When puppies are born, they are quite delicate. A whelping box, also known as a birthing box is a safe space designed to contain newborn puppies for their first days or weeks instead of letting them roam freely, which can be dangerous for them. It’s also handy for keeping the new puppies warm and away from the cold floor. A whelping box, therefore has raised sides to keep the puppies contained in the box but it must also have an entrance that makes it easy for the bitch to come in and go out.
If you have a pregnant dog that’s due soon, a whelping box is one of the things you must have beforehand. You might also want to familiarize your dog with the box in advance. If you are looking for the best whelping box for your dog, we have made it easy for you by reviewing dozens of them and preparing a list of the 4 best dog whelping boxes for you to choose from.
Before we go through the list, let’s tell you why you should consider our Best Pick, the Petnap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box is a good place to start looking. It’s made of cardboard material, which is great at insulating your dog and her litter from the cold floor. It comes with puppy rails to keep the puppies contained in the whelping box and a waterproof liner to protect the cardboard material from pet messes. It’s also available in different sizes, which makes it suitable for different dog breeds but it is designed to be used once and then thrown away.
Best Dog Whelping Boxes Reviews
1. Petnap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box
This is one of the best whelping boxes you will find on the market if you’re looking for a disposable model you can use it once for your puppies and then throw it away. It’s made of strong corrugated cardboard that insulates the litter from the cold floor. Cardboard obviously gets damaged by liquids so this is why this whelping box comes with a water-resistant liner for the box to protect it from puppy messes.
The box’s sides are raised with a dropped door that allows the mother dog easy access to the whelping box while keeping the puppies safely contained.
In terms of keeping the puppies safe while inside the whelping box, it comes with 3 wooden rail sets made from 21mm Pine Dowel. This ensures that the puppies are not crushed by there mum as the raised act like a guard to the mum can crush the puppies against the walls which is super important and why you should never use just a standard cardboard box which some people can be tempted to do not realising the danger there putting the newborn puppies in.
The good news is that it’s also available in a variety of sizes from 24 x42 inches to 48 x 48 inches, which allows you to choose the most appropriate size for your whelping dog. To do this you just need to measure your dog from the noise when stretched out, to the tip of there tail and add a few extra inches to get them enough space to move around.
- Made of corrugated cardboard, which is strong and also helps insulate the puppies against the cold floor.
- Comes with puppy rails that keep the puppies safe inside the box.
- A waterproof liner to protect the box against liquid pet messes is provided.
- Available in a variety of sizes from 24 inches to 48 inches.
- It’s easy to access for the mother but also contain the newborn puppies.
- Easy to build.
- Cardboard is not very durable and only designed for one time use.
Why do we recommend it?
Aside from ensuring that puppies are contained in one safe place, you should also make sure that the temperature inside the whelping box is stable and comfortable for them. This whelping box is made of cardboard, which is a great insulator.
It comes with puppy rails that are super important to help prevent the bitch from crushing the puppies and it also includes a waterproof liner to protect the cardboard material underneath so that it can last longer. It’s easy to set up too and you will be done within minutes.
This is a great choice for those looking for a whelping box for one-time use which for many dog owners is what they need as they usually only breed pups off there dog once in a lifetime. Being cardboard it’s not the strongest whelping box but it does seem to hold up well for its one time use with no issues for most people and their dogs which is why we named it our Best Pick, it’s also affordable compared to reusable alternatives too.
Read next: Best puppy whelping pens
2. Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen 1m x 1m Complete With Wooden Whelping Box Insert
If instead, you are looking for something more durable than our first pick, something perhaps that’s reusable and be used for other uses, this will be an ideal choice for you.
It’s made by combining metal, plastic-coated mesh pen with a wooden whelping box insert that’s designed to be reusable and multi-use. As mentioned, the mesh is plastic coated, which makes it rust-resistant and durable. This way, you can keep using this whelping box after the whelping stage for a puppy playpen for the puppies and it can also be used outdoors.
The box cage measures around 1 meter by 1 meter by around 50cm tall. The height of the wooden insert is 30cm (1ft), which helps protect the puppies from draughts plus the wooden design acts as an insulator. It also features those much-needed piggy rails to keep the puppies safe and help avoid any accidents which injured puppies or worst.
What we really like about this model is when you no longer need the whelping box insert, you can order additional panels to increase the size of the pen to provide more room for the puppies to play and it then becomes a pen to keep them safe.
To protect the wood and make the whelping box easy to clean and maintain, every box comes with a polythene liner.
It’s easy to assemble as all you have to do is screw the different parts of the box together, literally its just 4 screws and takes minutes if that. When not needed, this whelping box easily disassembles for convenient storage and unlike cardboard, alternatives can be reused.
- Wooden long-lasting whelping pen with a metal pen surround.
- It can be used after the puppies whelping stage as a playpen with the option to purchase additional panels to make the pen larger.
- Comes with a carpet and polythene liner, which cushions the puppies against the cold ground.
- The wooden whelping insert helps keep the temperatures inside stable also protects the puppies against cold draughts.
- It’s easy to assemble, with just 4 screws to build the wooden box.
- You can order more panels if you want to enlarge the pen.
- It easily disassembles for easy storage when not needed.
- The polythene liner is not very durable but you can always replace it.
Why do we recommend it?
Unlike other whelping boxes that become obsolete after the puppies’ whelping phase, this one can be used way after that as a playpen which we think means it offers better value for money. Instead of buying a whelping box, you can only use it for the whelping stage and then buying a pen separately, this would be a better choice as it can be used as both. We like that it’s made of durable materials and it’s easy to assemble. When not in use, it easily disassembles for convenient storage as well.
Something else we think makes it a great choice is that if you need to enlarge the enclosure when using it as a pen, you can order additional panels. Overall, this is a great whelping pen that you will continue using for a long time or if you plan on breeding your dog several times in its lifetime.
3. Petnap Plastic Re-useable Whelping Box
Puppies can be messy and we think if you’re looking for a durable plastic whelping box then this is currently one of the best models we could find and there built in the UK. The one we reviewed is the biggest of 3 sizes at 36 inches wide but there are also 3 smaller alternatives sizes down to 24 inches x 24 inches for smaller dogs.
We think this is probably the easiest whelping boxes to clean you will find on the market, especially when compared to the cardboard and wooden and this is mostly down to the smooth plastic surface and rounded corners which are easy to wipe around.
We also like that It’s moulded from one piece of plastic, which eliminates joints that could harbour harmful bacteria plus you don’t have to worry about building it.
As you would expect, it comes with puppy rails which help keep the puppies safe in the whelping pen. The rails are easy to attach to the whelping box all you have to do is screw them in place.
This whelping box is available in different sizes, which makes it suitable for different dog breeds.
- Very durable and can be reused again and again.
- It’s made of plastic with round corners which makes it durable and easy to clean.
- It’s molded from one plastic piece with no bacteria harboring joints or building to worry about.
- Comes with puppy rails that ensure the puppies are safe in the pen.
- Can be used as a playpen after the whelping stage.
- Maybe not quite as warm as wooden or cardboard whelping boxes, you might need to add a dog blanked.
Why do we recommend it?
This is a perfect whelping box if you are looking for one that makes cleaning after your new puppies easy and requires very little building with the exception of screwing the piggy rails in place.
We do like that it’s a plastic whelping pen moulded from a single piece of plastic which eliminates germs harbouring joints and is just easy to clean compared to some alternatives.
Overall if you looking for a whelping pen you can reuse, is durable and just good quality, this ticks all the boxes and makes it a great alturnative to wooden and cardboard alternatives.
4. Interwordl 24 Birthing Box
This is another ideal whelping box you can get for your dog and her litter of puppies that are actually made from wood. It’s a hardwood box which makes it durable but its also 100% waterproof thanks to the new screw printing plate design. We like that also incorporates a front door that lifts up with a handle which is a feature no other whelping pens seem to have.
It comes in a flat package and is easy to assemble all you have to do is screw together the parts which should take around 5 minutes. When you are done using it, this whelping box disassembles easily allowing you to conveniently put it away without taking up too much space.
As you would expect, it has puppy rails that keep the puppies safe and help avoid them being hurt by the mum leaning on them. The box itself is over 8 inches high, which is hard for puppies to walk over and also protects the puppies against drought although we think it would be better if they were perhaps a little taller, maybe around 12 inches would be better to stop puppies from getting out when they get a little older but not maybe quiet as old as they should be when being able to get out. The wooden construction also helps keep the temperatures in the whelping box stable.
Finally, it’s available in 3 different sizes and you can pick a size that’s most suitable for your dog.
- A sturdy whelping pen that can be reused.
- A waterproof floor, which protects your floors against leaks.
- It’s easy to assemble and disassemble when not in use.
- Available in 3 different sizes from 16inches x 16 inches to 24 x 24 inches.
- Made of hardwood, which is durable.
- Has puppy rails, which keep the puppies safe.
- It’s a bit hard to clean. You can make it easy by using a liner.
- Sides could do with being a little taller.
Why do we recommend it?
This is a good whelping box if you are looking for something durable that can be reused. It comes in a flat package and it’s easy to put together. It also disassembles easily allowing you to conveniently put it away when not in use. The floor is waterproof, which protects your floors from leaks. It has puppy rails that keep the puppies safely in the box.
The only downside we could see is that the sides were maybe a little smaller than we would like to help stops draughts, ideal around 12 inches tall is the sweet spot we think. Overall, it’s a decent whelping box and will do the job though so we do still recommend it, maybe use to card on the outside to makes the walls slightly taller.
A whelping box is crucial for your dog when they are about to give birth. This is a very sensitive time for them and the puppies can be very delicate as well. You want to make sure you pick the most suitable one for your dog to make the whelping phase as easy as possible for her and her litter. This is what you should look for when choosing a safe and secure whelping box.
As I already mentioned, this is a very sensitive time in your bitch’s life. You want to make sure that the whelping box you pick for them is as comfortable for her and her litter as possible. The box should be warm, to begin with. Most whelping boxes are made of wood or double-walled thick card, which keeps your dog and her litter warm away from the cold floor and draughts. Cardboard whelping boxes are also good as the cardboard is a good insulator.
If the whelping box is not as warm, consider adding a dog blanket or a liner. Most whelping boxes will come with a waterproof liner, which protects the box and also makes it easy for you to clean the box. When it comes to cleaning, you don’t get much easier than cleaning a plastic whelping box.
Size is also another crucial factor you must consider before buying a whelping box. You must make sure that the box you buy is big enough for your dog and her litter of puppies. Most whelping boxes come in different sizes. Make sure that you buy an appropriate size for your dog. We recommend measuring your dog when stretched out as if they would be feeding and measure from there nose to the tip of the tail and add a few inches to give them. a little extra space to move around.
Material and construction
Whelping boxes are made of different materials and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. You can get one made of wood, plastic, or cardboard and some models even have a metal pen surround that doubles as a playpen later in the pups life.
If you are looking for a durable whelping box that you will use past the whelping phase of the puppies, a metallic one or a wooden one will be a good choice. A cardboard whelping box is good as well but you will need to dispose of it after it’s been used and there not always cheap but are usually still more affordable than plastic or wooden alternatives, there just not reusable. Make sure that you use protective liners with wooden and cardboard boxes.
Puppies are very delicate for the first few weeks of their life and a whelping box helps keep them safe and contained in one place. When you are buying a whelping box, ensure you are buying one with puppy rails also known as piggy rails. These rails ensure that the buppies fo not get crushed by there mother and are very important in the early stages of the pups life. These rails basically stop the pups from being crushed between the mum and walls.
A whelping box should be easy for the mother dog to access. Most of them have a dropped front that makes it easy for your dog to access but just high enough to keep the pups inside. The dropped door shouldn’t be too low. If it is, the puppies might be able to climb out. It’s also worth taking note of the height of the walls, if it’s too low, the puppies could be exposed to cold drought. We think 9 to 12 inches is usually about right, you could also use cardboard to extend the walls if needed to there slightly higher.
If your bitch is due, a whelping box is a must-have and to be honest we had a hard time finding at least 4 models we would recommend which we thought were safe and well designed.
You, however, have to pick the most suitable one for your dog in terms. of size and think about whether you need a disposable one or one you can also reuse later on should you have more puppies.
We have put together this guide to help you make the best choice and we hope you have found this guide helpful. Below is a quick summary of our two top picks.
Our Best Pick, the Petnap 48″ x 48″ Disposable Whelping Box is a good place to start looking. It’s made of cardboard material, which is great at insulating your dog and her litter from the cold floor and drafts. It comes with puppy rails (super important) to keep the puppies safe in the whelping box and a waterproof liner to protect the cardboard material from pet messes. Overall it’s a great choice for those looking for a disposable whelping pen you can use and then through out after use.
Our Runner-up, the Flexipanel Puppy Playpen With The Wooden Whelping Box Insert is a perfect choice if you are looking for something a bit more durable and also doubles as a playpen later in the pups life.
It’s a metal playpen that comes with a wooden whelping box insert. It’s easy to put together, literally 4 screws and when the whelping phase has passed for the puppies, you can use it as a playpen. If you need a larger enclosure, you can order extra panels to make the playpen larger too. The metal mesh is plastic coated which makes it rust-resistant, this matters as you can also use it outdoors to give your puppies some fresh air.