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You’ve all seen how The Elf on a Shelf has become a huge part of Christmas Tradition over the last decade for families with kids. Right? 

Well, the sneaky and playful activities of one of the 4-Legger's dogs during Christmas (and all year) made us think that we needed to create something like this for our dogs! After all, they are in many ways just as much a part of the family these days as the 2-Legger kiddos.  

So, we are kicking off the 1st Annual Adventures of Gnome in the Home - a fun Christmas game created just for the doggos we love!  We will be posting pictures (be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram), have some fun contests and even some chances for you to get your own Gnome in the Home to create some Christmas fun for your pup.  

This is Gnome. 

Gnome didn’t just walk up one day and proclaim his new assignment from Santa Clause. 

Here is the story of how Gnome in the Home began...



 

 

 





“Once upon a time during the season of Christmas, there was a very smart doggo who liked to watch his 2-Legger brother and sister during December.  The kiddos knew Santa would come soon and if they had been very good and helpful, he would leave them a present.

The little Doggo loved to watch them open their presents on Christmas morning and knew that the Elf from the North Pole must have given Santa good reports every night when he flew back to tell Santa whether they had been naughty or nice.  

One year, the little Doggo got his very own present in his very own stocking from Santa and his little hiney wiggled and wagged as he joyfully ripped off the paper to see his new toy.  

All through the year the little Doggo remembered the stocking and before long got so excited that every time he saw a sock in the house he thought it was his Christmas stocking and would rip it up trying to find his gift. Elf sometimes dropped in during the year to check on the 2-Legger kids and when he saw how naughty Doggo had become with the socks, he reported to Santa who decided that all the Doggos needed a helper like Elf to teach them how to be good and not rip up everybody's socks.

Santa sent for the Christmas Gnome who was Elf's cousin but sort of scary to 2-Legger children. Gnome lived in the garden and loved to see the Doggos playing in the yard. He knew how to watch them without them knowing and was very happy when Santa gave him a Christmas job inside where it was warm. Now Gnome helps the Doggos and Elf helps the kiddos to be good and stay off the naughty list. Most of the time it works out pretty well, but not always." ©️

These are the adventures of Gnome in the Home.

We can’t wait to see how you will add to the story and make it part of your Christmas Traditions!

The Adventures of Gnome in the Home are an original 4-Legger®️ Creation. All rights reserved.

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We had a FANTASTIC time at the recent dog summit! 

It was so much fun to spend time with our customers as well as many of the top educators in the Veterinary field!

So many of you came to our booth and said, "I already use 4-Legger but I want to meet you and also stock up." 

There were many lasting impressions.

One was a pet store and grooming salon owner who thought they were using a natural dog shampoo for her discerning customers.

When she first came up to our booth she said, "Everyone tells you their shampoo is the best. So now it's your turn. Tell me why yours is the best."

That was easy as 4-Legger organic dog shampoo truly IS all natural and organic.

4-Legger has two lines of all natural dog shampoo:

Our USDA Certified Organic to Food Standards Dog Shampoo (human grade) and our USDA Certified Organic to the full Seal Dog Shampoo (the highest certification possible).

Less than 2% of all of the dog shampoo on the market is USDA Certified Organic to food standards.  4-Legger is the only USDA Certified Organic dog shampoo (Full Seal Standard) with an aloe base.  

‘The Dog Shampoo We Use Now Is Natural” (she said)

The customer asked why organic shampoo is better than the all natural shampoo she is currently using.

That is where it got interesting. 

We asked her what brand of shampoo she is currently using in her salon and while standing there we looked up the ingredients on the manufacturer's website. 

Comparing the ingredients is the quickest and easiest way to understand the differences and why 4-Legger doesn't use any artificial or synthetic ingredients. 

Here are some of the ingredients we pointed out as synthetic in the products she is currently using: 

  • Acrylates copolymer
  • Blend of Brighteners
  • Cl#14700 (Red #4)
  • Cl#19140 (Yellow #5)
  • Cl#42090 (Blue #1)
  • FD&C Red #1
  • Concentrated Surfactant Blend (also called Surfactant Blend) which is in fact most likely Cocamidopropyl betaine)
  • Dodecyl Sodium Sulfate
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • EDTA
  • EGDS
  • Parfum (Perfume or Fragrance) 
  • Lavender Fragrance
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Polyquaternium-7
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Gluconate

She was truly shocked to discover the ingredients in the shampoo she is using had any synthetic ingredients and even more shocked to discover her shampoo was primarily synthetic

Welcome to the world of greenwashing - the practice of marketing a synthetic product as all natural when it absolutely is not, simply to make money. 

Natural products are strong sellers  so virtually every manufacturer has started to market their product as "all natural". Since the dog shampoo industry doesn't have regulations requiring manufacturers to disclose all ingredients, they can get away with it all the while betraying your trust in the safety of their product.  

A synthetic chemical like Cocamidopropyl betaine is on the label as "all natural surfactant blend" or "coconut based surfactant blend". 

These products should come with a "buyer beware" sticker so you know that what is on the front of the bottle (the marketing area) likely doesn't match the ingredients panel on the back of the label.  That is assuming they even fully disclose all of their ingredients, which the industry also does not require!

Unfortunately, this means well intending dog parents, pet store owners, and groomers and even some veterinarians are using ingredients on dogs that have known health concerns for their furry customers and themselves. 

We will keep pushing for regulations in the dog grooming industry for full disclosure of what is in the bottle! In the meantime, if you have a product and want to check the ingredients, check out 4-Legger's dog shampoo ingredient database.

We've compiled the data in an easy way to show you if it is all natural or synthetic and if there are any specific health concerns with an ingredient. If you’re not using 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo, don’t be surprised if the dog shampoo you are using has ingredients you would never choose as a conscientious pet owner.  

4-Legger does not and will never use any artificial or synthetic ingredients in any product we make. We’ve had the devastating experience of losing a much loved dog to cancer caused by exposure to environmental toxins.

 Our mission is to give every dog a healthy bath and educate pet parents on the fundamental importance of ingredient purity and product integrity. 

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Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, to be grateful for the good things that have happened, opportunity to spend time with family and friends and to step back from the normal routine for a few days.  

Normally during this happy time It’s easy to see the connection between the good things in life and the feelings of happiness that accompany them. For me, one of the most significant parts of Thanksgiving is understanding the difficult experiences and events that have been endured that have resulted in feelings of grief, loss and sorrow.

Thanksgiving falls on November 22 this year and historically, that date has been filled with many difficult things. In recent years, it was 11/22/10 when my dog Gracie was diagnosed with a spinal stroke that left her partially paralyzed. On 11/22/11 my dog Henry Clay had a second surgery for his cancer that had returned. And then as many of you already know, it was on 11/22/13 that Henry Clay finally lost his life to cancer.  A few hours later that same day I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
 
November 22 is not the best day for good memories for me.  But here’s the thing; When you're in the midst of the fire, you don't often see the positive things to come that will redeem the struggle and heartache. Today, as I reflect I see it clearly how much I have to be thankful for. I believe that it takes going through these difficult times, filtering through the rubble and finding a way to thankfulness. I believe thankfulness lives in the heart where both joy and sadness have been. And I believe thankfulness occurs when you’re able to see a new purpose or a new vision arise from something that previously was only associated with heartache. 

4-Legger is the living and breathing proof of that reality for me. It has been inspired by significant loss but has resulted in significant gain in helping to make all of our dogs lives healthier lives and be free of many of the toxins that make them sick. We have a long way to go but we’re doing it - with your help, we’re making a difference!  We are so grateful for all of you who have supported
4-Legger and who advocate for safer products.  

That’s why we started our annual Thankful Friday sale.  We like to call it that as a reminder that we have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving this year has been even more meaningful because of all the past difficulties which have allowed me to reflect on where I’ve been, but also to see where I’m going through the mission of 4-Legger.
 
We want to share this time of Thanksgiving with you and invite you to take part in our Thankful Friday sale.  We will be offering a 20% discount through the weekend and on the sales that we get on Friday 11/23, we will donate an additional 20% of those sales to the Canine Cancer Foundation.  You can help us fund research so that this awful disease can be cured.

Here’s what you need to know.  You can stock up on our USDA organic dog shampoo, dog deodorizing sprays, apple cider vinegar rinse, dog paw balm, and our dog dental powder with this discount code when you’re checking out:

ThankfulFriday2018

The sale will run through Sunday 11/25/18 til midnight.  

There are a few exclusions (animalEO oils and 2oz shampoo sizes primarily)
Finally, because we place a high value on spending meaningful time together with our own families and friends, we will be enjoying the holiday weekend in the same way that we hope you will.  Any email or phone communications sent to us will be attended to next week after the holiday.  If something messes up, don’t worry - we’ll work it out together!

With that said, all of us at 4-Legger are very grateful for each one of you and wish you a safe, joyful and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Blessings to you,
Melissa
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Thank you, thank you, thank YOU!

We are excited to announce 4-Legger's all natural lavender dog shampoo, CALM, the world’s first aloe-based USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo, was the winner of the 2018 EcoExcellence Award for Best Pet Grooming Product!

4-Legger is honored to be the choice for the most sustainable and eco-friendly dog shampoo - helping dogs across the globe take healthy baths without harmful chemicals! 

Our organic lavender dog shampoo is one of five in 4-Legger’s new line of USDA Certified Organic dog shampoos - the only aloe-based organic dog shampoo in the world to achieve the highest standard an all-natural product can achieve - the USDA Seal from the National Organic Program.

All five products use a simple but highly beneficial base of Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Saponified Oils (Coconut, Shea Butter, Olive, Sunflower, and Jojoba), Organic Vegetable Glycerin and Organic Rosemary Extract. 

“CALM” features Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Calendula and Organic St John's Wort to calm, balance, moisturize and soothe dry itchy skin while encouraging skin healing and reducing inflammation.

Watch this short video clip to hear Melissa Boland, 4-Legger's founder share her inspiring story with Kathy Ireland during her interview on Modern Living. [You can watch the full interview here.]

The Inspiring True Story of A Breast Cancer Survivor Making the Dog Grooming Industry Safer - YouTube

4-Legger chose to develop products that would be subject to the National Organic Program. The ingredients and marketing claims must follow national standards for transparency and purity of ingredients. Further, the ingredients must have a paperwork trail to verify their source. By selecting all natural ingredients with specific health benefits for pets and in compliance with The National Organic Program, 4-Legger is the leader in the industry.

The 2018 EcoExcellence Award from Natural Child World (NCW) Magazine selection process started with a review jury composed of Media Editors, Influencers, Celebrity Judges, NCW’s Parents Lab and Experts chosen for their industry expertise. The judges narrowed down entries to 5 finalists per category. Public voting determined the winners. The selection of 4-Legger’s organic dog shampoo validates that pet parents want transparency and truly all natural products for the health of their pets.

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I admit it. I didn't expect to be writing asking you to take 30 minutes out of your day to check your clothes dryer vent. Yet, here I am doing just that. 

Let me explain why. 

A few weeks ago my clothes dryer indicated that the dryer vent wasn't clean. I removed the filter, cleaned it of lint and replaced it (which is what I do after every load). The light didn't go off. The clothes dryer is a bit intimidating.

Built to be highly energy efficient, the dryer also has a digital interface that many dryers do not have to indicate issues. 

When the light didn't go out after cleaning the filter, I located and used the dryer lint brush - pushing it into the small space to try and grab any lint and debris from the space where the filter goes. I got a little bit out but not enough for the alert light to go away. 

Feeling determined, I grabbed a screwdriver and disconnected the dryer vent from the dryer and vacuumed it out as best I could. I then went outside and removed the end cap and vacuumed it out as well. Went back to the dryer and got an all clear! The vacuum had collected a LOT of lint! 

Before our cat passed away, we had a LOT more pet hair in the clothes dryer. My dogs don’t shed but if they did, that would increase the risk of the dryer vent becoming dangerous. 

I looked up the statistics to see how many fires occur every year from dryers. Here are the facts:

  • There are 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported every year
  • These fires cause an estimated 5 human deaths and 100 injuries
  • The fires result in $35 million in property loss every year
  • Failure to clean the dryer vent system is the leading cause of dryer fires
  • It is recommended you clean your dryer vent annually 
  • It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish
  • You can hire companies to clean your dryer vent and your duct work if you don't want to do it yourself

What was missing from these statistics of course was the number of pets that die in dryer fires every year.

I know I've left the house to do errands with the dryer running - putting my furry family at risk. Just writing that makes me never want to do that again!

It popped in my head not only am I concerned about clean ingredients in our USDA Certified Organic dog shampoo, I am also concerned about clean dryer vents! 

Keep It Clean! Keep It Safe! It applies to the products and ingredients you use in and on your dogs and the appliances in your house! 

 

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There are more and more dog shampoos on the market that claim to be all natural and organic but are using Phenoxyethanol as the preservative. 

In 2016 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made it clear that companies which use Phenoxyethanol in their products cannot market their products as all natural since the ingredient is a man made synthetic chemical. [Read FTC Press Release from 2016]

This is great news for companies like 4-Legger who make truly all natural dog shampoo. Our products are USDA Certified Organic. They have third party validation confirming that every ingredient is natural and the product is organic!

If you missed our post on why 4-Legger strongly feels why the USDA organic standard should be the criteria used to allow a company to market their product using the words "all natural" - you can check it out here

Unfortunately, enforcement by the FTC means companies must have a consumer complaint filed against them before they can be required to clean up their marketing. 

So, pet parents must continue to be the watch dog on ingredients, purity of ingredients, and marketing claims to ensure their dogs aren't exposed to potentially harmful synthetic chemicals. 

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database gives Phenoxyethanol a rating of 4 out of 10 for safety. As a reference, Methylparaben which has links to endocrine system disruption is also rated as a 4. Phenoxyethanol was developed as a safer alternative to paraben and to be fair, it is but I still don't want it on my dog.

Japan's Standards for Cosmetics restricts the use of Phenoxyethanol in cosmetics based upon limited evidence of skin and immune system toxicity, allergies and nervous system toxicity.

While manufacturers who use Phenoxyethanol will tell you it is safe in low concentrations, there are no long term studies that look at single ingredients in a petri dish and their long term impact on health. 

4-Legger strongly feels the quality of the ingredients you use on your dog should match the quality of the ingredients you put in your dog!

We don't feed our dogs synthetic food and we don't want synthetic ingredients on their skin.

If you truly want a safe and non-toxic shampoo, you want a true all natural dog shampoo - one that is USDA certified organic. You want 4-Legger!

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We were talking to pet parents at the Greenfest event recently about our new USDA organic dog shampoo.

We're pretty proud of the fact we are the first (and only) aloe based organic dog shampoo in the world to receive certification to put the USDA Certified Organic  Seal on our bottle. The seal is the highest level of certification a product can receive from the USDA to identify a truly natural dog shampoo! 

When we talked about our new Sweet Orange and Neem dog shampoo we quickly discovered Neem isn't as well known as we thought. 

What is Neem? 

Neem is a fast growing evergreen tree (Azadirachta indica) first discovered in Southeast Asia. The tree grows so quickly it has been considered a weed in some parts of Australia and Africa. 

What makes the Neem tree so unique is that nearly every part of the tree's structure has beneficial properties - from the leaves to the bark and the oils! 

Researchers have isolated over 150 compounds from the Neem tree that work synergistically to naturally protect itself from bacteria, fungus, pests, and other threats. 

Neem's Beneficial Properties

Trees having beneficial properties is of no surprise. The ancient Egyptians used willow bark as early as 3000 B.C. as a remedy for aches and pains and the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote that willow helped to relieve pain and fevers. 

While they knew it "just worked", they didn't know it was the compound salicylic acid in the willow tree that reduced both temperature and inflammation.

If you are looking for a 300+ page book on the history of Asprin (yes, seriously) we've got the book for you! Asprin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug by Diarmuid Jeffreys is an fascinating read.

Like the willow tree, the Neem tree "just works". It has been used for over 4,000 years to treat a variety of health problems ranging from skin issues, dental care, infections, and inflammation to malaria. 

The most pronounced beneficial features of the Neem tree have been it's strong pest repellency, anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

Neem has been shown to improve the condition of skin, reduce inflammation (dermatitis), and increase the flow of blood to the skin to help it naturally repair itself.  

We knew we had to make an organic neem dog shampoo because it is so naturally beneficial and such a sustainable crop. 

Learn About Our Organic Neem Dog Shampoo

Neem's strong odor is one of the reasons it is so effective against insects. A blight of locust can wipe out an entire forest but it won't touch a Neem tree. Not even termites will touch Neem! In parts of India taking shelter under the Neem is common because bugs will leave you alone.

Using the oil from the fruit and seed of the Neem tree instead of the bark or leaves reduces the smell significantly and combining it with our organic base of Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Saponified Oils (Coconut, Shea Butter, Olive, Sunflower, and Jojoba), Organic Vegetable Glycerin, and Organic Rosemary Extract helps to reduce the smell even more. 

What REALLY makes this blend of dog shampoo incredible is the addition of certified organic sweet orange essential oil.

The certified organic orange essential oil combined with certified organic neem oil makes this an excellent flea dog shampoo while delivering an uplifting scent that adds even more benefits to your dog's skin and coat!

Orange essential oil is natural deodorizer, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. The high amounts of Vitamin C helps to increase blood flow to repair collagen and skin and promote healthy skin. The healthier your dog's skin the better it is at protecting your dog from environmental toxins, bacteria, fungus, allergens, and other nasties!  

Like all of 4-Legger's shampoos, our neem dog shampoo is concentrated. Use a small amount of shampoo with a lot of water to get great lather!  In addition, consider picking up our foamer bottle to truly maximize usage of this benefit-packed shampoo.

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