Plan Ahead With A Whelping Box 
For Your Expectant Pooch!

A whelping box, sometimes referred to as a nesting box, is specifically designed to provide a safe place for the birthing and containment of puppies - also known as whelps.

The box can "loosely" be compared to a den that female dogs in the wild prepare when expecting a litter.

While our "domesticated" pets might instinctively try to prepare a den in a bedroom closet, a whelping box would be more ideal!

Notice if you remove the "w" from this word, you are left with "helping", which is what you will be doing if you obtain a nesting box for your pregnant dog and the expected puppies. And what dog lover doesn't want to do all they can to help with this special event.

Placed in a quiet corner of your home a whelping box will provide your female dog with a safe and low stress birthing place when she's ready to deliver her pups (whelps).

After delivery, the puppies will be protected during their early development when they are most vulnerable to injury. So let's get to the whelping box options:

Wood Whelping Boxes

These sturdy boxes, which come with liners, are made from wood that is finished without chemicals. The other durable components of the box are made from stainless steel.

The interior rails are free hanging which is a safer option for the puppies than those made with fixed rails. The rails are easily removable when necessary.


These are reasonably priced boxes that are easy to assemble and/or break down for storage and simple to clean. Choose the best size for your dog from among the sizes shown.

Disposable Whelping Box - Advantages

For those who only expect to breed their female dog once, the disposable box has these advantages to consider:

  •  Easy to assemble
  •  Double walled rigid cardboard
  •  Waterproof liner
  •  Good insulation for natural warmth
  •  Puppy protection rails included
  •  Available in all sizes
  •  No need for disinfecting
  •  Discard after use

Disposable Box
Strong Double Corrugated Cardboard
With Rails And Optional Fleece

If you want something more substantial, upgraded whelping boxes can be purchased that are made with corrugated plastic which can be used more than once and are also waterproof and easy to clean.

These highly durable whelping boxes for dogs, are designed for long term use, are more ruggedly constructed, often have insulated floor panels, as well various optional accessories that can be attached to the basic model.

If you are planning to be breeding dogs for a while, the plastic option will meet your needs from year to year.

Plastic Whelping Box

  • Made of FDA-approved HDPE plastic making it a perfect solution for safe birthing
  • Ledge rails to protect puppies
  • Surface has a texture that resists dirt and damage
  • Easy to clean with no cracks or crevices to harbor bacteria or contamination
  • No tools needed for assembly
medium size whelping box plastic
42"Lx42"Wx18"H
Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box, Small
36"Lx36"Wx18"H
x-small whelping box
30"Lx30"Wx15"H

Whelping Box Tips

As soon as you know your dog is pregnant, start thinking about whelping boxes because you don't have a lot of time to prepare for the "birth" day.

The gestation period for dogs is approximately 63 days or less and you'll want to have your pet become familiar with the box and its location at least 2 weeks prior to the birth event.

A couple of other things to consider: If you decide to purchase a box, availability and delivery times can vary especially during the Fall when many of those "Christmas" puppies are born. On the other hand, if you decide to make a box, you will need to allow sufficient time to complete the project.

The main difference between various ready made boxes is the type of material used in construction, which is also reflected in the price.

Depending on your breeding plans, you may either want a box that will serve more than once, or one that is disposable and expected to be discarded after the whelping.

Whelping Box Accessories

If you are new to whelping, there are some additional accessories that can be helpful in the process:

whelping box extension pen
Whelping Box Pen Extension

Nice to have for a large litter

Related Information


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