Product Review: Bugsy’s Box

Yep, you saw that right. Someone out there sent the Soapbox free stuff in exchange for my candid opinion.

Sure, I’ve waxed poetic about my Dyson and Musher’s Secret before, but those were unsolicited. This is different.

So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to an inaugural ‘official’ product review when this arrived in the mail.

IMG_7221

Who is Bugsy, you may be asking?

That’s real-life Bugsy, there on the right. He’s the pug BFF of the founder of the company.

Bugsy’s Box? It’s a subscription that gets you a different selection of toys and treats for your dog every month.

How does it work?

Easy. Go to bugsysbox.com and follow the ridiculously easy instructions. You can pick a plan based on the size of your dog and the length of subscription that you want: 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. Then you wait.

And before you ask – yes, those of us above the 49th parallel are included! Canadians are often excluded from these kind of programs, and Canadian bloggers are often not eligible for many product reviews or giveaways, but Bugsy’s Box has free shipping to Canada AND the U.S.!

We just like to be included...

We just like to be included…

On communication: overall I’m very impressed with the communications I’ve had with Bugsy’s staff – mostly same-day email replies, and they seem very engaged on social media. Definitely important factors when shopping online!

The feel-good element: aside from including only US-made treats, Bugsy’s Box is also a supporter of dog rescue.

Bugsy Twitter

So now that we’ve reviewed the ‘who’, let’s get to what’s in the box.

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In addition to what you see here, you also get a one-page insert detailing the items you’ve received and any current Bugsy promotions/contests. Thumbs up for simple, recyclable packaging.

You typically get 5-7 items in a Bugsy’s Box. We got the following 6 things:

Total estimated value of contents of box: ~$65 CAD. Not bad when a one-month subscription is $29!

The best part? The timing worked out perfectly and Alma’s home and able to participate with testing out the loot!

First up – the water toy. An excellent choice for a couple of Newfoundlands, and I can’t wait for things to thaw so we can really test it out in water. It’s made of a neoprene-like fabric, and it’s been around the house for over a week now and Alma has yet to tear it open.

Moses and the new toy

Moses and the new toy

Moses and Alma could even be goaded into a game of tug with the new toy, which is rare.

tug

Unexpected downside: neoprene toy + drooly dogs… you do the math. The thing holds some moisture and you’re going to want to rinse it out. Overall, home run, though.

Next up is the treats.

The bully stick is an easy win for sure – they’re always a huge hit in our house.

ingredients labels

For the bagged treats, as you can see, oatmeal and rice are main ingredients in both kinds – so even though the one is “grilled bison flavour”, actual bison is pretty far down the ingredients list.

Though, the good news is I don’t see any of the real red flags for dog food: corn, corn meal, corn gluten meal, wheat, or soy.

Sure, there’s not a lot of actual meat there, but when it comes to dog treats – something given sparingly – I don’t really care. That’s the thing about treats – they’re treats! I don’t pretend Nutella is good for me, but I still like it from time to time… with a spoon… straight out of the jar… perhaps I’ve said too much….

Alma and Moses - very willing product testing participants. The big treat is the , and the smaller one is the

Alma and Moses – very willing product testing participants. The big treat is the cheddar and bacon one, and the smaller one is the bison-flavoured one.

Now, to be honest, Moses and Alma like everything. They’re dogs. Their approach to life is “oh, we’re doing [x]?! That’s great! [X] is my favourite!”

So needless to say, both treats went over very well.

Moses & Alma taste-testing

Moses & Alma taste-testing

The smaller treats, the Fruitables skinny minis – Grilled Bison, reminded me of Swedish berries for dogs in texture. Only gross bison-scented berries. While I did not think they smelled delicious (I was alone in that opinion), I did think they’d be a great size for those who treat train. Despite only really smelling like the meat you’d expect them to contain, the dogs dug them.

And they weren’t the only ones.

"What's going on here?" - Isaac

“I’ll just help myself, thank you.” – Isaac

The cats were also huge fans of those treats.

The bigger treats, the Lucky Pet Brands Cheesy Cheddar and Smokehouse Bacon Dog Treats, were great for Moses and Alma, because, well, they’re big dogs. They’re a bit crumbly and therefore messy, but we have enough animals in our house that the mess disappeared quickly.

Out of curiosity, I put out one of each treat to see which one the dogs picked first, and they both went for the bigger one first. Though, I think that might just be because it was bigger.

Interestingly, the cats wanted nothing to do with the bigger cheese and bacon treats. I suspect the size and harder texture worked against them there, because they gnawed at one for a bit before giving up.

Both kinds of treats came in resealable packaging, which is basically essential.

Alma post treat-tasting. A photo for anyone who thinks she's 'not very drooly.'

Alma post treat-tasting. A photo for anyone who thinks she’s ‘not very drooly.’

Last up: the paw butter.

Moses unaware the taste-testing portion of the review is over

Moses unaware the taste-testing portion of the review is over

Now, I’m already a fan of Pet Head grooming products for dogs. Both the deodorizing spray and spray shampoo are essential products in our house.

The paw butter, like the packaging promises, smells great (to me – Moses and Alma didn’t seem overly impressed). It’s used for dry and cracked pads, which should prove useful as we go through our spring melt and have just endured a winter of snow, ice, gravel, and road salt. Moses didn’t even lick it all off after application! The all-natural product will go easy on your carpets or furniture or whatever else the paws may come in contact with.

Moses' paw before and after paw butter application

Moses’ paw before and after paw butter application

Overall: definitely impressed with the Bugsy’s Box delivery!

We don’t have to deal with pet food allergies or sensitivities in our house, so we can roll the dice on receiving random treats. And I don’t have any strict loyalties to brands or types of treats and toys, so this is a great way to try out new products and get some selection outside of what local stores might be able to offer.

Would I recommend it? Sure, if you like to spoil your pets – and who doesn’t?! I mean, look at the value of the contents vs. the price you pay – who doesn’t love a good deal!?

I would definitely buy it for myself, but I think I like it even better as a gift for dog-owner friends and family members, which you can arrange through the site.

And now for the best part: 

Just for being a Soapbox reader, you can save $10 on your next Bugsy’s Box subscription! Just enter the code SOAPBOX at the checkout. That saves you 15% off a three-month subscription!

And once you’ve exhausted that discount, like Bugsy’s Box on Facebook or follow on Twitter for more occasional savings opportunities.

Bugsy's Box comes with a box?! Isaac approves.

Bugsy’s Box comes with a box?! Isaac approves.

The fine print: Bugsy’s Box sent me the products you just read about free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. I admit a little bit of pre-bias in that I love free stuff and was pretty excited for the first Soapbox product review. Bugsy’s Box is in no way responsible for the content of this post and I have not been otherwise financially compensated for it.

 

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About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

15 Responses to Product Review: Bugsy’s Box

  1. Will and Eko says:

    That drool photo is too funny. It’s the ultimate seal of approval.

  2. Great review!!!! Too funny that we both did a box review today! And yes, we Canadians always get left out of these things! Especially a lot of giveaways people have! Whats up with that!!!!!! Thats why when I do a giveaway I ask the company to ship the product to me, and I ship in the U.S and Canada. Keep it fair people!!!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. Congratulations on your big review opportunity! I would love to try that paw balm. One thing though, Bentley insists that I mention drool is merely liquid love! BOL!!

  4. Jessica says:

    I’m going to totally miss the point here: Musher’s secret on hot pavement. Does it really help? (Other blog readers: feel free to answer this, too.) We’re about to enter the inferno months, and I feel like a horrible person every time Silas and I have to scurry across a hot parking lot.

    As for boxes, that looks like a nice one, but we have all the allergies.

    • ThatJenK says:

      Hot pavement isn’t much of a worry here, so I couldn’t really say, but I love the stuff for the winter and preventing snowballs in between their pads.
      I’ve read reviews online from people who use it in the summer for hot pavement, but I gotta wonder – a dog sweats through their pads – would using a product like that mess with them sweating? I’m sure it would be good for the quick trips you’re talking about, just to provide a barrier between their feet and the road (“invisible booties”), but I think I’d be inclined to say if the pavement is that hot, hold off on long walks, product or not.

    • 2browndawgs says:

      We have used it more in cold weather and to keep the pads from cracking or being cut by snow. I guess they claim it can be used to protect against hot pavement but I wonder if they are talking more about protecting against cracked pads.

  5. Great review, they all looked like they enjoyed the Bugsy box.

  6. 2browndawgs says:

    Glad you enjoyed your box and glad they included some larger treats in this one. (You might remember that was one of my complaints…small treats for a large dog.) We buy Fruitables all of the time as training treats. They are the ones with fruit ingredients, (which are small…lol). I had no idea they had the meat flavors. I think that is one of the great things about the boxes, to try new things.

    • ThatJenK says:

      I went back and re-read your review yesterday – made me wish I’d mentioned the details on how the subscription works! Ah well. I was happy to see, though, that the box we received did seem better suited to large dogs – that’s a problem we face often, when people think of large dogs, but leave out the needs of the “extra-large”.
      This was my first introduction to the Fruitables treats, but they seem popular. I can see why!

  7. Great review! LOVE the drool photo. Must be goooood stuff! We love Fruitables! Will have to try the meat flavored ones. (I try to never ignore Canada – since the hubs is Canadian we have quite the constant US-Canada rivalry going on.) 🙂

  8. kimberlygauthier says:

    We are a Bugsy’s Box family and I have my last month coming up – in fact, it went out in the mail yesterday. I love them. We get so many quality things that would cost more than the cost of a subscription. I was stoked about receiving a 2nd bottle of Canine Calm last month 🙂 I spray it on myself when I’m stressed. 🙂

    I use it on the dogs too.

  9. snoopys@snoopysdogblog says:

    Hey Guys

    I love the evidence of Alma enjoying the box! Haha

    I wouldn’t be able to try it as I can’t have any grain, but glad you enjoyed!

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  10. harrispen says:

    Alma got some serious drool going there. Glad you Canadians can participate in this one.

    Cindy

  11. Nailah Bone says:

    What an awesome review! I especially enjoyed the pictures, your dogs are hilarious! 🙂 I’m really interested in that paw butter since Nailah’s paw pads are looking a bit rough lately.

  12. Alma, how on earth do you get drool way above your eye?!! *Amazed*

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