Whether you have a yard or not, dogs need a chance to run around and get exercise. Dog parks can be a good option for this, but sometimes it’s difficult to find a quality area to leave your dog off the leash.
For David Adams and his dog Soba, the commute to a decent dog park was a bit too much. There were places in his area that would have been nice to take his dog, but since these were private properties, they were off-limits to him and Soba.
The solution was the creation of Sniffspot: an app that looks to connect dog owners and landowners to give dogs more places to run and play.
Connecting People and their Pets
Sniffspot describes itself as “an Airbnb for dog off-leash areas.” Owners of any sort of land (whether it be a backyard, a farm, or even an indoor space) can list their location as a place that is safe for dogs to go off their leashes. Any dog owner can then use the app and make a reservation to use the area.
This app allows neighbors to connect and it opens up more spaces for dogs to enjoy. Dogs can also socialize with other dogs, and they can run around as much as they want without being held back by a leash.
Problems with Dog Parks
Dog parks can be good for your dog to socialize and run around. There are however several issues that can arise from traditional dog parks. Some of these issues include a lack of screening of dogs and their owners, limited hours, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and maintenance problems.
With Sniffspot, owners and dogs are screened. All dogs are required to have their vaccines and also flea-protection. Aggressive dogs are banned, and any damage that occurs to a property will be covered. It’s easier to find a location with hours that work for you, rather than fitting your schedule around the hours of your local dog park.
Using it as a Dog Owner
To use this app as a dog owner, just download the app and make an account. From there you can look at available locations in your area and the dates and times they are available. When you find a time and place that works for you, select that you want to make a reservation and from there you will be asked to provide some information.
The owner of the location will receive your information, and they can then decide whether or not to accept your reservation. The landowner will respond within 24 hours of the booking or within one hour of the booking time (if the booking is less than 24 hours away). When the reservation is accepted, you will receive more information about the location, including a specific address and instructions on how to access it.
There is no rule for how far in advance you need to make a reservation, and it’s possible to ask the landowner questions by using the “Contact Host” button in the app.
If you need to cancel your reservation, you can cancel it two hours prior the time of the reservation and receive a full refund. If the cancellation is closer than two hours away, it is not possible to cancel or receive a refund.
Becoming a Host
If you have land available and want to make a bit of money, you might be interested in becoming a Sniffspot host. You don’t need a large expanse of land in order to work as a host, and there is no limit for how small a space can be- if owners don’t want their dog to run around a small yard or patio, they can just choose another location.
It is necessary that there are no hazardous conditions located in your space, in order to avoid any potential injuries. The space does not need to be fenced in, but you will need to provide pictures and descriptions of your area for dog owners.
Sniffspot recommends pricing “per dog per hour,” and it’s up to hosts to decide how much they want to charge for the use of their space. The default price setting is $4 per dog per hour.
There is no fee to be a host, but Sniffspot will take a percentage of the money from each booking in order to pay for its website and operational costs. Owners get to choose whether or not they accept a reservation, what hours their land is available to be reserved, and how many dogs can come at the same time.
If you're looking for more options within a pet lifestyle, Sniffspot may be your next opportunity.