Whelping, which refers to the process of birthing puppies (whelps) entails a lot of risks. Like most young animals, young puppies are subject to a number of environmental stresses and diseases and at a higher risk than mature dogs.
It’s in the best interest of dog breeders to ensure that they’re providing the safest environment possible for both the mother dog (dam )and her whelps during their first few days or weeks of life. For many breeders, a whelping box is central to providing care for the mother and her brood.
A Closer Look at a Whelping Box
A whelping box, which may also be known as a whelping pen or a nesting box, at its most basic is a pan with raised walls that enables the mother to enter and leave safely while keeping the puppies contained and protected against a range of risks.
In nature, a dog would seek out a protected natural spot for nesting down and caring for her puppies, but in an artificial environment, it’s safest to provide a purpose-built safe space for the mother to nest down and prepare for bringing her puppies into the world.
A whelping box should be large enough for the mother to enter easily, but contain walls that are high enough to prevent the puppies (whelps, in this instance) from escaping. It should also afford the mother plenty of room to lay out at full length, so she can nurse her puppies easily. It also shouldn’t be too large; a nesting box that is too large will stress the mother and may make it more difficult for her to keep them warm and close to her.
But a whelping box is more than just a place for the mother to nurture her puppies. It also affords a number of unique protections to young puppies.
How a Whelping Box Protects Puppies
The best whelping boxes are warm, dry and waterproof, and have plenty of room for the dam and whelps, as well as room for whelping pads. Whelping pads are specially designed blankets that help protect puppies by keeping them warm and insulating them against the ground. They also provide the dam and pups with a slip-free surface and help control liquids. Whelping pads should be easy to clean, disinfect, and difficult for puppies to chew on or eat.
A whelping box should also be easy to clean and enable the mother to leave at her leisure, but have walls that are high enough to prevent the puppies from wandering, escaping, or getting lost. Whelping boxes also protect the pups from the risk of being crushed by their own mother. They contain specialized rails or ledges, known either as puppy rails or pig rails, that serve as a buffer between the puppies and the dam, preventing the pups from being suffocated against the walls of the box.
Learn More at MR Diagnostic
Thinking about getting into dog breeding or just looking for a special whelping box (since the size is critical in whelping pens) that’s a different size? Visit MR Diagnostic at Caninep4.com today. A family-run operation, MR Diagnostic stands firmly behind its products. If you have any questions about them, get in contact with them at [email protected] or 844-673-7378.