Canine Athletics is an adventure-based daycare/boarding program where dogs get to experience life on their terms.

Doggy Daycare time with dog running in field

A Life Beyond the Couch

Allowing your dog to lead his best life possible requires giving him the freedom to explore and engage his natural behaviors.

While you can give your dog all the training in the world, genetics still play a role in your dog’s temperament. Every breed of dog is meant to do a different “job” – herd, hunt, track, swim, retrieve, etc.

At Canine Athletics, your dog will have the opportunity to channel their inner athlete. Here, your dog will get to do what he was always meant to do – whether that’s retrieve balls all morning long, chase waterfowl around the pond, swim after fish, socialize with his new furry best friends, or sniff the same piece of grass for 20 minutes.

Canine Athletics has been the absolute best adventure for our dogs. They are so excited for Kara’s arrival each week and definitely love running with the pack. You can tell they are living their best lives!


Choose Your Own Adventure

Each day holds endless experiences. Your dog will get the opportunity to do whatever he loves doing most in a safe & secure environment.

✓ Chase and retrieve balls and toys in grassy fields
✓ Climb over creek beds and rock formations
✓ Get the zoomies in a big open field
✓ Dig a hole to the center of the earth
✓ Bark at a squirrel in the tree
✓ Chase waterfowl around the pond
✓ Follow a scent along a forest path
…and so much more!

Dog running through the field at adventure daycare

Explore All Types of Terrain

Fields for dogs to play in


Creeks for dogs to play in

Creeks & Rivers

Dog friendly forests for dogs to play in


Lakes and ponds for dogs

Lakes & Ponds

Our Daily Schedule

Canine Athletics Dog

Rise and Shine!

Our days start early in the morning with a 4:30 AM walk & breakfast. We’ll be out the door by 5:30 AM to pick up any Canine Athletes who are just spending the day with us.

Canine Athletics Dog Playing - Boarding & Daycare

Adventure Time

By 7 AM, we’re headed to our adventure for the day. Chase each other in big open fields? Go for a splash in a creek or lake? Play fetch along a hiking trail through the woods? Every day is a new adventure for your dog.

Canine Athletics Dog Playing - Boarding & Daycare


If your dog is just coming for the day, he’ll return home in early afternoon, thoroughly worn-out and happy after hours of fun & play. If your pup is spending the night, we’ll return back to our dog-friendly home.

Canine Athletics Dog Playing - Boarding & Daycare

Rest & Relax

Once home for the day, your dog will get to play with my pups on a half acre of fenced-in land. We’ll have dinner, followed more playtime (or relaxed nature documentary binge watching session), and then head to bed by 8 PM.

Kara Meyer


Meet Auntie Kara

Hey, I’m Kara Meyer. During my 20+ years of working with animals, I realized the way we tend to treat them – whether it’s horses, dogs, or something else – doesn’t promote their overall wellbeing.

Over and over again, I saw that animals need ways to express their natural tendencies like tracking and chasing in a safe way. Out of that need, Canine Athletics was born.

What Clients Are Saying…

While pick-up and drop-off are unbelievably special features, it’s the kennel-free aspect for me. I remember the first time Phoebe was going to be staying with you and you asked where she usually sleeps. I kind of embarrassingly said, “she sleeps on our living room couch.” Then, you were like, “Cool! Then she can sleep on my couch.” And we never looked back!


A Canine Community You Can Trust

All breeds are welcome. Every dog goes through an initial evaluation process to ensure they would be a good match for group play in such a varied terrain. They spend an entire day with a hand picked “eval pack” made up of dogs who have been in the program for 2+ years or demonstrate superb social skills. This ensures that all dogs will play well together, while helping your dog acclimate to the Canine Athletics experience.

All dogs new to the program begin on a 50-foot longline until they have demonstrated consistent proficiency in returning to me when asked, regardless of what else is going on in the environment. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several weeks. As long as your dog continues to make forward progress, they can take as long as needed to come off leash.

Your Dog NEEDS an Athletic Lifestyle

Dogs are physically and mentally healthier when they’re allowed to do what they’re biologically hardwired to do.

Dogs who experience an athletic lifestyle experience less stress & anxiety, as well as a marked decrease in obsessive/compulsive behaviors. Just like working out at the gym is good for our mental health, your dog getting in his daily workout benefits his mental health.

It also increases your dog’s ability to effectively process & retain information. Your dog will become more responsive to you when he’s able to burn off his energy on a regular basis.

As your dog’s mental and emotional wellbeing improves through adventure, it translates to a happier, more well-behaved dog at home.

Plus, living an athletic lifestyle increases mobility and in some cases, lifespan! 

Dog splashing through water for doggy daycare

Questions You May Be Asking

Do dogs stay on-leash all day long?

All dogs new to the program begin on a 50 foot longline until they are able to return to me when asked, regardless of what else is going on in the environment. As long as the dog continues to make progress forward, they can take as long as needed to come off leash.

How many dogs can be with you each day?

Spaces are available for up to 12 dogs per day. Daily groups are selected based upon a variety of different factors to ensure that they all play & interact well together.

What locations do you use for adventures?

We currently have a 2,500 acre farm we use for adventures that has a wide variety of terrain for dogs to explore on. While no two days are the same at the farm, we’re actively looking for new environments for our canine athletes.

No matter what the location, we make sure adventure spaces are far away from potential dangers like moving vehicles, people, and unvetted animals.

How often do you accept new Canine Athletes?

Applications open every spring and fall to allow dogs to acclimate to changing temperatures. This also helps ensure the dogs in each daily group have the opportunity to build long-term relationships with one another. Boarding is open year-round.

How many days per week can my dog attend Canine Athletics?

Your dog can attend just 1 day per week, all the way up to 4x per week. Dogs who are staying with me for boarding get the opportunity to “work” 7 days per week.

How much does it cost to attend?

Your initial evaluation is $125 per dog. Once we decide your dog is a good fit to become a Canine Athlete, weekly fees range from $65-200, depending on how frequently your dog would like to come.

If you would like your dog to have a bath before coming home, they are an additional $25-50/each.

Pickup and drop-off is included with your weekly investment. 

Need your dog to spend the night with us while you’re traveling or busy? We can make that happen! Boarding starts at $75/night.

What are the requirements to become a Canine Athlete?

Dogs must be at least 25 pounds (as a safeguard against hawks and eagles in the area), be vaccinated according to Illinois state laws, and be under the care of a licensed veterinarian. Males must be neutered. There are no breed restrictions.

Can I purchase gift cards for a friend or family member's dog?

Absolutely! Canine Athletic gift cards make for FANTASTIC holiday gifts. Want your mother-in-law to give you something your dog will love instead of yet another leash or collar (or scratchy sweater)? Have her gift your dog a few days of adventures at Canine Athletics instead!

Join the Pack