5 DIY Whelping Box Plans (Free & Easy to Build)

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whelping box

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

McEmm Mark III Whelping Box
Image: The McEmm Mark III

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

2. Basic Whelping Box, From PetPlace

Basic Whelping Box, From PetPlace
Image: 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

3. Whelping Box Plans, From All Things Dogs

Whelping Box Plans, From All Things Dogs
Image: 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

4. Dog Health Guide Whelping Box Plans

Dog Health Guide Whelping Box Plans
Image: Dog Health Guide

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

5. Flat Coat Whelping Box

Flat Coat Whelping Box
Image: Flat Coat

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


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.

Featured Image: Lauren Rathbone from Pixabay