What is a Whelping Box
What is a Whelping Box ? Whether you’re a seasoned dog breeder or are having a one-off litter, you will be feeling a range of emotions as your dog is close to giving birth. You are surely going to be a little nervous. However, keep in mind that this will be a very exciting time once you have everything in place.
An essential thing you need to pay attention to is keeping your puppies safe, secure, and warm. One way in which you can do this is by keeping your puppies inside a dog whelping box or a whelping pen, as it’s called. A high-quality whelping box will protect your puppies during birth and in the early stages of their life.
What is a Whelping Box?
Before we look at the features of a whelping box, we need to understand what it is in the first place. Well, a whelping bed or whelping box is a safe zone for your dog to give birth. It’s an ideal and safe place for your bitch to have her puppies.
From cardboard whelping boxes to reusable plastic ones, there are plenty of options to choose from. Keep in mind that you’ll have to keep the whelping box warm. Thus, it’s advisable to pick a soft and warm bedding material with good traction. In addition, you need to ensure that the whelping box can be easily disinfected and cleaned. Ideally, you should avoid straw, hay, or shavings that can lead to skin and eye irritations.
Features of a Good Whelping Box for Dogs.
Here are some features that you should look for when purchasing a whelping box for dogs.
1. Temperature Control
New-born puppies do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature. Thus, they require external heat sources to keep them warm and cosy. This is especially true for puppies that are born during the cold winter season.
In light of this, a good whelping box needs to provide adequate protection against the wind and the cold. One good option is to choose a whelping box with a heating pad. This is going to keep the bitch and her pups comfortable and warm.
Pups, even new-born puppies, are quite energetic and frisky. Nevertheless, they’re also quite delicate and jumping and running around puts them at high risk of injury. One feature of a good whelping box is that it ensures the puppies’ safety. It should let the puppies live safely within a comfortable yet confined space. Moreover, the whelping box should have sufficient space for the pups to move around.
Similarly, a good birthing box is created in a manner that lets the mother enter and leave the box safely without accidentally injuring or hurting the pups.
Pregnant bitches prefer a private and quiet space to give birth to their pups. Apart from the usual nervousness regarding the process, the hormonal imbalance dogs experience during pregnancy can lead to further anxiety. Bitches who are giving birth for the first time are particularly distressed because they don’t know what to expect from the childbirth process.
That said, a good birthing box for a dog should give her the privacy she needs. It should put her at ease and help her calm down her nerves.
4. Anti-Crush Rails
Dogs giving birth for the first time are not too skilled at handling young pups. There’s always the risk that they roll over and smother one or more of their pups.
A feature of a good dog whelping box is that it has anti-crush rails. These rails, also known as pig rails or roll bars, help to minimise this risk. They are put on the box’s perimeter and safeguard the pups from being unintentionally crushed or smothered by their mother in case she rolls over while birthing or sleeping.
Note that you can remove these rails once the pups have grown up a little.
One great feature that you need to look for in a birthing box is portability. This means you should be able to change its location or position without any trouble. Certain whelp boxes are also collapsible, which makes it easy to carry them around and change their place.
Once the litter is a few weeks old, you can pack it until the next time your dog gets pregnant.
6. Removable Covers
Removable, machine-washable covers are going to help you keep the whelp box clean. You really don’t want to get in a situation where you have to clean the whelp box without a removable cover. If the manufacturer is selling additional birthing box covers, you should purchase that as well. Having an extra cover will prove to be extremely handy on laundry day.
Tips to Set Up a Whelping Box for Dogs
After you have identified the best whelp box for your dog, you need to set it up. Here is how you can set up a whelping box:
- Keep the whelping box in a place that’s isolated from other pets. A lot of breeders keep it in their own bedrooms for the first few weeks. You can also use a gate and/or door to keep other pets away.
- Keep an ex-pen around the whelping box for an additional layer of safety.
- Take additional precautions in keeping other pets farther away, even if it restricts their freedom. The more space between other pets and your dog, the better.
- Do not trust any adult dog, regardless of how trustworthy they are around new pups.
- Use whelping pads to line the box. They provide insulation and even help in absorbing urine.
Wrapping Up on What is a Whelping Box ?
Apart from the features highlighted above, you also need to consider the breed of your dog, the size of the litter, along with the birthing frequency when choosing a whelp box. Thus, you have plenty of features to keep in mind when making this decision.
At Petnap, we have a vast range of whelping dogs that can cater to all kinds of pregnant dogs. To check out our complete range of birthing boxes and kits, check out our website here.