Vancouver-based bespoke dog shampoo brand, Laslo & Saxon, was founded by Christina Saxton and chef Robert Belcham (of Popina Cantina fame) after rescuing their pup, Dexter. As a locally celebrated chef, Robert makes all of Dexter’s food from scratch. It didn’t take long for the pair to notice the toxicity of strong synthetic fragrances that are in many dog shampoos and decide to make Dexter’s shampoo from scratch, too. This new passion project led to the birth of Laslo & Saxon: an all-natural, synthetic-free dog shampoo that owners can tailor to meet the specific needs, textures of fur, age and breed of their dogs. We chatted with the founders to find out more! —Noa Nichol
Please tell us a bit about yourselves and your dog, Dexter, to start!
Laslo & Saxon launched this past April, after a year-and-a-half of conceptualizing to create the world’s first bespoke dog shampoo! I, Robert, am a chef and restaurateur and Tina is a corporate travel manager. This project started with the adoption of Dexter, a rescue puppy that became a huge part of our lives—and family. After we adopted Dexter, we saw how many unhealthy products were on the market for dogs and made the decision to take control of his overall health and wellbeing. It started with his food—with me being a chef, it was an easy solution to just start making healthy and nutritious meals at home for Dex. Next was his bath products, and as we read the labels of so many pet shampoos, and did research on their ingredients, one glaring additive stuck out to us the most, which was chemical fragrance. Dogs have a nose that is up to 10000x more sensitive than a humans, and when we discovered those crazy and fun fragrances like Pina Colada and Bubblegum, we realized why dogs hate taking baths so much. We decided to make something better, a shampoo that would compare to the best shampoos from a salon but formulated for a dog’s sensitive nose and individual needs.
When and why did you launch Laslo & Saxon? What was/is the aim of the brand?
We launched in late April of 2021. We decided to bring this customizable shampoo to market to help all dogs and their paw-rents have a better bath time experience. Dogs are key members of the family and they have sensitive skin just like humans. Why would we put a subpar shampoo on them, which can cause a myriad of health problems from itchy skin to breathing problems.
What products/services do you currently offer, and what makes them unique?
Laslo & Saxon offers the world’s first customizable dog shampoo. We are bringing a luxurious and holistic approach to dog shampoo, something that has never been done before. We handcraft a bespoke bottle of shampoo for each individual dog based on questions that are answered on our website during the ordering process. It is completely unique and the most amazing way to pamper your fur baby. We use high-quality essential oils to scent our shampoo (that are all safe for dogs) instead of chemical fragrance. We also use less than a 1 per cent dilution rate to keep our dog’s sensitive noses in mind. Our shampoo is also better than most human grade products. From oat proteins to jojoba oil to vitamin E, it’s all in there to give your dog the softest and healthiest coat ever.
Please tell us how the customization aspect works, and why it’s important
Through our questionnaire, the paw-rent will answer eight questions about their pup. From hair length to skin issues to their name (which goes on their custom bottle!). We then formulate their blend based on these answers. If a dog has dry skin, we include additional moisturizer, if a dog has joint issues we add essential oils like myrrh, and so on.
We hear Laslo & Saxon is into giving back, too?
Yes! We are currently featuring four Canadian dog charities. During check out, the paw-rent gets to choose one of these charities to donate 1 per cent of their sale toward. Next year we plan to have our loyal customers nominate their favourite K9 focused charity and we’ll be switching them up! As we sell globally this may include a U.S.-based charity.
Any funny Dexter stories (in the tub or otherwise) you can share with us?!
One of the first times we ran a bath for Dexter, he actually ran into the bathroom and hopped right in! He’s never been shy during bath time as he knows he’ll get lots of rub downs and cuddles afterwards in a towel!