Pet Lovers: How to Start a Side Hustle by Turning Your Home Into a Dog Park

A woman sitting in a sunny park with a dog.

Image source: Getty Images

Do you love dogs? Do you have some extra room in your backyard, or other private property that could host visitors? Sniffspot is a great way to earn extra cash. It’s like Rover meets Airbnb — a website where you can rent out part of your home to short-term four-legged visitors.

Here are a few reasons why Sniffspot could be a great side hustle for pet lovers.

Some dogs need private dog parks

Not every dog can handle going to a regular public dog park; some dogs are reactive and get triggered by other dogs. (My dog is one of these; we can’t take him anywhere.) If your dog is especially anxious and neurotic, or if you just want a private space for your dog to safely run around off-leash without getting distracted or barked at by other pets, a private dog park can be worth paying for.

Sniffspot (sniffspot.com) helps connect pet owners with private dog parks — backyards, fenced lots, wooded acreages, and other privately owned land that can be used for dogs to run around. If you own a home with a yard, or other private space (outdoor or indoor) that would be appropriate for this purpose, you can sign up to be a host on Sniffspot.

Sniffspot makes it easy to host

With Sniffspot, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort — this side hustle is truly passive income. Here are a few ways that Sniffspot makes it easy to earn money:

  • You don’t have to meet the dogs or the people: You don’t have to supervise the visit or even be present on-site during the booking. Just make your property available at the scheduled time.
  • Guests clean up: Sniffspot guests are required to clean up after their own dogs — there shouldn’t be any big messes for you to deal with as the host.
  • Sniffspot collects the payments: The platform processes payments from your guests upfront, and pays you monthly via direct deposit to your bank account.
  • $2 million of free insurance: Sniffspot provides hosts with $2 million of Host Protection Insurance and $5,000 of damage protection coverage. This is a great way to get some free liability insurance to protect yourself from some worst-case scenarios of hosting other people’s pets.

Sniffspot hosts make up to $3,000 per month

How much can you make hosting dogs on Sniffspot? The company says that some of its hosts earn up to $3,000 per month. That amount is likely on the high end compared to the average dog park host’s earnings, but if you rent for 30 days per month at $100 per day, it could be feasible if your property is in an in-demand location.

Sniffspot hosts have to pay a commission of 22% plus a payment processing fee of a little over 2%. So if your guests pay $10 to host your place on Sniffspot, you as a host would earn about $7.34.

Paying commissions and fees is never fun for small business owners, but if Sniffspot makes it easy for you to turn your backyard into a pet paradise while making passive income, that 22% commission could be well worth paying.

How to sign up for Sniffspot

It’s easy to sign up as a Sniffspot host:

  1. Go to sniffspot.com
  2. Click “Become a host”
  3. Create your “spot” — fill out some basic information, location, pricing, etc.
  4. Add photos for your listing
  5. Set your availability calendar for when people can book your spot
  6. Start receiving guests

Sniffspot lets you start small with your pet care side hustle

You don’t have to charge much to make side hustle income with Sniffspot. I’ve seen listings in my home city for as little as $4-$5 per dog, per hour. Most people on Sniffspot are doing this because they love dogs and want to offer a safe, comfortable space for pets to have fun with off-leash exercise.

If you want to start other pet care side hustles, like dog sitting, dog training, or pet grooming, Sniffspot could also be a good small business marketing strategy to help find new clients or cross-sell to your existing clients. For example, you could tell your pet grooming clients about your Sniffspot rentals, or hand out business cards for your dog training services to new Sniffspot guests.

Bottom line

There is a growing need for private dog parks. My family has used Sniffspot (as guests) with our anxious, not-ready-for-a-public-park dog, and it was a great experience and worth spending the money.

If you love pets and want to create a safe, fun space for dogs to romp around and enjoy the thrills of off-leash living, Sniffspot could be a great side hustle to put more money in your bank account.

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