Are Dog Toy Subscriptions Worth It?

Learn about some of the most popular dog toy subscriptions and whether they are right for your pooch!

Feb 5, 2024By Jessica Montes
are dog toy subsciptions worth it

Monthly subscription boxes aren’t only for international foods, makeup, and coffee. You can treat your dog to a once-a-month surprise by ordering a toy subscription! Depending on your pup’s needs and your budget, a monthly dog toy box can make their tails wag in excitement whenever they see a new package on their doorstep.

What Are Dog Toy Subscriptions?

Bark Box
Photo by: BarkBox

As the name states, this is a service where dog toys are mailed to you once a month. You can usually sign up for a one-time box to test out the service, and some websites offer multi-month plans for goodies every 30 days. Some subscriptions mail only toys, but many offer a mix of treats and playful items. Services like BarkBox include gear, gadgets, and skincare items in each bundle. Most boxes are customizable to your pets’ needs!

Pro #1: Customizable Options

Pooch perks
Photo by: Pooch Perks

This leads to the first pro. Dog toy boxes are customizable to you and your dog’s preferences, habits, and lifestyle. When you sign up, websites will ask about your dog’s size, allergies, and type of box you want (all toys, all treats, or treats and toys). There are even subscriptions for other characteristics like frequent chewers. Brands like Bullymake customize boxes with four to five durable chew toys that are guaranteed to last through the most vigorous play sessions. If your pup does destroy any non-plush toy, it’ll replace it for free.

With so many customizable options, you’ll find a box and mix that will keep your dog happy and entertained.

Pro #2: It Could Save Money

Photo by: Karolina Grabowska

Enrolling in a dog toy subscription can also help your wallet. Costs range from $20 to $50 per month, and websites offer discounts for longer plans. One month may cost $35, but three months could cost you $90 instead of $105. For more savings, look out for holiday discounts, sales, or free gifts with your purchase.

Additionally, you can save on buying individual toys. Pet Treater has an all-toy subscription box for only $18 a month! You receive two to five toys, and that might only cost you $3.60 per item! Chances are, you can’t find some of their past offerings, like plushy eggs or an avocado half, for under $4! Owners who are looking for budget-friendly toys won’t miss out on surprising their pup with new playthings with Pet Treater’s subscription box.

Pro #3: Who Doesn’t Love New Stuff?

Happy dog
Photo by: Iresha Ratnayake

Dog toy boxes will add variety to your dog’s playtime, keep them entertained, and reduce the chances of boredom that lead to common behavioral problems. Your dog will have new items to toss around and add excitement to their day.

Subscription boxes might have new toys you’ve never heard of or that you were considering buying. You are no longer limited to the brands at your local pet shop or the most popular ones on Amazon. These new items can teach you more about your dog’s preferences and if they prefer squeaky, silicon toys over fluffy, plushy ones, making you a better shopper in the future.

Con #1: Toys, Toys, Toys

Dog toys
Photo by: Mathew Coulton

Having a monthly supply of new toys can lead to overstock. The average dog toy box delivers five new items each month. For one-time purchases, this adds variety to your pup’s collection. However, if you sign up for a year-long subscription, this means you have 60 new toys when the plan ends. Unless you have multiple dogs or a pet who plays with a new toy each day, some of these ropes and squeaky hamburgers won’t get much attention.

Once you know how many toys your dog uses in a month or year, you can cancel or decrease the length of your subscription plan. It reduces having dozens of neglected toys. Give the leftovers a second life by gifting them to pet parents you know, donate them to a thrift store, or drop them off at a shelter or rescue agency. Your pup might not need them, but you can make another dog’s day with the new toys.

Con #2: Commitment to Longer Plans

Dog outdoors
Photo by: Chepté Cormani

Not all subscription plans have the same commitment requirements. Some plans are month to month while others have a lump sum charge where you receive a monthly box three, six, or 12 times. Depending on the cancellation policy, you might not be able to end the plan and get a refund before the subscription ends.

Some websites, like BarkBox, only let you cancel the upcoming auto-renewal. For example, if you have a three-month subscription beginning in May, you can’t cancel the June or July boxes. However, you can cancel the next three-month plan for August to October.

It becomes inconvenient if you or your pet isn’t satisfied with the service, or you have enough toys after a few months. Review the cancellation terms before signing up for a dog toy subscription box. In the worst-case scenario, you can contact customer service, and they may work something out with you.

Con #3: Toy Durability

Dog ball
Photo by: Thiago Oliveira

Unless you purchase a box meant for chewers, like the previously-mentioned Bullymake or BarkBox’s Super Chewer option, the plush toys will not last. In a Business Insider article, one excited pet parent shared her disappointment about the short lives of the plushies in her BarkBox.

These are great for puppies, dogs who enjoy gentle playtimes, or those who need softer toys for dental issues. However, the toys won’t stand a chance against aggressive chewers or pups who love tugging and ripping apart plushies. Once the items are ripped, you must discard them to stop your pets from eating the filling. Even if the toy box costs you $20, it’s not worth it if the fun only lasts your doggo one day.

Should You Sign up for a Toy Subscription?

Dog chewtoy
Photo by: Bullymake

Dog toy subscription boxes are great for people with multiple pets, dogs who love playing with new toys, and owners who want to save a bit of money. They aren’t the best investment if your dog only pays attention to their favorite chewing rope or if you don’t have much storage. No matter what decision you make, remember: having a supply of toys entertains your pet, keeps them happy, and helps with issues like separation anxiety!

Jessica Montes
By Jessica Montes

Jessica is a California-based writer, journalist, lover of animals, and vegan of 17 years. Growing up, she owned parakeets, fish, a rabbit, and a red-eared slider turtle. She currently has a black cat named Marty and a tabby named Jellybean. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, camping, and roller skating to funky tunes.