Make Money Inviting Puppies to Your House

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(This article was originally published in NextIdea, our weekly newsletter on side hustles and pursuing financial independence. Sign up for it using the box below.)

‘Tis the season… for wild side hustles.

I’ve spent a lot of this year getting our Financial Independence hub off the ground with how-to articles and baseline information about FIRE. If you’re new to NextIdea, welcome, and know that our FI coverage can be summed up in nine words: Make more money, lower your expenses, invest the difference.

Now comes the fun part: discovering and documenting all the interesting ways people are applying these principles in their day-to-day lives to reach their personal finance goals.

So far, we’ve given you vending machines, dirty laundry, millionaire YouTube hairstylists, Black history flashcards, reluctant TikTok superstars, and Twitch aficionados. But as a dog lover, it would be downright negligent for me to not publish at least one story this year squarely focused on how hanging out with puppies could make you extra cash.

“I Made $2,810 from Dogs Swimming in my Pool This Summer”

Denise Powers hosts dogs in her backyard, shown above, for an hourly rate. (Courtesy of Denise Powers)

That’s where Sniffspot comes in. The startup, founded by a Stanford business school graduate, lets you list your yard or other space at an hourly rate for dogs and their owners to visit.

“I made $2,810 from dogs swimming in my pool this summer,” says Denise Powers, a Sniffspot host who converted her backyard into a water park for pups. We got the scoop for you here:

The Perfect Side Hustle for Dog Lovers? Making Your Backyard an On-Demand Dog Park

Want More FIRE Tips? Grab Your Earbuds

Lastly, a shameless plug: I joined Farnoosh Torabi on CNET’s So Money podcast earlier this month for what she called “the definitive episode on FIRE.” It dropped over the holiday weekend. If you’d like to listen, you can check it out here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Happy December — let’s finish the year strong.