It's feeling more like Spring every day, and while we're all trying to get outdoors more and enjoy the gorgeous weather and fresh air, it's important that we include our four-legged best buddies in the play too. After all, they're feeling just as cooped up as you, and getting outdoors with them is a great way to bond and keep their brains and bodies active.

While any activity you can do outdoors with your pup is a welcome outing, there's one coming up that has me excited and will have your buddy's tail waggin'.

The City of Harker Heights will host a free Paws in the Park day of fun at Purser Family Park Saturday, March 27 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

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It's an event for all ages with all sorts of great activities planned. (More on that below.)

Sara Gibbs with the City of Harker Heights tells us there'll be an agility course available throughout the event so you and your doggo can let all that energy out and and really let loose. Dog-friendly vendors will be there as well.

If you're looking to get competitive, there are contests scheduled at Pavilion B that you and your pooch can enter together.

From 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM, there'll be a Dog & Owner Lookalike Contest.

From 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM, there'll be a Best Dressed Contest, so bring your cutest dog costume!

From 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM, they'll have a Best Dog Trick Contest where your buddy can show off their moves.

Finally, at 4:15 PM, there'll contests for Smallest and Biggest Dog.

Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each contest, including dog tags for your pet to wear and show off their victory.

If you're looking to grow your family or find a new best friend, pet adoptions will be available at the park as well. Remember: a dog is a commitment, so be sure you're truly ready to adopt and give a pet in need of a loving, safe home all the care and love they'll need.

Poster Courtesy of the City of Harker Heights

As I mentioned earlier, there will be pet-friendly vendors at the event. However, I highly recommend taking plenty of water and food for your dog, along with any medications they take in the daytime. Also, keep in mind the warmer, sunnier weather when deciding if your dog will wear a costume and for how long.

Organizers ask that dogs please be leashed outside of the dog park fence area, and they strongly recommend face coverings and social distancing.

Whatever you do outdoors with your dog is sure to make them happy and strengthen the bond you share, but always remember to have plenty of water on you, even if you're just going for a walk around the block. Be mindful of how hot the surfaces are that you're doing will be walking on, and consider buying them protective booties for their paws.

Always keep a close eye on your dog and watch for signs of overheating, fatigue, or exhaustion. My dog, Leela (that's her in the picture above), will often try to keep playing and running around even when she's starting to overheat and is panting. I have to coax her back into the house to cool off. Some dogs don't know their limits, so it's up to their human to help them out.

The Humane Society of the United States has some great tips here for keeping your dog safe and comfortable as temperatures climb.

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