Our dog is having Valentine's Day puppies, so we thought we would show her some love by building her a whelping box fit for Dachshund!
Step 1: Buying the Wood
We bought MDF panel size: 4x8 at 3/4 inch thick. We had it cut it in half to give up (2) 2 foot pieces, then had those (2) pieces cut in half again. So we brought home (4) 2x4' sections from Home Depot.
Step 2: Cutting Slots and Door
Next, we cut slots on the edges of each of the boards. One inch from the edge, we marked off a slot of 3/4 inch wide and half the length deep of the size of the board (12 inches deep).
We used a circular saw to make the cuts from the bottom edge of the boards. The cuts that needed to be made on a right angle, we used a Dremel.
We cut a door in the center of the board we chose to be in the front. We first marked center then marked off 10 inches on each side and 14 inches deep.
Notes - we ran into one structural issue where one of the slots broke. We improvised to fix the issue, but have 2 recommendations: the MDF board could be replaced with a stronger plywood or hardwood for strength; the cuts for the slots could be moved deeper into the board length (instead of one inch from the edge) to prevent breakage if you don't mind losing some area on the inside.
Step 3: Paint
In order to prepare the boards for paint, we used a palm sander on all surfaces. We painted the outside of the box to make it look cute. We used paint that included a primer so that it would cover quickly. Plus that allowed us to paint in colder temperatures, because we're in Michigan and it was about 17 degrees when we made this box.
Step 4: Interior Fabric
To install fleece on the interior of the box, we bought 3 yards of fleece. In general, the fabric is on the bolt folded in half, so that makes it 60 inches wide. After we cut it in half, that left us with enough material to pad the bottom so that it didn't damage our floor. We did a simple measure by just cutting the fabric where it needed it and that meant that we had leftover in case one of the panels gets damaged. This is the part where you have to decide which peices will go down and which will go up so that you can have all of the fabric facing the proper direction.
We used a staple gun and 1/2 staples to apply the fabric to the inside and outside at the bottom of the box. That will help protect our floors from damage.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Lastly, we installed the 2-inch hinges on the door and a latch to keep the puppies in. We brought it into the house for assembly. We simply slid the pieces all together. Lastly, we made a bumper rail to prevent puppies from being squished when mama gives birth.
To do that we used 1 inch PVC pipe with a 3-way elbow. We're able to use smaller pipe because we built this for a dachshund. If you have a bigger dog, you'll need larger PVC.