Five years ago, 4-Legger co-founder Melissa Boland was fulfilling her lifelong dream of working as an occupational therapist with brain injury patients. She enjoyed a full and active life and one of her great joys was being a dog Mom.
When she was giving her toy poodle a bath she discovered the profound lack of muscle definition on his face. The diagnosis for Henry Clay, a two time penile cancer survivor and much beloved companion, wasn’t good. He was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor given a 1-2 month timeframe for survival.
Henry Clay surpassed his life expectancy by 13 months but ultimately lost his life to cancer. Later on the same day as Henry Clay died, Melissa herself was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
During chemotherapy, when Melissa’s cell counts were classified as infection fatal, her oncologist instructed her to give her dogs frequent baths to keep them as germ free as possible. It wasn't long before her dogs had dry, flaky skin and she realized the "all natural and organic" dog shampoo she had been using since Henry Clay was first diagnosed with cancer did not live up to the marketing claims - it was neither organic or all natural.
Knowing that Henry Clay’s cancer was attributed to environmental toxins it was simply unacceptable that clever marketing could lead a consumer to purchase a product that wasn’t truly all natural or free of synthetic chemicals.
Upon discovering the pet grooming industry is not regulated by the FDA, Melissa knew she had to be a voice for change in this multi-billion dollar pet industry.
4-Legger's first organic dog shampoo hit the market in 2015, coinciding with Melissa's completion of cancer treatment and was quickly followed by three other shampoo products. This was soon followed up with 4-Legger's all natural USDA Certified Organic Nose and Paw Balm and all natural Dental Powder.
In 2018, 4-Legger was the first company in the world to develop an aloe based USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo. 4-Legger's newest product, our USDA Certified Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioning Rinse has multiple benefits including to help improve the skin and coat, assist with the transition to organic shampoo and aid dogs that are suffering from yeast issues.
4-Legger continues to lead the way in pushing the dog grooming industry to develop safer products that are truly all natural, sustainably sourced, and eco-friendly - good for us, our pets, and our planet!
4-Legger is proud to be woman-founded, woman-owned, and woman-led. International Women's Day means a lot to us as it coincides with Melissa's annual check-up with her oncologist. We're happy to report we will proudly be led for another year by this remarkable woman whose journey through cancer has truly made a difference in the pet industry.
If your dog is afraid of the bath, we can help!
Check out our tips for how to gently train your dog so you can have a great smelling dog with our award winning organic dog shampoo!
Giving your dog a long happy life means we must work to prevent cancer.
Amazingly, since only 5% of cancers are genetic, it is easier than you think. We have one simple tip for how you can prevent canine cancer by changing your dog's shampoo!