Where to Take Your Dog Out to the Ballgame

Where to Take Your Dog Out to the Ballgame

Ballpark Dog FTR (Leah Ingram)

You’ve read before how I’m one of those crazy dog ladies that likes to take her dogs with her wherever she goes (within reason). That’s why I’ve written articles on dog-friendly places to go Black Friday shopping as well as hotels that welcome your four-legged family members. So it’s no surprise that I love that I can take my dogs with me to a ballgame during Bark in the Park special events.

Never heard of Bark in the Park? While there are community events for dogs in parks that might use that phrase, the Bark in the Park of which I speak is a MLB annual event with their affiliated teams.

Bark in the Park events are held with both major and minor league franchises. In fact, the first Bark in the Park I ever attended was with the Lakewood Blue Claws in Lakewood, New Jersey. They are a minor league team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s my dog, Oscar, above, hanging out at the Blue Claws game.

According to the MLB, the very first Bark in the Park for 2018 was held on April 7 in Arlington, Texas. It’s when the Texas Rangers played the Toronto Blue Jays. A recap of that (chilly) event said that 26,229 people attended, along with 740 dogs at the game. They calculated that this was about one dog for every 35 humans at the game.

bark in the park tweet

Video of that Rangers Bark in the Park showed dogs sitting with their owners in the stands. It’s not always the case that your dog can sit with you in a seat.

When we attended the Blue Claws game, we had to sit in the picnic area with our dogs. They were not allowed in the stands. It will be the same at the May 5 Mets game that’s also a Bark in the Park. Dog owners will have to sit in the Coca-Cola Corner at Citi Field.

Bark in the Park is held once, maybe twice, in a baseball team’s season. The Detroit Tigers will hold theirs on May 14 and again on September 17.

Oftentimes the team will connect the event to an animal-related good cause. For example, when the Baltimore Orioles hold their first ever Bark in the Park in September, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter.

The main MLB website does not list all of the upcoming Bark in the Park events. However, the individual team pages on the MLB site do. Search for theme nights on your favorite team’s page to figure out when the next Bark in the Park will be.

Keep in mind that sometimes the teams call this dog-friendly day something else. The Washington Nationals call this Pup in the Park. And get this: They are holding six such events during the 2018 season!

Last year one minor league team announced that it was Bark in the Park, if you will, at every home game. That’s because they designated their stadium as a dog-friendly zone. That team is the Lynchburg Hillcats, a minor league team affiliated with the Cleveland Indians.

You will likely have to fill out a waiver form and present it at the entrance gate. You may also be required to provide proof of rabies or other vaccines before your dog will be granted admission.

Cat owners may be saying, hey, what about us? We want to take our cat with us to a baseball game this year. Well, while not as popular as Bark in the Park, one baseball blog says that, a few years ago, the State College Spikes hosted Purr in the Park. During this event fans were invited to get their crazy cat lady on and bring their felines along to a baseball game. The Spikes are a minor league team affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Not sure if any other team rode on the Spikes’ cattails and did their own Purr in the Park or will in 2018. Either way, I hope you’ll have a chance to take your pet out to the ballgame this season.

When not covering pets or money-saving topics for Parade, you can find writer Leah Ingram hanging out with her two rescue pups Oscar and Sadie or working on her profitable online store called Pawsome Doggie. It sells dog-shaped cake pans and bakeware, dog theme birthday party supplies, and unique gifts and housewares for dog lovers who want to celebrate a dogaversary™. Use code PARADE to save 10 percent.