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Best Dog Whelping Boxes for 2022

A whelping box will protect puppies during birth (whelping) and in early life by keeping them safe and protected from cold, as well as safe from being crushed or smothered by their mother.

Anybody who has experience with birthing mothers will say that you absolutely need a whelping box if you find yourself in this position. It offers comfort for all dogs involved, and gives your prospective dam somewhere they can feel safe and protective over the newborns.

You can make them yourself, but they are much easier and more reliable to buy online. Below are our top picks of the best whelping boxes for your expectant pet.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Petnap Plastic Re-useable Dog Puppy Whelping Box
    • Curved corners for cleaning
    • Stable pig rails
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    Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen With Wooden Whelping Box Insert
    • Can be used for multiple reasons
    • Easy to put together
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    Disposable Cardboard Whelping Box
    • Strong water-resistant cardboard
    • Puppy rails to protect
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    The Top Dog Whelping Boxes Reviewed

    Petnap Plastic Re-useable Dog Puppy Whelping Box

    A one-piece moulded box with solid pig rails, and no chance of leaks or draughts.

    There are rounded corners inside and out which makes it nice and easy to wipe clean in between litters, or if you’re donating it. It could even be used as a pen or storage box after whelping if you want to get the most out of it.

    It’s made from plastic, which is ideal to avoid absorbing damp or smells. The white colour should also make it easy for the puppies to be visible, and for you to spot any mess.

    The only downside is that it won’t dismantle, so has to be stored as it is, but if you won’t need it again then you can always sell it on or donate.


    • Curved corners for cleaning
    • Stable pig rails


    • Size: 63 x 63 x 33/78 x 78 x 33/93 x 93 x 33cm
    • Material: Plastic
    • Colour: White

    Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen With Wooden Whelping Box Insert

    This is a fabulous product if you want to ensure your money stretches as far as possible.

    It can be used as an ordinary whelping box, and then when that life stage is a thing of the past, can be converted into a normal puppy pen to ensure you don’t have a load of dogs wandering off in all directions.

    The timber whelping insert fits safely inside the pen, so there is a comfortable area which your puppies can get used to before they have a bit more freedom. Because this is timber, it is great quality and a lot more solid than the usual pig rails, which could be good for any larger dogs.

    To build the whelping insert, just use 4 screws in the pre-drilled holes. It can all be collapsed down for next time (if this is the plan), and the playpen can also be extended with extra panels or changed in shape.

    The metal mesh panels have been coated in plastic for safety, and can also be used on their side so they are 1m high as opposed to 50cm.


    • Can be used for multiple reasons
    • Easy to put together


    • Size: 100 x 100 x 50m
    • Material: Timber, Mesh
    • Colour: Black

    Disposable Cardboard Whelping Box

    Cardboard may not seem like the most logical material for a product like this, but they are comfortable, strong and fully recyclable.

    Made from strong, durable corrugated cardboard with a  water-resistant cardboard liner and complete with a set of 3 wooden puppy rails, this whelping box is ideal for one-time use and will stop cross-contamination between litters.

    The base in the box can be lined with newspaper, VetBed, blankets and other nesting material to make it comfortable and prevent the cardboard from becoming damp or smelly.


    • Strong water-resistant cardboard
    • Puppy rails to protect


    • Size: 68 x 36 x 11 cm
    • Material: Cardboard
    • Colour: Brown

    Buying Guide

    What A Whelping Box Needs

    We have included boxes which tick all of the below boxes, but you may want to use it as a guide if you’re making your own or buying elsewhere.

    • Made from a damp resistant material
    • A ‘pig rail’ – inner rail to stop the mum lying on the pups/rolling onto them
    • High walls to prevent draughts or puppy escapes
    • Plenty of length for your dog to stretch out
    • Plenty of width for your dog and her puppies to be together
    • A large doorway for your dog to come and go as they wish
    • Enough room to pop in some soft bedding
    • Ability to add a heat mat or lamp – a VetBed is ideal as a lining


    Plastic or strong wood is the best as it is sturdy, can be wiped clean and doesn’t absorb liquids. Plastic is the most popular option and seen as the most sanitary.

    Solid sides are also important to enable the dogs to stay dry and free from draughts, and it will also help when your dam is going in and out of the box as they won’t squash or break the sides.

    Cardboard is great for temporary, disposable boxes but can fail when it comes to staying dry, so you really need to line it etc. This is usually done with plastic, which stops odours being absorbed too.


    You will need a box large enough for your dog to comfortably stretch out, as well as wide enough for your dog to lie down with all of their puppies feeding.

    It can’t be too big because this could cause some draughts, enable the pups to venture away from the group and mean that your dam feels uncomfortable and exposed. But at the same time, it needs to be big enough to ensure they can use it for around 5 weeks after birth. Remember that they will grow during this time.

    You need to work out the size of your dog, as well as their average litter size to ensure the size is perfect. Most manufacturers will make boxes of various sizes so you can find the best match.

    Also bear in mind the height – too low and puppies can get out, but too high and your mum can’t leave comfortably without risking injury.

    Disposable Whelping Boxes

    If you will be using a whelping box just once for a short time, a disposable one may be best.

    This way, it doesn’t take up room in storage for those ‘just in case’ moments, and you don’t have to bother with cleaning it at the end of use.

    When they are finished with, they can be placed straight into the recycling as most use cardboard, so they are also great for anyone wanting to avoid plastic. Most are cheaper, too.

    Reusable Whelping Boxes

    There are a few things you need to look out for if you want to buy a reusable whelping box.

    Firstly, it has to be easier to keep clean, so think material like plastic and curved corners. A full clean will allow you to use it again or keep it hygienic when it is in use.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    When do I need a whelping box?

    You should ideally have your whelping box safely in your home for your dog to use at least three weeks before the due date, but ideally throughout the entire pregnancy.

    This is so your dam can find the box, understand that it is perfect for their whelping procedure, and make it a bit of a home. She can also make some adjustments.

    As most dog pregnancies last around 2 months, you don’t have a huge amount of time to prepare (especially when you have so much to think about), so buying a box usually saves a lot of time and stress.

    Why should I buy a whelping box instead of making one?

    As mentioned above, it is pretty immediate. There is no need to source the right materials, measure everything out, or waste your weekend doing DIY.

    Reliable whelping boxes available to buy are safe, well-made and require few adjustments. Many can also be sold on if this is just a one-time event or donated to shelters/rescue centres.