Building a whelping box is easier than you’d imagine with this method from Ken Wignard. Using plywood and “paper doll construction”, you won’t even need screws or nails.

We used half-inch plywood, which is thinner than his recommended 3/4″, and it worked out fine, although we traded off a little extra sturdiness in the bargain. The photos below and source video will give you the basic idea.

You can get plywood pre-cut to size at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s, so you won’t have to tangle with a table saw. Once home, all you’ll need in the way of tools is a tape measure, a jigsaw to cut out your slots (the video will explain), and a sanding block (we used the foam block kind) to smooth rough edges.

For the interior, you’ll also need to fashion a “pig rail” to protect the pups from being rolled upon by their mother. Some folks use PVC, but we wanted to avoid toxic plastic, so we opted for 1″ x 4″ wooden boards, instead. We propped three boards up on a few small 2×4 scraps and fastened the rail to the walls of the box on three sides.

We bought two 4′ x 8′ plywood sheets and had the store cut them in half (to 2′), then cut their length down to 6.5′. This yielded four 2′ x 6.5′ sheets. / Pictured also are three 1″ x 4″ boards (3/4″ x 3.5″ actual) for the pig rail.

Laddie visits the basic box (pre pig rail), which provides a six-foot square space, sanded and painted for the smoothest effect. We draped plastic along the walls and protected the floor with drop cloths and wee pads in prep for delivery. Note the overlapping corners where the slotted plywood fits together.

The best thing to do, however, is to watch the following video as many times as you need to understand the process. It’s conceptually simple and if you have a modicum of confidence with tools, you’ll do fine! When you’re done with this one, see our own video of our actual box at the bottom of this page.

A tour of Ula’s Whelping Box:

UPDATE: Here’s the post-whelping, neonate setup in action – a box full of pups!