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A Whelping Box

A Whelping Box

a whelping box


A whelping box which is also known by many other names such as Nesting Box, Birthing Box, Puppy Box is designed to help protect puppies at birth. In the early days of a puppies life it is contained safely inside a nesting area. This helps protect them from the cold. It is a safe place away from the dangers of being crushed or smothering by the mother.

Whelping boxes vary from disposable cardboard ones to purpose built ones typically made of wood or plastic. Desirable features include ease of cleaning and sanitation, and toughness, portability is also desirable. This is generally achieved through light weight designs with emphasis on simple setup and take down. Commercially available whelping boxes often feature areas to store accessories such as spare heat pads, absorbent pads etc.

Whelping Box layout

The sides of the box are designed to be high enough to contain the puppies. Yet low enough to allow the mother to get in and out normally with a lower section as the main in out. Extra consideration given to her protruding mammary glands. The bottom of the box may be lined with specially designed layer or whelping pads and fabric bedding such as pet fleece to provide insulation from cold floors and to absorb fluids.

Puppy Rails

Most boxes will include 3 low railings generally referred to as rails, pig rails, poles, or roll bars. These fix to the inside edges of the whelping box. These to help stop puppies from being crushed or smothered by the mother. Should she roll over during birthing or while asleep. This is considered especially important with larger dog breeds.

How to Measure

There are many different ways that are used to select the correct size box and all of them pretty much end up at the same result. Here is the advice we give when choosing the correct size.

Measure the bitch from the nose to base of tail. Add several inches for poles and free room. Then go for the next size whelping box up from this measurement. (This is advice only and is ultimately down to the customer to select the correct size)

Please remember it’s not ideal for you to be ordering your bitches whelping box 2 days before they are due to whelp, the box should be purchased and in place a good 2 weeks prior to the expectant date, you need to allow them time to adjust to being in the box instead of their usual favourite bed.

All sizes quoted are approximate external dimensions.