Amid Rising Prices, Americans Are Turning Backyards Into Pet Paradises For Extra Income

Amid Rising Prices, Americans Are Turning Backyards Into Pet Paradises For Extra Income
Cover Image Source: A dog owner strokes her dog | Getty Images | Photo by Matt Cardy

With inflation impacting the prices of just about everything, Americans are turning to side hustles to make some more money. Homeowners across the US are earning extra income by renting out their backyards as private dog parks to people with pets. Several apps allow homeowners to do so while sitting in the comfort of their homes, and apparently, it's working quite well.

Beyonce, a rescue Beagle plays in a backyard | Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker
Image Source: A rescue Beagle plays in a backyard | Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker

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The National Association of Realtors reported that 40% of homeowners have or are willing to consider renting out a part of their residence, citing a study conducted by realtor.com® and Censuswide.

Special websites and apps, such as Sniffspot and Swimply, offer Airbnb-like booking services for backyards. On these platforms, users can search for nearby homes that have fully fenced-in yards or other amenities such as agility obstacle courses or dog-friendly pools. The users can then rent these places on an hourly basis.

After the booking is completed, the renters and their pets will have access to the area during that time frame. Hosts may opt to have minimal contact with their guests, provided that renters ensure that their pets are cleaned up before leaving the spot. The advent of various apps is simplifying this procedure, offering convenient solutions for both hosts and renters alike.

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Although dog parks offer enjoyable experiences, many pet owners, particularly those with small and friendly breeds, are avoiding them due to worries about encountering aggressive dogs or contagious illnesses. Consequently, renting someone else's backyard, providing an exclusive space for them and their pet, is inherently a preferable alternative for these pet owners.

Pet owner and backyard renter Melody McManus said that they take her dog to a rented backyard in north Phoenix every week. "It’s a safe place for her to just have fun and not have to worry about any conflict with any other dogs," they said.



 

In the NAR report, Elizabeth Morton, a homeowner in Candler, N.C., said that she charges about $11.50 an hour per dog for renting out her space. This allowed her to earn about $36,000 last year. She also mentioned that she usually gets up to 10 bookings per day.

Furthermore, a few years ago, a Swimply user who rented out their pool by the hour earned about $177,000 in less than two years. As per the report, Swimply users earn an average of $45 per hour based on the pool size, yard amenities, and demand.

Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Ron Lach
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Ron Lach

While short-term renting seems like a lucrative venture, it does have a few limitations. Several municipalities and homeowner associations across the country have been cracking down on short-term rentals. Homeowners, on the other hand, may run into problems with guests, including noise complaints and property damage. While most of the rental platforms offer liability coverage to hosts, extra insurance may be necessary for comprehensive coverage.

Rodney Melton made his side hustle which started from his backyard into his main business and enjoyed the colossal profits|Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels

Despite the constraints, there's a growing number of platforms emerging to facilitate short-term renting. Homeowners now have the opportunity to rent out virtually any area of their home. Apps like Neighbor and Stache have come up, enabling individuals to even rent out spaces like closets to garages.

Moreover, platforms like PeerSpace and HomeStudio cater to homeowners looking to rent their properties for creative endeavors such as filming and photo shoots.

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