BarkBox Review – April 2018

April BarkBox Review 2018

A few weeks ago Marlee received her April BarkBox in the mail. She since as had some time to get to know and play with her toys. As well as try out the treats and chews in this month?s box. Continue reading for our thoughts and feelings on the April BarkBox!

April BarkBox Review - Theme

Theme

The theme of the April BarkBox was BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail. This was another really cute theme that Bark thought up. Everyone has heard of BlackBeard the pirate. So Bark did their own unique spin on him, and named this pirate BarkBeard. While I am not a huge pirate fan, everyone can get into this theme and enjoy what Bark has created for this April BarkBox.

April BarkBox Review - Information Card

Let?s first start with the information card that is always included in your monthly BarkBox. On the front side of the info card the theme name is statement, and some punny information about what is in the April BarkBox. Mentioning some ?scurvy squeakies,? ?plenty treats for ye biscuit-eatin? Barkaneers? and ?ruff seas? just to name a few. As always this side of the information card also shows a few of the possible toys that your doggo could receive in their BarkBox. This one shows Meri the Squirmaid, Anchors Away and Scurvy Jack the Seagull. The card is also made to look a bit like a map, which is a nice touch.

April BarkBox Review - Information Card

The backside of the card has the title Shiver Me Pictures. This side also mentioned three steps that you can take to share your BarkBeard journey on social media. The April BarkBox comes with a cute bonus bandana for your pup to wear. So the steps are: 1. Find BarkBeard?s Bandana in your BarkBox 2. Dress your wily Seadog in the bandana, and snap a picture! 3. Share with #BarkBoxDay for a chance to be featured on our channels! We decided to take part in this and share a picture of Marlee wearing her bandana and with her toys! This was a very creative way for Bark to get people on their social media accounts and spreading some love.

April BarkBox Review - Bonus BarkBeard's Bandana

The bottom half of the card tells The Legend of Barkbeard. Stating that, ? BarkBeard was the most fursome pirate to ever sniff the Seven Seas! He could chew through an enemy?s sails, loot every dinner table across the Muttiteranean, and still make time to dig up treasure (and a couple slower beds)! He was captured and sentenced to Davy Bones? Locker, but the one place he never walked was the plank. He escaped with his booty to BarkBeard Island, where at night, you can still hear his Yo Ho Howl?? This was a super creative description and truly just for the humans enjoyment. A cartoon of BarkBeard the pirate is also on the card, which is a nice added touch.

April BarkBox Review - Overall Look and Packaging

All of the packaging for the April BarkBox was done very well. The actual box that everything comes in is printed to look like a treasure chest. The wrapping paper inside the BarkBox is great for the theme BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail. The outer side is printed to have gold and silver coins, as well as some gems and pearl strands. It also had some extra gold treasures. This is super cute and goes along with the theme and completed the look of a treasure chest. The opposite side of the wrapping is a map of BarkBeard Island. This side features different dog pirates, dog sea creatures as well as some stops you can make such as, the Great Terrier Reef, Grrribean Sea, The Ghew Lagoon and Squirmaid Bay.

The rating that we are giving the idea behind the April BarkBox is a 10/10. I truly loved this BarkBox theme, I felt it was very creative. The theme was well thought out and they were able to do lots with it.

The rating that we are giving for how the theme was carried out is a 9/10. All of the packing and the information card were clever and detailed. The box as the treasure chest and the wrapping paper to match, as well as the map was creative and carried out the theme very well. The toys and treats also are on theme and were done very well.

Toys

For the April BarkBox the two toys that Marlee received were Clam Overboard and Merv the Squirmaid King. Neither of these toys were featured on the info card but that?s okay. There are many toys that your doggie could receive in the April BarkBox, some of them that I haven?t already mentioned include, Greedy Gilly, Bob in the Barrel, Redbird the Parrot, Captain Woof and Ahoy Matey Bottle. You can also always purchase any of the toys you don?t receive on the BarkBox website.

Merv the Squirmaid King

April BarkBox Review - Merv the Squirmaid King Toy

The first toy that Marlee received in the April BarkBox was Merv the Squirmaid King. Merv is a squirrel mermaid man, which is super funny and creative. I love that BarkBox always uses the theme of how dogs have this on going feud with squirrels. All of their squirrel inspired toys makes a dog?s dream of chasing and attacking squirrels a reality every day. Merv the Squirmaid King is no exception to this, Marlee loves this toy and spends an endless amount of time carrying it around and attacking it.

This toy contains a few different aspects that make it super fun for dogs. First the Squirmaid has long hair, so your dog can pull on it and rip it out if they desire to do so. It also contains a squeaker, which makes Marlee love to attack it and squeak it over and over again. The fin on the end of the tail is a crinkle so that excites your dog. I also crinkle it at Marlee and get her really excited to play with it, and then we either play tug of war or she steals it. Lastly, like most toys it has tons of fluff inside of it. Marlee loves to make a rip in her toys and pull out all of the fluff. She hasn?t done this to Merv the Squirmaid King yet but it?s only a matter of time.

Merv the Squirmaid King fits super well with the theme of BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail. While you may not necessarily find a Squirmaid in the ocean, you will definitely find some mermaids, well maybe. A dog can dream and what better to dream about on your pirate adventure than catching squirrel mermaids! This was a super creative toy that if our dogs only knew, would have them rolling over.

April BarkBox Review - Merv the Squirmaid King Toy

Some other note worthy aspects of Merv the Squirmaid King. The bottom half of him, which is his Squirmaid tail has been painted to look like a scaled tail which is nice and detailed. The top part of the tail has a different material that is metallic shiny blue. He has embroidered abs which is pretty hilarious and of course, just a detail for human enjoyment. On his face he has some big teeth sticking out like a squirrel potentially could have? As well as, a haired face/bread and a mustache! Because a beard wasn?t enough he needed a mustache too. Well, I guess he is the King!

The face and ears have embroidered details, which shows the attention to detail and the quality of the toy. Merv is also holding a trident in his ring hand. This is a great spot for your dog to latch onto while playing tug of war. It also shows that he really is the King of the Sea, or at least maybe the living room. Lastly, Merv the Squirmaid King is wearing a small crown, again reinforcing that he is King!

We are rating Merv the Squirmaid King a 9/10. He was super creative and high quality. All of the attention to detail adds to the overall toy. It has aspects on it that are there for your dog, but also there for the humans. He conveys what they are trying to get across. All of the parts that are meant for the dog are good. It includes a squeaker, crinkles and lots of fluff. The only reason it is not getting a full score is because I really hate the hair material. I find when your dog has played with the hair for a while it gets a gross texture and clumps together. I don?t know what other material would be better but that?s why I?m not the toy maker. Otherwise this toy is great, I love the rest of the different materials.

Clam Overboard!

April BarkBox Review - Clam Overboard! Toy

The second toy that Marlee received in her April BarkBox was Clam Overboard! I have to say that this toy is Marlee?s #1 favourite toy right now. What it is is a 3 in 1 toy. The main parts of the toy are the clam and then inside are two plush pearls. Marlee absolutely loves taking the pearls out and biting on them. This is actually the second time Marlee has received a multi-part toy, the first time was Penny the Pineapple from the February BarkBox. Marlee is obsessed with this multi-part toy. Clam Overboard is very creative and goes with the theme, but lets look at all its aspects.

The main clam part is a medium sized toy that is a good sixe for Marlee. Sometimes the BarkBox toys even for small dogs are a little bit too big or heavy for her to carry around, but the Clam is a good size. Maybe if your dog is really small, like less than 10 pounds, it may be too big for them. The two pearls that come inside the clam are rather small. They are perfect for Marlee since she is about 12-13 pounds. However if you have a medium to large sized dog I would be concerned about the possibility of them swallowing them. I know that my mother in laws golden retriever would most definitely accidentally swallow these little pearls.

The clam is a couple different textures. The outer part is purple and then the rim on the edge is a lighter purple than the body. The dark purple part has crinkles all throughout it, which is fun for your dog. I know Marlee loves it. The lighter purple edge is just a nice frilly plush part that doesn?t have anything in it, but is a good spot for your dog to grab when playing. The clam also has a cute pink tongue sticking out of the bottom right hand side. This is just a funny added touch and again another spot for your dog to latch onto when playing.

The inside of the clam is a completely different texture. It is blue and has long plush pieces that stick out in all directions. This reminds me of floral and fauna found in the ocean. The different textures make a nice contrast. The textured inside also allows the plush pearls to fit inside snuggly, without falling out easily. The very inside of the toy is filled with fluff but not so much that its meant for your dog is rip out. Just enough for the toy to have shape and structure, and for it to look like a clam.

April BarkBox Review - Clam Overboard! Toy Pearl

The pearls inside, which I have to mention, there are no pearls in clams but we will look past that. These pearls while little are not lacking details. There are two of them and they both have cute little faces on them. One is smiling and has an eye patch over one eye. While the other is holding a sword in it?s mouth. This one also has a scar running down its right eye. All of the details on these are embroidered, which again shows the quality of the Bark toys. Each toy also have a squeaker inside of it. As I previously mentioned Clam Overboard is by far Marlee?s favourite toy not just in her April BarkBox but out of all her 50+ toys.

We are rating Clam Overboard a 10/10. It isn?t as detailed and heavily layered with ideas as some of the previous BarkBox toys. One that comes to mind is Furry Frida from the March BarkBox. But this is Marlee?s favourite toy so it has to be rated quite high. It also is a three-part toy, which is always great and worth it. All aspects of the toy do have details even the little pearls haven?t been forgotten. The entire toy also is very on point with the April BarkBox theme BarkBeard?s Treasure: a Pirate?s Tail. So for all these reasons we had to give it a high score. Not to mention, it has multiple textures, crinkles, fluff and squeakers. Sounds like an endless amount of fun to me!

Treats and Chew

In every monthly BarkBox your dog will receive two bags of treats and a chew. For the April BarkBox, BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail, all of the treats and chew matched pretty well to the theme. The treats that Marlee received in the April BarkBox were, Pirates Jewels and bff Bones All-Natural Health Dog Treats ? Fish ?n? Chips Medley. The chew that Marlee received was a Full Pig Ear Chew. As always, everything Marlee received was wheat, corn, and soy free, as well as chicken free since she?s allergic.

Pirate?s Jewels (Tender Bites)

April BarkBox Review - Pirate's Jewels Treats

As mentioned above, the first treat that Marlee received in her April BarkBox was Pirate’s Jewels. These are from the company Wag Machine, which we have never purchased from before or tried any of the treats previously. However, the packaging is really creative. It looks like a map, which matches the April BarkBox theme.

The back of the packaging as a statement saying, ?Blimey! Yer cur has found th? botty with these treats! These delicious pirate jewels will ?ave yet cur beggin fer more! Pillage our website for more hidden gems at www.wagmachine.com? The rest of the bag packing has the regular ingredient and nutrition information. The main ingredient in these pirate jewels is pork and they also have oats, coconut, tapioca, brown rice, flaxseed, canola oil, beet powder and some seasonings. I love seeing that all of the ingredients are natural and good for my dog.

Unfortunately Marlee did not like these treats at all. They smell pretty good and I thought that maybe she would like them since they are made from pork and she likes pork. However, the picky dog strikes again and she wouldn?t even touch them. They have a similar look and texture to the Coconut Shrimp treats?in the February BarkBox. Marlee was so-so on those treats so I thought there was a chance she may eat these. But she won?t give these the treats the time of day so after weeks of offering them to her, I think it?s time to give them to my mother in laws two dogs. I know that they will love them.

We are rating these Pirate?s Jewels a 3/10 on taste and a 9/10. We can?t give the Pirate?s Jewels a high rating on taste. Marlee won?t even put one in her mouth to try it. But that doesn?t mean other dogs wouldn?t like these, I?m sure my mother in laws dogs Chevy and Lexi will love them. The packaging is nice and matches the theme very well. The treasure map and little pirate cartoons are creative. Even the name is just perfect for the April BarkBox BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail.

bff Bones All-Natural Healthy Dog Treats – Fish ?n? Chips Medley

April BarkBox Review - bff Bones All Natural Healthy Dog Treats Fish 'n' Chips Medley

The second treat that Marlee received in her April BarkBox was the bff Bones All-Natural Healthy Dog Treats – Fish ?n? Chips Medley. The packaging is super cute and matches the theme for the April BarkBox. It?s all light blue and then has dark blue fish and yellow chips all over it. It also has a life preserver in the top left corner that tells you what?s in the treats. The type of treats Fish ?n? Chips Medley is on the front of the package and is written on a white fish in the middle.

The back of the packing is just plain blue, the same blue as the little fish on the front. It tells us a ton of information about the treats including the ingredients, nutritional info, feeding and storage guidelines. It also gives the company bbf Bones mission statement.

These treats are interesting because they have both a biscuit and freeze-dried meat. These ones specifically have a salmon biscuit and a freeze-dried whitefish. The treats smell super fishy because they are mainly just fish. Marlee loves fish treats so I gave them to her and had high hopes. In the February BarkBox Marlee received salmon jerky and she absolutely loved it, so when I saw a fish treat I was thinking, ?Yes! She?s going to love these!?

I was right and I was wrong. Marlee loves half of the treats in the bag. As I have mentioned in the past Marlee isn?t a huge fan of baked treats. So I should have known that she wasn?t going to love the salmon biscuits. However, she does absolutely love the freeze-dried whitefish. Some of the pieces are a little big so I have to break them up but that?s also because it means they last longer. The biscuits she doesn?t hate but she isn?t crazy about. Sometimes I will give them to her (broken in half) and she won?t eat them for a long time. I will just leave them on the floor and she will come back later. I?m totally okay with this, I don?t mind her monitoring her own treat consumption.

We are rating the bff Bones All-Natural Healthy Dog Treats ? Fish ?n? Chips Medley a 7/10 on taste and a 10/10 on packaging. The treats are healthy, wheat, corn, soy and chicken free. Marlee loved the freeze-dried whitefish and didn?t turn her nose up at the salmon biscuits. I felt like these treats were a real win. The only reason it didn?t get full marks is because Marlee isn?t in love with the salmon biscuits. Chances are they will probably go stale before she gets through the bag. I may end up passing these on to a family members dog if Marlee doesn?t eat them fast enough. The packaging is cute and matches the April BarkBox theme. I love that the packaging matches the April BarkBox theme but also matches the treats inside.

Full Pig Ear Chew

April BarkBox Review - Full Pig Ear Chew

The chew that Marlee received in the April BarkBox was a Full Pig Ear Chew. It came in a clear plastic package and once I took it out it was rather interesting. It?s literally what you would picture a full dried pig ear would look like. It is kind of translucent throughout and odourless. I?m not going to lie, it kind of creeps me out and I eat meat. I?ve heard of many dogs loving pig ears, but unfortunately my dog is not one of them.

From the time that I took the ear out of the packaging and gave it to Marlee, it has sat in the exact same spot. She has wanted nothing to do with it. She hasn?t picked it up or smelled it, nothing. The texture is good and I feel like many dogs would enjoy chewing on it, but Marlee is not one of them. I could pass it along to a family dog but I think that my family members would be a little grossed out by it and the bigger dogs may choke on it.

For these reasons we are rating the Full Pig Ear Chew a 3/10. We haven?t been able to get any enjoyment out of it, which is unfortunate. But, it does match the April BarkBox theme and is nice in theory. As I always say, just because my little picky dog didn?t enjoy it, doesn?t mean other dogs don?t. I?m sure many dogs have a great time chewing on pig ears, but Marlee thought she was above this treat and would ?t give it the time of day.

Was This Month Worth It?

April BarkBox Review - Marlee and her April BarkBox

If you?re keeping track so far that is a total of 70/90 points. Looking at the April BarkBox BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail our overall rating for the entire BarkBox is an 8/10. We loved this theme, it was creative in every aspects. The packaging that the toys, treats and chew came in; the treasure chest box and gold coin and jewels wrapping paper. The bonus bandana that BarkBox included to get our furry friends and hoomans interacted on social media.

I also love that they continue to carry out the idea of all dog?s nemesis the squirrel in their toys. The two toys that Marlee received we loved, and all the toys available for the April BarkBox. These were creative, matched the theme and carried it out well. They were also good quality and worth every penny. The treats were also a win, Marlee loved the Fish ?n? Chips Medley and while she was against the Pirate?s Jewels that packing carried out the theme. Unfortunately Marlee didn?t like this month?s chew, but the Full Pig Ear Chew was creative and matches the theme well.

Our final score for the April BarkBox is a 78/100. We just absolutely loved this theme and everything that went with it. Not to mention, Marlee now has a new favourite toy!

Don?t forget that your dog can always join in on the fun. You can purchase just the April BarkBox?right off their website. Or you can sign up for a monthly subscription. If you don?t want to make a commitment but love some of the toys, check out the BarkShop?and order individual toys and treats!

April BarkBox Review - Marlee Playing Tug of War with Merv the Squirmaid King

Let us know what your favourite item was in your April BarkBox BarkBeard?s Treasure: A Pirate?s Tail in the comments below! Don?t forget to check out our previous BarkBox Reviews.

Wet Kisses ad Tail Wags,
Karlee and Marlee

Bonus

April BarkBox Review - Bonus March BarkBox

This month BarkBox sent out an extra March BarkBox to share with a furry friend! We ended up splitting up our extra box between our family members. Marlee?s cousin Lola got a bag of Masterpiece Morsel’s?and the Lamb Weasand Chew. She loved both of these! Marlee?s Aunties Chevy and Lexi got the Soft and Chewy ? The Great Wave (Fish Recipe with Cheese and Turmeric)?they gobbled these right up! Lastly, Marlee?s half brother/cousin Bear and cousin Kiki received the toys, Paint Tube Tug?and La Artista Squirrelista – Furry Frida the Squirrel. They are still enjoying playing with these!

 

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