Where to Watch a Major League Baseball Game with Your Dog

The Great American Pastime has gone to the dogs! More and more baseball stadiums are hosting a special day when fans can bring their dogs with them to a game – and that includes Major League Baseball teams.

Often a portion of ticket sales are donated to local rescue organizations and the game includes pet parades around the bases, photo or costume contests, giveaways, dog treats, water stations and sometimes even adoptable dogs – pretty much everything you could want except fireworks to avoid startling the pups. Best of all, this year, two teams unveiled special dog-friendly sections of their ballparks that are open throughout the season. Now that’s what I call a home run!

For years, many dogs and their owners have been coming to cheer for the Arizona Diamondbacks at their annual “Bark at the Park” at Chase Field in Phoenix -- 800 people came to the event on May 1! This year, the team has expanded its dog-friendly baseball offerings by partnering with PetSmart to open a new PetSmart Patio for the “Dog Days of Summer.” In left-center field, there are 30 suites that can hold four people and one dog. The $160 ticket price includes access to two dog parks on the premises (one is indoor and air conditioned), a dog-friendly ice cream bar with kibble toppings, and all-you-can-eat human concessions like – wait for it! – hot dogs. Each game, there is an MVP shout out to the “Most Valuable Pup.” The 13 Sunday home games for the “Dog Days of Summer” quickly sold out, which prompted the team to announce four additional dog-friendly games to help meet demand. For more info and to buy tickets, visit the Diamondbacks Dog Days of Summer web page. Play ball!

A Boston Terrier and friend enjoying a Diamondbacks game from the Petsmart Patio

 When the initiative was announced, Derrick Hall, Diamondbacks president and chief executive officer, said: “Bark at the Park has always been a popular event at Chase Field, and now we are thrilled to offer fans the opportunity to bring their dogs to our games every Sunday to a new destination designed specifically for them. For many households, a pet is an extension of their families and the D-backs are excited to partner with PetSmart to provide a family-friendly atmosphere for all family members, including our canine friends.”

Nearby in Southern California, the San Diego Padres opened “The Barkyard” at Petco Park. There are six premium boxes in left-center field available at every home game that can accommodate four people and two dogs. Prices start at $100 and include access to a nearby pet-relief area, a free surprise for your dog, goodie bags from Petco, umbrellas for shade, artificial turf that doesn’t overheat in order to protect dogs’ paws, and a pet concierge who escorts canines and their humans to and from “The Barkyard.” Visit The Barkyard website for more info and a link to the application to attend.

Brad Weston, president and chief merchant for Petco, said in a statement: “At Petco, we know the best part of being a pet parent is simply spending time together, making memories and strengthening our relationship with our pets, so we love seeing more and more public venues make moves to include our four-legged family members. The Barkyard at Petco Park is a new way for pet parents to create unique experiences with their dogs all season long.”

If you can’t hit one of these great ballparks, don’t worry – there are still upcoming dog-friendly games scheduled for the 2016 season at other stadiums, too. Find our top picks below! As with any dog-friendly event, check before you go to make sure they aren’t sold out and to see if waivers, vaccination records or other forms are required.

Other teams that host annual dog-friendly games earlier in the season include the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, so check them out next year, too.

Root, root, root for the home team with your dog by your side!  

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Award-winning pet writer Jen Reeder looks forward to taking a road trip so that her Lab mix, Rio, can enjoy his first professional baseball game. She intends to sprinkle his favorite Zuke’s Mini Naturals on top of his doggy ice cream.