3 Best Whelping Boxes

Written by: Jamie
Updated: May 21, 2021

Need the perfect whelping pen to keep your puppies safe? We recommend three awesome puppy cages down below!

Newborn puppy

A whelping box is the best solution to keep your litter of puppies warm, safe and comfortable for the first days and weeks of their lives.

A whelping box should be durable, washable and free from any drafts. It should also be large enough to allow the puppies plenty of room to eat, sleep and play for up to five weeks.

A dog whelping pen can be made from a range of materials from plastic to cardboard, and all offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

With this in mind, read on to learn more about how to choose the best whelping boxes for dogs.

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Our Recommended Whelping Pens

In our opinion, these are the whelping boxes that should be at the top of everyone's wish-lists.

See how they compare in the table before we discuss each one in more detail.



Doggy Style Heavy Duty Whelping With Abs Tray Puppy Play Pen, X-Large


Doggy Style Heavy Duty Whelping Pen

- Suitable for indoor & outdoor use

- Folds flat for storage

- Simple assembly

- Removable plastic coated floor

Bunny Business Pet Supplies Small Heavy Duty Whelping Pen

Bunny Business Heavy Duty Whelping Pen

- Heavy duty tubing

- Double catches to door

- Folds away

Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen 1m x 1m Complete With Wooden Whelping Box Insert

Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen

- Perfect for all stages of the puppies growth
- Plastic coated for hygiene and longer life
- Quality timber insert that fits inside the pen


Doggy Style Heavy Duty Whelping Pen

If you’re looking for a cost-effective yet robust and serviceable pen for whelping, you’re sure to be impressed by the quality and affordability of this heavy duty pen.

This extra large (medium available too) enclosure is ideal for use either indoors or outside the home thanks to its heavy duty construction from strong tubing painted in a stylish gun metal grey.


Thanks to its extra large dimensions of 125cm x 80cm x 90cm, it is the ideal choice for larger litters of puppies or for larger breeds of dog.

This pen folds down flat to allow for easier storage when not in use, although the assembly process is simple and quick to achieve. This ensures maximum convenience.

This cage also comes with a plastic coated floor to allow for easier cleaning and swift wiping down to remove mess. The tray is fully removable which makes it even simpler to wipe down its surfaces.

This pen also features double catches on its door, which means that the puppies won’t be able to escape easily. It will also help your pet to feel safer and more secure when she is preparing to give birth.

Designed for maximum safety and security for both mother and babies, this enclosure offers a comfortable environment that is suitable for use through every stage of whelping.

Not only is it spacious enough to allow the puppies enough room to move around with ease but it also features a convenient front access.

Thanks to the affordable pricing of this product, it represents the perfect choice for all breeders on a budget who are looking for a safe place for their dog to give birth but who don’t want to break the bank.

This whelping pen offers excellent value for money!


  • Best for large litters
  • Removable floor
  • Double catch door
  • Folds away


  • Heavy
  • No small size

Bottom Line: A sturdy and durable whelping cage that won't let you down! 

Best for Small Breeds

Bunny Business Heavy Duty Whelping Pen

When you need a smaller pen that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller dog breeds and smaller litters, this product is the perfect choice. 

Measuring 93cm x 61cm x 63cm, this enclosure is large enough to ensure maximum comfort and space for your pet and her puppies but not so large as to threaten her feeling of security.

This pen has been designed for use either inside the home or outside it thanks to its strong and heavy duty construction from metal tubing painted in an appealing gun metal grey.

Whether used indoors or outdoors, it folds flat to allow for more convenient storage when not in use.

Designed to be simple to assemble, you can put this pen up and take it down in minutes, ensuring maximum speed and convenience for breeders.

It also features a plastic coated floor that is removable for easier cleaning and more effective removal of mess.

The double catches on the door ensure maximum safety and security both for the mother dog and her puppies while its handy front access ensures that you can easily monitor your pets’ well-being and gain speedy access to the pups should it ever be necessary.


  • Best for small breeds
  • Folds flat
  • Strong & Durable


  • Heavy
  • Only for small breeds

Bottom Line: This comfortable pen is the perfect choice for breeders who don’t want to speed too much money but who want to be assured of a high-quality, effective product that can be used time and again for whelping.

Best for Long-Term Use

Flexipanel Puppy Play Pen

When you need to choose a pen that offers multifunctional capabilities, the Flexipanel puppy play pen is the perfect choice since it offers numerous other uses after the whelping stage is complete.

Sturdy, strong and robust, this enclosure is ideal for use throughout every stage of your puppies’ growth.

Made up of a cage made from high mesh which is paired with a timber whelping insert, this heavy duty pen measures 1m x 1m x 0.5m.

It has also been coated with strong plastic for a longer lifespan and for better hygiene thanks to easier cleaning.

This pen has been created with the needs of breeders in mind and with speed and convenience at the forefront. The timber insert couldn’t be easier to assemble while the 12” height of the walls protects the puppies effectively from drafts.

The timber insert is made from top quality FSC timber and pig rails come attached to keep young puppies safe and secure.

As the whelping insert can be dismantled easily and stored efficiently away, it leaves a handy puppy pen that can be used for the puppies’ next growth stage or even enlarged through the addition of extra panels that can adapt this product to the needs of your pets as they grow.

This product comes complete with a carpet square and polythene liner for easier cleaning. Its modular design also means that it can serve many functions including use as a dog gate, play pen, fence or toileting area.


  • Best for long-term use
  • Modular design
  • Suits smaller breeds


  • Expensive
  • Doesn't fold away

Bottom Line: This whelping pen is designed for more than just one use. Its modular design makes it great for a variety of different scenarios.

Why Get A Whelping Box?

A puppy whelping box, otherwise known as a dog whelping pen, offers many benefits when it comes to raising a litter. Some of the advantages include:


Newborn puppies don’t move around much, and haven’t opened their eyes yet. However, once they start to move about they can easily get into trouble.

A whelping pen allows them freedom to move around inside the box since its sides are tall enough to prevent them from climbing out and escaping.

Recommended: Don't miss our guide on dog bowls to slow down greedy eaters.

Mother dog with litter of newborn jack russell terrier puppies

Personal space

Pregnant dogs have increased hormones which result in emotional responses, and this means that they can be more aggressive and anxious. When they have a secure, separate area to call their own they will feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Not only will this make things safer for you, it will also make things safer for them since they’ll feel calm and safe with no need to act in a defensive way.


When your puppies are kept alongside their mother in a single area it’s easier to monitor their health and behavior. You can see at a glance if the mother is displaying worrying health signs or symptoms of depression.

You can also adjust the temperature of the space easily and clean up mess caused by the puppies more conveniently.

Four newborn jack russell terrier puppies in a whelping box

Temperature regulation

If your puppies roam about across a larger area with their mother it’s hard to maintain a healthy temperature since puppies are unable to regulate their temperature at first.

You can add extra blankets to the box and keep them by a heater or window to ensure the optimal heat level.

Puppy Training

Once the puppies have started moving around it’s time to start training them. If they are allowed to move in a large area this is a chaotic process.

When all the puppies are in one area, you can teach them to sit and stay more easily either as a group or by removing a single puppy to train.

Recommended: Always fancied training your dog on agility obstacles? Don't miss our guide next!

Training your Dog to Use a Whelping Box

It will take your female some time to get used to being inside her whelping pen. This means you’ll need to start letting her spend time in the box around 2 weeks before the birth of her puppies is due.

Newborn jack russell terrier pups, mother takes puppy in mouth to move in a whelping box

Your female needs to view the box as a safe space so that she feels comfortable to give birth there and raise the puppies within its walls. You could even begin introducing her to her box on the day you discover she’s pregnant or even right after mating.

One way to train your dog to use the box is to add bedding and blankets that smell like you or like her as this may help her to feel comfortable before transferring them onto the heat mat.

You should also ensure that no other dogs are permitted to enter the box since it is your female’s private space which shouldn’t be shared by other adult dogs.

You should place the pen in a quiet, private location in your home and encourage your pet to sleep there for a few weeks before the birth.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Nursing Her Pups

If she doesn’t take to it straight away you can try feeding her treats in there and stroking, petting and talking softly to her while she is in the box so that she creates positive associations with it in her mind.

Choosing Your Whelping Pen: A Buyer’s Guide

It’s important to bear a number of things in mind when you’re choosing the best whelping box for sale. Here are some considerations to remember:


Boxes can be made from a range of materials and all have their own advantages and disadvantages.

A plastic box is easy to clean since the surfaces can be wiped in seconds, however, it won’t be very strong and could be broken due to pressure. Also, if plastic breaks, the material is sharp and this could hurt a clumsy or heavy pet.

Recommended: Clean up pet hair in no time with a specialist vacuum.

A cardboard whelping box is very affordable and easily disposable but more than one may be needed since it will absorb mess and can easily be damaged.

A wooden box is very strong, but if a cheaper wood is used, it could splinter and hurt your pet. It can also be hard to clean, although high quality or polished woods can be wiped down easily.


You may want to choose a product that is durable and capable of withstanding puppies defecating, chewing and urinating in them, although a disposable whelping box is also an option if you don’t mind about being able to use it time and again.

You should still ensure that, whatever type of box you buy, the material is sufficiently robust with reinforced connectors that will prevent you from having to buy repair tools or another box over time.

dogue de bordeaux close up details of face


Bear in mind you dog’s size and how many puppies they’re likely to have in their litter when you select a box. You need to ensure your female is able to stretch out comfortably while leaving sufficient space for the puppies to move about in.

As a rough estimate, four dogs of the same breed as your pet should have enough room to lie down comfortably inside the box. The more puppies your pet is likely to have, the bigger the box you’ll require.


How easy will it be for your dog to enter and exit the box independently? Are the sides high enough to prevent the puppies from escaping?

These are two questions you need to ask about access when you’re choosing the right box to suit your dog’s needs. You also need to consider how easy it will be for you to access the puppies to check on their welfare.

Recommended: You can do something about your dog’s excessive barking! Read our guide on the best anti-bark devices here.


Will you be able to move the box easily? This is something you need to bear in mind if you’re living in a smaller property or if the box is likely to need to be moved between different locations.


If you’re choosing a box that will be used time and again, you’ll want to choose one that can be stored away easily. You may, therefore, want to consider a folding model that won’t take up too much space inside your home.

Cooling and Heating Ability

Some boxes will have a range of features like heat mats and cooling fans so the puppies and their mother can enjoy maximum comfort. These features cost more, but they could offer benefits, particularly if you’re living somewhere where the temperatures are extremely high or low.

Make sure that, if you choose one of these fully featured boxes, the wiring is easy to tuck away and won’t be a fire hazard.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at Jamie@woofbarkgrowl.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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