1. Follow the stadium’s rules: Check out the stadium’s guidelines for bringing dogs to an event, which are usually posted online. Standard guidelines require dog owners to sign a waiver of liability, produce a copy of the dog’s vaccination records; sit in a designated area of the stadium, keep the dog on a leash at all times and come fully prepared to clean up after the dog.
2. Be sure your dog will be comfortable at this type of event: Before you buy those tickets, consider how your dog will react to being in a strange, crowded, noisy place like a baseball game. Not all dogs would enjoy the event. “I wouldn’t take my dogs to one of these,” says Burkert. Ty and Buster wouldn’t do well surrounded by strangers and noise, she explains.
3. Consider the heat factor: Stadiums are making an effort to schedule dog events during cooler times, like evenings and early or late in the season, but ball games can still get pretty hot for spectators and their dogs, Burkert points out. Taking frequent breaks to walk around can help keep dogs from getting agitated and overheating.
4. Be prepared to leave immediately if your dog isn’t doing well: Is your dog telling you it’s time to go? Listen to him. “Your dog may be great for the first four innings,” notes Burkert. “But like toddlers, dogs get overstimulated.” If you’re really invested in watching the game, don’t bring your dog, she says.
5. Go easy on the treats: A dog-friendly MLB game is a special event for everyone, with yummy things to eat at every turn. Be careful not to overfeed your dog in the excitement of rooting for your team.