Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

4 Best Whelping Boxes for Dogs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

pregnant welsh corgi in whelping box

Maybe you have a female dog expecting to deliver in the next few months, or you are considering getting into the dog breeding business. Either way, it’s good to know which whelping boxes are available and how to choose the right one for your situation.

Did you know that humans have been breeding dogs for over 9,000 years? That’s a long time to progress and learn new ways to care for dogs involved in the breeding business. It’s the responsibility of the breeder to treat their dogs with respect and care for them in a way that gives them everything they need to thrive.

The whelping box is designed to provide a safe place for your female dog and her litter. It keeps the litter safe, as well as offers a home for the mom and her puppies. This list has reviews of the four best whelping boxes, along with a buyer’s guide on which features make a good box.

hepper-dog-paw-divider2A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Pet Nap Whelping Box Pet Nap Whelping Box
  • Molded plastic
  • Flexible
  • Strong
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Hudson Screwless Whelping Box Hudson Screwless Whelping Box
  • Affordable
  • Made of strong vinyl
  • High edges
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Lakeside Plaza Whelping Box Lakeside Plaza Whelping Box
  • Easy to assemble
  • Durable
  • Removable door
  • PetnapUK Whelping Box PetnapUK Whelping Box
  • Water-resistant base
  • Puppy rails included
  • Door for dog
  • The 4 Best Dog Whelping Boxes

    1. Pet Nap Plastic Puppy Whelping Box – Best Overall

    Pet Nap

    The Pet Nap is made from a piece of strong plastic that is molded into the shape of the box. The small size measures 24 x 24 inches, with 12-inch sides. The opening is 6 inches high, which allows your dog to get in and out easily but will keep the pups in the box. Also, there are three puppy rails made from wooden dowels that have a smooth plastic coating. Keep in mind that this will make the inner dimensions smaller.

    To ensure you get the correct size, measure your dog from her nose to the base of the tail and add several inches for the rails and room to move. Since this box is meant to be re-used, it is simple to clean and disinfect between litters. The walls are strong yet have the flexibility to bend instead of break if your dog accidentally lays on one edge.

    It arrives assembled, but the rails must be installed in the box. However, all you need is a screwdriver for the assembly. On the downside, this box is only suitable for smaller dogs who won’t have a large litter of pups. Overall, the Pet Nap is the best whelping box for dogs this year.

    Pros
    • Molded plastic
    • Flexible
    • Strong
    • Puppy rails included
    Cons
    • Not ideal for large dogs

    2. Hudson Screwless Whelping Box – Best Value

    Hudson VA68237

    This whelping box is a raised garden bed, but it can be an affordable option for a whelping. It is made from high-grade vinyl, guaranteed not to rot, crack, or warp for 20 years. This means it can withstand puppies chewing on the edges and other rough abuse.

    The inside dimensions are 42.25 x 42.25 inches, with 11-inch-high walls. This size is ideal for larger breeds who can step over the walls easily. On the plus side, it will keep the puppies secure within the box because they won’t be able to escape. The Hudson is easy to wipe down when a pup makes a mess, and since there is no floor, it gives you the freedom to use a material you prefer.

    Assembly is a breeze, and it is easy to move from one place to another. On the downside, there are no puppy rails, but they could be added fairly easily with a few extra supplies. Since it is not an official whelping box and doesn’t have all the features of a traditional one, it’s in 2nd place, but we think it’s the best whelping box for the money.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Made of strong vinyl
    • Large box
    • High edges
    • Ideal for large dogs
    Cons
    • No opening
    • No puppy rails

    3. Lakeside Plaza Whelping Box – Premium Choice

    Lakeside Plaza

    The Lakeside Whelping Box is an excellent option for those willing to spend more money. It is made of FDA-approved HDPE plastic that is strong and durable, so you know it will last several years. The surface is lightly textured but still easy to clean and disinfect. We like that this box is easy to assemble and has slip-fit connections, so no tools are required.

    There is a removable door with an adjustable height to customize to the size of your dog and puppies. There are ledge chair rails to protect the puppies from being laid on by their mother, and the box isn’t difficult to move from room to room when using the handles on each side. Plus, with no bottom, the bed is lighter and gives you more options for the type of material to use as the floor.

    The medium size measures 42 x 42 x 18 inches, which is plenty of room for a medium-sized dog to stretch out with her litter. This did not reach the first two spots on our list because it is a pricey box and may not be affordable for some.

    Pros
    • Easy to assemble
    • Handles
    • Removable door
    • Durable
    • Easy to clean
    Cons
    • Pricey

    4. PetnapUK Disposable Dog Whelping Box

    PetnapUK

    Last on the list is the PetnapUK disposable whelping box. If you are worried about cross-contamination with subsequent litters or don’t want to worry about disinfecting the box when you are through with it, this may be a good option for you.

    The walls are made of double-walled corrugated cardboard that is treated with a water-resistant base. The box is strong, but remember that it is still cardboard and won’t hold up as well as a stronger material. It is meant to be thrown away after one use.

    We like that the box comes with three puppy rails made from wooden dowels. The size of the box is 36 x 36 inches, with an area that folds down for your dog to easily get in and out. On the downside, you can’t wipe the walls down if they get soiled, and this whelping box is pricey for one-time use.

    Pros
    • Water-resistant base
    • Single-use
    • Puppy rails included
    • Door for dog
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Can’t clean walls
    • Not as durable

    hepper-dog-paw-divider

    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Whelping Boxes for Dogs

    Otherwise known as a birthing box or nesting box, a whelping box is an essential item to have when your dog is expecting. You want to create a safe environment for your dog and her puppies. This is why finding a good box can be frustrating. There are many factors to consider when choosing a box, but our buyer’s guide provides resources and tips to help you find the right one.

    Considerations When Buying a Whelping Box

    Size

    To determine the size of the box you need to purchase, you need to know the size of your dog and the average litter size for her breed. You want everyone to fit comfortably within the box, with enough room for the mother to stretch out and the puppies to move around. If it is too large, your dog may feel exposed, making her feel uncomfortable and less secure.

    The height is also an essential factor. If it is too low, the puppies could escape and be exposed to harmful situations. While if it is too high, the mother may be unable to get in and out easily.

    Materials

    There are pros and cons to each type of material. Generally, a box made of plastic will be easy to clean, and there are different grades of plastic, with some being stronger than others. If it is too thin, it can be broken with enough pressure. Vinyl is durable and lightweight, though if it breaks, there can be jagged pieces. Both plastic and vinyl won’t absorb fluids, making them more sanitary and less likely to harbor germs and parasites.

    You need a durable box unless you are going to use the box only once; in that case, you can purchase a disposable box. Disposable boxes aren’t as durable but may work well, especially for smaller dogs.

    Design

    The typical design of the whelping box is one with high sides and a “door” for the mother dog so she can get in and out more easily. There should be puppy rails along each side that prevent the mother from accidentally pinning a puppy against the wall and smothering it.

    Some brands have handles to make it easier to move from place to place, and the box may or may not have a bottom. The advantage of this is that you can place materials of your preference, and it makes the box lighter and easier to move around.

    Cost

    You will notice that whelping boxes are not cheap, and some are more expensive than others due to the quality of the materials. If you are on a budget, try to find one that fits your standards and offers the features you require. If you will be using the box for the long term, it is important to purchase one durable enough to withstand the rough abuse from the puppies.

    Comfort

    Your mama dog will want a comfortable spot for her and her newborns. Line the box with plenty of newspapers for your dog to use as nesting material. You can add additional accessories to the whelping box to make it nice and cozy.

    • Heat lamp: Have the light offset so the dogs can move away from the heat if they become too warm.
    • Liners: These should be water-proof and provide protection for the bottom of the box.
    • Whelping pad: Since these are fleece-covered, they will help keep the newborn puppies warm.

    Divider 2

    Conclusion

    As you can see, the whelping box is more than a place for your dog to have her babies; it’s a home and should provide security and comfort. Providing the best box will ensure that your dog is happy, and it reduces your worry about keeping the puppies safe.

    The Pet Nap is our top pick and is molded from strong, flexible plastic; it will last for many years. For a whelping box made of premium high-grade vinyl, the Hudson is easy to set up and large enough to accommodate your dog and her litter, which is why we chose it as the best whelping box for the money. For a premium whelping box, the Lakeside may be pricey, but it is made of HDPE plastic and can be assembled without tools.

    We hope that our reviews list helps you on your journey to finding the most appropriate dog whelping box and one that meets your expectations. Keeping your dog healthy is vital, but once you have a female dog, it is a whole new experience.


    Featured Image Credit: Vellicos, Shutterstock

    Related Articles

    Further Reading

    Vet Articles

    Latest Vet Answers

    The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database