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Whelping Setup

A Whelping Setup provides a safe and nurturing environment during the whelping process and early puppy development is crucial for a successful breeding program. To ensure you have everything you need to create the perfect whelping setup, we have compiled seven essential tips to guide you at every step.

From selecting the right whelping box to offering proper nutrition and socialization, this comprehensive guide will help you build a cosy haven for your precious pups.

1.     Choose the Right Whelping Box for your Whelping Setup

cardboard whelping box

The foundation of a successful whelping setup begins with selecting the appropriate whelping box. Look for a spacious, sturdy box with high sides to prevent the mother from accidentally squishing her newborn puppies. It should be large enough for the mother to move around and stretch comfortably. Here are some quick tips for choosing the perfect whelping box:


  • Low Entry Points: Ensure the whelping box has low entry points for easy access, allowing the mother to enter and exit the box easily.
  • Easy to Clean: Select a box with smooth surfaces and removable parts that are easy to clean and sanitize to maintain a hygienic environment for the mother and her litter.
  • Safe Design: Check for any potential hazards or sharp edges in the whelping box that could harm the mother or her puppies.
  • Easy Access for Observation: Ensure the whelping box allows you to observe the mother and her puppies easily to monitor their health and well-being.
  • Consider Future Litters: If you plan to have multiple litters, choose a whelping box that is not only easy to store but can also be reused for future breeding sessions.

2.     Provide Comfortable Bedding in the Whelping Setup

Soft and comfortable bedding is essential for the whelping mother’s and her puppies’ well-being. Opt for materials that provide warmth and are easy to clean, such as fleece or vet beds. Avoid towels or blankets with loose fibres, as they can pose choking hazards for the puppies. The bedding should be kept clean and changed regularly to maintain a hygienic and comfortable space for the mother and her litter.

3.     Ensure a Warm and Ambient Temperature

Maintaining a warm and stable temperature is crucial for the health and survival of newborn puppies. Consider using a whelping box with built-in heating pads to provide a constant source of warmth. Alternatively, you can use a heat lamp at a safe distance from the puppies.

Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the whelping box and ensure it stays between 85-90°F during the first week, gradually decreasing as the puppies grow and develop.

4.     Whelping Kit Essentials from your Whelping Setup

Whelping Setup

A well-prepared whelping setup for a breeding program is an indispensable tool during the birthing process and the early weeks. Stock it with the following essential items:


  • Feeding Bottles and Nipples: Feeding bottles and specially designed nipples are crucial in case the mother cannot nurse or if any weak or orphaned puppies require supplementary feeding.
  • Digital Thermometer: A digital thermometer is essential for monitoring the mother’s temperature during labour and post-whelping, as any sudden changes may indicate potential health issues.
  • Puppy Resuscitation Kit: A puppy resuscitation kit includes tools like oxygen masks, suction devices, and warming pads, which can be invaluable in reviving weak or unresponsive puppies during and after the birthing process.
  • Hemostatic Forceps: Hemostatic forceps are useful for controlling bleeding from the umbilical cords of newborn puppies.
  • Whelping Box Heat pad: A whelping box heat pad in your Whelping Setup can provide additional warmth to the whelping area, ensuring the puppies remain cosy and comfortable.
  • Milk Replacer and Syringes: Milk replacers and syringes are essential if you need to hand-feed puppies that are unable to nurse or need extra nourishment.
  • Pet First Aid Kit: A pet first aid kit containing basic medical supplies, such as gauze, bandages, and antiseptic solution, is important for handling minor injuries and emergencies.

Including these essential items in your whelping kit will prepare you to handle the birthing process and provide the necessary care for the mother and her precious puppies. Regularly check and replenish your whelping kit to ensure everything is ready for the arrival of new litter.

5.     Provide Adequate Nutrition

Whelping Tablets

During and after whelping, the mother requires proper nutrition to support her and her puppies’ needs. Ensure she has access to fresh and clean water at all times. Offer high-quality, nutrient-rich food to the mother to maintain her strength and support milk production. Here are some other supplements to consider:

  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake are essential. Not only for the mother’s bone health and to support the proper development of her puppies. Consult your veterinarian for the right calcium supplementation, as excessive amounts can be harmful.
  • Nutritional Supplements: In some cases. Your veterinarian may recommend specific nutritional supplements as part of your Whelping Setup to address any deficiencies or unique needs of the whelping mother. Always follow your vet’s advice and avoid giving supplements without professional guidance.
  • Urtica Urens: Urtica Urens, or Dwarf Nettle, is used to support female reproductive health. Urtica Urens may offer benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties. This supports milk production during lactation, and acting as a blood tonic to improve overall vitality.
  • Pulsatilla: Pulsatilla, also known as Windflower, is an herbal supplement with potential benefits for female reproductive health. For whelping mothers. Pulsatilla helps balance hormones, provides emotional support during pregnancy and lactation, and potentially assists with labour by regulating and easing the birthing process.

Remember that each whelping mother’s nutritional needs may vary. It is essential to tailor her diet and supplements according to her specific requirements. Always seek professional advice from your veterinarian to ensure the best possible nutrition and care for both the mother and her puppies.

6.     Monitor the Mother and Puppies in their Whelping Setup

Vigilantly observe the mother and her puppies during the whelping process and the days following birth. Look for signs of distress or any issues with nursing or puppy development. Monitor the mother’s behaviour and ensure she appropriately cares for her litter. Check the puppies regularly for weight gain and ensure they are nursing adequately.

7.     Socialization and Stimulation

As the puppies grow, it is essential to introduce gentle handling and stimulation to promote socialization. Gradually expose the puppies to different sounds, textures, and experiences to foster their emotional development and confidence. This early socialization prepares them for life beyond the whelping box and contributes to their well-adjusted and confident personalities.

Give Your Puppies the Best Start in Life – Shop Whelping Setup ‘s at Petnap

Building the perfect whelping setup is critical to a successful breeding program. Following these comprehensive tips, you can create a safe and comfortable space for your canine mothers and their newborn puppies. For high-quality whelping sets and supplies. Visit Petnap, where you can find all the essentials to equip your breeding program with the finest tools for success.

Happy breeding and nurturing!