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Dog Airbnb? App lets locals rent yard space for man's best friend


Dog-lovers in Austin and worldwide are joining forces through a rising app to make their communities a better place to be a pup.

Sniffspot has been allowing homeowners worldwide to rent out their land by the hour since 2018—Boston-based founder David Adams said dog-loving Austin was an early adopter of the app with listings popping up shortly after the official launch.

Adams thought up the idea when his wife told him she was struggling to find open space for her Basenji-Husky-Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, Toshii, to exercise while traveling for work.

David and his wife, Rebecca. (Sniffspot)

“The bigger picture of Sniffspot is it’s not natural for dogs to live the way they live in the modern world, where they live their life on leashes and in apartments,” Adams said. “I want to make it possible for anyone, anywhere that loves dogs and wants to make the world a more dog-friendly placed at a spot.”

There are over 8,000 listings across 1,700 cities—over 100 of which are in Austin and some as far as New Zealand—and range anywhere from $3-$20 per dog/hour. Adams said some hustling homeowners have earned up to $3,000 per month and that figure is on the rise.

With Sniffspot’s “park” diversity, there is a spot for every need: Adams said he’s seen listings with dog splash pads, gift bags, custom dog treats for customers and buckets of toys. Adams’ favorite Sniffspots usually have wide-open, fenced-off pastures or hiking trails.

The Elm Lodge Dog Heaven has plenty of space to run and water to cool off for $12/hour. (Sniffspot)

“We've got your standard neighborhood backyards that are available, we've got dog waterparks, we've got fields, we've got dog hiking and trails with hundreds of acres sometimes we've got agility centers,” Adams said. “It's almost like if you can imagine it, you can find it on Sniffspot.”

Plus, while public dog spaces are necessary for providing free access to all, Adams said booking a private park eliminates the risk of contamination, disease, dogs fighting, maintenance issues and your dog eating something harmful.

“Our hosts are doing this because they love dogs—it's nice for them to make money… it can be extremely lucrative,” Adams said. “But in the end, hosts are primarily doing it because they love dogs, and they just get really into it, having fun providing a great experience for the dogs.”


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