Protecting Newborn Puppies with Dwyer Temperature Controllers

Doberman Mother with Litter of Puppies in a Whelping Box

A whelping box is designed to protect puppies during birth, also called whelping, by keeping them safely contained, protected from the cold, and from being accidentally crushed or smothered by their mother.

Whelping boxes vary in construction, from cardboard boxes which have been found and re-purposed, to enclosures which have been designed specifically for the protection and care of the newborns.

When selecting a whelping box, several features are taken into account, including:

  • Cleanability / sanitation
  • Extendability
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Assembly / disassembly
Temperature Controller and Thermocouple Used on a Whelping Box

In the case of commercially available whelping boxes, breeders and other animal caretakers may want to better control the environment where the dogs are located. These boxes often feature heat controlling devices, like temperature controllers and thermocouples, while the bottom of the box is lined with paper or fabric to insulate the area and absorb fluids. Reusable whelping pads or mats may also be utilized for additional protection from cold floors, and are easily available in pet supply stores or online marketplaces.

By introducing a whelping box and allowing time for the mother to become familiar with it, caretakers will be able to help prevent the litters from being born in unsafe conditions. This is especially important in the winter or in colder climates, as puppies who get too cold may develop hypothermia. According to VCA Hospitals, “a puppy will lose far more body heat per pound of body weight than an adult dog,” which means that the puppy is dependent upon the heat given to it by its mother and the environment in which it is exposed to.

Series 16C Temperature Controller Used on a Whelping Box

The Series 16C temperature controller is compact and accurate, allowing it to be incorporated into commercial whelping boxes without taking up much space. It can be used with Dwyer thermocouples to not only monitor the temperature of the environment, but also to turn on/off a heating pad when programmed. For more complex commands, its PID control is supported with manual or auto-tuning capabilities. The PID function will offer the mother and her puppies a more controlled and gradual change in temperature. This will help to ensure that the temperature change does not alarm the dogs and keeps them comfortable.

We at Dwyer take pride in knowing that our products are being used to keep “man’s best friend” warm and safe. For any questions about the Series 16C or other Dwyer temperature controllers, our Applications Engineers are available to assist by phone at (219) 879-8000 x6402, or by email at