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BARK Leads Development of First-Ever Industry-Wide Dog Toy Safety Standard

Company Setting New Safety Benchmark for Dog Toys with State-of-the-Art Testing Lab and Leadership Position in Inaugural ASTM International Pet Product Safety Subcommittee

BARK (NYSE: BARK), a leading global omnichannel dog brand on a mission to make all dogs happy, today announced its pivotal role in developing the pet product industry's first international safety standard for dog toys and unveiled a state-of-the-art dog toy testing lab, which sets a new benchmark for safety and quality in the pet product industry.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Leveraging more than a decade of expertise and a deep understanding of dog play styles and preferences derived from designing thousands of dog toys, BARK began building a dedicated toy safety testing lab in 2022. The lab is equipped with advanced technology that mimics real-world use, focusing on chomping, dropping, pulling, and general wear and tear. With oversight from BARK Director of Safety Brian Grochal, the lab rigorously tests and evaluates BARK toys with accurate dog jaw replicas designed to simulate chewing, tugging, and thrashing from various breeds, such as Pitbulls, Chihuahuas, Boxers, and German Shepherds. Since the lab opened, BARK has completed over 2.5 million individual chew cycles, about 30 days of aggressive chewing per toy, and is on track to test 1,500 toys by the end of 2024.

Grochal, an award-winning safety and standards executive who was named chairman of the inaugural subcommittee on Pet Product Safety by ASTM, a world-renowned international standards organization, is leading a group of manufacturers, retailers, testing labs, veterinary professionals, consultants, and consumers to define the safety standard for dog toys sold around the world. In his leadership role of the committee, Grochal has been instrumental in establishing industry-wide best practices for design safety for dog toys, as well as other dog products, and those built for cats, birds, fish, reptiles and more.

“There are more than 40 safety standards for various children’s products in the U.S. alone, yet there are zero safety standards for dog products,” said Brian Grochal, BARK’s Director of Safety and Quality. “This work is long overdue and it’s an honor to lead the committee in building out a portfolio of safety standards that protect our non-human family members.”

BARK’s approach to safety is grounded in various team members’ extensive background in children's toy design from prior roles, as well as the knowledge and preference data from serving 6.5 million dogs since BARK’s founding in 2011. This unique combination has informed the development of comprehensive testing protocols and drives our commitment to creating the safest and most enjoyable toys for dogs. BARK’s team of inspectors completes more than 2,000 inspections each year, evaluating over 800,000 toys for even the most minor imperfections. This rigorous quality control process ensures that every toy BARK produces meets the highest safety and durability standards.

BARK’s Commitment to Industry-Wide Safety Standards

BARK believes in the importance of industry-wide safety standards for the wellbeing of dogs. By sharing its learnings and collaborating with other companies, BARK aims to elevate safety standards across the industry, offering consumers the assurance that their dog’s toys are among the safest available. BARK is also committed to transparency and invites other companies to adopt its safety standard. The company plans to publicly share its safety protocols, encouraging industry-wide adoption to ensure the highest level of safety for all dog toys on the market.

BARK’s mission extends beyond toys. The company is also pioneering safety standards for a wide range of pet products, including motor vehicle harnesses, leashes, collars, crates, travel carriers, beds, and more, further underscoring its commitment to the safety and happiness of all dogs.

“I’m proud of BARK’s leadership role in the first-ever safety standard for dog toys, furthering our mission to keep dogs happy,” said Matt Meeker, BARK CEO and Co-Founder. “The toy standard and testing lab are just the beginning. We are committed to making the world a safer place for all dogs and elevate safety standards across the entire dog industry.”

Learn more about BARK’s toy testing lab and safety standard here.

About BARK

BARK is the world’s most dog-centric company, devoted to making dogs happy with the best products, services and content. BARK’s dog-obsessed team applies its unique, data-driven understanding of what makes each dog special to design playstyle-specific toys, wildly satisfying treats, great food for your dog, effective and easy to use dental care, and dog-first experiences that foster the health and happiness of dogs everywhere. Founded in 2011, BARK loyally serves dogs nationwide with themed toys and treats subscriptions, BarkBox and BARK Super Chewer; custom product collections through its retail partner network, including Target and Amazon; its high-quality, nutritious meals made for your breed with BARK Food; and products that meet dogs’ dental needs with BARK Bright®. At BARK, we want to make dogs as happy as they make us because dogs and humans are better together. Sniff around at for more information.

About ASTM International

Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovate services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.


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