Rent Out Your Yard for Dogs and Make Extra Money!
Are you an animal lover? Do you have a decent sized yard? Are you looking to make a little extra money while helping out dogs and their owners? Did you know that you can rent out your yard as a private dog park and make a little money on the side? Then this post may be for you.
For those of us that are dog owners, we know the importance of getting our furry friend outside to run around, play, and soak up some Vitamin D. Walks are a great way to accomplish this, but our dogs are limited to as far as their leash can get them. Being able to run and play off leash is just as important. This is where a yard or dog park is so important. But not everyone has access or the ability to take advantage of either easily.
First lets get into the why, then the how, plus a list of products to help you get started and succeed.
Why Some Dog Owners May Need a Private Dog Park
While some of us are lucky to live in towns or neighborhoods with public access dog parks, not everyone is so lucky. Many dog owners live in apartment buildings with no yard or building dog park. Some don’t have usable or large enough yards for their dogs to run around. Perhaps their yard isn’t fenced in, I could go on, but you get the point.
Another reason some may look for a private dog park is due to having a scared or overly reactive pup. While some behaviors can be corrected with training, and more socializing may ease fears, not everyone has access to this, and perhaps not every pup will be receptive to training or socializing immediately. Until then, a private yard is ideal to let them run and play without worry.
We have one of those dog reactive pups. While he loves our other two dogs, and has a few friends, he is very defensive with new dogs. His first year of life was full of abuse, starvation, and neglect. He was then surrendered to a shelter, where he was hours from being euthanized. And while he has been with us for five years and is a completely different dog than the one we brought home, he’s still mistrusting of new dogs and even some new people. While we have a yard that is perfect for him to run, play, and get some sun, not everyone does.
How You Can Help – Rent Out Your Yard (and make a little cash)
Sniffspot is a company where dog owners looking for a private spot to take their pup can find such a place, in someone’s property. Property owners are able to rent out their yard or a fenced off portion of their property when they aren’t using it. Yards can be rented out by the hour.
For your protection as a host, Sniffspot has a $2M liability insurance and $5,000 in damage protection. They do have a customer service email and customer service is available from 6am-5pm Pacific Standard Time, 7 days a week.
You’ll need a private space (i.e. you have full control, is not a shared space with others). It needs to be accessible from an outside gate, not entering through a building or residence. It needs to be free from hazards such as poisonous plants, unfenced and close to a busy road or one with a speed limit over 35 mph, empty swimming pools or any with soft coves, and more. The space needs to be free of other domestic animals (livestock), dogs, and people.
There can not be advertisements of anything illegal. Hosts must not be convicted of or currently under investigation/prosecution of certain crimes including but not limited to murder, rape, animal cruelty and more. Hosts cannot be on any sex offender registries.
Photos will need to be required in order to be approved for a listing along with a full description of the property and ammenities.
You can see all of the requirements on their website.
Guests are required to provide proof of vaccination and flea/parasite preventative when registering. They must also pay up front and of course clean up after themselves and their dogs. Dogs must also be leashed upon entering and exiting the property. Guests are expected to arrive and leave on time as per their rental reservation.
You can see the guest expectations here.
Some Extra Costs Could Go A Long Way
If you want to enhance the experience for your guests, and ensure return and referral visits, there are a couple of things you can do.
Both the pups and their owners should have access to shade. If there are trees on your property, great! Consider planting at least one for the future. Make sure it’s not a fruit tree. Falling fruit can be bad if it hits someone in the head or is eaten by a pup. Fruit can also attract unwanted rodents and pests. Until your tree grows, or if you’re unable to, consider another form of shade. There are plenty of shade options available including patio umbrellas, sun shade canopies, pop up canopies, and even gazebos.
A place for dog owners to sit while their dog goes wild would be a nice addition. This is especially so for those unable to stand for long periods of time. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but should be able to stand up to the weather. A simple bench will do since only one guest can be at your park at a time. Place it under the shade and you have a comfortable spot for owners to relax and watch their pup run and play.
Having water access is a bonus. You would think pet owners would bring their own water and bowl, but things happen. People forget, dogs down a whole bowl after lots of play, they can also knock them over. If you’re renting out your own back yard, access to your hose is great! If its a fenced off portion of your property, running a hose down on hot days, or perhaps running some pipes (if you have approval), could mean money well spent in the long run. Consider on hot days, some sprinklers for the pups to run through and enjoy. Or even a mister set under for pups and their owners.
A simple kiddie pool during hot hot months with the water changed daily, is another option for pets to cool off on a hot day. You’d want to change the water daily, if not more than once a day to keep it from being stagnant or to keep any thirsty pups from drinking water that’s been sitting or already peed in as they can get sick. You would have to set the rules on this, perhaps have it available and owners have to add some water and empty it before leaving. Or on these days, if you’re able, empty and refill it yourself between reservations.
Guests are expected to clean up after themselves as per Sniffspot’s terms. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house to go to a dog park or for a walk, and didn’t check my poop bag storage to see how many bags I have left. Then to find out I need one bag to hold out for three dogs, 2 of which have gone already and we aren’t even halfway through our walk. Get a poop bag dispenser, some bags, and a trashcan to keep near the gate. This will help ensure the cleanliness of your yard.
You should go into this one knowing you may not get them back, or they may be destroyed easily. A simple option is just tennis balls. There are also, if you have a large/strong enough tree, products that allow you to bungee a rope toy to a tree. This creates a tug of war type toy for a pup. Usually owners will bring a ball or frisbee, stick, etc to play with.
Have lots of sticks on your property? Make a pile in your dog park. This option doesn’t have to be too complicated.
Take Play A Step Further
Perhaps you’d like to take play to the next level. A dog agility course may make you the most popular yard in the neighborhood. Dogs can run up and down ramps, through tunnels and hoops, and more!
You want to make sure your area is well maintained. Use pet friendly products for weeds or have them pulled regularly. The grass should be mowed regularly, tree branches that have partially snapped should be taken care of, seating areas cleaned, trash cans emptied, etc. If you want your yard to be an inviting and fun experience you’ll need to make some time or hire someone to handle upkeep.
While these added costs may see daunting, they don’t have to be done at once. As your yard is rented out more, you can use that money at first to invest in some added experiences. I would say shade is your number one priority to start, especially if you are joining as a host in warmer months. Then go from there.
I’ve made a shopping list to get you started with products to help you along your way.
Rent Out Your Yard and Make a Little Extra Money – Final Thoughts
If you have a big enough yard or section of your property that can be fenced off, then Sniffspot may be for you. With a few requirements and some extra investments to get you started, you could be on your way to making a few extra hundred dollars a month!