By Bev Jordan
Tracey Horey is passionate about rescue dogs and animal welfare in general and is also a successful digital consultant with three businesses. Her newest venture is combining her skillset with her passion that is centred around canine well-being.
Sniffspace.com.au is a new platform that she and business partner Jignesh Patel have built to connect dog owners with people happy to rent out their gardens, yards or property on an hourly basis to a dog owner keen for a safe and secure, private space to bond with their dog.
Rafferty, Tracey’s Kelpie x, now four years old, was four months old when Tracey rescued him. “He is anxious with strangers and big dogs so dog parks are not a positive environment for him, but he still needs to get out and explore,” she said.
He is the inspiration behind the concept of private off-leash spaces, which was only a dream for the past two years.
A few months ago, her idea became a reality and with over 700 people already registered and hundreds of dogs waiting, it’s clear the need for secure spaces is well and truly needed.
“Australia has over 5 million dogs and statistically around 40 per cent of them present with some kind of fear or phobia making it a stressful experience for them walking along a busy street, or playing in a populated park,” said Tracey.
“With the influx of adoptions during Covid, blocks getting smaller and the trend of having a dog in apartments, more and more dogs may have poor social skills and the ability to socialise them from a young age has been greatly reduced.
“With all that in mind there has never been a greater need in our community to provide spaces for dogs to run free, on their own, with their owner. Without excursions to these kinds of areas our dogs’ mental health really suffers.
“Sniffing for a dog is good for their soul, It’s calming for anxious dogs and is very natural to all dogs. Having somewhere safe and secure for your dog to sniff around and to play and run with you is all about improving its mental health,” she said.
“I was talking to my business partner and brain-storming, and thought, there are a lot of people with big yards and acreage who don’t use the space all the time.
“We thought Sniffspace would enable them to make a passive income by renting that space for an hour at a time to a dog owner who needs a secure space to bond and play with their dog or to train in a secure environment.”
She says she has a lot of people and dogs waiting for spaces and is now looking for homeowners willing to rent their space to dog owners. Like popular house renting platforms, hosts can choose when their space is available by setting up standard operating hours and blocking off days that aren’t available to guests.
Access to the space must be through a side gate, not through the house, and while people can be at home, if they own a dog themselves it must be inside during the visit. To keep things transparent both hosts and guests review each other after every booking and Sniffspace ensures that dog owners register their dog’s microchip and vaccinations.
To find out more visit sniffspace.com.au