Best Practical Holiday Gifts for Your Dog


A message from Kelly and Christian, CragDog founders:We wish all our current customers, future customers, dog owners, and rock climbers the best for a holiday season full of fun with their dogs and their outdoor adventures.  Thanks for visiting our website and looking at our products.  We are grateful for those of you who have purchased and who have contributed used climbing gear that we recycle for our products.  In the spirit of the holidays and throughout the year, CragDog contributes 30% of sales proceeds to local and national climbing advocacy organizations.

To help with your holiday shopping, we have compiled here a few of our favorite holiday gifts for our dogs and for dog owners who love the outdoors.  These are practical gifts which will be welcomed and used.

Leashes – CragDog sells many different types of climbing rope dog leashes, some with and without carabiners, depending on your preference.  All are made with up-cycle used climbing gear; creating pet-safe, easy-use equipment.  Check out our website for the leash that works best for you!





Dog Toys – Exercise and play with humans and other dogs is essential for your dog’s health and happiness.  CragDog sells many different types of tug and toss rope dog toys and a combination pack of all.  These heavy-duty dog toys can withstand a great deal of play and can be found on our website.




Chuckit – For dogs who like to run and fetch, a long handled chuckit ball launcher increases the length you can throw providing more fun running and chasing for your dog.  With the chuckit’s hands-free pick-up you avoid wet sloppy balls.


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Dog Beds – Dogs need a comfy bed to snooze on just like you do, where they can relax in a spot that’s dedicated to them.  Although we prefer to recommend purchases from small/local businesses, in this case we recommend dog beds from Costco.  We find these are the best value.


Sleeping Bag


Dog Sleeping Bags – When you take your dog along for camping, dogs like to curl up in their own sleeping bag.  Although there are dog sleeping bags available for purchase, we recommend that you buy yourself a new bag and give your used bag to your dog.  They won’t know the difference.

Musher's Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax, 60-g jar


Musher’s SecretTo protect your dog’s paws, especially in the winter from the salt and chemicals on the street, we recommend Musher’s Secret.  It is 100% natural food grade wax that is a breathable barrier for your dog’s paws. It can be used year-round for protection as needed.

The Parks Project -This final suggestion are gifts for humans from the Parks Project.  A tote bag, sweatshirt or gift box from the Parks Project will support our National Parks. There are many gifts to choose from, including ones with your favorite National Park’s logo.  National Parks are great places to explore with our pets.

Happy Holidays and Happy Trails everyone,

Hiking with your dogJust like everything else, camping with dogs require careful planning and thought. We highlight here important preparation and planning to have a fun, stress-free, adventure.

Check the Rules of the Parks and Wildlife Areas You Plan to Explore 

You will need to understand the rules for the areas you plan to explore and where you plan to camp.  Many national, state, and local parks and forests allow dogs, but some do not, and some have specific restrictions.  Check the website for details.  Also, check the details of your campsite and trail plans.  The more you plan, the more you will avoid pitfalls and have an enjoyable time.


Dogs in the mountains

What to Pack for Your Dog – Keep It Simple

Pack plenty of food and treats – mostly just what your pet needs at home.  Lightweight eating and drinking bowls make life easier for you.

Make sure you review availability of water for you and your dog.  We usually plan a 1/2 gallon per dog each day and a gallon for each human.  Make sure to check with your vet, to ensure you have enough fresh water for your dog.  Review the website for the area you will be visiting.  Also, check the details of your campsite and trail plans.  An important consideration when camping is the proximity of water at the campsite and while you are hiking.  If your pup does not have enough water, you won’t either, you will need to share.  

For hiking, it’s best to choose trails close to streams or lakes. Keep in mind distance between water stops. If water stops are far apart, you may want to carry extra to ensure it is readily available whenever your pup is thirsty



Dog playing on beach

Leashes, Leashes, Leashes

Bringing more than one leash is important for a number of reasons.  First of all, there are parks that require your pet to be on leash at all times.  Even for parks and forests where your dog can roam free, there will still be times when a leash is needed, especially when wild animals show up. And don’t forget rattlesnakes; dogs won’t understand what they may be getting themselves into.

In a strange environment, even the most disciplined dog may get out-of-hand.  At CragDog, we, of course, are in the leash business and have many sturdy leashes for you to choose from.




Make Sure Your Dog is Prepared 

If you plan a strenuous trip, covering many miles, know what your pet is capable of.  You might want to have a training plan for your dog just as you may have for yourself. Consider scheduling a visit to your vet to make sure your dog can handle the trip, especially if you have any doubts about the health or capability of your pet.

Starting out, not all dogs do well at sleeping in a tent and may have trouble going in and out.  You may want to practice before you are on the trail.

Courtesy Counts  

If you plan to hike in popular areas, your dog will need basic obedience training to avoid trouble and to keep all pets and wildlife safe.  Know the rules for the trails you’re using, and whether there are other uses for the trails by, for example, bikes or horses.

Respect wildlife and other pets by giving them plenty of space. Do not let your dog chase other dogs or wildlife.  It pays to go out of your way to be considerate of other users to avoid confrontations (with humans, pets, or wildlife).

Enjoy Nature As You Found It.

Follow the age-old adage: leave no trace.  Allow others to enjoy nature as you found it.  Always pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of properly where indicated.

At your campsite and when taking breaks, make sure to clean up food crumbs, spilled treats, and packaging. And you don’t want to mistakenly leave behind your CragDog dog toys…





Bring Along Your Sense of Humor and Have Fun

The whole point of hiking with dogs is to enjoy their company and have an adventure.  Follow these guidelines to plan ahead, but always have Plan B in case of unforeseen events.  The best trips are the ones that have unanticipated experiences; you can’t plan for everything.  Take lots of pictures, stay safe, and enjoy the great outdoors.  Your friends and family will be waiting to hear your stories when you return. And your best friend will become your even better friend.


Crag: Slang for “climbing area”; a steep rugged cliff or rock face.

Dog: Slang for “best friend”; a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties. All of them, cute.

CragDog: Slang for “best friend at a climbing area”; A cute four-legged friend hanging out while you climb.

There are many types of CragDogs: big, small, young, old, loud, quiet, sleepy, energetic The list goes on and on. Heck, there are even crag cats. Knowing when and where to bring your CragDog is important.

  1. Are dogs allowed at the climbing area? Know where you are climbing, many National Park lands have restrictions on dogs in the backcountry. Almost all climbing locations require your dog to be on a leash.
  2. Is your dog a people person? Some dogs just don’t like people. If your dog is actively aggressive towards people, it may be best to leave them at home. Other dogs only react when people bother them. Know your dog and where you are climbing. If you feel uncomfortable, leave them behind,
  3. Is your dog dog-friendly? Some dogs do not like other dogs, plain and simple. If there are a lot of dogs running around, you know the drill.
  4. Are you prepared for a dog fight? Some people don’t leash their dogs no matter the rules. Fights will happen. If your dog getting into a fight ruins your day of climbing, you may want to skip the headache.
  5. Are you willing to break your best friend’s heart by leaving them at home?

If you take anything from this article, don’t let your dog ruin climbing for others. Don’t let climbing ruin your dog’s day by leaving them behind.

Our advice, go bouldering, bring two crashpads. One for climbing, and one for cragdog naps.











Feeling restless while in Covid-19 lock-down? Inspect Your Rope!

Are you looking for something to do while staying home? Take this time to inspect your climbing rope! Now is the perfect time to go through your equipment inch by inch to make sure that when the quarantine lifts, you are ready to send. This is a short blurb on a very involved subject of when to retire your climbing rope. There are several good resources on gear inspection through the UIAA and many of the major climbing gear manufacturers.

Some minor fuzziness and or dirt are not grounds to retire a rope, but are something to keep an eye on. Dirt can work its way into the core of the rope and decrease the strength of the rope significantly over time. Washing your rope in lukewarm water with or without some mild pH neutral soap, or manufacturer recommended rope wash is a great way to clean a rope and extend its life.

Slowly flake the rope out through your hands into a neat pile. I like to run the rope through my fingers almost like I am holding a pencil. This allows me to feel all around the rope as I flake it out. You are feeling and looking for any:

If your rope has any of the bullet pointed issues it is time to retire your rope. My general rule is, if I am on the fence on if a fray is too big, or the rope is getting too stiff, it is time to retire the rope, or if the damage is close to the end of the rope and wont diminish its length significantly, cut it out. Just remember, if you do this any middle marks you have will no longer indicate where the center of the rope is.

Better to err on the side of caution with something that literally saves your life every time you use it. If you do end up retiring your rope why not give it a second life by sending it off to us here at CragDog. Your retired rope will get turned into some sweet canine equipment, and raise money for climbing organizations around the country! Learn more here.


Minor fraying. Worth keeping an eye on, but not necessarily retirement worthy.

Some more moderate fraying. Can indicate more severe damage may have occurred.

Notice the white core exposed. Cause for immediate retirement.





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