Safety first! Creating a safe spot

Our guests consistently say the #1 benefit they get from Sniffspot is safety. Our job together, Sniffspot and our hosts, is to ensure that we are providing the safest space for guests. This is an important part of providing a great experience for guests and achieving the Top spot badge.

Here are the most important ways to provide a safe space for dogs with your spot:

  • Your spot needs to be free of dogs, other domestic animals and people during bookings
    • If your spot is used by dogs, other domestic animals or people when not being used by guests, be sure the spot is clear before the start of the booking (we recommend providing a buffer time for extra safety)
    • Issues with this rule is the #1 cause of poor guest experiences and negative reviews, so be sure that you are set up to comply with this before you start accepting bookings.
  • Make sure that you are aware of all bookings
    • Make sure you have enough advanced notice set on your spot so it can be ready for guest visits.
    • Double check your email and phone number to make sure there are no typos and you are able to receive message and booking notifications.
    • Download our mobile app and make sure to enable push alerts (Android here, iPhone here)
    • If you have family, roommates or others that have access to your spot, add them as secondary contacts so they get notified for all bookings
    • Google Calendar integration: hosts can enable Sniffspot to automatically add reservations to their Google Calendar. In order to enable this, hosts can go to their host account -> spot -> spot preferences -> Add reservations automatically to Google Calendar
  • Make sure you know when anyone is in your spot
    • Many hosts find this a valuable safety redundancy to make sure that they don't forget about a booking or enter the spot during a booking incidentally
    • Many hosts have found it useful to add motion sensors at the entrance to the spot and the parking spot. Many sensors can be easily formatting to notify a host's phone when it sees someone. Here are some of the sensors that hosts have recommended:
    • Some hosts have installed wifi doorbells at their gate with the instruction for guests to ring it when entering. These doorbells can be formatted to notify a host's phone when it sees someone.
  • Never meet guest dogs (unless you specifically arrange this with that guest in advance) or enter the spot during visits
    • If a guest has visited multiple times, it could be easy to relax and come out to say hi - do not do this unless you confirm in advance. We recommend not meeting guests dogs at all. Read more about interacting with guest dogs here.
      • Some of our hosts need to meet with first time guests to explain the spot to them. This needs to be arranged in advance so that the guest is aware of it and it can be coordinated on arrival. If the guest has already entered the spot, the host should not enter the spot and approach the guest. The host should message the guest and coordinate how to meet with them. This is important for safety, since some guests have dogs that are fearful of strangers and the host entering the spot could be a trigger for the dog and stressful for their owner.
    • Your dog(s) should never meet guests or their dogs without specifically arranging in advance with that guest. Read more about interacting with guest dogs here.
      • We also recommend, if your dog(s) use your spot as well as guests, getting in the habit of checking your spot or parking area before letting your dogs out to be extra sure that your dogs will not interact with a guest you were not expecting to be there. 
  • Minimize unexpected distractions
    • Try to minimize distractions for guests' dogs while visiting. Some guests have dogs that are sensitive and don't feel safe with distractions. Read more here.
    • ALWAYS make sure your dog(s) are not visible or audible from the spot if possible. Visible or audible dogs can be a distraction to guest dogs and detract from their experience. Make it clear in your spot listing that resident dogs will not be audible or visible from the spot.
    • Make sure your listing accurately reflects your spot. Here is our guide for the best spot listing.
  • Additional safety considerations
    • Add signage to make it easy for guests know which spot is yours and how everything works
    • Keep your spot clean and hygienic. Read more here.
    • If you have a water feature that allows swimming, make sure to follow our guidelines for keeping humans and dogs safe around water.
    • Regularly inspecting your property then remedying or noting hazards can be a great way to create a safe spot. You can adapt this checklist for inspections.
    • Some hosts have found that guests really appreciate a latch on the inside of the gate to the spot so that guests that are in the spot can latch it and ensure that no one enters the spot while they are in the spot. This can give guests with sensitive dogs additional peace of mind.
    • Make sure that you have adding any potential hazards to your spot detail page.
    • Pro tip: hosts can set up auto messages to be sent to first time guests. This can be a great way to remind guests of important access instructions and safety rules. 


Ready to host? You can learn more and get started here.

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