BarkBox Review – February 2018

February BarkBox Review 2018

Marlee received her February BarkBox so once again we have decided to do a review. We will be looking at all of the items that she received in this month’s BarkBox and rating them.

The main categories are, theme, toys, treats, the chew and the box overall. Some of these categories are further broken down, for example the theme will be looked at as the idea itself as well as how BarkBox was able to carry it out. The toys will be looked at individually. The treats will be broken down into taste and if it matched the months theme. The chew will be based on taste. Lastly the overall BarkBox and if the human and dog enjoyed it.

We will also be mentioning other toys that could be in the February BarkBox, as well as where to purchase them. If you want to learn more about what BarkBox is before reading the February BarkBox review, check out our January BarkBox Review for more information. So let’s get into the review!

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Paradise Unleashed Theme

Theme

The February BarkBox theme was Paradise Unleashed. The information card this month is a the form of a brochure, which had a funny cartoon on the front of a dog lounging on a beach chair by the ocean next to a palm tree. The cartoon also has two dogs in the background playing with a beach ball. The funniest part of the cartoon is that the dog lounging on the chair is wearing multiple bikini tops to cover up its private areas, and the doggie has a water bowl next to her on a table with an umbrella and lemon wedge. While this is just the front panel of the brochure there is lots of information inside.

The first panel on the inside of the brochure shows another dog at a tiki bar with a drink in his hand. Underneath the cartoon, is a welcome message stating, ?Sit and Stay a While! Welcome to Paradise Unleashed, the tropical getaway where dogs are the guests of honor! This month, you?re in for a sandy beach, the ocean breeze, and island feast, and plenty of sturdy new friends. So pour yourself a Pi?a Chew-lada and relax! Because no matter where you are, you?re never far from paradise when you?re with your dog.?

The next two panels of he brochure, feature four of the many toys your furry friend could potentially receive for this months BarkBox. The ones featured are Cecil?s Sea Shell, Coconut Pina Chew-lada, Penny the Pineapple and Dancing Dani The Squirrel. Underneath each toy featured BarkBox has put a little description, while using words to create an image in your mind of your dog enjoying some time in the sun. To go along with the other cartoons on the brochure, the panel on the right hand side also features a dog drinking a pina chew-lada with a piece of bacon sticking out of it, which is a hint towards what is on the back of the brochure.

When you flip over the brochure, the last two panels feature a dog dancing under a palm tree while wearing a flower crown, flower necklace and a skirt. As with every BarkBox they encourage you to interact with them and others on social media. This month?s hashtag is, #paradiseunleashed, which will give you, access to many other dogs also enjoying their BarkBox.

The last panel, is titled A Taste of Paradise, and features two recipes for Strawberry Pi?a Colada?s. The first is for your pup and is called a Strawberry Pi?a Chew-Lada. The second is for you, the human, which is a Virgin Strawberry Pi?a Colada. Both have all the ingredients listed, as well as the instructions on how to make them. Along side this information, are two cute cartoons of what the drinks could look like in coconuts. While Marlee and I have yet to try the drinks, we definitely plan on keeping the recipes and making them when the weather is a little warmer!

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Pina Colada Recipes

The brochure in the February BarkBox is not the only place that detail was put into. The wrapping that everything comes in, inside the box also has cartoons of dogs preforming various beach and vacation activities. The inside of the wrapping is in full colour and features some of the other dogs that are in the brochure, mentioned above. However, it also includes so many others also enjoying their time in the sun. The outside of the wrapping has just as much detail, just not in colour. Now enough about the theme, let?s move onto the toys.

The rating we are giving for the idea behind the theme is 7/10. It was pretty creative and we liked that Bark was able to come up with a lot of ?punny? ideas to go along with it. The rating that we are giving for how BarkBox was able to carry out the theme throughout the entire bark is 9/10. The brochure that was used as the information card was so cleaver, just like a real resort brochure. All of the little extra details added to the brochure, the wrapping and the box were also done very well. As you will see next, they were able to come up with many great toys to go along with the theme, as well as treats that matched the theme.

Toys

I mentioned a few of the toys that could be included in the February BarkBox, however I am going to talk a bit about the ones that Marlee did receive. In the Paradise Unleashed themed BarkBox Marlee received two toys, the first one was Tiki Twins Tug, and the second was Penny the Pineapple, which was mentioned in the brochure.

Tiki Twins Tug

Marlee absolutely loves toys that she can play tug of war with. I feel that many dogs are this way and while it is fun to play with a toy on their own. Dogs love to interact with each other and their humans. The Tiki Twins Tug is great for just that. The toy has two tiki heads that had a wood grain appearance and painted on faces. However the heads are soft/fuzzy to the touch and the faces are embroidered. I love being able to see the quality that has been put into the toys, because it makes you know that they are worth it.

A rope attaches the two Tiki heads and then there are two loops of rope on either end. Like many of the other BarkBox toys, the rope is made out of t-shirt rope, which is soft and stretchy. I?m lucky that while Marlee does destroy toys, she doesn?t try to eat the material. However if your dog is a destroyer and does eat the material, you can feel safe that if your dog ingests the t-shirt rope they will be able to pass it easier than if they ingested actual rope material. Also, since the rope is made out of t-shirt and is stretchy, Marlee loves to tug on it and it has a bit of give. That way, even if I am not actively pulling against her and just holding the toy, she has the motion of playing tug of war, even if it is just with herself.

Lastly, the Tiki Twins Tug, has two classic squeakers in it. Marlee absolutely loves squeaky toys and really anything that makes a sound. Weather it squeaks or crinkles she?s all over it. The Tiki Twins Tug has a classic squeaker in each of the tiki heads which is great to get your dogs attention to start a game of tug of war, or for individual play. If I don?t have the time to play with Marlee she is still able to entertain herself by biting and squeaking the squeakers by herself. This keeps her entertained for hours.

For the Tiki Twins Tug we give them a 6/10. The toy is a nice toy and Marlee has had a lot of fun playing with it. It is also a good quality toy, however it could have more to it. There is the t-shirt rope which is nice but apart from that there are only two squeakers. The rest of the toy is very similar to many of the other toys that are out on the market. It is a creative idea and matches well with the theme but it not as cleaver as some of the other toys that BarkBox has done. It would also be nice if the two tiki heads could slide along the t-shirt rope, similar to some of the previous toys Bark has had.

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Penny the Pineapple Toy

Penny the Pineapple

Penny the Pineapple toy truly was a treasure that Marlee received in the February BarkBox. The exterior is a soft plush toy, with an embroidered face. As well as crinkle green leaves on top. Marlee absolutely loves the crinkle leaves and the squeaker inside of Penny.

The best part of Penny the Pineapple though, is that Penny is three toys in one! Marlee has yet to destroy Penny and get inside of her outer layer, but when the day comes that she does. She will be pleasantly surprised to find that there will be another Penny inside, only sadder. If that isn?t already cool, if you have a dog that also chews through sad Penny, they will be happy to find that there is a bonus spiky ball inside the core.

So truly you are getting three toys in one when you receive this toy in your February BarkBox, or purchase it from the BarkShop. I don?t know if Marlee will get to the spiky ball in the core of the toy, and she is truly not a huge fan of plastic toys. However, at that point she will have had tons of fun with Happy Penny and Sad Penny. If your dog is like Marlee and isn?t a fan of plastic toys, it never hurts to share and give the toy to another pup that will enjoy it.

The only downfall I have found with Penny the Pineapple is that she is a little bit heavy. Resulting it Marlee having a hard time carrying her around. This is most likely due to the fact that Marlee is a small 12-pound dog and not an issue most dogs would have. Marlee also has a fairly small mouth and has a hard time biting around the main body of Penny. However she is able to pull on the crinkle leaves and still enjoy playing with the toy.

Also, as always, if your dog destroys the toys that they received in their monthly BarkBox, you can always contact BarkBox and get a replacement toy. If you have a super chewer dog that destroys ever toy that they receive, then you should consider getting the super chewers BarkBox.

We give Penny the Pineapple a 10/10! Yes, we know that a high rating but after hearing all about it above, I?m sure you can see why. First, the idea of it is super cute, everyone loves pineapples and that is one of the things that we expect to see at a resort or on the beach. Just looking at the toy as one, it has a loud squeaker inside, as well as crinkle leaves. Some dogs may not like the crinkles but as I mentioned before, Marlee loves crinkle toys. Also, since penny the pineapple is actually three toys in one, and will get lots of mileage during playtime. We couldn?t not give this toy a high rating.

Treats and Chew

In every monthly BarkBox, you will receive two bags of treats and a chew. As I mentioned in previous posts, Marlee is allergic to wheat and chicken. One of the things that Marlee and I love about BarkBox is that all of their treats are wheat, corn and soy free. So that is one less issue we have to worry about. However since many dog treats contain chicken, we contacted BarkBox when we first signed up for our monthly subscription and it is noted in her file that she cannot have chicken. So every month we have been happy to receive treats and chews that are wheat and chicken free. The two treats that Marlee received this month were, Coconut Shrimp Treats and Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treat, and the chew was a Koha Bacon Chew.

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Coconut Shrimp Dog Treats

Coconut Shrimp Treats

These coconut shrimp treats smell just like coconut and shrimp. This may sound silly since they are made from coconut and shrimp. However, many times when a treat says that it is something, it doesn?t smell, as it should. Therefore, it is always nice when you open a bag of treats for your dog and it smells as the name states. Looking at the ingredient list it states that the first ingredient is shrimp and all of the other ingredients are foods that I recognize and feel comfortable giving my dog.

Marlee was mediocre about the coconut shrimp treats. She did in some of them and seemed to like the taste. However I have mentioned in the past that she is an extremely picky dog and she seems to be a purest when it comes to food and treats. What I mean by that is, she likes food that is just the pure form, not mixed with anything or baked. Her favourite treats are duck tenders and beef liver bites. So since these treats are a combination of ingredients baked together she isn?t a huge fan. The texture is also a little bit grainy, since coconut has a different texture to it.

When I first gave Marlee one of the Coconut Shrimp Treats she had such a funny reaction. She started to rub her face and neck on the treat instead of eating it. The only other time she has had this reaction to something, has been when she finds a dead animals outside. In saying that, these dead animals are small ones such as dead garden snakes in the grass or dead mice in our driveway. We live in the countryside so these are fairly common occurrence for us. The reason Marlee reacts this way, we have no idea but she seems to like the smell of dead animals and wants to wear it as a new perfume.

For Marlee to have this odd reaction to the Coconut Shrimp Treats is somewhat comical to me. At first I started laughing, and then once I took the treat back and broke it into smaller pieces she started to eat it. She had this odd reaction again another time that I gave her these treats so I stopped giving them to her whole, and usually break them up first now. I guess that just means these Coconut Shrimp Treats are so fresh they smell like a dead animal to Marlee. This is practically a compliment coming from Marlee.

We are giving the Coconut Shrimp treats an 8/10 on creativity and theme. They are pretty creative and similar to what a human would have at a resort vacation. They are also a cute idea, and carry out the theme of Paradise Unleashed. However we are only rating them a 4/10 on taste. Marlee was not a huge fan of the taste, and while the ingredients seem to be high quality, due to the texture and smell some dogs and humans may be thrown off by these.

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Wild Alaskan Salmon Dog Treats

Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treats

The Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treats were a whole different story. Marlee absolutely loves these. From the first time I gave her one, she completely devoured it and wanted more. She often does not have this reaction to food or treats, except for duck tenders. It is so hard to find treats that Marlee loves and continues to love as time goes on. But with these Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treats, it was love at first bite.

Marlee devoured the entire bag over the course of the month. But if she had it her way, it would have been gone within a couple days. However, according to the feeding guide a dog her size is only suppose to have 2-3 pieces per day so we tried to really stretch it out and make them last. They are made with all natural wild caught salmon from pure Alaskan waters. They are premium human grade ingredients and a good source of vitamins A, B, D, E and naturally balanced Omega 3 fatty acids. This makes me a very happy dog mommy, knowing that I am feeding my fur baby something that she loves and is good for her.

Unfortunately we can no longer order these treats on the BarkShop website since they rotate their products regularly. But thankfully, I was able to find the company that makes these treats which is located in Alaska. We plan on ordering more in the future directly from the companies website. If you?re interested in ordering these Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treats you can do so here.

We are giving the Wild Alaskan Salmon Jerky Treats an 8/10 on creativity and theme. They matched well with the theme of Paradise Unleashed. They also are something that you would expect to find on a beach or resort vacation, similarly to the coconut shrimp treats. The packaging however was the regular companies packaging, and not as cute and theme oriented as some of the other past treats BarkBox has done. We are also giving these treats an 8/10 on taste. Marlee absolutely loved the taste of these and they are also healthy for her. However, they are extremely fishy smelling and I often didn?t want to touch them. This could throw off a dog or their human.

February BarkBox Review 2018 - Koha Bacon Dog Chew

Koha Bacon Chew

This chew is made from pork and has a bacon flavour. In the past I have mentioned how Marlee loves bacon but she isn?t a huge fan of bacon-flavoured foods. I know she is the worlds pickiest dog. Which is why I was surprised when she had devoured half of this chew soon after receiving it. She is very hit or miss with chews. Often if the chew is just pure meat, such as last months deer chew she will have it gone in no time. But the chew is a combination of meat, starches, fruits, vegetables, etc. Then she either wants nothing to do with it or only chews it if she is hungry between meals.

The Koha Bacon Chew is actually in the latter category, being made from pork, potato starch, pea powder, beet pulp, bacon flavour and a variety of other ingredients. Which is why like I said, it is surprising that she actually likes this chew.

Marlee hasn?t yet finished this chew and she maybe never will but I give it a pass since it did catch her interest when she first received it and she chewed through and ate half of it. It is not something we plan to reorder in the future but it was well worth receiving in our February BarkBox.

We are giving the Koha Bacon Chew a 6/10. There are a lot of ingredients in it, which does not appeal to all dogs. It also was bacon flavoured, which as I mentioned above, does not appeal to Marlee usually. She did however chew about half of it and that is why I have given it a 6. But I don?t anticipate her finishing the chew. However, the idea of bacon on vacation does sit right with us, and it does go along with the Paradise Unleashed theme.

February BarkBox Review 2018

Was This Month Worth It?

If you have been keeping track that is a total of 66/90 points we have given the February BarkBox – Paradise Unleashed. However we haven?t yet given our overall rating. When looking at this BarkBox as a whole, we are giving it a 7/10. The theme was a pretty creative one and brought with lots of puns. It was carried out throughout every aspect of the BarkBox. The details put into the brochure and the physical items in the box were well thought out. All of the toys were also creative and majority of them matched well with the theme. The treats were also nicely paired and carried out the theme fairly seamlessly. There was nothing in this box that I thought didn?t belong there.

So our final score for the February BarkBox – Paradise Unleashed is 73/100. So in our books that?s a pass. Not every single item was perfect but majority of them were. This is just our opinion on the items that we received. Marlee is picky with toys and treats and she liked 4 out of 5 of the items in this month?s box. Other dogs may like all of the items in this box, and not all of the boxes are the same. You can also order any of the toys that are apart of the February BarkBox on the website if you see others that you like but your dog didn?t receive.

February BarkBox Review 2018- Marlee with her BarkBox items

Let us know if you received a February BarkBox and your thoughts on it in the comments below! Also stay posted for our future BarkBox Reviews and posts.

Wet Kisses and Tail Wags,
Karlee and Marlee

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