SniffSpot Makes Green Space For City Dogs a Reality

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A new marketplace named Sniffspot is connecting dog owners to safe and convenient spaces for their furbabies to get exercise is helping pet owners find new friends in the process.

A few years ago, David Adams founded the company 2nd Address, a marketplace that helped users find furnish housing because he originally had difficulty finding monthly furnished housing. He said he typically starts companies based on problems he may have, and when he moved to Seattle, he realized there was little green space for his dog Soba to play in. That was six months ago, and the beginning of SniffSpot, a marketplace that lets owners of pets connect with property owners who are willing to share their outside room for pups to play.

Adams said that when he adopted Soba a year-and-a-half ago, he found that her high energy led to some bad experiences around traditional ‘dog parks.’ Soba was bitten at one dog park, and after she required a vet visit for that bite, Adams thought about what he could do to give her some space that was not in a dog park. Living on the seventh floor of an apartment building made that a challenge, but one he met with the launching of SniffSpot.

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Adams said Sniffspot caters to people who want to have more controlled environments for their pets–people who are looking for safe situations that allow dogs who may be more reactive around other people and dogs to not be in danger or risk danger to their pets.

Adams recognizes that 30% of dog owners are millennials, and more and more millennials are moving into cities. Because cities aren’t necessarily known for their dog-friendly spaces, Adams said connecting people looking for such spaces with those who may have them and are looking to make a little extra cash is a no-brainer.

Think of SniffSpot kind of like a canine Airbnb site. Users can look at properties that offer the opportunity for pet owners to utilize their dog-friendly yards and spaces, and the hosts of the property supply information related to and pictures of the property. Details about the property include fencing information as well as breed restrictions, times allowed, numbers of dogs allowed at any time, and so on, and users can even schedule to meet up with other pets to connect with like-minded people. A user reserves and pays for the space through the site, and then enjoys the good life for the scheduled time.

Many ‘host properties’ make themselves enticing to potential users–leaving dog toys and amenities on their properties for pet owners to enjoy while visiting. Adams says that off-leash time for a dog is really important, and connecting more and more urban pet-owners with that opportunity seems like a win-win for everyone.

To be a host property, there isn’t any requirement other than having no hazards to dogs. Adams says that hosts’ names, email and addresses are checked and they generally do an interview as well as a site visit sometimes. Hosts are able to set their price, minimally starting at $4/hour per pet. SniffSpot’s share of the set-up is 12%.

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Adams says some hosts are making $60 a day just letting other people enjoy their dog-space, many who are not even home when the money-making is happening. All a user has to do is treat the space as if it is their own, and everyone is happy.

Currently, there are over 70 SniffSpot hosts in the Seattle area, and Adams says they are looking to slowly grow around Washington and beyond. Adams says that unlike other ‘sharing’ sites out there, his is unique in that there is no in-home invasion, and people pretty much pay, play and go.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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