Whether you are breeding your first litter or you are a professional breeder – as you approach the date your bitch is due to whelp you will be excited, anxious and vigilant! If you are planning to breed from your dog it is recommended to wait until they are a minimum of two years of age. A dam will have her first season around 6-9 months of age and this will repeat in a cycle every 6 months. After mating the bitch will carry the puppies for a gestation period of 63 days – you will notice during this time she becomes larger, her teats grow and towards the end she may start to “nest”. This is the process of making a bed she feels is safe to give birth to her puppies, it is an evolutionary response to the hormones caused by the pregnancy and is seen in wild dogs and wolves where they need to find a location away from predators and the elements.
You can help your bitch chose a suitable area to whelp by providing a whelping box – this can be anything from a cardboard box to a UPVC plastic puppy whelping box. Ideally it should be 6-8 inches longer than the bitch and 10-12 inches wider to provide enough space for her and the litter when they arrive. A whelping box not only helps the bitch with the nesting process but it ensures you have a safe place to keep the puppies, it is hygienic in the case of accidents and birth and in an emergency can be transported and used at a veterinary practice to provide reassurance to your bitch with her familiar scents.
If you are expecting a litter and are looking for puppy whelping boxes, visit Petnap who offer a range of types from disposable one off use boxes or UPVC Plastic whelping boxes to hire.