If you are expecting puppies to arrive, you are most likely thinking about getting a whelping box for the new family. You can build a whelping box with a few basic materials and over a weekend, depending on your skill and confidence level. You can save money by building your own whelping box, and you have the freedom to customize it to your dog and the space you have available. We rounded up five free whelping box plans that are easy to follow, so you can build a quality box in a short amount of time.
1. McEmm Mark III Whelping Box
The McEmm Mark III is the third generation of this whelping box that features plywood panels between steel tee nuts and steel corner braces. Other features include an open bottom, no hardware projecting from the panels, rounded edges, cutout panel, easy disassembly, and handles to easily move it. You can adjust the design to fit your breed of dog and the space you have available. These plans start out with a 5-foot-square whelping box.
Skill level: Intermediate
Materials: Plywood sheets, lumber, polyurethane varnish, and a multitude of hardware
Tools: Screwdriver, table saw, drill press, wood bit, Spade bit, Forstner bit, and router
- The product is 6Pc spade bit set
- Easy to use
2. Basic Whelping Box, From PetPlace
PetPlace provides instructions on a basic whelping box that is good for a beginner. It has a plywood floor, puppy rails, and a folding door. The box is 48×48 inches when finished and will take you half a day to build once you have all the supplies ready. Make sure all lumber is smooth and free of cracks to prevent injuries to the puppies and/or the mother.
Skill level: Beginner
Materials: Plywood, wood strips, hinge, wood screws, mending brace, sandpaper, corner braces, and vinyl flooring
Tools: Circular saw and screwdriver/drill
- Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
- 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
3. Whelping Box Plans, From All Things Dogs
This site offers two types of whelping boxes that are simple to make. All Things Dogs provides step-by-step instructions for building a box made from either cardboard, plastic, or wood. They like the disposable box to help eliminate any chance of cross litter contamination and easy disposal. These boxes are suited for small to medium breeds, but you can adjust the measurements if you need a larger box.
Skill level: Beginner
Materials for the plastic box: Plastic sheets, plastic glue, plastic trim, and plastic piping/guttering or L-shaped trim
Materials & tools for the wooden box: Plywood, hammer, nails, wood glue, and wooden railing
- Easy-to-use, water based adhesive with Gorilla holding power
- Best for building, carpentry or hobby projects using any type of wood
4. Dog Health Guide Whelping Box Plans
Dog Health Guide has free PDF plans that are simple and easy to understand. It is a plastic whelping box that is 4×4 feet in size. They use PVC pipe for the puppy rails, and you can find most of the supplies at a hardware store and a plastics company. You can construct it with a removable side if you want to make it easier to store and to clean.
Skill level: Beginner to intermediate
Materials: Coraplast sheets, glue, PVC pipe, PVC end caps, copper rivets, plastic edging, silicone, caulk, and a mat for the bottom of the box
Tools: Heavy-duty scissors, 4-inch metal straight edge, markers, scoring tool, rivet tools, hammer, c-clamps, clear plastic packing tape, and PVC pipe cutter
- Includes the following nosepieces: 1/4-inch(6.4mm), 3/16-inch(4.8mm), 5/32-inch(4mm),...
- Powerful durable, high speed production tool
5. Flat Coat Whelping Box
The Flat Coat website instructs you on how to make a whelping box from a pressboard with a white Formica-like finish that is 4×4 feet in size. You can adjust the measurements if you prefer to have a larger or smaller box. These plans are easy to understand, though they don’t have many step-by-step instructions, so for that reason, they are more intermediate-level plans.
Skill level: Intermediate
Materials: Pressboard, screws, aluminum angle iron, channel iron, wood screws, bathroom caulking, PVC pipe, and glue
Tools: Cutting tools for PVC pipe and plywood, screwdriver, and drill
- Use Area: Durable pipe cutter for cutting PVC, plastic & rubber tubing.Great helper for home handy...
- Easy Operation:One-hand Fast Poly pipe cutter tool with ratchet drive for cutting less than 1-5/8in...
Building your own whelping box is a great option to save money and gives you the opportunity to customize one to your liking. Hopefully, one of these plans will suit your needs, so you can build the best whelping box for your dog and her puppies.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.