Even though I only live four hours from St. Louis, I have never been there. So I made plans to visit this 4th of July weekend. The first thing I had to do was decide whether or not I was going to take the dogs. I considered a boarding kennel, a pet sitter, or leaving my dogs with a friend. But because it was a holiday weekend, these options were going to be hard to come by. So I decided to take them with me. Once this was determined, I needed to find a hotel that would allow my pets. After some research online at www.PetsWelcome.com, I found that the Sheraton generally accepts pets.
Once the hotel was booked, the next thing was to prepare for the trip. I had to not only pack for myself, but for the dogs as well. I packed their food bowls, water bowls, leashes, food, doggy biscuits, doggy poopie bags, crates, dog beds, and most importantly, extra water. I made sure they were in good health (both just had check-ups at the vet a couple weeks ago), that their tags were secure on their collars and up to date, and that my car was prepared for them. The back seat of my car has a car seat cover and I added the Kurgo Backseat Bridge which would give them extra room and keep them off the floor. My dogs wore their pet auto safety belts. The strap which buckles into the seat belt receptacle of the car was extended a little so that they had more room to move around but were still safe and secure.
On the way to St. Louis, we stopped at the rest stops along the way. There were three of them, each about 40-60 miles apart. Every interstate highway in the US has rest stops. I made sure the dogs only did their business in the pet area since the rest stops had a place designated specifically for pets. And I made sure I picked up after them. I also gave them water at each stop. Both dogs did great. No one got car sick. Maya was bored and tended to move around a lot, but because of her pet seat belt and the Extend-A-Seat, she was not able to bother me while I drove.
At the Destination
Both dogs were well-behaved at the hotel as well. Maya was a little hyper and wanted to greet everyone but I kept a hold of her leash and made sure she did not jump on or lick anyone. When I left the hotel and had to leave them behind, I kept them in their crates as required by hotel policy. I did not get any reports about them so I assume that they did not bark after I left. I did not always leave the dogs in the hotel when visiting St. Louis. I took them walking even went to a couple of nearby parks.
All-in-all it was a great trip. We all had a good time and we all kept safe. You and your pets can have a safe and pleasant time traveling as well. Just remember the four basics: Accommodation, Preparation, Travel, and Destination.