When Jordin Sparks is in need of a little positive influence, she doesn’t need to look much further than her four dogs: 10-year-old Labrador Noni and schnauzer-bichon-poodle mixes Minnie, Maggie and Miles.
“I know it’s lame but the quote ‘I want to be the person my dog thinks I am’ applies here,” she tells LIFE+DOG magazine in its September issue. “They wait for us no matter what and love unconditionally. I should be that ‘person’ every day.”
Lucky for Sparks, her dogs rarely leave her side, even accompanying her on tour. But during the few times she and her pets have been separated, they never remain far from her thoughts.
“There’s a comfort level that they bring when they’re around,” she says. “I miss cuddling with them and them going crazy when they’ve been on the bus too long.”
And after a long day of performing, Sparks is happy to find a distraction in her favorite furballs.
“Minnie actually helps relieve stress,” she says. “You just can’t stay mad or frustrated when you have a cuddly puppy around!”
Her lifelong love of animals is what led Sparks to become an official ambassador for Collars for a Cause, which assists the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program in providing animal services with little to no cost for pet owners struggling to afford them.
“Dogs can be our best friends and closest confidantes,” she says. “It breaks my heart to see people wanting to best provide for their animal companion and not having the financial resources to do so.”
[RELATED_TEXT “Can’t get enough pet news? See more on PEOPLE Pets