By Velena Jones
SACRAMENTO, California (KOVR) — A new company, referred to as the Airbnb of dog parks, is looking to create a safe and private space for dogs to play by using local residents’ yards as man’s best friend’s playground.
Walks with Gizmo and Tango are constant.
“It’s very difficult. We walk them every day, a couple times a day, but they are a working breed that needs to burn more energy,” Shannon Dilley said.
With limited space in Dilley’s Natomas neighborhood, pinpointing places for them to play can be tough, and dog parks aren’t always the solution.
“You don’t have control over the dogs that are coming there or the different levels of training,” she said.
That’s where Sniffspot comes in. Dilley uses the app-based service weekly that allows dog owners to rent private land for their four-legged friends to explore.
“It’s a huge difference, I mean the arguments the dogs get into go down. They are better behaved,” Dilley said.
Dog trainer Kathi Glenwinkel is one of the thousands of hosts that are using the platform. She said she’s had 15 visitors over the last two months.
“I don’t have to do anything except keep the lawn mowed, and make sure there’s no trash in there,” she said. “It’s pretty self-run, so I don’t have to be home.”
Her yard includes a fence, toys and props for dogs to use to get exercise. Dilley has brought in $200 a month since starting in January.
“I like the enjoyment the owners and dogs get out of it,” she said.
Hosts keep 80 percent of the profit, earning up to $2,000 a month with hour rentals ranging from $5-20 an hour.
“Hosts come for the dogs and they stay for the money,” said Sniffspot owner David Adams.
Adams created Sniffspot in 2018.
“It started as something I thought just my wife and I needed, and it turns out, this is something that I actually think is relevant for every dog owner: the need for safe and private exercise for their dogs,” he said.
The company has expanded worldwide, and California is one of their most popular locations.
So what security is in place for hosts and guests?
Hosts are required to be screened. Land fewer than an acre must be fenced in. All dogs are required to be vaccinated, and both guests and hosts are reviewed after a booking.
“This really adds to [my dogs’] quality of life,” Dilley said.
Sniffspot hopes to include more hosts in cities locally and internationally. The company currently has 15 spots in the Sacramento region.
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