This App Lets Your Rent a Backyard for Your Dog

A woman jogging with her dog on a dirt road, booked via a Rent a Backyard App.

Are you an apartment dweller without a backyard for your dog? Do you live in a city that lacks a lot of green space? If so, an app could be the answer to your pooch’s play space needs.

Sniffspot allows hosts to “rent” out their yards to dog parents by the hour. 

“More people are moving to the city and adopting dogs. The pandemic has exacerbated this trend. It’s hard to be a dog in the city and dog parks are crowded and dangerous. Dogs were designed to run in the wild. Sniffspot gives dogs a whiff of the old times when they were free,” says founder David Adams.

Founded in 2018, the app, which was initially conceived to let dog parents find a safe place for their pup to pee, now has hosts in over 1,000 cities worldwide, making it one of the largest communities of private, secure spaces for pooches to play. 

Related: When You Know It’s Time to Leave the Dog Park

How Sniffspot Works

Sniffspot allows users to browse for spaces in their area. They can filter their search by size, type of enclosure (fenced or unfenced), number of dogs allowed, and more. Some spaces are backyards, while others sit on acres of land owned by someone and there are even some full-fledged dog parks with water fountains, treats, and all the amenities.

Users can check out reviews, information, and availability for each listing. After they pick a place, they book a time and date, agree to terms, upload a photo (for security reasons) and put in payment information. The hourly rate tends to range from $5 to $15.

Once a time is booked, that slot is taken, meaning no one else will be at the yard or park during that time. Though, people are more than welcome to bring more than one dog.

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To guarantee everyone’s safety, Sniffspot not only carefully reviews every host that posts a listing on the platform, but also allows reviews from both parties. 

“We have a two-sided review system, so both hosts and guests can be reviewed after each visit. This keeps the community accountable and we can remove any bad actors,” says Adams.

Adams urges all Sniffspot renters to stay safe by keeping their dogs leashed when entering and exiting a rented space. He also recommends checking the spot out before bringing the dog there to make sure it’s safe.

“Lastly, be courteous to the host that is kind enough to share their property by following any specific rules that they have set. Arrive and leave on time and pick up after your dog,” he says.

Related: Should You Take Your Dog to the Dog Park? The Answer May Surprise You.

Sniffspot Allows People to Earn Extra Money

While dog parents get the benefit of seeing their pup romp around and explore land, the app also provides additional income for hosts, without needing to do too much work. 

“Inflation is a major factor, and so is the pandemic, which upended the job market and left many people looking for additional income. With Sniffspot, people can share their land and earn passive income,” Adams says. “Unlike other side gigs, Sniffspot does not require work, it’s just sharing land. And hosts are able to earn enough to significantly offset their expenses and more than get by.”

Adams reports that some Sniffspot hosts earn over $2,000 per month on the app.

And if you are wondering, hosts are protected from liability, as not only must all guests sign a waiver before use but Sniffspot provides $2 million of liability insurance.

High Hopes for the Future

Adam’s long-term vision for his app is to make the world a more dog-friendly place. To do this, he aims to have hosts in every corner of the globe. In addition to renting play space, Adams wants Sniffspot to be a valuable resource for dog owners.

“We want our community to become stronger and stronger. So, we are launching new ways to help the community. We recently had a contest where we created lists of the top dog trainers in the United States. We also are publishing more great content for our community on our blog,” he says.

While adding additional features is in the pipeline, Adams’ mission remains the same. “The main benefit that dog owners get from Sniffspot is seeing the joy on their dog’s face when they get to run off-leash and just be a dog,” he says. 

Related: How to Make Sure You Aren’t the Jerk at the Dog Park

By Stephanie Weaver

Stephanie Weaver is a freelance writer residing in Philadelphia, PA. When she's not locked down to her laptop, she can be found riding horses or playing with her Boston Terrier mix, Steve.

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