Q: What are two killers of young puppies?
A: Getting too cold and being squished by the mother.
Q: Where is the safest place in a whelping box?
A: Under a pig rail.
Q: Why does your dam hate every other whelping box?
A: She's either overheated by a heating pad or sunburned by a heat lamp.
Newborns are very vulnerable to dying by hypothermia or by getting smothered. Our solution is to put a heating system under a perimeter rail in your existing whelping box or crate.
The rail (also know as a pig rail) keeps the newborns from getting caught between the mother and the wall. They stay safe under the rail. While they're under the rail they keep warm with the aid of our temperature controlled heater kit.
Our heater kit is easy to add to your existing whelping box or crate. It's as simple as sticking down a piece of tape to the bottom of your crate.
If your crate doesn't already have a pig rail, you can add one with aid of our PVC pig rail adapters. All you'll need is some inexpensive PVC pipe from your local home center.
An added advantage to our heater kit is the mother stays comfortable in the center of the whelping box. She isn't getting overheated by a heating pad or sunburned from a heat lamp. The pups will go to the mother when it's time to feed and go back under the rail where it's warm and safe.
Heated Whelping Box Kit
Why A Whelping Box
If the bottom of the crate is removable, remove it for easier assembly.
Do not remove the backing off the tape yet. On the bottom of the create smooth out the heater tape around the perimeter. Remember do not kink or overlap the tape. It should be in one layer around the perimeter of the crate bottom (under where the pig rail will be). After you're happy with it's placement, lift up one end of the tape, remove the backing, and stick it down. Keep the tape as smooth as you can as you're sticking it down.
Replace the bottom if needed. Attach the thermostat box on the side of the crate.
4 PVC corner adapters. Buy Now
You will need to supply the 1-1/2" PVC pipe.
Measure the inside of the crate. Subtract 6" for length (long), and 7-3/4" for width (short). You can purchase pipe from your local home center, such as Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, or Atwoods, and they may be able to cut them to length for you.
Assemble inside of the crate.
The pipes fit into the adapters to form a rectangle. The notches should point outward and fit over cage bars.
The ends should fit snugly against the crate's side.
Thermostat Control Panel
The top number shows the floor temperature in red.
The bottom number shows the thermostat setting in blue.
To Set Celsius or Fahrenheit
Press the bottom C/F button to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
To Set Thermostat
Press the top SET button. The bottom number will start flashing. To change the temperature use the top SET button for up (+) and bottom C/F button for down (-). Your changes will automatically save after 3 seconds.
When we say "press the button" we mean just push and release the button. Do not press and hold the button down. If you do you might go into programming mode.
We do not advise putting the themorstat into programming mode. If you accidentally go into program mode, just do nothing for 3 seconds. It will exit. We provide this information for reference and support only.
- Press and hold the SET button for 3 seconds to enter Programming Mode.
- Use the SET button for up (+) and the C/F button for down (-).
- Use SET and C/F to navigate through codes P0 through P8.
- To change a code's value press SET and C/F at the same time.
- The value display will start flashing.
- Use SET (+) or C/F (-) to change the value.
- Press SET and C/F at the same time to confirm the change.
- Do nothing (wait) for 3 seconds it will exit Programming Mode.
|Code||Description||Setting Range||Factory Default||Setting|
|P0||Heating / Cooling||H / C||C **||H|
|P1||Return Differenc||0.1 — 3.0||2.0||0.3|
|P2||Set Upper Limit||-50 — 110 °C||110 °C||46 °C / 115 °F|
|P3||Set Lower Limit||-50 — 110 °C||-50 °C||29 °C / 85 °F|
|P4||Temperature Correction||-15 — +15||0||0|
|P5||Delay Start||0 — 10||0||0|
|P6||High Temperature Alarm||OFF / ON : -50 — 110 °C||OFF||ON|
|P7||Celsius or Fahrenheit||CS / FH||CS||FH *|
|P8||Factory Reset||ON / OFF||OFF||OFF|
* When switched to Fahrenheit (FH) from Celsius (CS) all other settings adjust to Fahrenheit values (and vice versa)
** Warning! If you press and hold both SET and C/F buttons for 3 seconds, you will see 8.8.8 when you do (this is called a factory reset). You will need to go back through Programming Mode to set everything back to thermostat settings. If you don't the thermostat will be in cooling mode and the heater tape could get too hot. So please do not factory reset.
Newborn puppies need warmth more than food. At birth the puppy's body temperature is the same as the mother's, after delivery the core temperature will drops several degrees the body (rectal) temperature should fall between 95° and 99°F. If it drops below 94°F, your puppy could be facing life-threatening hypothermia. Puppies depend on their mom to maintain their body temperature. Without external heat, it doesn't take long for a puppy to become chilled. Chilling gravely reduces the puppy's metabolism. Newborn puppies can't generate their own body heat until they develop the shiver reflex at around two and half weeks. Hypothermia is the single greatest problem for infant puppies. Low puppy temperatures for the first few weeks is also one of the biggest reasons for herpesvirus ** being able to successfully infect a litter.
It is very important to keep puppies warm for the first week to ten days of age. If the puppies are not gaining weight and suckling properly, this should be considered as abnormal and be investigated. Most health young puppies will double their birth weight in the first 7 to 10 days of birth and then double it again within the next three weeks. It is always a good idea to keep young puppies that are sick and nursing in a warm area, the puppies resistance is weaken when exposed to chilling conditions. If they crawl away from the rest of the puppy group, it will increase the cold stress and exacerbate the onset of their deterioration. Besides keeping all he young puppies warm, the weak, less active, sick or fading puppies need special care to ensure their best chance for survival. Remember the loss of body heat and chilling is a common reason for rapid decline in sick puppies.
Despite our instinct to want to immediately feed a puppy in trouble, warmth is far more critical than food. Cold puppies can't nurse or digest food. Their heart rates drop, and the circulatory and respiratory systems collapse. They won't last long under these conditions. Warming a chilled puppy too quickly can also be fatal. Puppies that have a low body temperature should be warmed slowly over a few hours to a normal temperature of about 97°F. A normal body temperature should be reached before feeding these puppies.
When you're ready to set up the nest, place clean towels or puppy pads in the Incubator Care Unit. If the puppies are open-mouth panting, the box is too warm. Your litter can help you gauge their comfort level easier than just one puppy can. Chilled puppies will cry and gather in a pile trying to keep each other warm. Puppies that are too warm will separate and sleep apart.
Manufacturers of heating pads made for people do not recommend them being used on animals. Even on the low setting temperatures can get dangerously hot. Most heating pads made for people will shut themselves off after a certain time.
Heat lamps will warm them up, but can also dehydrate the puppies as well as being hard to regulate their temperature. The puppies can easily become overheated with no way to escape using these methods to warm the puppies.
Within twenty-four hours being born, there core (rectal) temperature should be 95° to 97°F Their temperature steadily increases, until at 3 weeks of age the rectal temperature is 98° to 100°F Eventually they'll sustain a normal temperature of 101.5°F.
During the first week of life, puppies do not have the capacity to constrict the blood vessels at the surface of their skin to retain heat. A newborn is able to maintain a body temperature 10°F to 12°F above his immediate surroundings for only short periods. When the heat source, (the mother, other puppies, blankets and Incubator Care Unit), is removed for 30 minutes or so in a 72°F room the puppies core temperature can quickly falls to 94°F or below where the puppy faces life-threatening hypothermia.
The air temperature in the Incubator Care Unit should be kept at 85° to 90°F for the first week. The second week, reduce the air temperature to 80°F. Then reduce the temperature gradually so that it's about 70°F when the litter is 6 weeks old.
|Puppy's Age||Approximate Room Temperature||Approximate Core Temperature|
|Newborn to 7 days||90°F||96°F|
|Day 8 to 14||85°F|
|Day 15 to 21||80°F|
|Day 22 to 28||72°F||99°F|
Relative humidity of 55-65%
Use common sense. If the puppies are piled on top of each other all the time, they are cold. If the puppies are spread far apart and panting, they are too warm. If they lay next to each other, the temperature is fine.
Keep the moisture in a range comfortable for humans. In a homemade box area, a towel moistened with water and placed over the box will help add moisture.
** Canine herpes virus (CHV)
Canine herpes virus (CHV), also known as "fading puppy syndrome," is a viral infection that affects the reproductive organs of adult dogs. While adult dogs infected with CHV usually do not show any symptoms, the infection is the leading cause of death in newborn puppies. One puppy in a litter may be affected, and death may occur abruptly, with little or no warning, or an entire litter may perish within a 24-hour period. If the disease is contracted when the puppies are older than three weeks, it is often less severe. Older puppies have a much better chance of survival, but may have long-term effects of a persistent CHV infection.
Anytime newborn puppies are observed to be unwell or "fading," it is crucial that you contact the vet. If CHV is confirmed, treatment can begin with antiviral medication and supportive care. It is also important to keep puppies warm, as the virus requires a low temperature to survive. Unfortunately, death often occurs rapidly in CHV-infected puppies despite good care.
- Sudden death of newborn puppy
- Weakness, lethargy, crying
- Lack of suckle reflex/appetite
- Painful abdomen, bruising of the abdomen
- Soft, yellow/green feces
- Respiratory difficulty, nasal discharge
- Hemorrhages, such as nose bleeds and small bruises
- Older puppies may develop nervous system abnormalities, including blindness and seizures
- If you think your dog or puppies may have canine herpes, seek veterinary care immediately!
How Is Canine Herpes Transmitted?
Canine herpes virus lives in the reproductive and respiratory tracts of male and female dogs. In adults, the disease is transmitted via aerosol and direct contact, including sneezing, coughing, nosing, sniffing, licking and sexual activities between an infected and an uninfected dog. Puppies usually contract the disease in the birth canal or from nasal and oral secretions of the mother shortly after birth. Puppies can also spread the virus to one another. Just because one puppy in a litter is infected with CHV does not mean they all are.
An incubator is especially important if the kitten is extremely small, not completely developed, in distress, or if you cannot consistently control the environment and temperature in the area. Incubator Care Unit is ideal to provide a safe, clean, warm, dry place for kittens to get the tremendous amount of sleep they need to grow and develop in the critical first few weeks. Warmth is vital in the first few weeks of a kitten's life, as they are not able to shiver, and you cannot tell when they are cold. The Incubator Care Unit should be in a quiet, private, draft-free location.
Air temperature for young kittens
|Kitten's Age||Approximate Room Temperature|
|First 7 days||90°F|
|Day 8 to 14||85°F|
|Day 15 to 28||80°F|
|Day 29 to 35||75°F|
|Day 35 and on||70°F|