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What Is a Whelping Box for Dogs

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Mom Dog with Small DogsThe appearance of puppies in a house is not only a joyful and exciting event but also a time when you need to be extremely attentive and provide excellent care for both the puppies and their mother. One of such a way is to have a whelping box ready when that miracle day comes. But what is a whelping box? It is also known as a nesting, or birthing box, and its principal goal is to keep the puppies safe and comfortable during their birth and early life.

If you have a female dog that is expecting to give birth soon, it is a good idea to explore your whelping pen options. There is an immense variety of them on the market, and each of the boxes has its unique features. You must take into account a lot of considerations before making the actual purchase. If the nesting box is high-quality, it will last for a lot of years.

Since a nesting box has to provide privacy and comfort for your dog and the future puppies, it is best to introduce it even before the birth. It is important to do it this way so that your canine gets familiar with it and begins her nesting.

Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box, X-Large

Our Top Choice: Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box

Need a good whelping box for your furry friend? This is a good choice for all sizes of dogs, but especially for big sizes. This Box doesn’t have corners inside the box, so it’s safe for puppies. Construction is easy to collect and use.

Comparison Table

Product Information
Our Rating:
Buy from:
Lakeside Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Pen
Lakeside Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Pen
  • Dirt-resistant
  • Can’t harbor contamination
  • You won’t need any tools to assemble
  • Has no bottom
  • The entrance side is adjustable
  • Brand Name - Plaza Enterprises Inc
  • Sizes - XL
  • Material - Plastic
  • Price - $$$$
Lakeside Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box
Lakeside Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box
  • The sides can be changed to the needed size
  • Made out of safe plastic
  • Ideal for medium size breeds
  • Brand Name - Plaza Enterprises Inc
  • Sizes - Large
  • Material - Wood
  • Price - $$$$
Elevated Square White Planter Box
Elevated Square White Planter Box
  • Both a box for pups and a planter box
  • No tools needed to put it together
  • Easy whelping box
  • Brand Name - Clean Earth Works
  • Sizes - 50.25 x 12.5 x 5.5 Inches
  • Material - Vinyl
  • Price - $
Hudson Vinyl Bed
Hudson Vinyl Bed
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to wash it
  • Has smooth edges
  • Brand Name - New England Arbors Store
  • Sizes - 48L x 48W x 11H
  • Material - Vinyl
  • Price - $
MagnaBox Extention- Small
MagnaBox Extention- Small
  • Three-sided expansion
  • Will not discolour
  • Improved airflow
  • Brand Name - Lakeside
  • Sizes - 36"L x 36"W x 18"H
  • Material - Plastic
  • Price - $$

Advantages for Using a Dog Whelping Box

Buying a whelping pen for your dog has numerous benefits both for her and the future puppies. There is not an appliance that provides so much comfort and safety as a nesting box. Some of the main advantages ones include:

Safety for Puppies

Puppies are born blind and don’t move a lot. However, in a very little time, they will be able to see and will want to explore every corner of your house. But by roaming everywhere, they can quickly get into trouble and even hurt themselves. The most significant advantage of a whelping pen is that the dogs will be able to move around only inside the box. They will be safe there since the sides of a suitable nesting box are tall, and the puppies won’t be able to climb over and escape.

Small Dog Playing in Whelping BoxComfort

After a canine has given birth, she can begin to feel anxiety and even sometimes show aggression, since she is protective of her puppies. A nesting box will provide a personal space for the dog and its puppies.

Inside the box, your dog will feel relaxed and calm. Moreover, since all of the newborn puppies will always be surrounding her, and whenever she feels like getting out of the box, the canine will be able to do it quickly.

Easy to Clean

Small puppies tend to make a lot of mess. If all of them are inside the puppies whelping pen, and you placed a pee sheet inside, it will be a lot easier to clean everything rather than when they would be around all your house and making a mess everywhere.

Temperature Regulation

Newborn puppies need to always be warm, but at the same time not overheat. But if they are roaming around your house, it will be impossible to monitor whether they have a temperature. Inside a whelping box, they will always be around their mother, and she will keep them warm. Moreover, it will be easier for you to keep them warm when your canine is not around by placing blankets around them and moving the box closer to a heat lamp.

Training Early

As soon as the puppies begin to move a lot, begin to train them. If they are in the nesting box, you will be able to take one puppy out to train and leave the other ones inside.

Simple Guide to Choosing the Best Whelping Box for Your Dog

When looking for a nesting box, question yourself: “Is it a good one for my dog?”. There are a lot of great ones on the Internet. However, not all of them would be great for your dog’s needs. Below find pieces of advice on how to choose the best whelping pad for your dog.

What Size Is the Best to Choose?

A pretty important thing to consider is how large the whelping pen should be. To choose one with a suitable size, think about the size of your dog and the average size of its litter. A great fit would be a box in which your dog would have enough space to stretch, and there would still be space left for the puppies to explore.

What Material Is Better?What Material Is Better?

Usually, a dog whelping pen is made out of wood. But not all wood quality is exceptional. Also, there are plastic ones. It is difficult to point out what material is better since every type has its pros and cons. If your canine is large, like a Labrador, it is better to get a wooden box, since plastic ones are not as durable and can easily break.

Is It Durable Enough?

Nesting boxes go through a lot of challenges. Just think of the fact that the puppies will be making a lot of mess in there and biting everything. You need to make sure that the box is high-quality, so that the next time when your canine gives birth, you won’t need to buy a new whelping pen.

Does It Need Temperature Regulation Features?

It is not an essential feature to have, but if you live in an area that has an extremely high temperature or a low one, you should think about getting a nesting box with a cooling fan or a heating mat.

Is Portability a Factor to Consider?

Think about whether it will be convenient for you to move it. If you live in a big house, it would be great if the box will be easy to move around it.

Also, a high-quality box would have high sides, so that the pups won’t be able to get out by themselves, and a door, for the mother to quickly get inside the box and out.

Does Structure Matter?

Nesting boxes are not a cheap appliance to buy. The prices range from very moderate ones to extremely expensive due to their structure, quality, and material. If you are planning to get one for long-term use, it is better to buy a slightly expensive one and with a better structure, which is highly important.

Best Whelping Box for Dogs: Our Top Picks

With so many choices out there, it may get quite challenging to choose a box that would be ideal for your canine, as well as high-quality and durable enough for long-term usage. Here we have reviewed the top 5 best whelping boxes for dogs.

Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box, X-LargeProduct Information

Brand Name – Plaza Enterprises Inc
Sizes – XL
Material – Plastic
Price – $$$$

This product is excellent for any dog that you may have since it comes in a variety of sizes. So, if you have a smaller breed, for example, a Chihuahua, then you can select the x-small box size. Even if your canine is a mastiff, there is a proper size also. Just select the whelping box for large dogs.

The principal advantage of this model is that it consists of safe plastic, which will cause no harm both to humans and puppies. The walls are thick enough to handle even a huge dog. It is simple to take care of; all you need to do is clean it and change the pad.

This is a universal whelping box model since there are appropriate options for any dog size. Also, it has a fabulous design. There is no bottom, so you will need to place a pad under the puppies.

It is pretty lightweight compared to other models. You will have no trouble with moving it around your house since you can just pick it up by the sides or disassemble and resemble it in the right place.

The overall rating is 4+, which presupposes that most of the customers are satisfied with the purchase. Some clients stated that it is quite simple to assemble. All you need to do is align the walls and place the hooks. However, there were a couple of buyers that claimed it tricky to gather it by using the hook and that they were required to hammer it together.

Key features:

  • Dirt-resistant;
  • Can’t harbor contamination;
  • You won’t need any tools to assemble;
  • Has no bottom;
  • The entrance side is adjustable.


  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to sustain
  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • FDA-approved material
  • No sharp corners


  • The larger sizes are expensive

Buy on Amazon

Plaza MagnaBox Whelping Box, LargeProduct Information

Brand Name – Plaza Enterprises Inc
Sizes – Large
Material – Wood
Price – $$$$

The medium-sized box is an ideal fit for medium dogs. So, if your loved pet is a boxer or a dog that resembles a boxer in size, this one will be the ideal choice. Even if your canine is a bit smaller, but will have a lot of pups, the medium size whelping pen would be a perfect choice.

This model is a pretty expensive one. However, if you need one, in the long run, it will be worth your money. An advantage of this product is that there is no bottom. This means that you will have no trouble with cleaning all the mess that the small puppies make. All you need to do is place a pad under and whenever needed, take it out and place a new one.

The box is very sturdy. It has adjustable side heights, which means that it can also be used as a pen. You will have no trouble with adjusting the wall height, as well as putting the whole thing together.

On Amazon, this plastic whelping box is ranked at a 4+. Almost every buyer is satisfied with the order. They claim that this product has numerous benefits and that they can’t imagine having a different one. But there were a couple of buyers that are not satisfied with the fact that this product has no bottom.

Key features:

  • The sides can be changed to the needed size;
  • Made out of safe plastic;
  • Ideal for medium size breeds.


  • Easy to clean
  • Long-lasting
  • Safe to chew plastic


  • Some have problems with assembling it

Buy on Amazon

Great Father's Day Gift - Elevated Square White Planter Box for DIY Gardening, Whelping PenProduct Information

Brand Name – Clean Earth Works
Sizes – 50.25 x 12.5 x 5.5 Inches
Material – Vinyl
Price – $

The square ezwhelp whelping box is excellent for smaller breeds. The great thing about this model is that after the pups grow up and if you don’t plan to have any more puppies, you can use it as a planter box.

This model is easy to gather and move around. It doesn’t require any additional tools to put together. Also, it doesn’t have a bottom, which is definitely a plus. You will have no trouble with maintaining it. It is an appropriate size for smaller dogs since the sides are 11 inches high.

Its buyers ranked this product as 5 stars. They find it to be a fabulous deal for the mentioned price. But some wish that it had been taller.

Key features:

  • Both a box for pups and a planter box;
  • No tools needed to put it together;
  • Easy whelping box.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Versatile
  • Cheap


  • Not high enough for medium dogs

Buy on Amazon

Hudson 48W x 48L Screwless Vinyl Garden BedProduct Information

Brand Name – New England Arbors Store
Sizes – 48L x 48W x 11H
Material – Vinyl
Price – $

This is an excellent option for small dogs, such as Chauhan. It is screwless and easy to assemble. Also, it is pretty lightweight, so you won’t any problems with moving it around. 

The product has no bottom, so you need to order a dog pad for it. But the fact that there is no bottom is a great advantage since you will have no trouble cleaning everything. Besides, it is safe for the newborns and has very smooth edges.

This model is ranked 4+ stars. Clients liked it since it is very sturdy and is not expensive at all. Some say that it was a great fit even for large dogs, such as the malamute. This is also a pretty cheap whelping box.

Key features:

  • Easy to assemble;
  • Easy to wash it;
  • Has smooth edges.


  • Cheap
  • Can be used as a plant box
  • No screws


  • No bottom

Buy on Amazon

Lakeside MagnaBox MagnaPen Extention- SmallProduct Information

Brand Name – Lakeside
Sizes – 36″L x 36″W x 18″H
Material – Plastic
Price – $$

The additions are extra parts for the little whelping pen. In case your canine has a bunch of puppies, more than you have expected, it is a fabulous idea to have these extension parts.

This product is marvelous for newborn pups since it has small holes for bigger airflow. Also, along with there extensions, you will get a detachable door, which will make it more comfortable for the parent to step inside the box or out.

The MagnaPen extension has no reviews on the website. But, from its description, we can point out that it would be a great thing to have for your typical nesting box. It is high-quality, durable, and very easy to wash.

Key features:

  • Three-sided expansion;
  • Will not discolour;
  • Improved airflow.


  • High-quality material
  • Can’t hold contamination
  • Visual interaction


  • Suitable only for the small nesting box

Buy on Amazon

Popular Canine Whelping Pen FAQ’s

Before buying a box for puppies, dog owners usually have a lot of questions. Here are the most popular questions and answers regarding this essential purchase.

Is There a Complete Whelping Box for Dogs Available?

No, at this moment, there are no complete kits. But you can buy everything separately. When you choose the whelping pen that you wish to buy, scroll down that page and look at the products that you can buy with that product. You will find there the best deals on the box itself, as well as additional supplies.

Whelping Pen Vs. Crate Pen: What Should I Choose?

It is impossible to compare a nesting box with a crate pen. The aim of buying such an item is for your dog and the puppies to be safe and comfortable. A crate pen is designed for slightly older puppies.

However, some dog owners prefer to use the crate pen as a nesting box. But it can be dangerous for the newborn puppies since they can get stuck between the bars.

When I the Best Time to Place the Dog Inside the Whelping Pen?

It is a good idea to buy the whelping pen before your canine giving birth so that she gets familiar with it and gives birth inside. Otherwise, place the puppies inside as soon as they are born.

Are Temperature Regulation Features Important?Are Temperature Regulation Features Important?

If you live in such a place where it is usually cold, it is a must for the box to have a heater. This will assure you that the little pups are warm at all times. And on the other hand, if the temperatures get pretty high in your region, consider buying a fan as well.

How to Make Borders in the DIY Whelping Pen?

The relevant part of making sides to a whelping pen is for them to be high enough so that the newborn pups won’t be able to climb over. Also, on one side, make a hinged doorway, so that the mother would have easy access inside and out.

What Is the Best Size for a Nesting Box?

The best size of a nesting box depends entirely on the size of your dog. The bigger your dog is, the larger the nesting box should be.

Does the Whelping Pen Need a Pee Pad Inside?

It is not necessary if the box has a bottom. But if you place it inside, it will be easier for you to clean up the mess that the puppies make.

What Food Can I Give to My Dog Inside the Whelping Pen?

After your dog has given birth, try to feed her her favorite food. But it is best to not feed her inside the box, since the given food may be dangerous for the pups.

However, there at the beginning, your caning would not want to leave the puppies, so it is a good idea to feed her inside the box.

Is It Possible to Separate the Dog from the Puppies?

Yes, you can use the nesting box to separate the canine from the puppies. Whenever your dog feels like getting inside the box, she will be able to do it without any problems and will have easy access to her litter.

Also, you can buy the box extensions and use them to separate your canine. This way, she will always be close to them.

Is It Possible to DIY a Dog’s Whelping Pen?

Yes, but it takes a long time to build one, and if you don’t have that time, it is best to buy one.

What Should a Whelping Pen Be Made Of?What Should a Whelping Pen Be Made Of?

You can use any preferred material. The most popular ones are wood and plastic. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages; however, it is much easier to DIY a wooden box for puppies.

What Is the Best Place to Buy Whelping Box?

You can choose to order online or visit a shop. However, the best option is to buy one on Amazon, since there are a lot of good options.

At What Age Are the Puppies Allowed to Be Taken out of the Whelping Pen?

Whenever you feel that you want to. But you must be always careful since they can easily get into trouble.

What Nesting Box Size Is Optimal for a Canine?

The size of the whelping pen depends on your canine’s size. Imagine that the puppies have already been born. The box needs to have plenty of free space so that the pups will have free space to explore, and your canine will have enough room to stretch.

How to Take Care of the Whelping Pen?

You must do regular cleaning since the puppies are not trained yet. To clean a high-quality nesting box, all you need to do is use wipes and change the whelping pad on a regular basis.

What Has to Necessarily Be Placed Inside the Whelping Pen?

It is best to avoid placing anything other then your dog, the puppies, and blankets, if needed, inside the box. Also, if the box has no bottom, it is advisable to get a whelping pad. If you live in an area where the climate is very cold, consider getting a heating sheet or lamp, so that whenever your dog leaves the pups, they will be kept warm.


There are a lot of nesting box options on the market, but not all of them will be suitable for your dog. Be very careful when choosing one. Take into consideration the size of your dog, the box material, think whether you are going to use it again. If you plan in the future to have more puppies, it is best to pay extra so that the box will be long-lasting.

The above reviewed whelping pens are marvelous options both for first-time breeders and professional ones. There are a lot of size options so that the box will be ideal for your beloved pet.

Images credits: Amazon.com

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Jeremy King

Jeremy has been with the site since shortly after it was founded, starting as an occasional freelance content creator. Eventually, he became the full-time team member offering his own opinion as a canine behavior expert.

View all posts by Jeremy King | DogsRecommend.com