KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you’re a landowner looking to make extra cash, renting out your yard for dog owners to use for their four-legged friends to run around in a private setting could be a possible side hustle. A new app is bringing that concept to reality while offering an alternative to public dog parks.
A new website and app called Sniffspot links dog owners to spaces to rent for their dogs to run and play without the stress of going to a large public dog park. It’s a similar model to the likes of renting living spaces for people, only these grassy spaces are rented out for pets at an hourly rate.
Landowners can sign up with Sniffspot to rent out their large backyards or land essentially as “dog parks,” which can bring in extra cash. There are parameters to meet and the list of different types of spaces for dogs is growing – such as water access, fields, fenced-in yards, hiking trails, etc. depending on the type of space offered by those who sign up.
These private “dog parks” usually run between $5 to $15 an hour. Sniffspot’s website states prices vary based on size, fencing and amenities, such as water for dogs, park benches, etc.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says some of the ways to keep pets like dogs healthy are regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight; Sniffspot affirms this with its model for giving owners access for their dogs to have off-leash exercise in order to sniff and run – without having to go to public dog parks where stressors like aggressive dogs, cleanliness and crowding can become problematic.
While the app is relatively new, there are already a handful of yards available to rent for dogs in East Tennessee.
Before East Tennesseans jump into the private dog park game, it’s worth noting that local community leaders have been working to make Knox County pet-friendly with increased access to public areas for dogs to play.
For the past few years, the Boyd Foundation has been working to make Tennessee the most pet-friendly state in the U.S. through its Dog Park Dash program, which was launched in 2018. The program has awarded grants to 100-plus communities totaling millions of dollars.
Knox County is currently working to build several new dog parks for dog owners in the area; in fact, earlier this year county officials announced the county was opening 10 new dog parks. Five of the parks will be within the City of Knoxville.
Knox County aims to be No. 1 in the number of public dog parks per capita in the U.S., according to the Boyd Foundation. Dogs are welcome in city parks, greenways, and trails unless otherwise posted.
Whether dog owners want to take their best furry friend to one of the many dog parks in East Tennessee, or opt to rent a space offered on Sniffspot, dogs benefit either way. As for landowners who want a new side hustle, there are terms to meet and Sniffspot states that it operates under the design of trust.