4-Legger's Promise - Products You Can Feel Good About Using on Your Best Friend

It is an astonishing fact that over 50% of dogs over the age of 2 will die from cancer

Studies estimate that only 5% of these cancers are hereditary (some breeds have higher rates and some lower).

The remaining approximately 95% of dog cancers are due to lifestyle and environmental factors

That statistic was the motivation behind 4-Legger.

The dog grooming industry is not regulated. There are no standards for ingredient purity, marketing claims, or product safety.

After losing our dog to cancer we realized removing toxic ingredients from his bath would have been an easy change we could have made to reduce his exposure to toxic ingredients and reduce his chances of having cancer.

We are dedicated to giving EVERY dog a healthy bath and changing the dog grooming industry to make it safer and more transparent. 

Reducing Your Dog's Exposure to Environmental Toxins

Learn More About Ingredients in the 4-Legger BlogWith 95% of canine cancers attributed to environmental toxins it is clear dog parents must reduce their fur family's exposure to toxins.

Everything from the food your pet eats, sun exposure, flea and tick treatments, over-vaccination and of course the products that you use on their bodies can contribute to their toxin exposure. 

A few facts about your dog's skin and coat: 

  • Your dog's skin is more sensitive and there is less epidermis to protect your dog's organs from environmental toxins (including toxic ingredients)Your dog's skin (the largest organ in your dog's body) is not as thick as yours. A dog's epidermis is 3-5 cells thick. A human's epidermis is at least 10-15 cells thick.
  • The main functions of the hair and coat are to protect the skin and to help regulate temperature.
  • Sebaceous (oil) glands within the skin lubricate the hair, keeping the coat shiny and water resistant. It is important to not block these glands with ingredients in your dog's shampoo. 
  • The pH of your dog's skin is 7.4 - 7.5  (more basic) while yours is 4.8 - 5.5 (more acidic). A shampoo that feels great on your skin may not feel very good on your dog's skin.
  • Hair growth and health is controlled by several factors including nutrition, grooming products, hormones, and time of year. 

Bottom line: The ingredients in the products that you use on your dog are as important as the hair and skin serve as the first barrier to keep your dog safe.

If you allow environmental toxins to disrupt that barrier, you risk exposing your dog to everything from ingredients that cause itchy skin, hormone disruption cancer and more.

Using a safe and non-toxic grooming product for your dog is an easy step you can take to lower their exposure to environmental toxins. 

Ingredients in Dog Shampoo

The first thing we did when we knew we were going to make dog shampoo was to take a hard took at all of the greenwashed products on the market.

From there, we developed a list of ingredients that we would never use in any of our products.

 Here is the list of ingredient we made in 2014 that we vowed would never be in any of our products:  

Ingredient What to Look for on the Label Why We Don't Want it In Our Products
Artificial Colors  
D&C, FD&C, Yellow 5, etc.
Artificial colors have been associated with many forms of cancer.
Ethanolamines including Cocamide DEA, MEA, or TEA
Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA, TEA
A foam producer that started as a coconut and has been chemically altered into a moderate cancer causer, hormone and thyroid disruptor and an organ toxin.
Cocamidopropyl betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine or Cocomide betaine
A synthetic surfactant associated with irritation & allergic contact dermatitis. Reactions could be due to the ingredient itself or impurities. Nitrosamines (a common contaminant) are known to cause cancer. 
Dimethicone Dimethicone, Dimethyl silicone (and other names) Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).
Tetrasodium EDTA Tetrasodium EDTA or EDTA Used as a preservative - organ system toxicity (non-reproductive). Increases the ability of other chemicals penetrating skin. 
DMDM Hydantoin, Doazolidinyl urea,Imidazolidinyl Urea,Quaternium-15
Formaldehyde is a known cancer causing agent. While slow releasing versions do release formaldehyde more slowly - they are still releasing formaldehyde! 
Artificial Fragrance
Your dog's sense of smell is 50 times more sensitive than yours. Artificial fragrances can lead to compromised immune function, allergic reactions,  neurotoxicity, and cancer.
Isopropyl alcohol
SD-40, isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, isopropanol, 2-propanol, and propyl
Destroys the skins moisture balance & causes irritation. Makes susceptible to bacterial & viral infections. Nerve toxin, lung & heart irritant, and liver toxin.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone MCI, Isothiazolone, 5-chloro-2-methyl, Methylchloroisothiazolinone
A preservative and an anti-fungal. It has been associated with organ poisoning and is a known carcinogen.
Causes skin irritants that have been associated with significant allergic reactions. There is strong evidence that methylisothiazolinone is also a neurotoxin.
Methylparaben & Parabens Words ending in "-abens" Preservatives that are known endocrine disrupters. Elevated estrogens can cause cancers of the uterus, bladder, and breast. 
Mineral Oil Mineral oil A byproduct of distilled gasoline - made from crude oil - it coats the skin and inhibits its ability to release natural oils or eliminate toxins. 
Phthalates Phthalate Help bond fragrance to the soap base. Known male and female hormone disrupters, linked to birth defects, asthma, neuro-developmental problems in newborns, fertility issues, & obesity. Banned from children's toys. 
Polyethylene glycol
PEG, polyethylene glycol
A known cancer causer. Here are a few of this chemical’s side effects; malabsorption of nutrients in the intestine, stomach disorders, iron deficiency, loss of memory, and immune dysfunction.
Polysorbate-20 Polysorbate-80
Bind oil with water and dissolve fragrances into a solution. Commonly contaminated with the cancer causing 1,4-dioxane. 
Propylene Glycol Propylene glycol Used as a humectant (moisture retention). Strong skin irritant and liver/kidney toxin. Break down healthy hair proteins, irritates sensitive skin and eyes.
The "Sulfates"
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Coco Sulfate, TEA, Lauryl Sulfate, MEA
Known to cause skin irritations (redness and itching) which can result in infections. May be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane - a known cancer causer & immunosuppressant. 


Many manufacturers would say that the amounts of an ingredient they are using are "so low that they pose no threat". Meanwhile, the increase of cancer, hormone disruption and other diseases in our dogs continues to rise. Believe what you want. Having lost a dog to cancer, we think any amount of these chemicals being exposed to our dogs when there are viable alternatives is too much.   

Why is Certified Organic Important to 4-Legger?
Certified organic dog grooming products go through a much higher level of scrutiny. We developed the world's first aloe based USDA Organic Dog Shampoo because we wanted pet parents to see the seal and know without question our products were truly all natural, safe and non-toxic. 

Our ingredients are carefully selected for sustainability, and ethical harvesting/growing practices. Our ingredients are reviewed throughout their lifecycle - from where and how they are grown, harvested, processed, transported, packaged, and shipped.

All of our products are made in the USA in small batches to ensure quality. 

Certified organic dog grooming products also verify that there are no GMO ingredients, no pesticides, herbicides, artificial colors, or artificial fragrance.

Only truly natural ingredients go in the bottle and of course on your dog!

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