So it seems that this is now a thing; not only can we humans treat ourselves to monthly deliveries of make-up, food, magazines, and clothes (and the rest), it turns out that we can indulge our much-loved, and until now apparently unpampered pooches to monthly subscription boxes too. In a world where dogs are increasingly being treated like people, is this a healthy turn of events? And what’s more, what do we get for our money? Are pamper hampers really worth it?
Table of contents
What’s in a pamper hamper?
Typical items include; toys, treats, fashion items such as bowties, shampoos, even ‘canine cologne’. Taking these things individually, maybe we can come to understand how useful (or not) they really are.
No one is going to deny a canine their confections, especially when they really have been a ‘good dog’. And monthly deliveries of such things could be really handy; save a trip to the shop. Only words to the wise on this matter; beware allergies, as well as obesity. Constant stocks of calorific treats could lead to overconsumption.
One of the Five Welfare Needs under the Animal Welfare Act is ‘The ability to express normal behaviour…’ Well, play is normal behaviour and we are definitely advocates of keeping the nation’s canines healthy in mind as well as in body. One quick question though; do dogs need new toys every month or do they develop familiar favourites? Only you can answer that on behalf of your pet.
Bowties, hoodies, fancy dress costumes; we’ll leave it up to the individual to decide whether dogs benefit from keeping up with the latest trends. One thing to note; fancy dress can be uncomfortable and stressful for some. Breeds that truly require a fully flocked wardrobe, such as certain hounds, could well benefit from some carefully selected new threads however.
Again, dogs need the occasional bath, so a super-smelling shampoo might not go amiss as a monthly staple. Anything to mask the dreaded smell of fox poo… Pet paw balm? Could be useful for dry, cracked pads. We’re thinking after a walk in the snow and on grit salted pavements. Canine cologne? Who is that really for? It’s worth remembering that some dogs are sensitive to over-washing, and constant new shampoos might disagree with their natural skin flora.
What will it cost you?
Actually, on the face of it, it looks as if you can get some striking discounts on goods in this way. Take one monthly subscription we found for £15 per month. With options to tailor items to your dog’s size, breed, likes and dislikes; for a couple of plush toys, some eco-friendly poo bags, and a few packets of treats, maybe the maths does check out. And you get to try new and potentially interesting products without having to research and source them yourself. It’s worth checking though, the quality of the items you’re receiving, as well as the size of them. Some subscription boxes for people include smaller, or tester sized pots of shampoos, creams and other potions, so it’s worth knowing you really are getting your money’s worth.
The other question to ask yourself before parting with your hard-earned pennies; you may be getting a good deal on products, but would you actually buy these things if they weren’t included in your pamper hamper? A bargain doggie bowtie is only a bargain if you wanted one in the first place after all. Are we falling for yet another consumer trick? Or is this hamper full of goodies that truly benefit your dog? Again, only you can answer that.
So it won’t cost you the earth, but is it costing us the earth?
What about your pet’s carbon pawprint? Plastic food packaging, poo bags, toys, novelty outfits, bedding, shampoo bottles; all of these things come at a cost to the environment, be it in their production, transportation or the packaging that they arrive in. It could easily be argued that most dogs actually need most of these things, to varying degrees (novelty outfits though, we’re not so sure…). However, do they really require top-ups of these things every month? In an environmental sense, the thought of unused shampoo bottles mounting up, won’t sit well with everyone.
Yes, dogs do need stuff
And that includes treats for training, toys for mental stimulation, beds for comfort, sometimes even clothes for warmth. If a monthly subscription box meets their needs, without harming them, or encouraging obesity, and if you’re comfortable that you are getting true value for money, then who wouldn’t be in support of indulging our canine companions? And for those pet-owning eco-warriors out there, there are more eco-conscious subscriptions available. Opting to use a company who source sustainably produced goods is one way to help reduce your dog’s carbon paw print.
One final observation
Pets are not consumers, they don’t see social media ads for the finest tweed collars, the latest gimmicky toy, or the sweetest smelling shampoo. What they notice is the time you spend with them, the grotty old rope toy that you throw for them, the regular meals that mean they don’t go hungry, and the warm and secure environment you create for them. Just a thought…