Whether it’s your first whelping experience or you’ve seen your dog go into labour a couple of times, you need to be extra careful in choosing the best whelping box for her. If you aren’t careful, you can end up compromising the comfort and safety of your dog and her puppies.
To help you decide, below are the top products you should seriously consider:
- 1 Our recommended Best Whelping Boxes
- 1.1 Pet Nap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box
- 1.2 DogHealth Disposable Whelping Box with Pig Rails
- 1.3 Petnap Plastic Re-useable Whelping Box
- 1.4 Bunty Pet Play Pen and Whelping Cage
- 1.5 Bunny Business Heavy-Duty 8 Panel Puppy Play Pen
- 1.6 The Recycle Works Wooden Dog & Puppy Whelping Box
- 1.7 Bunty Pet Pen Heavy-Duty Whelping Cage
- 2 Whelping Box: The Right Size
- 3 Where to Place Your Whelping Box
- 4 Whelping Box Essentials: What You Need to Put In Your Whelping Box
- 5 Factors to Consider for Bedding Your Whelping Box
- 6 About Keeping Your Whelping Box Clean
Our recommended Best Whelping Boxes
Pet Nap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box
Pet Nap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box is made with water-resistant cardboard liner. It’s fairly strong and durable which are exactly what a reliable whelping box should be. It’s also lightweight and really easy to move around.water-resistant
While it looks small, it’s actually big enough even for a 25lb Alaskan Malamute to use. It has a lot of room for your dog to stretch out without harming her pups.
Setting up this box is easy as well. Although it comes flat packed, you won’t have a hard time to erect it. The only part you need to exert effort on is in screwing the pig rails in their proper places.
One of the things you might not like about this product is its price. It’s a bit expensive considering that it’s only made from cardboard.
DogHealth Disposable Whelping Box with Pig Rails
DogHealth Disposable Whelping Box with Pig Rails is a great choice if you are looking for something sturdy and secure. With pig rails, this whelping box helps make sure that your puppies won’t get squashed by their mom as she lies down.
However, compared with the first product, this one is a bit small. It only measures 21 × 21 × 16. Pugs and Shih-Tzus would find this suitable. For bigger dogs, you might want to consider the other whelping box on this list.
Petnap Plastic Re-useable Whelping Box
Petnap Plastic Re-useable Whelping Box is a more convenient option since it can be reused. With rounded corners, you’ll find this product easy to use and clean. It has fewer chances of trapping dirt and poo on its edges.
The product guarantees no leaks. So, even if you use it as a pen after whelping, you’ll find this box reliable. When it comes to storage, however, you may need to find a spot in your home that can accommodate it. It won’t dismantle so you’ll have to store it erected.
Bunty Pet Play Pen and Whelping Cage
It offers enough room for the puppies, the tray for food and water, blankets, and your dog. And if you worry about your dogs escaping the cage, it actually comes with zipped top and bottom.
One look at the cage and you may find it intimidating to set up and take down. In reality, however, setting it up is really easy as you don’t need to use any special tools. Even taking it down and folding it is a breeze.
Bunny Business Heavy-Duty 8 Panel Puppy Play Pen
If you are looking for something versatile, go with BUNNY BUSINESS Heavy-Duty 8 Panel Puppy Play Pen. It can make a square, octagon or rectangle depending on your needs or the free space available. You can even use it outdoor or indoor if you like.
This cage is durable. It’s made from heavy-duty tubings which are painted in gunmetal gray. Its quality ensures that it can last a long time. So, even if you decide to use it as a playpen or an enclosure for the puppy after the whelping stage, you’ll find it extremely reliable.
The Recycle Works Wooden Dog & Puppy Whelping Box
This whelping box is made from long-lasting FSC wood. Assembling it requires no screws or nails. You simply need to slide the parts together.
Now, for your dog’s safety, you’ll feel at ease as the box is treated with non-toxic protection. It’s safe for all animals and children can go near it without their health being compromised.
Bunty Pet Pen Heavy-Duty Whelping Cage
Bunty Pet Pen Heavy-Duty Whelping Cage is made with 8 heavy-duty metal panels. With its size and built, it’s one of the best whelping cages you can get for your dog.
The product is very solid. It’s sturdy and strong enough to keep your dog and her puppies safe.
Similar to the previous product, this can be used outdoors. In fact, it has a large sheet to cover the pen and to make sure that your dog won’t be able to escape.
Whelping Box: The Right Size
Whether you are planning on buying a whelping box or you’re thinking of building one on your own, you need to know the exact size you need. Now, that will depend on a lot of factors.
One of those factors is the size of your dog. With large breeds, you need a whelping box that has enough space for your dog. It should be wide enough for her to stretch her legs, lay down, and nurse her puppies with ease.
Another factor to consider is the number of puppies your dog is having. This might be difficult to know without an ultrasound of your dog or an assessment done by her vet. With that, it’s best to put an allowance on your whelping box just in case your dog is having more puppies than expected.
Additionally, consider the available space. If the free area you have is a bit limited, you might want to get a cage that can be assembled according to that space.
To get a proper measurement, get your dog to lie down and fully stretch out. Measure her and add an extra foot to the measurement. If you’ll be having rails and barriers along the sides, add more extra inches.
If you’re still unsure, here’s a quick guide you can refer to:
- Small dogs- 21 to 34 inches long; 21 to 34 inches deep
- Medium dogs- 28 to 34 inches long; 28 to 34 inches deep
- Large dogs- 42 to 45 inches long; 34 to 40 inches deep
- Extra large dogs- 48 to 58 inches long; 40 to 48 inches deep
Where to Place Your Whelping Box
There are a lot of places at home for your whelping box. However, for your dog’s safety and comfort, you should place it in a spot where your dog frequently rests. Make sure it’s out of the way to avoid disturbing your puppies and your dog. Also, ensure that the location is adequately lit and warm enough.
Whelping Box Essentials: What You Need to Put In Your Whelping Box
Realizing that your dog is about to have her own litter of puppies can be overwhelming. With that, it’s best to prepare as early as possible. Don’t wait for the puppies to come before you prepare your whelping box essential.
Now, to give you an idea, here’s a list you can check out:
Whelping mat- If you don’t have one, you can simply use any spare towel or blanket you have at home. Make sure that it’s clean before placing it inside the whelping box.
Digital thermometer- About 10 to 14 days before her expected delivery, start taking her temperature. If you notice that her temperature suddenly drops to 98 to 99 degrees, you need to get ready for the puppies. They will generally come 24 hours after that.
Heat lamp- Since newborn puppies aren’t able to regulate their temperature, you need to make sure they stay warm inside the whelping box. Get a heat lamp and attach it to the edge of your whelping box. Keep in mind to monitor their temperature and don’t allow the puppies to get too hot.
Factors to Consider for Bedding Your Whelping Box
You have a lot of options when it comes to whelping box beddings. You can use wood, black stall mats, rubber-backed rugs, and more. Now, once you made a choice, here are the things you need to keep in mind:
Make sure that the bedding is spacious so that your dog can lie comfortably with her puppies.
You can use newspapers and puppy pads if you want a disposable and cheap option. Towels, blankets, and sheets are also great.
Your bedding must be able to absorb urine and body fluids properly. This is to make sure that your puppies stay as dry as possible inside.
Avoid wood shavings and straw for newborn babies. Once they turn one month old, you can use wood shavings.
About Keeping Your Whelping Box Clean
Part of caring for your dog and her puppies is keeping her whelping box clean. There are a couple of things you can use for that but you have to keep in mind that the process may get a little messy. You may want to wear some clothes you wouldn’t mind getting dirty.
On the first week of your puppies, consider cleaning the whelping box once per day. Although the puppies will not produce a lot of waste, you still need to keep the area free of bacteria.
For the next 2 to 3 weeks, clean the area twice a day. At this point, the puppies will start creating more waste. Apart from keeping the box bacteria-free, cleaning the box regularly also teaches the puppies to not potty where they stay and sleep.
In cleaning the whelping box, start by removing the puppies. You can place them on a separate cardboard box while you clean it.
Take out all the towels and bedding. If they can be washed, keep in mind to use a detergent that’s free from harmful ingredients.
Use a chemical-free disinfectant cleanser and spray it on the bottom of the whelping box. Use a paper towel to wipe the area. If there are really dirty areas, go over them another time.
Place clean towels at the bottom of your whelping box after cleaning. Once you are done, you can place the puppies back inside the whelping box.
To read more about Whelping box tips check out this article by Vets Now.