(CBS News) - Almost half of American households own a dog, but many stores don't allow pets. The folks at a company called "Dog Parker" say they found a way to make those stores more pet-friendly.
When Mark Hummel wants to check out his local stores, he no longer has to leave his dog, Paulie, at home. Outside this Brooklyn, New York ice cream shop is a temperature-controlled, high-tech dog house. Putting his pooch in the Dog Parker, let's Hummel to go into places that don't allow pets.
"It has allowed me to combine errands and spend more time with Paulie. I feel like I'm more efficient with it," Hummel said.
"Dog Parker" Co-Founder, Chelsea Brownridge, says an app allows users to lock and unlock the door with an exclusive code and there's a webcam so they can keep an eye on their dog.
"Not only did we create this product for the dogs safety and the owners peace of mind, but it's also a way for stores to be more welcoming to dogs," Brownridge said.
Members use their app to pay the 20 cents per minute fee. Dog visits are meant to be short and the average stay is about 15 minutes. That's about three dollars.
There are 35 Dog Parkers in Brooklyn and the company plans to expand into several other major U.S. cities next year. Businesses that allow one outside get a portion of the profits.
"It wasn't good the first time he went in actually. He was just trying to get out the first time, but after that he's been great," Hummel said.
The Dog Parker has a staff that cleans the houses every day. There are also U-V lights inside that kill bacteria and viruses between users.
The company plans to be in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, DC next year.