April 15, 2014 15 Comments
Yep, you saw that right. Someone out there sent the Soapbox free stuff in exchange for my candid opinion.
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.
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.!
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.
So now that we’ve reviewed the ‘who’, let’s get to what’s in the box.
You typically get 5-7 items in a Bugsy’s Box. We got the following 6 things:
- Pet Head Oatmeal Paw Butter (Amazon price: $26.29)
- Treats: Fruitables skinny minis – Grilled Bison (Amazon price: $8.71)
- Treats: Lucky Pet Brands Cheesy Cheddar and Smokehouse Bacon Dog Treats (Amazon price: $14.99)
- Lucky Dog Brand 7″ spiral bully stick (my guessed retail price: $8.00)
- H2O Dog Toys – Neon Hook – The Kyjen Company, Inc. (US distributor, made in China) (approximate price: $7.50)
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 Alma could even be goaded into a game of tug with the new toy, which is rare.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
Last up: the paw butter.
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.
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!
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.