The temperature of the whelping box is especially important. Ideally, it should be approximately 30°C during the puppy’s first week of life with the temperature gradually declining as the puppy grows. Temperature is even more important for orphan puppies, who do not have a mother to keep them warm.
Check the temperature of the whelping box by placing a thermometer directly into the box rather than on the wall.
Infrared lamps are a good way of maintaining the whelping box at the right temperature.
Heated pads or hot-water bottles are also an option but their use should be closely monitored due to their potential to cause burns on direct contact with skin.
Always ensure there is a cooler spot in the whelping box, where the mother and puppies can move to and lie down if the temperature is too warm.
The best way of checking the effectiveness of your heating method is by taking the rectal temperature of the puppy. The objective is to keep the puppy’s body temperature above 36° (to protect against canine herpesvirus in particular) but take care not to overheat.