Turn Your Backyard Into a Dog Park and Get Paid to Watch Pups Play

Have you ever considered turning your backyard into a dog park? Running, playing, and sniffing are imperative to a dog’s well-being, and visits to a dog park can help provide dogs with the mental and physical stimulation they need to stay healthy and happy. When in an enclosed area, dogs can roam off leash, stop and sniff as long as they like, and spend time bonding with other dogs (and you).

If you have a private fenced-in area, you can turn your backyard into a one-of-a-kind dog park, creating a safe and fun space. With a bit of planning, a few hours of maintenance each month, and help from Sniffspot to manage your bookings, you can run your very own dog park, make dogs happy, and boost your income!

Here are just a few reasons to consider turning your backyard into a dog park:

  • You can help animals get the exercise they need, which prevents obesity and reduces anxiety. Tired-out dogs are healthy and happy!
  • Dogs need to sniff for mental stimulation. It’s their way of exploring the world, satisfying their natural instincts, and catching up on the “local news.”
  • You can offer private bookings to help fearful dogs stretch their legs without encountering other animals, as they would in public dog parks.
  • People can schedule pup parties for their canine companions and invite their dog friends—guests can play together without the risk of an unfamiliar newcomer creating chaos.
  • You can help immune-compromised guardians protect themselves by avoiding public places.
  • You can also earn extra income, which you could use to help even more animals by donating a portion of it to PETA.

Most people start out charging $5 per visit and offer a variety of extras, including large fenced-in lawns for playing fetch, agility gear, doggie pools, watering stations, waste clean-up equipment, and shady spots for dogs and their guardians. You can choose to offer as many or as few of these amenities as will work with your space and tailor your dog park to be exactly how you’d like.

Be sure to check the requirements for operating a business in your neighborhood before getting started.

Once you’re up and running, be sure to enforce a few standard rules to help make your dog park safer, cleaner, and more welcoming for all. PETA’s guidelines can help!

  • Safety is crucial. Be responsible and make sure the fencing is in good condition, with no escape holes or gaps. Check the yard for toxic plants, and keep the area pesticide-free.
  • Require all dog visitors to be sterilized before playing at your park. If you know a pup who needs to be spayed or neutered, have their guardian call 1-800-248-SPAY for help finding low- or no-cost options in your area. If you live near Hampton Roads, Virginia, call 757-622-PETA and press 3 for information about PETA’s low- and no-cost sterilizations.
  • Ban prong, pinch, choke, and shock collars as well as abusive behavior, such as hitting, bullying, or yelling at dogs. Make it known that these things will not be tolerated and will result in permanent dismissal from the park.
  • Provide a waste-disposal station with recycled plastic bags and a garbage can with a lid. Encourage visitors to clean up after their dog, and be sure to empty the garbage at least once daily.
  • Remind guardians to give hot, tired dogs fresh water and take breaks in the shade.

Decide how much (or little) you want to be involved with your guests. Some people prefer privacy, whereas others may appreciate a warm welcome from you. You can alter your approach from guest to guest, depending on everyone’s comfort level.

Of course, turning your backyard into a dog park is just one way to enrich dogs’ lives. If you don’t have yard space, there are many other ways to help dogs. Be creative, have fun, and remember that every act of kindness matters.

Take Action to Help Dogs!