Subscription Dog Box 'PetObsessed' Provides Soft But Sturdy Toys

Image: Lifehacker Australia

“Dog happiness equals your happiness,” a man on the train station platform read off the side of my PetObsessed subscription dog box. He looked at me quizzically. I shrugged, hefting the large white package in my arms. “I just really love my dog.”

PetObsessed is located in Bondi, run by Alex and Benji, a qualified vet. While some other subscription dog box services have stores on the side where you can buy a handful of items, PetObsessed is more like a store with a subscription service on the side. PetObsessed sells its own branded toys and accessories, so you can’t get them anywhere else. This also means there’s an implicit assurance that the contents of their boxes are of a quality they are proud of.

First Impressions

It’s always fun receiving large packages, and PetObsessed was one of the largest boxes we received. Knowing that Benji is a vet, I felt confident that the toys and treats included would be healthy and safe. I was curious to know how the box would stack up, considering both that PetObsessed’s subscription box is not the primary operation of their business, and that many options for customisation were offered.

What’s Inside?

PetObsessed personalises your box for your dog, and will ask about dietary requirements and toy preferences after you have ordered your box.

The large box contains four toys, three bags of healthy treats, a chewer, a bone, poo bags, and a 10 per cent discount code. The medium box is largely identical, but contains only two bags of treats and no bone, and the small box is the same apart from containing only three toys, one bag of treats and no bone. We received a medium box.

PetObsessed Floating Durable Propeller Dog Chew Toy. Image: Lifehacker Australia

PetObsessed Cheeky Monkey Large Squeaky Plush Dog Toy ($17.50)

Boatmeal was very taken by this primate, biting firmly down on its torso, flopping to the floor, and immediately getting down to the business of chewing. The monkey’s body is comprised of a cylindrical, lower-pitched squeaker, with two higher-pitched squeakers in its feet and crackling plastic in its arms. These various noisemakers did an excellent job of catching and maintaining my dog’s attention, and this could well shape up to be one of Boatmeal’s favourite toys.

Even though we supervised his play, Boatmeal managed to tear off both the monkey’s arms and made good work of one ear within a few minutes. I wasn’t surprised – these parts were cloth flaps just waiting to be pulled. However, on continued use the Cheeky Monkey fell apart fairly easily. Thankfully the fabric has remained intact, the thick material resilient to attack, but we've still had to sew it up at least three times as it just comes apart at the seams. It's easy to fix and he loves it, but it's still a nuisance. We haven’t reattached the arms.

PetObsessed Chewy Cow Strong Rope Squeaking Dog Toy ($24)

While the Cheeky Monkey attracted Boatmeal with sound, the Chewy Cow engaged him with texture. This toy is made of a very tough, denim-like material, and features two rope knots hanging off it for dogs to work on. The ears and horns are small flaps Boatmeal can tug on, but thus far the strong material has resulted in them only fraying a bit rather than tearing off. Boatmeal did manage to undo one of the knots, but it was a simple enough matter to retie it.

The Chewy Cow has a squeaker hidden in its body, but it takes a bit of poking and prodding to find it, let alone activate it. It took a lot of chewing before Boatmeal located it, and even then, its squeaks were periodic and competitively quiet. This is a pretty good toy if you’re concerned about noise.

PetObsessed Floating Durable Propeller Dog Chew Toy ($17.50)

I thought Boatmeal would have difficulty with this toy, as it is an unusual shape and he tends to have trouble catching frisbees. However, he was fine catching the propeller when it was thrown to him, and enjoyed chasing and tugging the toy. It feels fairly durable, but if I left Boatmeal to chew it I have no doubt he'd tear it apart.

PetObsessed Tough Knot Squeaking Dog Rope Chew Toy ($16)

The website says this is a “superb quality dog chew toy” that can “handle plenty of chewy love”, however the label attached to the toy says it is “not for chew sessions”. I don’t know what to believe.

The Tough Knot chew toy is made up of fabric braided around a spherical squeaker, then knotted on both ends. The knots are a good size, and look sturdy enough to take a gnawing.

It’s neither here nor there, though, because my dog was disinterested in chewing this toy the way God (and presumably Alex and Benji) intended. Boatmeal was far more enamoured by the tassels on either end, picking up the toy by them and shaking it vigorously, as though trying to knock the rest of the toy free. Focusing his efforts on the one area of the toy that was less resilient than the rest, he quickly chewed off several of the tassels, which I then had to retrieve before he swallowed.

This is a good toy in theory, but in practice it has too many tearable, swallowable pieces of fabric. Maybe it would be better if I cut off the tassels, but then again that might just render him completely disinterested in the toy.

PetObsessed Chewy Cow Strong Rope Squeaking Dog Toy. Image: Lifehacker Australia

Australian Pet Treats Kangaroo Bone ($9.90)

Seeing a dog chew on a bone is like watching a cat drink milk. It fills you with a sense of satisfaction. “Yes, this is how things should be.” Boatmeal enjoyed it well enough - a good, standard bone.

SavourLife Australian Chicken Training Treats 165g ($9.99)

These bite-sized treats are a bit too big for training, but they can be broken up fairly easily so it isn’t too much of an issue. They were nice and smelly when we first opened the bag, which was good – the chicken had Boatmeal’s attention immediately. Fortunately the smell doesn't linger, so it isn't going to bother you if you carry it in your pocket while out on a walk, which they're good for considering they're quite dry. These are a good treat to have in the arsenal. Boatmeal really likes them, and we would definitely consider buying more.

Australian Pet Treats Kangaroo Jerky 100g ($5.50)

The kangaroo jerky is fairly standard. It’s nice and dry, and appears to be of a high quality, but the pieces are small and could potentially be a choking hazard if your dog gets too enthusiastic or likes to swallow things whole. They smell good, and they taste good too. Don’t ask us how we know.

Poo Bag Dispenser And Bags

This plastic, bone-shaped poo bag dispenser is a cheap, standard accessory. It's the kind of thing that's a bit useless and easy to end up with too many of, like key rings. The bags inside are just plain blue plastic, like from a butcher’s shop. But you’re going to throw them out anyway, and they get the job done.

Available Boxes

PetObsessed Floating Durable Propeller Dog Chew Toy. Image: Lifehacker Australia

PetObsessed offers free delivery on subscriptions of three months or more. In the event that none of their subscription boxes suit you, PetObsessed also invites you to email them in order to arrange a personalised box.

Small Box

  • $45 for a one month trial
  • $40 per month for three to six month subscriptions
  • $35 per month for a 12 month subscription

Medium Box

  • $55 for a one month trial
  • $50 per month for three to six month subscriptions
  • $45 per month for a 12 month subscription

Large Box

  • $65 for a one month trial
  • $60 per month for three to six month subscriptions
  • $55 per month for a 12 month subscription

Overall Impression

Though the treats are nice, the real attraction in PetObsessed’s subscription dog box is the toys. Though not completely destruction-proof, these are some of the sturdiest soft toys I’ve come across. Just looking at them and touching them, you can tell they were made to last. Even if you decide to go with another service, or that dog boxes aren’t for you, it’s worth subscribing to PetObsessed’s dog box for three months or so to build up a collection of resilient soft toys.

Giving a dog a soft toy, you have to make your peace with the fact that it’s only a matter of time before it is destroyed and you are left wondering why you bother buying nice things. PetObsessed’s toys won’t prevent that moment of defeat, but they may delay it.

We are trying out subscription dog box services in Australia, assisted by Very Good Boy Boatmeal. Read all our reviews here.


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