Great Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover in Your Life

Great Gift Ideas for the Dog Lover in Your Life

We’ve searched high and low for the most pawesome gifts to truly spoil the dog lover in your life, whether you’re looking for a practically-minded dog lover, the fashionista friend who has to have all of the latest brands, the tech-savvy dog lover, or the pet parent who has it all.


Whatever your needs, Amber’s Pampered Pets has rounded up some of our top picks no matter the occasion.

For the Fashionistas

The Ralph Lauren Pup Shop offers a wide variety of luxurious fashions for your canine companion. A couple of our favorites are:
For Him: The Ralph Lauren Skull & Crossbones Sweater for $59.99.
For Her: The Ralph Lauren Pink Cashmere Sweater for $38.00.
Hooded Hounds: If you’re looking for something a little more on the fun side, give the fashion gift that will be perfect for a walk or a trip to the dog park — the hoodie t-shirt. The gray-and-white color combo makes it a gender-neutral option for fun, edgy, and super comfy style for only $9.99.


For the Dog Lover that has Everything

Personalized Pet Food Bowls: These aren’t your average monogrammed dishes. Nothing makes a pet-lover happier than seeing their pet’s name. Prices for dishes start at $19.99.


iMounTEK Ultra Hygienic Dog Fountain With Hose: Instead of refilling an outdoor bowl for hot summer days, treat your dog to their own personal, on-demand water system that attaches directly to your exterior faucet. When your dog is thirsty, all he has to do is step on the paw pad to activate a stream of fresh, cool water. Available at Walmart online for $59.89.


There are dozens of great pet gift ideas out there; you can click here to find more. Not only can you find articles with all kinds of potential gifts, you can also read reviews to help you get an idea of what will work best for the dog lover you know.


For The Safety-Conscience

Pet Safety Harness: The Center for Pet Safety recommendsthe ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack for the best safety harness. Harnesses are proven to keep pets safer in the event of an automobile accident. Compare the two models to see which is right for you at ZuGoPet at 40% off, down from $175 and currently $105.


Car Seat Cover: Among the several no-fail gifts that Rover suggests, the waterproof carseat cover combines practicality with safety. Not only will your seats be protected after a romp in the rain or mud, but the attachable seat belts ensure your pooch stays safe during the car ride, from $23 – $80.


For Tech Gurus

Whistle Switch or Whistle Go Explore: GPS Pet Trackers and Health and Fitness Monitors All-in-One ($149.95 – $195.95) , Here’s how the wearable works:
Location alerts are sent via text notification or on the app when your pet leaves your home’s area.
Built-in night light.
Monitor where and when your pet went during the day, as well as their rest versus activity ratio to make sure they’re staying active and healthy.
Achieve fitness goals by tracking distance, calories, and duration.


One great way to personalize any gift is with an image of the pet. You can use a logo design tool online to do this for free. Upload a pet image to customize with text and color, and then download it to use on a design.


Remember, your dog-loving friend has a passion for their four-legged family member. Use this guide to make sure you find just the right gift to match your dog-lover’s unique personality, and surprise them on their birthday, a holiday, or just because. Happy shopping!

Jessica Brody

Getting Your New Pet Settled as You Launch Your Business

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge and become an entrepreneur, you may be longing for companionship during the long hours spent at your desk crafting your business plan and designing your marketing strategies. But welcoming a new pet can present challenges, as it sometimes takes a while for an animal to settle in and adapt to its new space. So here are three strategies for successfully working alongside your new four-legged friend:

Develop a Routine

Dogs are more high-maintenance than cats, so if you don’t have time for regular potty breaks, walks, playtime, and occasional grooming sessions, a cat may be a better-suited companion. Come up with a daily schedule and feed your pet at the same times each day. Sticking to a routine as soon as you first bring your new friend home is essential to help him feel safe in his new environment, knowing that his basic needs – water, food, and shelter – will be met. Having a consistent routine will teach a dog what is expected of him, and will prevent stress and anxiety that often lead to destructive behavior, incessant barking, and other misdeeds. So if you want a well-behaved companion who lets you work in peace and quiet, establishing and sticking to a routine is essential.

Give Them Their Own Space

If you’re worried about your pet chewing on your cables and other office equipment while you’re trying to get some work done, or if you’re concerned about their barking during conference calls and meetings, train them to stay out of your office during business hours by providing them with a safe alternative, such as a separate room or a crate, and offer them some safe and interactive toys, chew toys, balls and plush toys to keep them entertained. You can invest in a pet monitoring camera that will let you see your furry friend when you’re not in the same room and will give you extra peace of mind knowing that your companion is secure and happy. You’ll also be able to talk to and reassure your pet via your device. Some newer models even let you dispense treats remotely, so you can reward your pup for his good behavior even if you’re in a different area.

Do More Work from Home

Bringing a new pet home means taking time to train them so that they can learn what’s expected of them, especially in the early days. If you’re wary of leaving your furry friend home alone for extended periods of time, doing most of your work from home can help you stick to a consistent routine, which is great both for your pet and for your own productivity. There are many tools you can use to conduct business remotely: video conferencing software, instant messaging, and project management solutions will let you work from anywhere. Wow your customers with a professional website showcasing your products or services: use this infographic template to design your own graphs and charts for free, and post new content regularly to keep your followers engaged. And if you absolutely have to leave your house for long stretches of time, look for a dog walker or pet sitter that will come visit your companion while you’re away.

With a little preparation, you can successfully bring home a new pet while launching your business. Make sure they have a safe place to rest in your home or your office, train them to follow a routine, and keep them entertained and happy. You’ll enjoy each other’s company for years to come!

Are you looking for an awesome dog walker or pet sitter in the Michiana area? is dedicated to finding you the best!

How Seniors Can Keep Their Older Dogs in Great Shape

Little is more endearing than the loving gaze of your dog. After standing by you through thick and thin, you want to ensure your dog’s golden years are the best ever. And what better way to enhance your golden years than to help your companion through his own? Amber’s Pampered Pets invites you to explore tips to help keep your aging pup happy and healthy.


Healthy from the Inside Out


Proper nutrition is important during all stages of life, and senior dogs have particular considerations. As Pet Coach explains, older dogs are often more sedentary than in their younger years, so their diet should be aimed toward reduced calories, but with ample protein, fat, and fiber. It’s generally best to feed your pooch high-quality senior dog food. In fact, many senior dog foods have supplements built in to help older dogs with various issues, such as digestive concerns, joint health, and antioxidants.


Complementary Considerations


Even if your pooch is eating great senior food and your vet is happy with his overall condition, sometimes aging dogs could use a little boost in certain respects. There are several excellent supplements available for dogs, depending on your concerns. For instance, there are digestive aids that help to balance gut health, like probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes. There are a variety of joint supplements if your dog isn’t as spry as he once was. Before adding any new therapies, always talk with your vet.


Keep Him Comfy


As your dog ages, he might have trouble climbing onto the couch, or he may have lost some of his body fat, which makes it hard to ward off a chill. Some older pups even have a hard time bending down to reach their food and water. To ensure your beloved pet remains as comfortable as possible, look for ways to tweak your environment. Perhaps it’s with raised food and water bowls, a heated pet bed, or even pet stairs to make it easy to amble onto the couch. You can also invest in elevated dog beds, which have been shown to provide comfort for dogs that have arthritis or issues with their hips and joints. Just make sure you select one that fits their needs.


Part of staying comfortable also means keeping safety top of mind for both of you to avoid falls or tripping hazards. Keep walkways clear and free of toys, bedding or cords. Choose non-slip rugs, and make sure your pup’s supplies are within easy reach if you have mobility issues.


Get Out and Go


Sometimes, older dogs slow down quite a bit. There are many reasons it can happen. The environment isn’t as stimulating when they don’t see and hear like they used to, sometimes their joints might ache, and sometimes they even get depressed. However, exercise is important for dogs of all ages. It helps ward off chronic health conditions senior dogs sometimes experience, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you live in a walkable neighborhood, take your dog with you on your next outing to grab a coffee or run errands. Start out with easy activities, and increase his activity levels gradually.


Again, if mobility is an issue, partner with a pet sitting service to ensure your furry friend gets his regular exercise every day. Once you connect with a service like Amber’s Pampered Pets, you can also take advantage of their transport or overnight services to ensure your pup stays cared for if you’re indisposed.


Older dogs are important family members, and little could be more appropriate than honoring them with good health. Make sure to support him if you notice concerns, and help him stay fit. Keeping your beloved companion healthy and happy will not only help him, but it’ll also be good for your own heart.


Jessica Brody

Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep Your House Clean with a Puppy

Nothing is more precious than a new puppy — until the first time they have an accident on your carpet and you have nothing on hand to clean it up. But keeping your house clean with a puppy doesn’t have to feel like a never-ending battle. With these tips, you can maintain a clean house, a healthy puppy, and do it all without spending a fortune.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to keeping your home clean. Basic puppy-proofing stops messes before they happen by limiting your pet’s access to trash cans, litter boxes, and other mess-centers. Compared to baby-proofing, puppy-proofing is cheap and easy. These steps cost next to nothing but will reduce frustration after bringing your new puppy home:

Dog-proof trash cans: The most inexpensive way to puppy-proof trash cans is to place them inside cabinets. However, if they don’t fit, a lidded trash can should do the trick. Look for a design that keeps its lid on even when tipped over.
Move chewables out of reach: From shoes to children’s toys, some things are just too tempting for a teething puppyto resist. Instead of dealing with the expensive aftermath of chewed-up belongings, store items out of reach. The same goes for toxic cleaning supplies and small objects that your puppy might decide look like food. If you’re short on elevated shelving, installing child-proof locks on lower cabinets is a budget-friendly compromise.
Close doors: It’s tough to puppy-proof every inch of your home. Instead, puppy-proof your most frequently-used rooms and limit access to the rest of the home by simply closing doors.
Restrict litter box access: Closed doors work for a lot of things, but what if you have a cat that needs to access their litter box and a puppy you’d prefer to keep away? A covered litter box with a top-entry or door flap keeps most dogs out, but if your pup is persistent, try installing a cat door or door latch that lets your cat access the litter box area but keeps dogs out.
Shopping for Your Pup

Accidents in the house are to be expected during housetraining. Instead of getting frustrated, be ready with a house training response plan and plenty of cleaning supplies. The price of pet urine cleaners might leave you with sticker shock, but don’t cheap out when it comes to cleaning products. Standard cleaning supplies simply don’t have the same odor-fighting power as specialized enzymatic cleansers. Instead, search online for sales, coupons, and cashback offers to save money on the right cleaning products.

Managing Shedding

Dog breeds vary in how much they shed, but if you have a Saint Bernard or other high-shedding breed, you’ll want a game plan for keeping up with pet hair. The smartest thing you can do to limit shedding messes is restricting your puppy’s furniture access. A dog bed with a washable cover or a comforting blanketis much easier to clean than your living room couch! If you know your way around a sewing machine, you can even sew your own to save money.


However, if you and your dog prefer to cuddle together on the couch, you can plan to increase the frequency of cleaning routines and brush your dog often to contain fur before it coats your home. Or, you can hire a cleaning service to remove pet hair from your furniture. Keep in mind that if you’re currently selling your home, it’s essential that you stay on top of removing pet hair and other cleaning tasks.

Keeping clean with a puppy in the house requires some reorganizing and new routines, but it shouldn’t require a ton of cash. Whether you’re looking for a way to curb shedding or keep pet odors at bay, there’s a way to do it without spending a ton. From zero-cost strategies to inexpensive fixes, these tips will help you live harmoniously with your new puppy.


Whether dog walking, pet sitting, or in-home pet care, the experts at Amber’s Pampered Pets can help! Call (574) 208-0391 to learn more about our services and rates!

Jessica Brody

Interview by Take Care, South Bend

Take Care of your Pets

An Interview with Amber Clay of Amber’s Pampered Pets


1.  Tell us when you started your business.  Do you remember your first clients?

I was so eager to start volunteering at Pet Refuge back in early 2002!  I got right into the swing of volunteering with the dogs, and then expanded to work with the cats, learning how to draw blood for testing, give shots, and administer medicines. As I gained experience and knowledge with handling the dogs, a couple volunteers asked if I would watch their pups, and then some church friends also asked, then PR volunteers started giving my name to adopters, and it grew and grew!  I was also cleaning nights at a car dealership, cleaning horse stalls and caring for a barn of 36 horses in the early mornings, and doing classes at IUSB while I grew my clientele base. As I got busier with pet sitting, I decided to move forward full time with it!


Yes, I remember a lot of my first clients: Chelsea, a tiny poodle, Mozart and Blossom, two Snow White Coton de Tulears, and Sassy, a deaf mixed breed and Chance, a white deaf boxer. Definitely a lot of fond memories!


2.  How many pet sitters now work for APP?

We currently have 19 sitters. They have a vast range of availability and service areas, different skills, but they all have things in common too-such as a heart for service, a love for animals, and a passion to provide the best pet care possible!

The type of person I look for is a very self motivated person that loves people and animals, has natural skills with animals, common sense, extremely detailed, organized, excellent communicator, great attitude, and some very basic things are being physically able to walk dogs in all types of weather for long periods of time, doesn’t mind driving a lot and in all kinds of weather/times of day/night, and can handle a job that is flexible and changes a lot!


3.  One of the things I love most about APP are the photo updates – we feel really comfortable knowing our critters are in good hands.  People think of you as caring for dogs and cats, but your service covers some farm animals, reptiles, and more!  Tell us about the most unusual animal you’ve cared for on a job.

Ah yes, we have cared for quite a variety!  We have cared for baby skunks, raccoons, even a couple Coatimundis!! Most recently, a large group of baby praying mantis!  Cows, donkeys, ducks, snakes, tortoises, exotic birds! The Coatis are probably the most unusual animals-they really enjoyed getting a treat-a wafer cookie!

A:  Are you wondering what a coatimundi is?  Look here!


4.  Please share your favorite local places to walk dogs!

We love St Patrick’s Park! We do most of our Nature Hikes there!  So many different types of nature to see there! We also enjoy the downtown Mishawaka RiverWalk.

Did your BFF adopt a pandemic pooch?  The Local Pup is the package you’ll want to give! A short visit from Amber’s Pampered Pets, a stylish poop bag carrier by Love, Emily, and Laney Honeybeeswax paw rub to protect their precious paws!

Do you have neighbors or co-workers quarantining?  Treat them to a Get Well Soon Mini for only $15.99, and we can deliver it to their porch for them!  Gift note included or upgrade to a card.

Upcoming Pop-ups

Jan 30, 11:30am-2:30pm Self Care Sunday at Ironhand

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Doing Right by Your Pet: Advice for New Owners

Doing Right by Your Pet: Advice for New Owners

At Amber’s Pampered Pets, we know that owning a pet is a joy and privilege, but it’s also a big responsibility. If your idea of pet adoption is finding the cutest or coolest-looking dog or cat, spend some time thinking through your end of the bargain. Your pet gets a loving home, but only if you’re able to make sure he’s safe, happy and comfortable. Things may not work out so neatly if you bring home a pet that’s not a good fit for your lifestyle or living environment, so consider your options carefully before adopting your first pet.

Space Matters

One of the most obvious mistakes pet owners make is bringing home a big dog assuming that he’ll adapt to an apartment or house that’s too small and a yard that doesn’t allow him to run and romp freely. If you lack square footage, your best bet might be to opt for a cat or a small dog that will fit more comfortably. Things can get really uncomfortable if someone in the family has allergies, so consider a breed that doesn’t shed very much and tends to be easy on allergy sufferers, such as a Bichon Frise, Schnauzer, or Labradoodle.  

Keep It Clean

Whether you buy a dog or a cat, you’ll need to keep the house clean, which means vacuuming pet hair on a regular basis and keeping your breathing air free of allergens that pets carry and spread. Sprinkling baking soda on your carpeting before vacuuming will help keep pet odors under control. High-suction vacuum cleaners are especially effective at preventing hair build-up on the furniture, carpeting, along baseboards, and around air vents.

Pet dander is a persistent threat to people who suffer from pet allergies. Using an air purifier that’s suited to pets is an excellent way to keep dander under control; some purifiers eliminate up to 90 percent of allergens and other pollutants.

When managing pet hair and occasional accidents, it’s likely your furniture will take a beating. Knowing this, have a plan for having any fabric furniture cleaned at least once a year. Instead of using coupons from the mail, look for furniture cleaning companies that get high marks and offer competitive prices. Then you can feel comfortable using the same service every year.

Speaking of accidents, a great way to avoid those is to invest in a sturdy litter box – and believe it or not, those aren’t just for cats anymore!

Getting Pet-Ready

If you’re bringing a new pet home, treat him like a member of the family — because that’s what he is. See to his needs by having food and water bowls, a pet bed, toys, collar, and leash. And don’t forget the treats! And when it comes to food, do some research to find out which formulas will help keep your pet healthy and fit. For instance, if your pup has digestive or weight issues, then food high in fiber can make him feel fuller for longer. You can find everything you need for your new companion on sites like Petsmart or Chewy — and you can have everything delivered right to your doorstep.

In addition to gathering the right gear, make sure the house is clear of clutter and that there’s nothing lying around that could injure a paw or present a choking threat to an overly curious dog or cat. Remove any plants that could be poisonous to an animal, and keep electrical cords out of the way and positioned where they can’t be chewed. The more you can do to make a new pet comfortable and calm, the easier the transition period will be. This is especially so for a rescue pet, which is apt to be skittish during those first few days in new surroundings.

If you’re adopting a dog, you may want to install a fence in your yard to protect them from escaping and aggressive animals. If you’re unsure of your precise property lines, hire a property surveyor so you know your home’s boundaries.

Buddy Bonding

Part of making a new pet feel welcome is spending time bondingby getting down on the floor and playing on his level. A new pet-owner relationship depends heavily on trust and affection, and making time for bonding is a good way to build that trust. Make a point of taking your buddy for a walk at least once a day or having a few great play sessions; it’s good exercise and even better for bonding.

What To Do When You’re Away

While you’d like to take your new furry friend with you everywhere, sometimes that’s not possible. On days when you can’t spend a lot of time with your pet, or if you won’t be able to take them on their daily walk, connect with a service likeAmber’s Pampered Pets. We offer dog walks, as well as in-home pet-sitting to ensure your furbaby gets plenty of love and attention when you can’t be around.

If you intend to bring a pet home, carefully consider whether you have the room and whether you should get a small dog or cat. If you’ll be away from home a lot (e.g., at work eight hours or more a day), particularly during the first few weeks, it may be necessary to find someone who can stay with your new pooch or kitty a few hours a day. Remember, factoring your pet into your plans is part of being a caring, responsible pet parent.

Amber’s Pampered Pets is a Pet Sitter and Dog Walking Match Making Company dedicated to providing the best pet sitters and dog walkers to care for your pets in the comfort of your own home, daily dog walking 365 days a year, and poop scoop services. Call (574) 208-0391.


Jessica Brody (of



Pet Owner? Prepare for Downsizing Your Home

In the past, having a spacious home was a hallmark of success. People now are realizing that having a bunch of wasted space isn’t desirable at all. The call for simplicity is leading some people to downsize. For some, the pull comes as their children become adults and leave home.

Regardless of the reason you’re choosing to downsize, it’s imperative you prepare for the process to ensure a better experience. If you have a pet, taking the time to carefully plan your move can also help them with the adjustment to the new home. Amber’s Pampered Pets share a few tips that can make your move easier on you and your pet.

Keep Up with Maintenance

Pets can sometimes cause problems in a home. Before you try to sell your home, address the issues that the pet caused. For example, a cat may have clawed the blinds, or a dog may have dug holes in the backyard. You want to have your home looking as good as possible so when potential buyers take a tour, they see the possibilities within the home.

You also need to look into other aspects of home maintenance, especially those that impact curb appeal. Roof inspections and gutter cleaning are two of these that might be overlooked by many people. It’s a good idea to get these done so that the potential buyers don’t see cluttered gutters that don’t allow the water to sheet off the roof. Typically, you can expect an average of $106 to $167 for a gutter cleaning.

Handle Basic Repairs

Buyers want a home that doesn’t need a lot of work. Before you list your home, look into getting basic repairs done. These are things that might be noted in an inspection. Fixing leaking pipes, replacing cracked windows, and checking for signs of leaks throughout the house can help you to get the offers that you deserve for your home.

You may opt to keep a record of what repairs you make so you can give it to the person who makes the offer you accept. Your real estate professional might be able to use that list to encourage better offers on the home.

Prequalify for a Mortgage

Unless you can pay cash for your new home, you need to prequalify for a mortgage. This lets you know the price points you can look into for the downsized home. Your real estate professional will likely want that prequalification, as well as a list of your must-haves for the home. For example, you may need a fenced yard for a dog.

As you go through the mortgage possibilities, be sure to look at the rates. You also need to check out different types of mortgages to determine what you’re qualified for and what’s best for you. VA, FHA, and conventional mortgages are the three primary types of home loans available — click here to learn more about these loans and loan rates.

Find Your Dream Home

Downsizing to a new home can be a fun journey, but you need to ensure you’re fully prepared for it. One of the most important things you can do is to get your current home in order to get the best price, which may enable you to put a sizable amount down on your new home.

Jessica Brody (of


Make Your Dog a Good Neighbor!

Make Your Dog a Good Neighbor

Maybe you think everything your dog does is simply adorable — from barking for 20 minutes straight every time you get home from work to digging holes that pepper your property line. But it’s important as a considerate canine owner to understand that not everyone in the neighborhood may feel the same way., so you should consider these responsible pet owner practices to help keep both your neighbors and your furry family member happy.

Up the Attention

Dogs bark in order to communicate with the animals and humans around them. Barking may be a request for help or response to a stimulus, such as someone ringing your doorbell. Sometimes, dog owners can desensitize their dog to certain things by asking them to do something that’s incompatible with barking, according to advice from the Humane Society of America. For example, when you see someone approaching the door, toss a treat on your dog’s mat and tell him to go there. Work on the process and be consistent with your own behavior until he stays on his mat without barking when the doorbell rings and you open the door.


However, excessive barking is a distress signal that indicates an underlying issue such as not getting enough of a physical or mental workout, according to the Cesar’s Way website. And, even barking or jumping on you as a greeting is typically an indication the dog is lonely or bored.

If you already walk your dog daily, you might need to make her workout more challenging by increasing your own pace, training your dog to walk or run alongside you as you bike, or walking up inclines. Or, you could up the mental challenge by incorporating agility training or obedience games. On those days your schedule doesn’t allow you to take your canine companion out for exercise yourself, hire Amber to make sure your furry friend gets some fresh air.

Similarly, if you are going to be away from home, even if it’s only for a night or two, asking your neighbor to let your dog out may not be enough to keep some canines happy. (It also may be a no-no if your neighbor is allergic or simply isn’t fond of dogs.) If you’re faced with any of those scenarios, hire a professional to drop in while you are away, rather than alienating your neighbor or sacrificing your canine’s comfort.

Decrease the Digging  

Some hunting dogs, such as small hounds or terriers, are genetically designed to dig because they were bred specifically to help human hunters root quarry out of their dens, according to the American Kennel Club. Other dogs, such as Siberian Huskies, are known for digging dens themselves as protection for extreme weather. In short, digging is a natural behavior for many dogs.

Still, it can be a nuisance to you and your neighbors, especially if your dog is a dedicated digger who encroaches on other people’s property. Some dogs also dig to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, and boredom. Just as with excessive barking, providing your dog with other sources of mental and physical stimulation and alternative activities can help curb the urge to excavate, keeping your yard looking its best and keeping your dog out of the neighbors’ flower beds. Better yet, do a search for an “affordable fence company near me” and get a licensed contractor to build a fence that can keep your dog within your property. Make sure to keep costs down and work quality high by comparing multiple quotes and client reviews.

Spending more time with your dog, hiring professional help to make sure he or she is getting adequate attention and exercise when you can’t be there yourself, and (above all) taking concrete measures to ensure that your pet will not wreak havoc where he or she isn’t supposed to will not only make you a better dog owner but a better neighbor, too! And it will also help keep you and your yard in shape, allowing everyone to benefit from your conscientious canine ownership.

To give your dog TLC while you’re away, check out Amber Clay’s services and rates here.

Jessica Brody

So you Want to Start an Animal Sanctuary?

You’re passionate about helping animals and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty. So starting an animal sanctuary seems like a natural fit — or is it? There’s a lot to love about giving critters of all kinds a new start, but opening an animal sanctuary isn’t the only way to help animals. Here’s what Amber’s Pampered Pets wants you to know about starting an animal sanctuary, along with other ways you can make a difference for animals in need.

Are you looking for the best pet care for your critter in South Bend? Amber’s Pampered Pets offers a variety of services to give your pet tons of love and affection when you can’t be there, whether for an afternoon or an evening. Get in touch by emailing us to learn more or to book your appointment!

Starting an Animal Sanctuary

Many animal lovers dream of opening a sanctuary where they can give abandoned, abused, and neglected animals the care they deserve. But what does it really take to start this type of organization?

Successful animal sanctuaries run on more than good intentions. Before starting this journey, make sure you have the skills, resources, and resilience the job requires.
Best Friends Animal Society has a step-by-step guide to starting an animal sanctuary, including zoning, licensing, and insurance considerations.
Most rescues, shelters, and sanctuaries operate as 501(c)(3) nonprofits. However, you don’t have to organize as a nonprofit to fundraise. LLCs, corporations, and other business entities can fundraise with fiscal sponsorship.
Very small organizations may form as an LLC instead of a nonprofit to take advantage of the much simpler requirements. Forming an LLC in Indiana only requires naming your company, appointing a registered agent, and paying the associated fees — all of which can be accomplished online.
Succession planning and contingency planning are critical pieces of any sanctuary or shelter’s business plan. Who will take over when you’re no longer able to provide for the animals in your care?

Ways to Help Pets in Your Community

Maybe running an animal sanctuary isn’t for you — and that’s ok! There’s still a lot you can do to help animals in your community.

Residents can connect with other local volunteer opportunities through the United Way of St. Joseph County.
Donate — in addition to local animal rescues, there are a number of national and international organizations that deserve your support.
Speak out. From reporting animal neglect and abuse to advocating for animal welfare legislation at the state and national level, advocating for homeless pets doesn’t have to cost a thing but makes a big difference.

How to Get Involved in Farm Animal Rescue

Are you passionate about ending factory farming? If you’re committed to helping farm animals, here’s where to start.

Fight back against factory farming by cutting out factory-farmed foods, supporting legislation that protects farm animals, and opposing the construction or expansion of factory farms in your area.
Volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary. You can use Vegan Navigator to find a farm sanctuary near you, but know that many of these organizations don’t require you to be a vegan to volunteer with them.
Adopt a farm animal. The Farm Animal Adoption Networkfinds safe, permanent homes for rescued farm animals.
If your home isn’t cut out for farm animals, sponsor an animal at your local rescue instead.


For some of us, starting a farm sanctuary is our calling. However, that’s far from the only way to help animals. Whether you want to reduce the number of homeless pets in your community or put an end to factory farming, there’s a way that YOU can make a meaningful difference for animals.

Jessica Brody

Question and Answer with Amber’s Pampered Pets

While we do have a FAQ page, I wanted to take a moment to address some commonly asked questions here as well!

  • Q: Can you walk my dog every day?
  • A: Absolutely! We offer walks 365 days a year!
  • Q: What is your service area?
  • A: Granger, Indiana. Notre Dame, Indiana. South Bend, Indiana. Mishawaka, Indiana. Some of Niles, Indiana. Some of Osceola, Indiana. 
  • Q: How does pet sitting work?
  • A: We come to your home for visits ranging in length from 20-80 minutes. You get to customize the lengths and times based on the needs of your pets!
  • Q: Can you stay the night with my pets?
  • A: Yes, we LOVE overnight Pawjama Parties! We arrive between 9-10pm, do last potties, cuddle all night, then potty and feed breakfast before departing between 7-8am.
  • Q: Do you work on the holidays?
  • A: Yes, as a pet sitter those are typically our busiest times of year, and we love caring for your babies so that you can travel to be with family! 
  • Q: Do you have extra fees?
  • A: The only extra fees we have are: Sitter Appreciation Holiday fee $7, Mileage fee for certain areas $7, and late payment fee $10.
  • Q: Are your rates per pet? 
  • A: Nope! Our rates are based on time and we have never charged for extra pets!
  • Q: Can you come multiple times a day for my new puppy while I’m at work?
  • A: Yes, in fact we do recommend multiple visits throughout the day for puppies as they learn good potty habits and bladder control. As they grow, they can go longer stretches between visits. 
  • Q: Will you come out every 4th or 5th day for my cat?
  • A: NO. Even the most independent cat needs more interaction, even if it’s just hearing human noises, and needs to be checked on more frequently than that. The most we will stretch it is every other day, though daily visits are greatly preferred! Fluke things can happen with your pet’s health and safety, your home’s operations, and we want to get eyes on everything as much as possible to prevent negative things from happening. 

Do you have other questions you would like to know? Send us an email anytime, and we are always hAPPy to answer your questions!

Amber Clay, owner and founder of Amber’s Pampered Pets