(DOG PICTURES) OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA — Ever dreamed of spending a day with your dog at the ballpark? Well, Oakland Athletic fans got to enjoy America’s pastime with their best friend last week when the A’s hosted the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Before the scheduled 7:05 first pitch, Athletic doggie fans participated in a pre-game “Pup Rally” and “Pup Parade.” The positive energy seemed to carry over to the game as the Athletics defeated the Angels with a 5-3 score. Perhaps more “Dog Day at the Park” events and fewer “Free Hot Dog Thursday” promotions will drive an A’s winning streak.

During this 2011 baseball season, many teams have designated promotional games welcoming fans to bring their dogs out to the ballpark. In order to bring your dog to the game, standard team rules mandate that dogs must have a special ticket, be vaccinated, well-behaved, and leashed. Before leaving home for the game, check the team’s website for additional rules. Furthermore, make sure to remember your dog’s basic health needs such as what not to feed them and how to keep your dog cool.

In addition to having fun with your pup, the ball games also serve as charity and awareness events. For example, the Nationals donate 100 percent of the money from their $5 outfield dog tickets to the Washington Humane Society, the Reds donate $2 per Dog Package sold to SPCA Cincinnati, the Dodgers donate a portion of their proceeds to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, and pet adoption stations are present at some ballparks.

Dog lovers are flocking to such “Pup Night” and “Bark in the Park” games as teams tend to sell all or most of their dog-specific seats. On the season, the home teams have won only half of their games with dogs in attendance. Why the relatively poor performance by home teams? While ballplayers routinely play in front of 50,000 fans, perhaps some home team players fear the power of the woof. As more dogs attend baseball games, hopefully the players will no longer dread the dog days of summer but rather embrace the presence of their animal friends.

When scheduling your next outing to the ballpark, check if you can bring your dog with you to the ball game. While you should refrain from buying your dog peanuts or Cracker Jack, it is quite alright to woof, woof, woof for the home team! Check out some dog highlights from the A’s game and snapshots of other dogs sporting their MLB swag below!

Photo Credit: dodgers.com
Photo Credit: dodgers.com

Photo Credit: Debora Del Valle

— Joseph Turner, exclusive to Global Animal