How this Pacific Northwest landowner transformed their unused land into a dog business

When Grace started out as a host with Sniffspot, she gave herself one month to feel it out and see if it might be a fit for her and her husband. “I watched this video about Sniffspot and thought our property here would be a good thing for it,” she said, of the fully fenced nine acre space she shares with her husband. While she was excited at the prospect of hosting dogs on their land, her husband took some convincing to give it a try. “As soon as he came home, I said, ‘hey, look, this is as good as our property, and it’s just sitting there doing nothing.’ I asked him if we could try it for one month and if he didn’t like it then fine, I'll close it because we have that option.” 

As it turned out, it didn’t take nearly a full month to see if their hosting venture might be a success. In fact, it didn’t even take an entire day. “I went live and after a few hours I got the first booking and that got me all excited. That's how it started.” Today, their space, listed only as a hike up the mini forest, is earning the couple regular, extra income with little work involved, and has hundreds of five star reviews from happy guests who’ve brought their dogs to roam around the hidden gem.

Plenty of space to share  

Years ago when Grace’s husband showed her the plot of land now reserved for hosting guests, she fell in love with it right away. “It's so peaceful up there, it's not busy,” she said, comparing it to the city she used to call home. “You can really walk around and this is really nice.” Although they both had ideas for the space, utilizing the vast area was a process, and for years they used the woods to host family and friends for camping trips and casual gatherings. “He introduced me to camping, and I have a big family, so he created a campground for us, and every year my family and I would get together in the summer and camp,” she said. Despite enjoying the peace and serenity the property had to offer, Grace couldn’t help but feel like more could be done to share the space with others who also appreciate quiet time away from it all. “We were the only ones enjoying it,” she said. 

As timing would have it, Grace saw an ad for Sniffspot not too long after adding dogs of her own to her life. Knowing how much she enjoys her own time in the woods with her four-legged friends, opening up the land for other dogs and dog owners to explore just felt like the right thing. “They were talking about dogs and I have a dog now and I watched this video and it just clicked,” she recalled. “I thought, why not share it. It's just sitting there idle, and at least there's extra income in it.” 

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,000 per month!

Managing multiple side hustles 

Sniffspot is a source of supplemental income for Grace and her husband, and not their only endeavor in the world of short term rentals and hosting. Also actively renting her space to campers on Hipcamp, Grace does her best to manage both pursuits, which she says is made easier thanks to the nature of hosting with Sniffspot. She credits the flexibility in booking, a lack of cleaning up, and the general user-friendliness of the site and the overall natural independence that comes with taking your dog for a walk in the woods with this ability. 

Additionally, Grace’s success as a hosting was made so thanks to the beautiful forest around her, and listening to what does and doesn't work for her guests based on their reviews. “I just got lucky because of the way the property is set up,” she said. “I didn't have sanitizer before, but now I put a little sanitizer out. We also added another outhouse, so now there's one down below and one at the top. And we’re always repairing fencing and taking up the clutter, like dead trees.” 

Some of the money she’s earned from hosting goes into keeping the space as visitor friendly as possible, in addition to adding to her family’s savings. “When it was raining here so hard every day the parking lot got really wet and muddy, so you have to spend money on putting gravel down,” she said. “But my husband always says ‘you have to spend money to make money’.” 

Easily working toward a bright future

For Grace, what makes hosting so simple is due in no small part to the fact that her guest’s satisfaction is her satisfaction. For those visiting her space, the personal touches start when they arrive, and continue after they leave. “When they're new I read their message and see if the dog is reactive or not. Then I welcome them and show them their welcome sign, which they love, and I show them where to go and tell them a little bit about the place,” she said. “I send everyone off with a little goodie bag too, with Milkbones for the dogs, and a little candy or some treat for their people too. And they love that.” 

While her visitors, two-legged and four-legged alike, walk away exercising, content, and with a sense of being appreciated, the same happiness applies to her with each visit. “It's fulfilling work, because I look out the window and I see the parents of the dogs and the dogs going in and they’re not smiling, and then once they come back they're all excited and happy,” she said. “And that makes me happy too, to see everybody happy. That, and you know you would trust them. There's something about these people that have dogs, they're nice people.”

With things on a steady incline, Grace hopes to continue to provide exceptional service to those in search of a quiet space to enjoy a few hours with their best friends. “I'm just gonna go with the flow,” she said. “I could only improve so much, so I'll just see if people keep feeling our spot, try to include as many amenities that I can provide, to keep being friendly,” which is advice she offers to anyone else considering hosting a space of their own and earning money with every visit.  

Interested in hosting?

Learn more here about how your land can help dogs and you can earn up to $1,000 per month!