If you’re like me, you’re picky about the products you use on your dogs. Ever since Bolt had a severe reaction to over-vaccinating and over-medicating, I’ve been increasingly conscious of what I put into and onto his body. I started looking at labels more than I had before. I found that most of the items I was using had words that I couldn’t even pronounce. The ingredient list took up half of the bottle. In the past year I’ve learned that the shorter the list, the better. And that, “all natural and organic” doesn’t really mean what it says. Only 25% of the product in that bottle has to fit that criteria to have those words written on the label.
When 4Legger reached out to me, I had my reservations. Was this all its cracked up to be? How are they any different than any other “natural and organic” brand? Browsing their website I saw that received the Seal of Approval by Dogs Naturally (a website/magazine dedicated to natural canine health care). This alone meant a lot to me. As we continued our email chain, my eyes and heart opened to this small business. Angela, the chemist behind 4-Legger told me a little bit about how they got started and their mission. This was the part that really got me;
“Melissa, 4-Legger’s founder battled breast cancer first hand after having lost her dog, Henry Clay, from cancer on the day she was diagnosed. During much of her cancer treatment, Melissa’s cell counts were infection fatal, meaning if she got sick, it would kill her. Her oncologist recommended any dogs that would be near her had to be bathed frequently. The onset of dry itchy skin made us realize the “all natural and organic” dog shampoo we had been using wasn’t all natural or organic. As a chemist, it made me mad that I’d been duped. You’d think of all people to pay attention to ingredients it would be someone who was passionate about them!
Melissa said after listening to my ingredient/being duped rant that she was going to beat cancer so she could take our homemade dog shampoo to a whole new level and provide an educational platform for dog parents to learn about ingredients. We wanted pet parents to have absolutely no doubt about our commitment to quality, so we took the extra step to develop products that are USDA Certified Organic. ” -Angela
At that point I knew that our missions and philosophies on dog health meshed. They were knowledgeable about ingredients and had the education to create safe and non-toxic products. They were committed to taking the extra steps necessary to making their product top notch.
So what are those “extra steps” she’s talking about?
“Our shea butter is more expensive because it is purchased near a hippo preserve. The tribe agreed to grow the shea butter to UDSA Certified Organic standards in exchange for paying more to help preserve the hippos.” – Angela
Okay, how awesome is that? Dog shampoo that helps preserve the lives of hippos. Win, Win!
“We made the oatmeal / lavender because we wanted to try and get people away from synthetic products with oatmeal and use a higher grade oatmeal (not hydrolyzed oat protein). We use oat milk extracted from the kernels and filter it multiple times. It must have been a good idea because since we came out with it there have been a number of copycats do the same!” – Angela
Now that I had done my own research and trusted the product, it was time for a spa day.
Step 1: Catch your dog! Insert dog into sink, or bath.
Step 2: Use sprayer or bucket to create a wet dog.
Step 3: Lather them will soap and give them a puppy massage.
I used the Oatmeal, Lavender, Aloe blend on Torque. I’ve been noticing that his skin is really dry this winter. After lathering him, I let it sit for a couple minutes.
Bolt got to try out the Lemongrass and Aloe blend. Mainly because I wanted to try both. It was more about me than him. Hahah! I couldn’t help myself. They both smelled so delicious. I thought about tasting them. No joke.
Step 4: Rinse the soap suds away.
Step 5: Towel dry with microfiber towel.
Step 6: Comb, Blow Dry, Comb
Bolt and Torque have a thick undercoat and a thinner outer-coat so blow drying is necessary. I always like to comb and dry at the same time to avoid matting.
Its been a couple of days since their bath and I’m still grateful for the results. Their coats are soft, fluffy and still smell delicious. There haven’t been any side-effects and the dogs stayed nice and relaxed through their spa day. Their favorite part, the nose and paw balm! They can’t get enough of it.
Minnesota winters can be ruff! Our skin dries out, their paws crack, and their poor noses don’t have that adorable honeycomb pattern that they should. When I first opened the balm I was happy to see that it was the color of baby poop! That meant, no artificial colors or dyes. Bolt was ready to start eating it because he liked the smell. I put a dab on my hand and started massaging it onto his paw pads. He tried to lick it off but I was a mean mom and made him stop. Although, it felt good to know that the wanted to eat it, rather than running away from it. Next, I put some on his nose.
We’ve been doing that 1-2 times a day for 3 days and will be posting an update after a week. Here is the “before” of his cute (but dry) nose. We look forward to getting that wet honeycomb nose back soon. Stay tuned!