PupBox Subscription Box Review: 4 Month Puppy

Today I’ll be reviewing a new subscription box that is geared towards new puppy parents! And no, I’m sad to announce that I do not have a new puppy. Maddie will be helping me review this box and she’s a puppy at heart so that counts, right? Since I don’t have an actual puppy, PupBox offered to send me a box for a 4 month old puppy to review so I can showcase what a typical box looks like.

PupBox is a subscription box designed for the lucky new parents of a puppy! Each box is custom tailored to your puppy (age, size, breed) so you’ll receive relevant information, training tips, treats, toys, and accessories as your puppy grows. Each box will contain 1 bag of training treats and 4-6 additional products.  The box will also come with training and development information approved by celebrity trainer Andrea Arden. If you subscribe month to month, the cost is $39.00 per month. But if you pre-pay for longer subscriptions it’s a better value – $34/month for 3 months, $32/month for 6 months, and $29/month for 12 months. 

PupBox Subscription Box Review: 4 Month Puppy

The packaging is well thought out and I think this subscription would be a really cute gift for a new dog parent. I wish I had this subscription back when I first got Maddie. She’s my first dog and I was so unprepared. Something like this would have been extremely helpful!

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All the treats and toys! My box contained 6 full sized items, and the curation is well balanced. I received 1 bag of training treats, 1 interactive plush toy, 1 freezable toy, 1 ball, and 2 chew products.

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Each month comes with a list of all the items chosen for your dog. I love how customized this page is! All the products come with product codes so you can easily repurchase your favorites from the PupShop.

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Since this is summer, I thought it was really smart for the curators to include a water safety pamphlet. It has good tips on how to introduce your dog to water and how to encourage them to swim. Maddie already loves to swim but the pamphlet also has tips for getting an expert swimmer to dock dive, which she has been working on this summer! Hopefully she’ll get comfortable with it before the summer ends!

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I love this training and development guide! The paper is thicker and feels closer to cardstock so I can see this being kept on the fridge and used as a reference throughout the month. It’s a standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheet and printed on both sides. The front side is all about development and the back is about training. Lots of great information and all organized in a simple to understand layout.

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When I first got Maddie I was only meant to be fostering her for a few weeks. I had no preparations for getting a dog (though I always knew I wanted one, but I had wanted to wait until we had a house!) and didn’t know the first thing about training so I spent a lot of time frantically watching Cesar Milan videos and reading random articles. I so wish I had this handy guide! It covers the basics at this 4 month mark (sit, stand, lie down) and I assume will get increasingly more difficult as your puppy grows.

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N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings 3-Pack | $5.69
At 4 months your puppy will be teething and have sore gums and a strong urge to chew, so these teething rings are perfect! It’s formulated with DHA and calcium for strong teeth and bones and healthy brain development. It’s also wheat free, corn free, and soy free if your puppy has any allergies or a sensitive stomach. And most importantly, it’s made in the USA.

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Maddie is not a puppy anymore but she loves to chew! Pumpkin is one of her favorite flavors so I’m not surprised she was crazy for these teething rings.

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Natural Dog Company 12″ Steer Stick | $6.00
And speaking of Maddie’s love for chews, this is her favorite item in the box! It’s the first item she went for when I opened the box. This is a 12 inch beef pizzle chew that is very sturdy and long lasting without being too hard for her teeth. I imagine it would be another must have for a teething puppy! Natural Dog Company sources all their products from the USA.

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Multipet Chilly Bone Chew Toy | $4.99
Perfect for hot summer days! This freezable chew toy comes with a resealable plastic bag. You wet the toy with water, place it into the bag, seal the bag, and place the whole thing into your freezer for an hour. It’s supposed to be vanilla flavored to encourage healthy chewing, though Maddie didn’t seem to pick up on that.

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She licked it a couple times to investigate, but ultimately seemed rather confused by this toy. I was surprised because I’ve never seen her turn down a chew toy before!

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She’s totally giving me her best “Mom, what am I supposed to do with this?” look here. Since she had no interest, I was going to give it to one of my neighbor’s dogs. But after I left the toy on a tea towel to dry, I noticed that the green dye runs! It stained my towel permanently so I ended up throwing the toy away. I’m so glad I didn’t keep it on my carpet overnight!

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Zippy Paws Shark N’ Ship Burrow | $9.99
What an adorable interactive plush toy! I think this is a perfect toy for bonding with your puppy, since you need to first teach your puppy how to burrow and retrieve the sharks and then continue putting the sharks back inside. Afterwards you can even play hide and seek around the house (Maddie’s favorite game!) with the plush sharks.

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Adorable! Unfortunately for Maddie this is a toy meant for a smaller and gentler dog so I’ll be saving this to gift to a new puppy parent. If I gave it to Maddie it would probably last 3 minutes tops.

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Gnawsome Squeak Small Ball | $7.62
Any ball that squeaks is something that Maddie loves, so this was a home run for her. She loves to play fetch and since this ball flashes light when it bounces, it’s our new go-to for playing fetch at night. Houston summers are brutal so we’ve been taking her to play at around dusk when it’s cooler. She sometimes has trouble spotting the balls if we throw them too far but this one is obviously a lot more eye catching with all the lights inside! For a teething puppy it’s another great toy because the bumps will relieve the sore gums and also clean their teeth!

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Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats | $9.58
Shoutout to PupBox for being so kind to send Maddie a bag of training treats for active adult dogs in this box! These are perfect for her because she’s always so energetic and can run for hours. She’ll eat anything peanut butter flavored and so naturally she seems to really love these. The formula is grain free, corn free, soy free, and is made in the US.

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The total value of the treats and toys comes to $43.87, but I think the value is definitely higher than that because of all the information that you receive. Overall I’m very impressed with this subscription! I think it’s a wonderful concept and would be a genuinely helpful aid in raising a puppy. Again, I really wish I had this subscription when I first had Maddie! It would have made things a lot easier.

In the future I would love to see a “new adult dog” subscription as part of this company too. Most of my friends are choosing to adopt older dogs from shelters and I think they would all find it helpful to have a “first time dog owner” sort of box that is geared towards adult dogs/adopted dogs (training tips, dealing with separation anxiety, helping your dog feel more secure and settled, etc.). Heck, I think even Maddie could benefit from a box like that! We’re still dealing with some anxiety issues here and there.

But anyways, I loved this PupBox and I think they have a wonderful subscription service and a smart concept. The idea of a box that changes every month to accommodate your growing pet is so fun and fills a niche in the market that I had not even considered before. The only downside of this box is that it makes me really want to go and get a new puppy! Maybe I could convince my husband that it’ll be super easy to raise a puppy with the help of a subscription box like this?

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Change in Birchbox Points Program Effective July 2016

Wow — HUGE change in Birchbox’s points program. I got this email while I was at work:

Change in Birchbox Points Effective July 2016Change in Birchbox Points Effective July 2016Change in Birchbox Points Effective July 2016

So basically, you will only be able to review 5 more samples for a total of 50 points after July 11th. Points will also now expire 6 months from the date earned, instead of the full year like before. The only (slight) upside of this new policy is that points can be spent in any increment. No more waiting until you have $10 worth to use them.

Like most other subscribers, I’m incredibly disappointed. Initially when I first got the email I completely misunderstood it: I thought they meant you could only review 5 samples each month even if your box had 6 samples. (Which is actually super reasonable and I would support such a rule.) But then once I read it over again I realized they meant that you only get to review 5 samples TOTAL. For a whole year! It’s such a horrible change that I honestly kind of thought it was a joke or a typo.

I feel like the points program was the one thing that really made Birchbox special. With so many other beauty subscriptions out there, the points were a huge incentive to subscribe to Birchbox instead of the competition. There are some months that don’t work for me, when I get samples I can’t use or really dislike or are really tiny. But I’m always okay with it because I felt like the upside of getting $5 worth of points to spend makes it worthwhile anyways. Without the points, I don’t think I would be happy to pay $10 for every month. There’s almost always one or two samples that I dislike or are so tiny they should be freebies (looking at you, perfume samples!).

Another thing to take into account is the Aces program. Right now, if you earn 500 points in a calendar year you become a Birchbox Ace, which gives you free shipping on all full sized orders and early access to boxes. Without the reviews, a subscriber would have to either spend $500 to become an Ace or refer 10 friends. Considering it’s only $350 to become a Sephora VIB, Ace hardly seems worth it. And without Ace, I wouldn’t get free shipping on all my orders. Sephora offers Flash shipping for $10/year. That’s 2-day shipping for all orders for only $10. I also get free 2-day shipping on all orders with Amazon Prime. All department stores offer great beauty gift with purchase promotions several times a year and Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns every day.

So why would I shop at Birchbox?

I have been an on-and-off subscriber to Birchbox since 2011 and genuinely loved my experience. I’ve recommended it to countless friends and gifted lots of subscriptions. It saddens me that one of my favorite subscription boxes is getting rid of their best perk. Without the points, I have no reason to shop with Birchbox anymore. My favorite brands and products are carried at other stores like Sephora and Nordstrom, who both have better rewards, free shipping, free samples, and physical stores near me. There are beauty boxes that give better value and a larger range of brands than Birchbox, for not much of a price difference (I’m thinking I’ll try Allure for $15/month). My annual subscription expires in July, and with a heavy heart I will not be resubscribing.