPPY50)

This training material is probably just as valuable as any toy or treat, and guides owners through exact steps they need to take in order to raise their little one in the best way possible.

For example, new dog owners might not even consider crate training and its importance with potty training as well as safety.

For an experienced dog lover, the material might not be as useful. You could probably find this information online, although you will be trading your time in exchange.

I made an infographic at the end of this article with even further details on PupBox such as cost, shipping policies, payment methods, returns, and how to cancel.

What is BarkBox?

Like PupBox, BarkBox is a monthly subscription service for your dog with entertaining treats, toys and chews that they should love. All treats are made in either the U.S. or Canada.

Each box is based on a unique theme, so that each month you will receive new and unique items.

Owners can further choose what they like by working with BarkBox’s customer service if their dog is not happy with some of the products.

Additionally, you can choose toys for a small, medium, or large dog for further customization.

What you get in a BarkBox

Their basic box includes (without any customization):

  • 2 high quality toys
  • 2 full-size bags of treats
  • A chew each month

If your dog is a heavy chewer or powerful breed, for an additional cost, you can specifically request stronger toys under BarkBox’s Super Chewer Program. Under that program, you receive 2 toys, 2 treats, and 2 chews.

BarkBox Coupons/Promos

  1. FREE Extra Month Added to Your Subscription! (Valid on 6 and 12 month plans)
  2. FREE Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton Hoodie for Your Pup at BarkBox! (Valid on 6 and 12 month plans from 10/12/21-10/17/21)

While you do receive less products with BarkBox, you will also pay a lower monthly cost compared to PupBox.

PupBox vs. BarkBox Comparison

Now let’s compare PupBox vs. BarkBox on key parts of both services. I created the following infographic:

This is an infographic showing a comparison list for PupBox vs. BarkBox.

Conclusion: Which is Better?

For the new puppy owner, you’ll probably get more out of PupBox than BarkBox due to the training material.

As a result, PupBox could save you time with online research. Any first time puppy owner should put a lot of effort into learning as much as they can about how to do it right.

Keep in mind, there have been some recent complaints regarding the quality of PupBox’s toys (see comment section below).

For an older adolescent or adult dog, BarkBox is probably the better choice and also more affordable.

Both providers are great; it’s all about what exactly an owner is looking for.

See current deals below for each service:
PupBox Promos

50% off Your First Box (Use Code PUPPY50)

BarkBox Promos:
  1. FREE Extra Month Added to Your Subscription! (Valid on 6 and 12 month plans)
  2. FREE Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton Hoodie for Your Pup at BarkBox! (Valid on 6 and 12 month plans from 10/12/21-10/17/21)

Comments (27)

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  1. Bob Bobby says:

    This helped me decide whether to get a PupBox or a BarkBox for my new puppy.

    • Allison Boruff says:

      I have both for my pup and its been so worth it toys are expensive and in doing the math both are great value and money saver

  2. Christa says:

    Thank you. This helped me understand the difference in the products and which would be best for my pup and me as I raise my first pup on my own.

  3. Tracy Ortiz says:

    How do you cancel membership

    • Todd says:

      For PupBox, you want to visit your account page on their site to cancel your subscription.

      For BarkBox, the renewal can be disabled through your account page or by contacting their customer service.

  4. Grace says:

    This was a fantastic help to us as we are getting a Westie soon and are all about researching and learning how to take care of our new fuzzy friend! Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Don Larkin says:

    Can I feed my puppy the treats that bark box provides? How do I know?

    • Todd says:

      Hi good question. My understanding is that you can feed your puppy treats, but you want to make sure the treats are the appropriate size. With BarkBox, you give the size of your dog, so they can customize the items. Here is an article on a site run by them regarding what is appropriate: https://barkpost.com/answers/dog-treats-safe-for-puppies/ I would still check with your vet on anything you feed your dog, since I am not a professional in this area.

  6. Miranda Fritts says:

    Don’t do it! You can’t cancel and get your money back. They contract you into it for a freaking dog box! Just ridiculous. I’ve never felt more trapped as a customer before.

    • Todd says:

      Hi I have read this complaint before, but it’s due to a misunderstanding of their terms. If you sign up for a 6 month plan and cancel after 1 month, you still will receive and pay for the remaining 5 months. I personally signed up for the monthly plan and all I did was turn off auto-renewal on the website, and it was done. Did you sign up for a long term plan?

    • Team PupBox says:

      Hi Miranda,

      Thanks for the feedback. Our cancelation terms are listed on our site here: https://pupbox.helpscoutdocs.com/ However, we never want pups to receive unwanted PupBoxes. Please do feel free to shoot an email to info@pupbox.com so our team can assist you.
      Woofs and wags,
      -Team PupBox

  7. Lizzie says:

    Could you list the contents of the pup box specifically. I would really like to know exactly what I’m getting

    • Todd says:

      It should be different for each dog. I would contact PupBox to get a better idea. I only know the types of items in each box (1 bag of treats, training materials and 4-6 additional products of toys, chews, and other accessories).

      • Lizzie says:

        Good to know
        Thank you, I will contact them. And just so you know this article was a huge help. Thank you!

    • Team PupBox says:

      Hi Lizzie,
      Thanks for reaching out! Each PupBox has different product that is handpicked based on your pup’s size and age. Each month, we also feature a variety of different toys and brands of treats in our adult PupBoxes so that your pup can discover new faves! If you have any other specific questions, please feel free to check out our site here: https://pupbox.com/how-it-works/ or email our team at info@pupbox.com 🙂
      Woofs and wags,
      -Team PupBox

  8. Toni says:

    I want to cancel my puppy box it’s way to expensive and the contents are nothing. I already have barkbox and much more for your money and I only pay $20 a month so I’m going to cancel puppy box is much cheaper. And I’m much happier with there products. I

    • Todd says:

      Sorry to hear that. Certain boxes are better for some people than others depending on your needs.

    • Dana Barber says:

      I have had Barkbox for 3 years and canceled to switch to pupbox as I just got a new pup. Granted, I’ve only had the first box, but I am already disappointed. Barkbox has VERY HIGH QUALITY treats and toys! Pupbox sent “blue” brand treats(garbage) and the toys are much LOWER QUALITY than we had in Barkbox. Pupbox has a nice informational page enclosed, but it is baswhat I’ve read on the internet for puppy training. Oh…and I signed up for 12 months, so I cannot get out of the contract until the 12 mos are up. (At $30/month) 🙁

      • Todd says:

        I am sorry to hear you are disappointed. I would contact customer service to see what they can do for you. When you say blue brand, could you tell me more about what that means? From Blue Buffalo?

      • Team PupBox says:

        Hi Dana,

        Thank you for the feedback! We are so sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your PupBoxes. We never want pups to receive unwanted boxes. Please feel free to shoot an email to info@pupbox.com so our team can assist you.
        Woofs and Wags,
        -Team PupBox

  9. J Sanborn says:

    Warning, Pupbox is by the huge retail giant PETCO.
    It does not say that on their site so you think you are getting a quality product like Barkbox. We have given Barkbox as gifts multiple times and loved the quality. We just got a Puppy so signed up to give Pupbox a try. Shipping from California took a long time, then got our first box and it contained an empty plastic bottle with a bag of powder for pee/poop cleanup. Who owns a puppy who doesn’t already have this? Also received a regular small Nylabone. Really? Not special at all, extremely disappointed. Logged on to request a refund and it says that not only can the box not be returned but that we have to buy five more because we signed up for the six month plan. PUBOX BUYER BEWARE

    • Todd says:

      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Have you tried contacting their customer service to see what can be done? I recently received a box and did not have any issues: https://dogendorsed.com/my-pupbox-unboxing-experience/

      As far as shipping, there are some delays due to the pandemic.

    • Team PupBox says:

      Hi J Sanborn,

      Thanks for the feedback. Although there have been some delays due to the ongoing pandemic, our team is always here and more than happy to assist with tracking information. Feel free to give our team an email at info@pupbox.com so we can help look into your plan for you!
      As for the disappointment in product, we are so sorry to hear this. Please give our team a bark so we can help make things right for you.
      Woofs and wags,
      -Team PupBox

  10. Barbara S Baldwin says:

    Bark Box has horrible customer service if you ask a question they don’t agree with they will try to embarrass you on FB.
    When I asked a question about the weed toys for dogs in front of kids their answer was, “we don’t sell kids” well thank goodness for that!!! They do sell weed toys that kids see dogs with way to soon in life. Very irresponsible as a company

    • Todd says:

      I appreciate your comment and I tend to agree that those toys are not appropriate in front of kids. My only response would be that you would have to specifically choose those “herb” toys, so if you have kids, I would definitely be against someone ordering them. Maybe with more comments like yours, BarkBox will reconsider this product.

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