4 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Whelping Box
Purchase a whelping box can be tricky and we are often asked many questions by customers before they purchase one. Owning a dog is all fun and games until it gives birth to puppies, especially when it involves looking after a pregnant dog and getting it ready for birthing. However, having a whelping ready can make the entire birthing process much easier and ensure everything goes according to plan. Moreover, having a checklist can guarantee that everything you’ll need for whelping is readily available and that you can utilize it whenever needed.
So, let’s begin with the first thing that should be on your whelping checklist: the whelping box. It is the most crucial piece of equipment in your puppy’s whelping kit. That said, choosing the right one can be somewhat of a challenge. After all, these whelping boxes are available for purchase in various materials, sizes, and shapes.
So, with that in mind, here are a few different types of whelping boxes and some tips for choosing the perfect one for your dog and puppies.
Types of Whelping Boxes
Listed below are a few different types of whelping boxes you can consider purchasing:
Purchase a Whelping Box made from Steel
Steel whelping boxes are made from high-quality materials. In addition to being extremely durable due to their steel construction, they are also easy to clean and don’t look like an eye sore when placed inside your home.
Purchase a Whelping Box made from Cardboard
A cardboard-based whelping box must always remain dry because it doesn’t hold up in damp areas compared to steel-based whelping boxes. However, it is a good option if you don’t want something for long-term use.
Purchase a Whelping Box made from Wood
Wooden whelping boxes are most commonly used for larger dogs due to their size. The best thing about wooden whelping boxes is that you can paint them any colour you like. Or you could go for a wood grain finish to match other furnishings inside your home. By doing this, your dog’s whelping box won’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Purchase a Whelping Box made from Plastic
As these whelping boxes are made from high-quality plastic material, you can reuse them as many as you want. In fact, all you’ll have to do is hose them down with warm water, and you’ll be good to go for another whelping session.
Furthermore, plastic whelping boxes have curved edges and are bacteria-resistant. This means they won’t harm your dog if it decides to chew on the whelping box’s corners.
Whelping Boxes with Pig Rails
This is probably the best whelping box out there as it separates the mom from her pups when they are asleep. In fact, if you own a larger dog, going for a whelping box with pig rails is the best possible decision, especially if you want to prevent your dog from squashing her puppies.
Things to Consider before you Purchase a Whelping Box
Now that we know about the different whelping boxes available on the market, let us look at a few things to consider when purchasing one:
Size of Your Dog
One of the most important things to consider when choosing the perfect whelping box is your dog’s size. Even though you’ll be dealing with small pups, you should remember that the dam requires enough space to spread out while nursing her puppies.
For instance, if you’re breeding are larger dog such as an American Bulldog, you must ensure that the mother has enough space in the whelping box to change positions or move around while caring for her pups.
In contrast, if you own a Chihuahua, you probably won’t need a large whelping box. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one if you own a small dog. Ultimately, the more room you can provide for the mother, the better she’ll take care of her pups, regardless of her breed and size.
The Frequency and Size of the Litter
Another thing to consider when choosing the perfect whelping box is the frequency of birth and litter size. If this is your dam’s first-time giving birth, you can go online and look up the typical litter size for her particular breed.
Additionally, you can look up the number of litter mates your dam had when she birthed puppies previously. This will provide you with a sense of how many to anticipate. If you’re still unsure, you can visit your vet and get an x-ray done on your dog. Doing so will give you an accurate idea of how many pups to expect. Once you know the number, you can choose the type and size of the whelping box accordingly.
The Space Required
Another thing to consider when choosing the perfect whelping box is the space needed by the whelping box itself. Of course, you won’t place it permanently inside your home. However, the area should be spacious enough to accommodate your dog and her puppies.
You’ll be good to go if you’ve allotted a spacious room for your whelping box, such as a stock or utility room. But you have to ensure that it is clean and germ-free. If not, you will have no option but to place your whelping box in your garage, living room, bedroom, etc. Such a lack of space also means you’ll have to make do with a smaller, more compact whelping box. So, choose wisely!
You Dam’s Temperament
The last thing to consider when choosing the perfect whelping box is your dam’s temperament. After all, your dog’s attitude might change after giving birth. In fact, it might become overly aggressive and attack the pups.
Therefore, you will have to provide her space to move around inside the whelping box to suppress this aggressive behaviour. This means buying a larger whelping box. Furthermore, purchasing a metal or steel whelping box would be great if your dam enjoys chewing and nibbling on things.
Ultimately, everything from your dog’s breed to the litter size to the birthing frequency plays a critical role in choosing the perfect whelping box. So, you have a lot of things to consider and too many factors that will guide your decision.
We recommend going for something sturdy such as a metal whelping box, especially if you’re a seasoned dog breeder. But, if it’s your first-time birthing puppies, start with something basic like a plastic whelping box. These are washable and can be reused multiple times!