Whelping Box If possible, female dogs should be left alone during whelping, as unnecessary interference by the owner or a vet can negatively affect the health of mother and puppies. Whelping boxes have been proven to be beneficial for this purpose. They may be purchased commercially or can be made at home. If you should opt to construct one yourself, there are a few points to consider: - A whelping box should be durable and large enough to accommodate both the mother and a great number of puppies. The mother should be able to comfortably stretch her body in all directions. - A whelping box should be warm and free of draft. - Cover the bottom of the box with a mat, blankets or towels to separate it from the ground. Make sure the mat is not sliding when the dog or the puppies are walking on it, as this will allow them to get trapped underneath. -The walls of the box should be sufficiently high so that puppies up until six weeks of age cannot climb out. Also, the mother should be able to leave the box, which can be achieved by making an exit from the box by cutting out a section from any of the walls. -For larger breeds a rail separating the inside of the box from the wall by at least 1 foot (30cm) should be installed, so that puppies can not be accidentally pushed against the wall by their mother. - The box should be placed in an environment familiar to the dog. If needed, familiarize your dog with the box by allowing her to sleep inside the box a few days prior to giving birth. Some dogs might feel more comfortable if the box is covered. If your dog does not like the box, sometimes this can be helped by spreading a blanket over it.
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