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What’s The Bark Side then?
The Bark Side is a small family-run business which operates around core values of quality, authenticity and customer service. You might find the same products elsewhere (or you might not, because we do stock some stuff that you won’t find in chain stores and supermarkets) but no-one will beat us on customer service. The Bark Side is as much about a state of mind as it is about the dog toys, collars, leads, and bowls we stock. We promise a positive experience for every customer.
Who is Brutus?
Brutus is our family dog. He’s a poodle, a diva, a real quirky character, incredibly cheeky, super intelligent, yet eminently stupid (he learns new things quickly, but he’ll stand at an open gate, waiting for you to open it for him because it’s usually closed when he reaches it). He’s also the boss on The Bark Side. And he knows it. He’s the chief tester, and everything that’s available on The Bark Side has been through his rigorous testing process, and passed with flying colours. We created the Approved by Brutus stamp so that he could give his seal of approval to our products.
How do you select products?
We firstly look to our suppliers for inspiration. If we see something that’s a bit different, or looks interesting, then we do some research. If we like what we see then we order a sample and we give it to the boss (Brutus) for testing. He’s done some serious damage to dog toys during testing, and if he does, then we don’t stock that item; it’s that simple. We don’t usually show you what didn’t make the grade, but we have posted a couple of things on social media in the past.
After that, if we’re happy that the toy is good quality then we’ll order stock and launch it on our website.
Why do you do your own testing?
One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is that we test everything, even if it’s a well-known brand, and even if we know their stuff is usually good. How many times have you bought something from a trusted brand only to discover that it’s not up to their usual standards? Exactly. We’re trying to take that gamble out of the equation for you. When you purchase from The Bark Side, you’re buying with confidence, in the knowledge that a real dog has tested that product in real-life conditions; it’s been chewed, slobbered on, clawed, stamped, pulled, left outside in the sun, rained on, dragged around the house, you name it.
Which products are guaranteed?
Where we offer a guarantee, it’s a manufacturer-backed guarantee. Please have a look around the Guaranteed Section.
Certain toys come with a one-time refund or replacement guarantee. If your dog damages or destroys one of these toys, email us a photo of the damaged item (we also appreciate a guilty-looking dog in the picture!) and tell us whether you’d prefer a refund or a replacement.
Lupine collars and leads are different, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. Again, just email us a photo of the damaged item and say whether you’d prefer a refund or replacement. This guarantee applies even if the collar or lead has been chewed; that’s how serious Lupine are about their products.
Which products are eco friendly?
Please have a look around the Eco Friendly Section for our dog toys, collars, leads, and bowls that are environmentally friendly, made from sustainable materials, or recycled. Even if you don’t consider yourself an eco warrior just making one small change, such as choosing a recycled dog toy over a synthetic one, will make a positive impact. If everyone made one small change, imagine what that would do to the world!
When will my order be dispatched?
Now this is the important stuff. When you place an order, we firstly do a little happy dance; that’s quite normal when you buy from a small business. When we’ve finished dancing we’ll pick and pack your order, ready for dispatch. If you order before 12 noon we can usually dispatch the same day, but all orders are dispatched by the end of the next working day at the latest.
Can I meet the team?
Yes! We’re based in the Midlands, and although we don’t have a physical store (yet!) we love attending events and dog shows around the area. You’ll appreciate why you didn’t see us in 2020, and why you haven’t yet seen us in 2021. But when events start taking place again, we’ll be there. We’ve got a few things booked in the diary for later in 2021 and we’re hoping they’ll go ahead. We’ll post on our social media when we’ll be at an event. Please stop by to say hello; we love to talk!