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The DuraWhelp thread reminded me to ask this question ;)

What are things to consider when designing a whelping box? Any specific features/measurements/materials etc to consider?
 

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This is a whelping box built by someone I know. I'd like to make something a little nicer ;) But probably loosely based on this. Any modifications that anyone can suggest would be much appreciated.

 

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Just make sure it has those nice little knitted footies for the stirrups, I always thought that was a cute and thoughtful gesture when my two were born.
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
This is a whelping box built by someone I know. I'd like to make something a little nicer ;) But probably loosely based on this. Any modifications that anyone can suggest would be much appreciated.

I see the little blue question mark again.
 

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What I don't like is the size of the squares in the wire- I could forsee puppies crawling through or getting hurt.

I'd rather have solid sides- stability- security for the bitch and puppies- and to retain heat.

I think I'm going to build one- I couldn't get a Dura whelp here in time anyways, she is due in a week, and I want her in someting TOMORROW to get used to it!
 

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I agree with Michelle, I don't like the size of the wire mesh. I lost a pup once because it got out through the wire mesh of an x-pen, and got chilled on the concrete floor before I found it. He was still alive, but died shortly after. Unfortunatley I had a top on the x-pen, the mom had gone nuts trying to move the pen so she could reach her pup, but wasn't able to just jump out and go get him.

I just go to the hardware store, by 4 boards that are 4 feet by 12 inches, and screw them together to make a box. If need I add a couple 1x2's to make "pig rails". Around this I put an x-pen. Keeps everyone in, by the time they are old enough to climb over the 12 inch board they are to big to get through the wire in the x-pen. Throw some blankets down over the floor and I've got a nice, secure whelping box. If mom likes to jump out, then I put the top on the x-pen. Later, if desired, I can add a second x-pen to make the whole thing twice as large, and add a second set of boards so the box is 24 inches high. That way mom can get out of the box and take a break from the pups if she wants to. If one board has hinges, then it can be lowered to give the pups access to the entire pen, and raised so mom can have some peace. I've also just put a step on each side of the board, and if they pups want out of their half, they can figure out how to climb in/out.
 

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I agree on the mesh size. I can also just see puppies twisting (and removing) a toe in that bottom material as well. Also, if Mom rolls up against a puppy, it can either (hopefully) escape thru the mesh, or it's going to get crushed by it.
 

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I agree with Kadi. The whelpingbox itselves here is about a 1.20 by 1 meter, closed wooden walls and a wooden floor which is not slippery, optional are safety rails.

If they start to explore, you can adjust a pen. At that time we open the way to the kennel, so they expand their world with about 12 m2. After the 3 wks they often are "freeed" and play in the garden under my supervision.
 

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I'm going to go build one today- as soon as I finish tracking the dogs and getting my daughter dressed.

I've looked at several online sites with plans and ideas and picked the best I like from each one.

I'm going to build a 4 x 4 box out of 3/4" plywood with 2' sides. In one side I will cut a flap and make a door on hinges with latches that creates a ramp for mom.

I found a GREAT idea for covering the inside of the wood with contact paper so it does not stain or soak and can be wiped down! I love that idea!

Then for pig rails I'm going to assemble a white PVC pipe rail and corners.

I also surround with an exercise pen- and place in my dining room and POOF! Nice safe whelping box under my feet.
 

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There you go, sounds about like the setup I use with slight differences in the wood used. I like the contact paper idea, that's a good one. Usually I either paint the boards, or just leave them natural. The pine wipes down OK, or I'll spray a little bleach on it, but I also normally just burn the whole thing after a litter, makes good firewood :) Which is why I haven't worried to much about covering it. But I like the contact paper, can use some cool colors and then keep it for reuse :)

What are you going to use in the bottom? Just one word of advice, if you use newspaper the ink from the paper can/will stain the kitchen floor. Been there, done that. I usually put down either a blanket or a tarp as the bottom layer, then put towels or throw rugs on top of that. Easy to pick up and wash, much cheaper in the long run than all the newspaper I used to go through, good warmth/traction for the pups, but if mom gets to rearranging things they aren't large enough for a pup to get "lost" inside like a blanket. I've had pups get all wrapped up in a blanket, then mom can't figure out how to get them back out.
 

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I am going to have wood as the bottom- covered with contact paper and then faux sheepskin from a fabric store in the bottom after whelping. Prior to whelping I will probably do newspaper. I bought several yards of the sheepskin stuff- so I can have one in the wash and one in the box, and it gives traction to little paws.

I've had similar blanket problems! Lost puppies that give ME a heart attack. I've also heard horror stories about the lost one that couldn't get out and died.
 

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Ok- here is mine. I cost about $90 in materials and took my husband and I about 30 minutes to make. I had the lumber yard do the main cuts on the lumber.

I put the contact paper down on the bottom- but have yet to do the sides. I'm not that worried about the sides getting splashed- but I'd like to at least sand down some of the rough cuts they made.

I put Stella in to demonstrate the size.

 

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You can get those kinds of lamps at feed stores for poultry and in pet stores for reptiles for heat lamps. I'd recommend getting them at feed stores because pet stores are way overpriced. The red lamps are also really expensive at pet stores. My boa also likes them as basking lights though my jungle carpet python is kind of indifferent. But they should be kept well away from the pups as they get very very hot. I accidentally left one on a table top while I was changing the water bowl in my python's cage and it left a nice charred mark. Hardware stores would probably also have them.
 

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I got mine at Wally World. You can get them with a wire guard that fits across the bulb to prevent the hot bulb coming in contact with anything. I use them when I am hand-feeding baby parrots to keep them warm. Heating pads are too dangerous for nekkid babies. I can clip the lamp to the side of their box and they can move closer or farther away from the heat as needed.
 

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I use the same type of lamps...feed stores have them because they are similar to what you use for chicks. Then I use an infrared bulb.

I really like the faux sheepskin for the bottom of the boxes. The pups get excellent traction. I use newspapers underneath the sheepskin since the moisture is whicked through the sheepskin. Make sure your pigrails sit on top of the lambskin or they velcro down on the bottom of the box so pups can't get underneath them.
For the actual whelping, I just have newspapers down since it's such a mess you are changing them as you go. I then have a good supply of towels to dry the pups, plus a clean towel for the corner under the lamp to set pups under as mom delivers the next ones. When it's all over, I then put in my sheepskin rugs.
 

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Yes, that is where it stays. The lamp will move, I just used it to light the inside of the box for the pics.

The box has a solid 4 x 4 bottom underneath- plus the blanket which is really there just to make it easier to move the box around and keep it from scratching the floor.

That is the same corner my 8 year old GSD re-habbed from his broken leg- including being flat out on his side without a cast and heavily sedated for a few days. It handled those messed ok, and in the end we're not too concerned about the floor.

:lol:

I'm about to take Stella to x-ray and count spines.
 
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