When Are Dogs Allowed at Baseball Games?

Michael Claunch

Baseball is better when watched with close friends, including (or especially) those who bark and walk on four legs. That’s why many people are wondering whether dogs are allowed at baseball games and would like to bring their faithful companions along when they go to the local ballpark. Since this is not a topic frequently discussed on sports news sites and online fan platforms, there is some confusion regarding what are the rules concerning the presence of pets at the stadium.

A quick answer is that in some instances it might be possible to bring a dog to the game, but this can be done only on certain dates, and there are quite a few conditions that have to be met. To explain what this broad formulation means, we’ll try to answer some additional questions on this topic.

Can you bring a dog to a regular season MLB game?

Unfortunately, dogs are not welcome to standard MLB games regardless of whether they occur in the regular season or in the playoffs. Most of the time, fans will have to leave their furry friends at home when they head out to the ballpark. The only exception is made for disabled people, who are allowed to stay at the ballpark with a trained service animal. For all other season-ticket holders, the ban on dogs can mean a lot of lonely trips to the park, without any means of emotional comfort should the home team lose. However, not all hope is lost, and in most MLB cities it may be possible to at least occasionally bring your dog to a baseball game.

Baseball is a family sport, and teams understand that many fans consider dogs to be full members of the household, which is why many of them have dog-friendly MLB games organized at multiple points during a season. That means a well-informed fan can prepare in advance and take advantage of this opportunity whenever it’s available in his location. Having a dog at the game at least a couple of times can be a huge opportunity to have fun together as a family, creating happy memories that last a lifetime.

What are MLB Dog Days and how often do they occur?

Teams individually decide whether to let dogs into their ballparks at some points during the season. Those that do have jointly formed a very cute program that’s called ‘Bark in the Park’, with a handful of selected home games being designated as pet-friendly. Basically, this program introduces MLB Dog Days into the picture and provides an outlet for fans who really care about their dogs. Games that are a part of the Bark in the Park program are specifically set aside for dog lovers, so for once they can relax and enjoy their favorite sport in the company of a loyal friend.

Approximately two dozen games over the course of an MLB season are included in this program. Since those games are played in different cities, fans all over the country are given a chance to attend a baseball game with a pet in tow. The major league teams that had such games during the last season include Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, and Cincinnati Reds, with each of those teams hosting between one and three dog-friendly MLB games in 2022.

Which dogs shouldn’t be brought to the ballpark?

While the selected MLB games are pet-friendly, that doesn’t mean that all dogs are allowed at baseball games. The animal needs to be in good physical condition, completely comfortable with being a part of a crowd, and well-enough trained to sit still for a couple of hours without causing a major ruckus. Unfortunately, this excludes too young dogs that still lack the discipline to be around so many people and canines, as well as very old dogs that might have trouble climbing the steep bleacher stairs or controlling their bodily functions.

Dogs also need to be fully vaccinated and free from any signs of illness in order to protect from any health issues in a space where so many pets are present at once. The animal should be tolerant to loud noises and fireworks, and generally able to remain calm despite the overwhelming stimulation present at the stadium. If the game is played on a hot day, dogs that have long fur and are poorly equipped to withstand the heat should be left at home for their own safety. Aggressive or territorial behavior can also be problematic, so owners that aren’t absolutely sure how the dog will act in a public setting should probably take no risks.

What you can and can’t do with your dog at a baseball game?

Even at games where dogs are allowed into the stadium, there could be some restrictions regarding where they can stay. Some teams have a special section specifically for dog owners and prohibit pets from mingling with regular visitors. Dogs must be kept on a leash and stay with their owners at all times, and they can’t be left unattended or allowed to roam around the venue. All those rules are necessary to keep MLB dog days safe from chaos and fun for everyone.

That said, there are still plenty of things to do with your dog at a baseball game. You can dress it in team garb and use it as your lucky talisman, or you can play catch with a baseball in the parking lot. At the very least, the dog will enjoy an opportunity to explore and socialize in a new environment. A visit to a ballpark also represents a good test of obedience – if your pet can manage a baseball game without incident, you can probably take it anywhere. That’s why the presence of dogs at baseball games is a positive trend, and it would be great if more teams organized such games at least a few times per year.

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