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Puppy Love Begins Here: Choosing the Perfect Dog Whelping Bed

Puppies bring boundless joy and warmth to our lives, and as responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to provide them with the utmost comfort and care, especially during their formative weeks. One essential item for your furry bundle of joy is a dog-whelping bed. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about selecting the perfect whelping bed for your puppy.

Understanding Whelping Beds

What is a whelping bed?

A whelping bed is a specialized bed designed to provide comfort, safety, and warmth to newborn puppies and their mothers. It offers a cozy space for the puppies to nurse, sleep, and grow during their initial weeks of life.

Why is it essential for puppies?

A whelping bed is essential for several reasons:

  • It provides a safe and secure environment for puppies.
  • It helps maintain an optimal temperature, which is crucial for their well-being.
  • It reduces the risk of accidents and injury.
  • It aids in the early socialization of puppies.
  • It offers a designated area for nursing and bonding with the mother.

Types of Whelping Beds

There are various types of whelping beds available, each with its own unique features and advantages.

Traditional Whelping Boxes

Traditional whelping boxes are sturdy and offer excellent protection for puppies. They come in various sizes and are typically made of wood or plastic. These boxes provide a secure and confined space for newborns.

Inflatable Whelping Pools

Inflatable swimming pools are versatile and easy to clean. They are often preferred for their portability and convenience. These pools can be set up quickly and are ideal for small to medium-sized litters.

Heat lamp beds

Heat lamp beds combine the comfort of a soft bed with an overhead heat lamp to maintain a consistent temperature. This option is especially useful for puppies that require extra warmth.

Size Matters

Choosing the right size

Selecting the right size of a whelping bed is crucial. It should be spacious enough for the mother and puppies, but not overly large. The bed’s size should allow the puppies to snuggle together for warmth.

Considering Growth

Keep in mind that puppies grow rapidly. Choose a bed that will accommodate their growth for at least the first few weeks. Adjustable beds or those with removable walls can be a wise choice.

Materials and durability

Common Materials Used

Whelping beds are typically made from materials such as plastic, wood, or durable fabric. Each material has its advantages, so consider your specific needs and preferences.

Longevity and Maintenance

Look for a bed that is easy to clean and can withstand wear and tear. Durability is key, as the bed will be used frequently during the puppy’s early stages.

Comfort and safety

Soft vs. firm beds

The comfort of the bed is vital for the puppies’ well-being. Some prefer softer beds, while others opt for firmer surfaces. It’s essential to strike a balance to ensure the puppies are comfortable and supported.

Safety Features to Look For

Check for safety features such as rounded edges, non-toxic materials, and secure latching mechanisms. Safety should be a top priority when selecting a whelping bed.

Heat and temperature control

Maintaining an Optimal Temperature

Puppies are sensitive to temperature changes. Whelping beds with temperature control features, like heating pads or lamps, can help maintain a consistent and warm environment.

Heated Whelping Beds

Consider heated whelping beds, especially if you live in a colder climate. These beds provide a gentle heat source that keeps the puppies warm without the risk of overheating.

Ease of Cleaning

Importance of Cleanliness

A clean environment is essential for the health of the puppies. Choose a bed that is easy to clean, with removable covers or washable materials.

Washable and hygienic options

Opt for beds with washable liners or covers to ensure hygiene. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of bacteria or odors.

Portability and storage

Travel-Friendly Whelping Beds

If you plan to travel with your puppies, consider a portable whelping bed that can be easily packed and transported. This is especially important for breeders who attend dog shows or move their litters frequently.

Storing Between Litters

For breeders who have multiple litters throughout the year, storage can be a concern. Look for beds that can be disassembled or folded for convenient storage.

Budget Considerations

Finding quality within your budget

Whelping beds come in various price ranges. While it’s essential to stick to your budget, prioritize quality and safety over cost. Remember that a good whelping bed is an investment in your puppies’ well-being.

Long-term Investment

Consider the long-term use of the bed. A durable and high-quality whelping bed can be used for multiple litters, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Expert Tips for Selection

Breed-Specific Recommendations

Certain dog breeds may have specific requirements when it comes to whelping beds. Consult with breed-specific organizations or experienced breeders for recommendations tailored to your breed.

Consultation with veterinarians

Your veterinarian can provide valuable guidance in selecting the right whelping bed, considering the specific needs of your puppies and their mothers.

DIY Whelping Beds

Pros and cons

While purchasing a commercial whelping bed is convenient, some breeders prefer DIY options. DIY beds can be customized but require careful planning and safety measures.

Safety Precautions

If you choose to create a DIY whelping bed, ensure it meets safety standards and provides a secure environment for the puppies.

Choosing Bedding and Liners

The Best Bedding Materials

Select bedding materials that are comfortable, absorbent, and easy to clean. Soft, washable blankets or towels are often recommended.

Frequent Replacements

Regularly replace bedding and liners to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Puppies can be messy, and a clean bed is essential for their health.

Training Your Puppy

Introducing the Whelping Bed

When introducing the puppies to the whelping bed, use positive reinforcement techniques to create a positive association. Encourage them to explore the bed and offer treats for good behavior.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement helps puppies feel safe and comfortable in their new environment. Reward them for using the bed for sleeping and play.

Testimonials from Experienced Breeders

Real-Life Experiences

Here are some real-life experiences from experienced breeders who have benefited from choosing the right whelping bed for their puppies:

  • “I switched to heated whelping beds, and my puppies thrived in a warm and cozy environment.”
  • “The portability of inflatable whelping pools made it easy for me to travel with my litter.”
  • “Consulting with my veterinarian led me to the perfect whelping bed for my breed.”

Lessons Learned

These testimonials emphasize the importance of making an informed choice when selecting a whelping bed for your puppies. Every breeder’s experience is unique, but careful consideration and research lead to the best outcomes.


Choosing the perfect dog whelping bed is a significant decision for any breeder or dog owner. By understanding the various options, considering your specific needs, and prioritizing safety and comfort, you can provide your puppies with the best start in life. Remember that the right whelping bed can contribute to their overall well-being and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is a whelping bed necessary for all puppies?

    • Whelping beds are especially important for newborn puppies to ensure their safety and well-being. However, older puppies may not require them.
  2. What should I do if my puppy refuses to use the whelping bed?

    • If your puppy is hesitant to use the bed, try positive reinforcement and gentle encouragement. Make the bed a comfortable and inviting place.
  3. Can I use a regular dog bed for whelping?

    • While a regular dog bed can be used in a pinch, it may not provide the same level of safety and warmth as a specialized whelping bed.
  4. How often should I clean the whelping bed and bedding?

    • It’s essential to clean the whelping bed and bedding regularly, ideally daily, to maintain a hygienic environment for the puppies.
  5. Are there any specific safety precautions I should take with heated whelping beds?

    • When using heated whelping beds, ensure they have temperature controls and monitor the temperature closely to prevent overheating. Always follow manufacturer instructions.

Investing in the right whelping bed is an act of love and care for your puppies. It sets the stage for their early development and ensures they grow into healthy and happy dogs.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Unraveling the Canine Green Cravings


Have you ever wondered why your beloved pooch indulges in a grass feast every now and then? It’s a behavior that has puzzled dog owners for ages. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating topic of why dogs eat grass and explore the various theories behind this peculiar behavior.

The Myth of Vomiting Inducement: One prevailing theory suggests that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when they’re feeling unwell or to alleviate digestive discomfort. However, scientific evidence to support this theory is scarce. While it’s true that grass consumption can occasionally lead to vomiting, it only affects around 25% of dogs, casting doubt on this explanation.

Dogs Simply Like Grass: The simplest and most widely accepted explanation is that dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy it. Dogs are notorious for their indiscriminate eating habits, and their wild counterparts, such as wolves and coyotes, also dabble in plant consumption. Unlike strict carnivores like cats, dogs are omnivorous by nature, and their inclination towards eating grass might be a reflection of their ancestral behavior.

Exploring Dietary Variety: Another perspective suggests that grass eating allows domesticated dogs to diversify their diet. In the wild, canines often hunt herbivores and consume their stomach contents. By consuming grass, dogs may be instinctively seeking a more varied nutrient profile. Certain types of grass can provide minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, which could explain why some dogs are selective about the grass they consume.

Nutritional Deficiency and Fiber Intake: If your dog frequently indulges in grass eating, it’s possible they have a nutritional deficiency. Dogs lack the enzymes necessary to break down cellulose, the primary energy source in grass. Thus, they might instinctively graze on grass to obtain fiber, which aids digestion. However, it’s important to note that excessive grass consumption should be monitored, and if concerns about your dog’s nutrition or digestion arise, consulting a veterinarian is advisable.

Cautionary Considerations: While grass eating is generally harmless, it’s crucial to ensure the grass hasn’t been treated with harmful herbicides or pesticides. These chemicals can pose a risk to your dog’s health. Additionally, be grateful that your dog chooses grass over more unsavory items like feces, as that is another peculiar canine behavior altogether.

Conclusion: The mystery behind why dogs eat grass continues to intrigue dog owners around the world. While no definitive answer exists, it is clear that dogs’ affinity for grass is rooted in their natural instincts and their omnivorous nature. As long as the grass is safe for consumption, occasional grazing should not raise significant concerns. Remember, your veterinarian is always the best resource for advice on your dog’s diet and overall well-being.

Keeping Your Dog Cool in the Summer: Expert Tips and Tricks


It’s crucial to make sure your beloved pet keeps cool and comfortable when the summer temperatures climb. It is essential to take the required measures to keep dogs safe during the warmer months because they are prone to heat stroke and other heat-related ailments. This post will offer some advice on how to keep your dog cool and in good condition this summer.
Providing fresh, clean water is one of the most crucial things you can do to keep your dog cool. Dogs must stay hydrated, particularly during the summer when dehydration is more prone to occur. No matter if your dog is indoors or outside, make sure they always have access to water. In order to keep their water bowl cool, you can also put ice cubes to it.

It’s crucial to give your dog a cool spot to relax in addition to water. This could be a cool area inside or a shaded area outside. Try to exercise your dog outside during the cooler hours of the day, such as early in the morning or late in the day. The danger of heat stroke increases if you exercise your dog during the hottest hours of the day.

Providing Shade

It’s crucial to give your dog plenty of shade during the summer to keep them cool and avoid heatstroke. Here are some ideas for making your beloved friend’s haven shaded:

Install a canopy or umbrella to give shade over your dog’s preferred outdoor location.
Create a naturally shaded area in your yard by planting trees or erecting a trellis.
Use a dog house or any other shady, well-ventilated shelter.
To keep your dog cool, use a cooling mat or cushion in the shady location.

You must make sure that your dog has access to a cool, well-ventilated area of shade. This will lessen the likelihood that your pet may feel uncomfortable due to an overly humid environment. Keep an eye on your dog and make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water.

Bring a portable canopy or umbrella to provide shade if you’re taking your dog for a walk or to the park. To keep your dog cool while they are out in the sun, you can also use a cooling vest or bandana.

Make sure your dog is drinking enough water throughout the sweltering summer months. Dogs require a lot of water to be hydrated and cool, just like humans do. Dogs who don’t drink enough water may experience major health problems as a result of dehydration.

Giving your dog a lot of access to fresh, clean water throughout the day is one of the greatest methods to keep them hydrated. Make sure that the water in your dog’s bowl is always chilled, and you might want to add some ice cubes to the bowl to keep the water cool and energizing.

offering your dog foods that are high in water will also assist keep them hydrated in addition to offering them water. Great alternatives include fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and zucchini as well as berries and watermelon. Just be careful not to feed your dog any fruits or veggies like grapes or onions that are poisonous to dogs.

Finally, remember to pack enough of water for your dog to drink if you’re going for a walk or partaking in any other outdoor activities. To make it simple to give your dog water on the road, think about investing in a portable water bottle or collapsible bowl.

Grooming and Coat Care

Maintaining a clean, well-groomed coat on your dog can also aid in keeping them cool during the summer. Your dog may find it more difficult to control their body temperature if they have a matted or dirty coat that traps heat. This can be avoided with regular brushing, washing, and fur clipping.

Consider giving your long-haired pet a summer cut to keep them cool if you have one. Just be sure to leave enough fur to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays. To protect any exposed skin, you can also use a sunscreen designed especially for dogs.

Signs of Heatstroke

Your dog may still be susceptible to heatstroke in the summer despite your best efforts. Knowing the symptoms of heatstroke will help you react immediately if your dog is in danger. The following are a few canine heatstroke symptoms:

a lot of panting
a quick heartbeat
Weakness or collapse due to diarrhea

If your dog displays any of these signs, move him or her as quickly as you can to a cool, shaded area and give him or her some water. You can also use a wet cloth or ice cold water to help reduce their body temperature. If their symptoms do not go gone quickly, speak with a veterinarian straight soon.

In conclusion, it’s critical to keep your dog cool during the summer in order to protect their health and welfare. It’s critical to provide enough water, shade, and a cool place to relax in order to greatly lower the risk of heatstroke and other heat-related disorders. By following these expert tips and recommendations, you can make sure that your furry friend is safe and content over the summer.

Dogs Trust Call For Employers To Allow Dogs In the Office in Ireland

A lot of talk in the media this week of dog charity dogs trust calling on employers to allow dog/ pups to be allowed to come to work with their owners.

Do you think this would be feasible in your workplace?

Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications explained that many people became dog owners during the pandemic and there are benefits to having a pup in the office.

She said: “So many people became dog owners during the pandemic, and we feel that the more workplaces that welcome dogs, the more dogs will remain in their homes, and we can hopefully avoid another wave of surrender requests”

The Health Benefits

It is being widely recognised now that there are many benefits to having a dog in the workplace with their owners. Studies have shown that it can increase productivity as well as the health benefits achievable for owners such as reduced cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Its recognised that not all workplaces may be suitable for hosting of pets during the workday and if this is the case then owners should consider other measures like having a neighbour walk your dog or agreeing to come home for lunch.

But what when my workplace isnt suitable?

If inside your home is not a safe or suitable place to keep your pet then we can advise on a range of suitable options with everything from dog runs and enclosures to insulated Kingspan kennels which will keep them warm during the Irish winter when your not a around. A decent size dog run will keep your pet very safe from theft while also leaving enough room for them to feel safe.

Even if you’re on a tight budget we can supply you with individual dog run panels which will enable you to build your own dog run to the size you need.

Have a look at our shop as a good starting point to what you might need


Its time to plan ahead

Speak to your employer about what they are comfortable with and plan ahead to make sure you have made the right choices for your pet.


Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick and his canine friend

So followers of the Co Laois native have recently been asking how Noel Fitzpatrick’s beloved dog Kiera had been after a knocking down incident outside his U.K based practice in Surrey and today he broke the sad news.

The 53-year-old said: “It is with profound sadness I share the news that Keira, my beloved companion of nearly 14 years, has passed away.

“My heart is truly broken. She was my best friend in the whole wide world.

“My friend Amy and her son Kyle are broken-hearted too since they have shared her guardianship with me all this time.

“We were so very blessed and lucky to have had her in our lives, lighting the way with her magnificent unconditional love.”

It brings it all home about how much we love our pets and how heartbreaking it is to see them in pain or indeed how hard it is when they eventually pass.

We wish Noel all the best and hope to see him on our screens in the not too distant future.


Can i take my dog on holidays

So, your sitting there thinking about booking a holiday after a very long 2 years of being stuck indoors due to Covid-19.

I can completely relate to that after being in that exact same position for quite some time myself. The one thing however that crops up time and time again is wether or not you can bring your pet with you overseas. This question is now raised more than ever after so many families have acquired pets during the lockdown.

Well, first of all, you have to get a European pet passport. This is done through your vet and it documents your pet’s microchip details and, crucially, the fact that they have had a rabies vaccination — a jab that lasts for three years.

For now the best thing to do is to get an appointment with your Vet and get things moving.

Following this you will need to check with your airline or other carrier to see if they will allow pets to travel onboard. Ryanair currently only allow guide or assistance dogs up to a maximum of 4 per flight so make sure to book in advance. Stenaline on the other hand allow the travel of dogs and other pets inside owners car (caution needed!) and also in the onboard kennels.

Taking your pet abroad with proper planning can be a rewarding experience provided you take the necessary steps outlined but please check in advance with your carrier as to what they permit as the rules can change quite frequently.

Council’s Spray Painting Campaign A Success?

We reported some months ago on our social channels about a very unique but in your face campaign being run in the counties of Galway and Roscommon.

Councils there have voted unanimously to stencil large areas of footpath with bright yellow messages using the slogan..’clean it up you dirty pup’. At the time of reporting some of our social media followers felt that it might of been a step too far.

Today however the Irish independent reports that Roscommon has all but ended dog litter fowling and the current programme in Galway has resulted in a 50% decrease in dog poop.

Its all part of the “Green Dog Walkers Programme” with Leitrim County Council also set to trial a Dog Foul DNA testing programme.

The programme in Galway has so far cost €20,000 but it is hoped the shift in public opinion will lead to it becoming socially unacceptable to leave dog poop on public walkways and parks etc.

Maybe its a great idea after all!

Are Dog Runs Cruel?

Dog runs are designed to provide a safe place for your favourite canine. The right dog enclosure for your breed will give your pet the reduced level of anxiety that they really need. If your pet begins to display destructive behaviour such as chewing at the dog run panels then it may be time to have a look at the amount of time they are spending each day inside your run/kennel.

Using a PAC dog control system is also another great way of giving your pet extra freedom to roam your property.

Insulated dog runs are also another great way of introducing comfort into your dogs life as they are cool in summer and warm in winter. We stock a range of dog runs and kennels from Thermal to Timber and Plastic and a full range of Kingspan Insulated dog boxes

What To Consider When Buying A Dog Kennel

When you decide to invest in a dog kennel, just like you do when you’re buying a new home for yourself, you want to be sure you’re making the right decisions. There are several obvious things you need to consider when you make these decisions, some of the things are obvious, but others are less obvious, which is why we’ve decided to kick off our new blog with this ultimate guide to buying a dog kennel. Here’s what you need to be asking yourself:

  • How big is your dog? This may sound like an obvious question, but the trick here is to select a kennel that is big enough now and big enough for your fully-grown dog (if you currently have a puppy); but not too big. You need to make sure that the kennel you choose has sufficient space for your dog to stand up, lie down and move around comfortably, but not so big that he is too small to generate heat in the space available.
  • How long will he spend in the kennel? If you plan to use the kennel just for short periods when you pop out to the shops or when you’re doing the house-work, then you’re likely to want to invest less and probably require a less sophisticated solution than if you plan to leave your dog in his kennel for long periods while you’re out at work or overnight.
  • How strong is your dog? Different breeds and different sizes of dog have significantly varying levels of strength. The advice here is simple: a strong dog needs a strong kennel that will withstand his or her personality. In short, you need to be sure that the choice you make will provide a safe and comfortable space that suits the characteristics of your dog.
  • Is your dog a chewer? If your dog is a chewer, it’s important to make sure that there are no exposed edges he can chew.
  • Will your dog kennel have a dog run attached? If your kennel will have a run attached, then a flat roof kennel with no door is the perfect way to enable your dog to go in and out as he pleases. However, if you’re not planning a run, you might want an apex roof with a door so the kennel works for you and your dog on a stand-alone basis.
  • Do you have easy access to the site? If you have easy access to the part of your garden where you plan to put the dog kennel, then a pre-built option will save you stress and hassle. However, if access is tight, then you might need to consider a flat-pack option that you build in situ.
  • Are you investing for the long or the short term? Like anything in life, with a dog kennel you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, then it’s definitely worth considering investing a bit more in the kennel you choose; this way you won’t be looking at replacing it in a few years time.
  • Should you treat or choose pre-treated? When choosing a new kennel it’s important to establish if the kennel needs to be treated or not. Timber kennels need to be treated, but the likes of our Kingspan insulated kennels don’t. It’s up to you how much work you want to do and how much treatment you’re prepared to invest on an annual basis.
  • What about cleaning? In order for your dog to be happy in his new home, it’s essential that his kennel is kept clean. You should think carefully about how easy the material of the dog kennel you buy will be to clean and also how easy it will be to access for cleaning.
  • Do you need an insulated kennel? If your dog is going to stay outside for prolonged periods, all year round, then insulation is an important consideration. It may be that you choose a kennel with insulation and a raised sleeping area if your dog will be outside overnight, but for short periods, some simple floor insulation will probably be sufficient.

We do hope this guide has helped you figure out what you need to think about when choosing a dog kennel, but if you’re still unsure, why not get in touch? At Slaneyside Dog Kennels and Runs we’re always happy to provide impartial, professional advice to help make sure every dog is a happy dog.

Building A Dog Run

Running around and playing in the great outdoors is an essential part of any healthy and happy dog’s life. However, if you decide, for whatever reason that you can’t spend enough time outside with your dog each day, then it’s highly likely that a dog run is on your agenda. Containing your dog in a safe and secure place is important both for your peace of mind and your dog’s happiness and safety. It’s for this reason there are several things to take into account before diving into building a dog run. Here are the main things we think you should consider to get the project spot-on:

  • Work out where you’re going to put the run. Knowing where you want to put the run will help you plan your whole project. It’s essential that you make sure that the dog run doesn’t spoil your time in your garden, but also that it makes the best use of space available from your dog’s point of view. Putting your dog enclosure in the right spot from day one will save you work in the long term and will mean that you and your dog have a long and happy time in the great outdoors. Think about sun, wind, rain and visibility here.
  • Establish the size of the run. The size of dog run you need will be determined of course by the size of your dog and your garden, but it will also be affected by the amount of time your dog is likely to spend in the run each day. A general rule of thumb is: the longer he needs to spend in it, the bigger it should be.
  • Decide if you’re going to tackle the job on a DIY basis or whether you’ll get the pros in. Although building a dog run isn’t all that complicated, you do need to make sure that you have the required skills before taking on the job on a DIY basis. You also need to make sure you either have, or have access to all the tools you’ll need to do the job properly. If the land where you plan to situate the run needs leveling or working to be suitable for the run, then you need to add this into the equation too. If you are in any doubt about achieving a great result, it’s well worth getting the pros in to get the job done quickly and effectively (sometimes this option costs less in the end).
  • Establish the best sort of dog fence for your dog. When it comes to establishing what type of dog fence you need, you have to take into account the size of your dog and whether or not he is a climber. Here are some rough guidelines: 8cm spaced bars suit medium to large breeds, but not small breeds as they can get through the bars. On the other hand, 5cm spaced bars suit all breeds. Bar type runs have the advantage of being anti-climb. Mesh type runs are suitable for all breeds but dogs can scale them, which is a problem if you have a climber. If you have a climber, you’ll need to roof a mesh type run.
  • Decide whether you will put his kennel inside or outside the run. Whether you position the kennel inside or outside the run will depend to a large extent on the space you have available and also whether or not your dog is a ‘jumper’! If you place the kennel inside the run and he decides he wants to make a leap for freedom, then he’s got the chance to hop on top of the kennel to make his escape with only a couple of feet left to jump over the dog run. If space is tight however, and you need to have your kennel inside the dog run, a solution is roofing the run (at Slaneyside Dog Kennels and Runs we make it a priority to always find a solution)
  • Determine whether you should roof the dog run. Whether or not you should roof your dog’s new outside space will depend on the weather and whether or not he has a kennel. If your dog doesn’t have access to a kennel while he’s in his dog run, then it’s essential to roof at least part of the kennel so he has protection from the sun and the rain. Also, as we’ve already mentioned, if you choose a mesh type run and you have a climber, you should also roof the run to keep your dog enclosed and safe.
  • Establish the best position for the gate. When planning your run, it’s important to establish the best position for the gate. When considering layout, make sure you consider all year round planting implications. For example a gate position that works in the winter might no longer work in the summer when plants and trees are bushier and need more space. Needless to say, it’s important to make sure that the gate is positioned at the most convenient place for access from your point of view.
  • We do hope this guide has helped you figure out what you need to think about when building a dog run, but if you’re still unsure, why not get in touch? At Slaneyside Dog Kennels and Runs we’re always happy to provide impartial, professional advice to help make sure every dog is a happy dog.