As most of you probably know, I’ve been writing for Examiner.com for a while now. As you also probably know, I write to inform people, not to make a living off of what I prepare for you to read. What you may not know, however, is that I’ve never been asked to do review of a given product. That is, I was never asked to do a product review until recently.
I was flattered when the founders of Petbox, Sean Conlon and Will Ford, reached out to me to do a review of Petbox. I didn’t hesitate to agree to do a review of the entrepreneurs’ most recent business venture when I learned that Conlon and Ford donated all of Petbox’s earnings to various pet-related organizations in the San Diego area in 2013. The list of beneficiaries which received donations from Petbox includes the San Diego Humane Society, Escondido Humane Society, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Helen Woodward Animal Center and the San Diego County Animal Shelter.
I was even more enthused about reviewing Petbox when I learned that the company takes the suggestions of its Facebook fans and Twitter followers into consideration before deciding which charities will benefit the most from its donations. Using the hashtag, “#PetBoxFridays,” the organization’s Twitter and Facebook followers nominate pet-related non-profits from around the country and PetBox uses these suggestions to determine which organization it will give a $50 donation of cash or food products to each week.
Petbox was created “as a way for pet parents to discover new premium products at below retail prices.” With that in mind, the company’s primary goal “is to continue to find the best products on the market, while offering the highest retail value that we possibly can…And shipping is always free!”
Petbox offers a subscription service for $39.00 per month. In exchange for the monthly fee, subscribers receive a box every four weeks or so that includes multiple pet products which have a combined retail value of between $50 and $60. Petbox labors to identify the most worthwhile products on the market by consulting a “mixture of pet experts who have been working in the pet industry for decades and office dogs and cats that test out new products each and every day.” Pet box also guarantees that all of the edible treats included in the boxes it sends to consumers are “made in the USA and [that] most [of them] are organic and grain free.”
There were seven items in the shipment I received from Petbox to prepare this review: Canine Calm spray made by Earth Heart, Inc., Smooches canine treats made by, The Honest Kitchen, Healthy Dogma Pumpkin Ginger flavor barkers, jerky-like dog treats named, “Tender Chicken & Cheddar Recipe,” and Sliders Tender Stick produced by Clear Conscience, a bottle of NoviPet Multi Vitamins and finally, a dog toy made by Aussie Naturals.
I researched the products I received and their manufacturers. To my surprise, each company responded to my inquiries in a timely manner and, just as Petbox claims, the edible treats in my delivery were all made in the United States.
After verifying Petbox’s claims, I started to distribute the goodies to my three dogs after I spritzed my energetic Doberman with the calming spray. My dogs enjoyed the treats, devouring the Smooches first before trying the Healthy Dogma Pumpkin Ginger flavor barkers. My Doberman literally wolfed down the Sliders Tender Stick with such gusto that I decided I would buy some of Clear Conscience’s gravy products for him and my other two dogs to enjoy in the future.
I’m not in the habit of giving supplements to my pets, but I was impressed by the information I discovered about the Israeli-based maker of NoviPet Multi Vitamins. I also don’t ordinarily give too many toys to my dogs because my Dachshund, Harley, destroys them very quickly. Unfortunately, history repeated itself when it came to the toy that was in the Petbox I received – Harley gutted the toy within five minutes of me giving it to him. I must say, he did have a lot of fun with the toy in that brief time, though!
So, what do I think of Petbox overall? I am a big fan of the company in general, but am particularly appreciative of the fact that Petbox donates all of its revenue to pet-related charities that the company’s Twitter and Facebook followers help to select. My experience with writing this review also made me a fan of the manufacturers whose products were in the box I received from Petbox. Some of them have won awards, but all of them have sound reputations and I look forward to buying their products in the future.
The only negative I’d like to mention, if it can actually be referred to as a negative, is that Petbox’s year-end charitable donations seem to have been reserved for non-profits located in-and-around San Diego, California, so far. My hope is that as Petbox continues to expand its operations the company will donate much-needed funds to charities located throughout America instead of “just” giving to the non-profits in one city in a single state. Even if Petbox decides to continue to give exclusively to non-profits located in or close to San Diego, the company’s generosity will remain a compelling reason for pet owners to sign up to receive monthly deliveries of great pet products just as the fact that people only pay $39 per month to receive $50 - $60 in retail products is, too.
My final hope is that Petbox’s example of making charitable donations to the pet-related organizations that desperately need them is used as a template by other companies interested in giving back to their communities.
Thank you, Petbox! Preparing this review has been an honor.