MINNEAPOLIS – If going to the dog park throws your furry friend into a frenzy, a newly launched service could be a more relaxing solution.
It’s also an easy way to make some quick cash if you have your own patch of grass.
Sniffspot allows people to rent out their backyards and other spaces to dog owners looking for a private dog park.
“We provide poop bags, we provide treats, toys,” says Ann Maves, a host who rents her yard in Eagan. “I usually leave out some LaCroix water for the guests as well. Come on, enjoy it.’
Maves earns anywhere from $60 to $80 a week on Sniffspot. There are about 100 places available in the metro.
“We’re a safe alternative to what’s already out there, which is walking your dog on a leash or going to a dog park,” said David Adams, the founder and CEO of Sniffspot.
However, not everyone wants such a private experience.
“Every way to bring dogs together, bring people together,” said Alyssa Todd, who was at Minnehaha Dog Park with her dog Toby on Wednesday. “I can’t count the number of friends Toby made at the dog park.”
Hannah Oberpriller was also there. She said she enjoys seeing dogs other than her own.
But the fact is, not every dog is suited to such a busy environment. They can be puppies, shy or anxious.
That’s why Maves started hosting on Sniffspot in the first place.
“We started to give those dogs a kind of outlet because we’ve been there and we know how hard it is,” she said. “The money was just kind of an added bonus.”
Adams says sentiment is not uncommon.
“It’s about seeing the look of joy on a dog’s face when they roam free in their yard and getting that sense of purpose by doing it,” he said.
The average space costs $9 to $15 per dog per hour. Most hosts make hundreds of dollars a month.