Doing backyard work in other people’s homes is a common type of business for kids and teens. But what if you could make your own backyard work for you? You could rent your backyard for dogs and have your own private dog park business.

More dog owners are looking for fenced backyards that are closer to their own homes, compared to traditional dog parks. Private dog parks can also be great play spaces for pets.

– Renting your backyard can be a fun job, especially if you love dogs

– This business is closer to earning passive income, compared to some other businesses. You can simply let people and their pets use your backyard. Other than that, you only need to make sure the lawn keeps a neat appearance and keep an updated calendar of customers.

– You have complete control of your rates and hours for renting your backyard.

– Let’s just say cleaning up the backyard probably isn’t the most fun part of this business. This is still true, even if you’re running your business with programs like Sniffspot, which encourages clients to clean up after their pets.

– Dog behavior can be unpredictable. A dog that behaves well around its owners may change once the owners leave.

How to Get Started:

NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.

1. Think about safety first. Get rid of chemicals like certain fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

Look at the plants and flowers that are in your backyard area. Do some online research or stop by a local plant store to ask if your current plants or flowers might be harmful to dogs.

Check your backyard for any sharp objects, such as sharp stones, or twigs. Also, regularly mowing your lawn can help keep ticks away and makes your backyard look good.

2. Plan your park. Your backyard dog park can be simple or have as many cool things as you want. Set a budget and work with what you already have.

Some dog park hosts start with a secure, mowed yard with some water bowls, some poop bags, and a few dog toys. Other hosts offer hiking trails and dog hammocks. Some backyard dog parks even have human-friendly features including barbeques or fire pits.

3. Decide how social you will be with pets and owners. You can choose to greet dogs and owners.

You can also offer to run/walk around the backyard with dogs if the pets and their owners are comfortable interacting with you.

Or you can choose to keep an eye on your backyard from a safe distance and stay mostly unseen as your customers and their pets use the backyard.

4. Be a great neighbor. Keep your neighbors in mind while running your dog park business.

Be sure your customers have enough places to park their cars without blocking your neighbors’ areas. Also, try to schedule your dog park appointments around certain times of the day that your neighbor’s pets are outside to prevent possible confrontations.

How Much to Charge:

The size of your yard will help you decide what type of space you can offer — and how much you can charge for it.

The average backyard dog park host charges about $15 per dog per hour. Some hosts offer a half-price discount for additional dogs belonging to the same owner.

The general range hosts charge is $4 to $50 per hour, depending on things such as the host’s area, the size of their backyard, and any extra features and/or services that may be included.

Sniffspot generally allows many of its dog spot hosts to charge between $4 to $12 per dog per hour. The maximum charge allowed by Sniffspot is $20 per dog per hour.

Taking it to the Next Level:

  1. Create a great experience. Use calendar apps to set up dog park appointments and keep your calendar up to date. Make sure your customers can reach you by phone and/or email in case they need to cancel/reschedule appointments.
    Also, take the time to listen to your customers. Ask them for their feedback and a review.
    You can do this through one or a short group of text or email messages after their visit. Use this feedback to continue improving your backyard dog park business.
  2. Promote your dog park business. Start asking family and friends to help you get the word out about your dog park business. Create a website and at least one or two social media accounts for your dog park business.Also, consider companies like Sniffspot that help you rent your backyard for dogs. These companies also help you promote your dog park, set up appointments, and help with other parts of running a dog park business.
  3. Visit pet-related businesses. You (and a family member or friend) can go to pet stores, pet groomers, pet photographers, obedience coaches, veterinarians, and pet boutiques to see if you can leave business cards, brochures, or other promotions for your dog park business.

Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash