How to make an inexpensive and easy whelping box for toy breed dogs..
I have had so many questions from new breeders asking what type of whelping box I use for my Imperial Shih Tzu mommies that I decided to make a page about it on my website :) You can find fancy expensive whelping boxes on the Internet, or I have seen them home made out of plywood (wood is not very sanitary because it holds moisture), which can also get very expensive. I prefer to use plastic storage bins, they work great, are inexpensive (about $10), and can be sanitized easily and used over and over again. You will only need a few basic supplies....
A plastic storage box with a lid, I found this one at WalMart and is the perfect size!
A Skil saw or hand held jig sawto cut the "door" in the plastic box.
You will also want several old, but clean (washed with bleach) towels. I wouldn't use new ones as they will get stained during and after the birth of the puppies. I also use absorbent underpads (wee wee pads) under the towel, and under my mommy dog when she is delivering her puppies to help eliminate excess fluid and other yucky whelping messes..
Ok, so were ready to start.. Remove the lid from the box and lay it on it's side, you will need to cut a "U" shape entry way for your dog to be able to enter an exit the whelping box comfortably without having to jump (you don't want her to land on and injure the puppies), while at the same time keeping the puppies from being able to wiggle out accidentally.
Cutting the box can be a little awkward, I hold it in place by kneeling on the bottom while supporting the top with my hand while I cut, watch out for your fingers!!
And here you have it!! If you are a perfectionist you can center and draw the "U" shape, but I just eyeball it and start cutting :)
I put an absorbent underpad in first
And then a large bath towel folded in thirds is usually perfect for mom to nest in.. They will need to be replaced frequently after the birth of the puppies to keep them clean and dry
Finished whelping box with the lid (remove to assist during whelping), helps mom feel more comfortable and secure :) I made these 2 today for Abbey and Honey, you will notice they are in the same area together. Many dogs are very protective of their whelping boxes and will not tolerate any other dogs around them, but I have several Shih Tzu girls who are very bonded to each other and do great sharing their nursery area (the kitchen or my bedroom) with each other once the puppies are about a week or 2 old. Honey and Sushi always play aunties to new litters of Chinese Imperial puppies and will often join mommies in the whelping box and clean the puppies while they nurse from mom, lol.
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