If you have a female dog that is going to give birth, then you should consider purchasing a whelping box. This is a type of a box that is ideal for use for newborn puppies to keep them warm and safe during their early days.
We tell you all you need to know about a whelping box and why you should get one. We also tell you the benefits of using a whelping box.
What is a Whelping Box?
Whelping refers to a dog giving birth to puppies. The word whelp comes from a German word that refers to puppies or young ones. Whelping is the birthing process where puppies are born. When your dog gives birth, it needs a place to give birth. Such a secluded place will allow your dog to have a stress-free labor.
Once the puppies are born, they need a comfortable place that is warm. This is where a whelping pan can be of great use. Also known as a nesting box or a whelping don, it is a practical option for the dog to give birth. It is also a good place for the pups to grow up in the first few weeks of their lives.
Benefits of a Whelping Box
The many benefits of a whelping box explain why you should get one ready when your dog is going to give birth.
1. It helps in ensuring temperature control
Puppies need warmth during the initial few weeks after birth. Especially, pups born during the winter need more of warmth. A whelping box can be very helpful in ensuring you keep the pups warm and comfortable. You can also add extra heat by using a whelping heat pad or warm blankets, so the pups are warm.
2. You can ensure safety for the pups
New born pups become frisky the moment their eyes obox. They tend to run around and can be exposed to risks. Getting a whelping box ensures the puppies will be safe within the box. They can move around in the box and play with the other pups. They cannot go out from the box ensuring they are safe. The box design would be such that the mother can climb in and climb out comfortable. At the same time, the pups cannot leave the boxes.
3. Helps make your dog comfortable
The dog needs privacy and comfort during the birth of the puppies. Especially, first time mums will be irate and anxious due to the hormones. They need a space of their own that would be comfortable and give them the privacy they need. A whelping box would keep them comfortable and ensure they are calm.
4. Offers anti-crush rails
New dog mothers are not adept at dealing with pups. There is a risk that the mother may smother the pups accidentally by rolling over. This risk is reduced with a whelping box. The box would have anti-crush rails. These rails ensure the safety of the pups during the initial few weeks. The rails can be removed once the pups start to grow.
5. Spacious and comfortable
A good quality whelping box would be spacious and comfortable for the mother and pups. The pups would be safe, comfortable, and would have sufficient space to play. Whelping boxes would be large enough to accommodate pups, so the pups enjoy play and exercise.
The whelping box is portable. This ensures you can change its position if needed. Some whelping boxes are collapsible making them easy to move around. Once the pups grow, you can pack it away. You can bring it out again when the mother is ready to give birth.
7. Nurtures the mom’s maternal instincts
First time mums can be very uncomfortable with the labor and taking care of the pups. The whelping box helps in nurturing their material instinct. It offers them a place where they can be comfortable and feel secure during the birthing process. They feel secure while nursing and taking care of their pups.
Now that you know about the benefits of a whelping box, you can get a whelping box for your dog. You can make the whelping box yourself at home if you are the DIY type. Else, you can get a commercially available product from the market.
You can even make a whelping box using a large cardboard box. But they wouldn’t offer all the benefits of a whelping box. Making the box from plywood is a better option. The box must be minimum the length of your dog with at least one foot extra space. A box that is too small increases the risk of the puppies being smothered.
Here are some things to keep in mind while getting a whelping box or making it yourself:
· While making a whelping box ensure it has a protective ledge in the inner side that helps to prevent the puppies from being smothered. This is very important when you have a large dog breed.
· Once the box is made, you can line it with newspapers. Lining with blankets can be considered, but the pups may go under the blankets increasing the risk of them being smothered.
· You can also use whelping pads to line the box. The purpose is to provide insulation and also absorb urine.
· Ensure the height of the whelping box is such that the mom can get in and out comfortably. It should be tall enough to prevent the pups from getting out.
· The box should be portable, so you can move the location when needed.
· A good idea is to connect the whelping box to a kennel once the pups start to grow. This will give the pups more space to walk around and explore the kennel.
· The whelping pan should have space to place a whelping heating pad to provide heat if the weather is too cold.
· Some whelping boxes in the market come inbuilt with a whelping heat pad or a heat bulb. Some models even come with an IP camera. This will help you keep an eye on the whelping box from your mobile or laptop from wherever you are.