Sniffspot app lets Reno families turn their backyard into a dog park

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Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 12:03 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As prices for necessities remain high, many are looking for those called “side hustles.”

In the Reno-Sparks area, some families are using an app, which helps to do just that.

Turning her 2.5 acres of land into a dog park was just the idea Amber Hart was looking for.

“I and two other moms started a homeschool nonprofit or educational nonprofit and I was just looking for passive ways for income,” she said.

Through a blog post, she found out about Sniffspot, an app she uses to connect with local dog owners like Karen Gutheil.

Gutheil has two dogs and although she has a backyard, the space is not enough and dog parks are not an option.

“They’re not neutered because they’ve been show dogs and other dogs get aggressive with them,” she said.

That’s when the app comes in, it allows dog owners like her to rent private land by the hour for their four-legged friends to explore.

Founder David Adams calls it the Airbnb for dog parks.

“When you rent that spot, you pay for it and that time is yours and no one else is going to be there,” said Adams.

The homeowner never has to interact with the guest or dogs and the dog owners never have to worry about encountering unfamiliar dogs.

Gutheil has now been at Hart’s place twice, which is for rent at a rate of $10 an hour per dog.

“They were running everywhere, I couldn’t keep up with them,” said Gutheil.

“I love dogs, I love animals in general,” said Hart. “There’s definitely been something very satisfying about getting paid while I fold laundry.”

Reno currently has 15 spots available, and according to Adams is one of the fastest growing markets, with prices ranging from $5 to $12 dollars an hour, per dog. Hosts get 80% percent of the profits.

Aside from the land, Hart’s place also offers other amenities, including a water hose, drinking water and rain shelter. It’s also fertilizer and pesticide free.

While she has only been a host for three weeks and one of those was hit with smoke from the Mosquito Fire and rain, Hart says for her it has been gratifying.

“It’s been so rewarding to see and hear stories like Karen’s because I have another gentleman who also says this is the highlight of his dog’s week,” said Hart.

For safety, hosts are required to be screened, land less than an acre must be fenced and all dogs are required to be vaccinated and both guest and host are reviewed after a booking.

“What I’ve learned is our hosts have actually signed up because they love dogs and it gives our hosts so much joy to be able to give joy to their local dogs so that’s the reason the hosts are signing up and then they find that it’s great to make extra money and it can’t hurt,” said Adams.

He adds that the world needs to be a more dog-friendly place and his goal is for the app be a spot for every dog.

If you would like to book a private park, go to:

For information about becoming a host:

To learn more about Hart’s place, click here.