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Whelping box plans

This is the finished box looking from the drop door end with the partial top on the box.

Our whelping box is made from 5/8" plywood. You will need to cut the following from your sheet of 5/8"x48"x96" (4'x8') plywood:

  1. 1 bottom 28"x48"
  2. 2 sides 17"x48"
  3. 1 end 17"x29-1/4"
  4. 1 end with a drop-down door
    1 lower piece 10"x29-1/4"
    1 upper piece 7"x29-1/4" (door)
  5. 1 lid 22"x30"

Photo of the one side and inside for pig rail detail.

You will need the following for the "pig rail" inside the box which goes inside both sides and both ends about 2-1/2" off the floor to the bottom of the rail:

  1. 2 side pieces 1"x2"x48" ends cut at a 45° angle
  2. 2 end pieces 1"x2"x28" ends cut at a 45° angle

Photo of the drop-down door and the two hinges.

And pieces for the drop-down door and the lid which add stiffness and help position the lid and door:

  1. 2 pieces for the top 1"x2"x20"
  2. 1 piece inside upper end (drop-down door) 1"x2"x27-3/4"

Photo of the inside drop-down door latch. You need one for each side.

And lastly you will need the following hardware:

  1. 2 small hinges which come with screws
  2. 2 small spring latches - will probably not come with small wood screws
  3. about 60 wood screws #7x1-5/8" countersunk phillips head
  4. glue (optional)

Photo of the lid bottom showing the position of the stiffeners/locators.

The lid has 1"x2" stringers to keep the lid positioned on top of the box. Cut and install as shown in the photos. The hole in the lid is 2" diameter and is just a finger hole to make it easier to lift the lid.

The lid is a convienent accessory that acts as a "cave" for the mom and puppies. Also handy for sitting cleaning materials you may need or even as a seat.


The Finish

You can glue the pieces and use screws or just use screws. If you use a glue make sure there is no glue residue inside the box that puppies might ingest.

I did not put a finish of any kind on the box. You may want to seal the floor and the seams between the box floor and the sides/ends. I haven't because I am worried about finding a product that will be safe for the Dam and her puppies.

The box was designed to use standard size newspaper to line the inside of the box. But it has become hard to get newspaper and they are expensive. You will go through a lot of paper with the new puppies. We use newsprint paper, a blank sheet 20"x30", which we buy from uline.com. The package we purchase is model# S-14640. It is a box of 600 sheets. Our last litter of four puppies used about three boxes in eight weeks. But the paper is easy to lay down and pickup loaded with you know what.

If you are going to use the box on concrete you may want to make some feet for the bottom of the box out of scrap plywood. This will keep the box directly off of the concrete.

Other options can to handles to make the box easier to grab and move and of course you can paint the outside but be careful with any product you put on the inside of the box.


Box Photos

Photo of the inside far end of the box and placement of the pig rails.

Photo of the inside and far end.

Terry Stewart