How to Build a Weaning Box

Written by emmalise mac
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How to Build a Weaning Box
Weaning puppies requires a pen or weaning box to reduce mess and keep puppies safe. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Breeding puppies requires patience and the proper equipment. Young puppies and their mother require a whelping box to contain the feeding puppies and prevent them from wandering through the house or being injured. When the puppies reach six to eight weeks of age, the mother will begin to refuse to feed them and to spend more time away from the puppies. As the puppies begin to eat dog food, they will begin to create a much larger mess. Fortunately, you can easily build a "weaning box" or puppy pen that will keep the puppies safe and facilitate cleanup.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Permanent marker
  • PVC saw or cutter
  • 5, 10-foot lengths of 3/4-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • All-purpose sandpaper
  • 8 three-way "T" connectors for 3/4-inch PVC
  • Rubber mallet
  • 8 four-way cross connectors for 3/4-inch PVC
  • 8 plastic end caps for 3/4-inch PVC
  • 8 elbow connectors for 3/4-inch PVC
  • 15 feet length of 24-inch wide, 1/2-inch square grid hardware cloth
  • Plastic zip ties
  • Utility knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure, mark and cut eight 36-inch lengths of PVC with a PVC saw or cutter. Sand the ends of the pipe carefully with all-purpose sandpaper to remove any rough edges.

  2. 2

    Measure, mark and cut eight 22-inch lengths of PVC. Again, sand the ends of the pipe carefully to remove any rough edges.

  3. 3

    Measure, mark and cut 24 1 1/2-inch lengths of PVC. Sand the ends of the pipe carefully to remove any rough edges.

  4. 4

    Create the top rails of the pen by attaching a "T" connector to each end of four 36-inch lengths of PVC. Tap the connectors firmly into place with the rubber mallet. Ensure that both "T" connectors attached to the pipe face in the same direction (i.e., in the same plane).

  5. 5

    Insert a 1 1/2-inch piece of PVC into the open end of each "T" connector on the ends of the top rails so the short pieces of PVC are parallel to the top rail. Tap the short pieces of PVC firmly into place with the rubber mallet.

  6. 6

    Build the bottom rails by attaching a cross connector to each end of the four remaining 36-inch lengths of PVC. Tap the connectors firmly into place with the rubber mallet. Ensure that both cross connectors attached to the bottom rail face in the same direction -- the pipe and connectors should lie flat, with both connectors in the same plane.

  7. 7

    Insert a 1 1/2-inch piece of PVC into the open end of each cross connector on the ends of the bottom rails, so the short pieces of PVC are parallel to the top rail. Tap the short pieces of PVC firmly into place with the rubber mallet.

  8. 8

    Add feet to the bottom rail by inserting a 1 1/2-inch piece of PVC into another open end of each cross connector on the ends of the bottom rails so the short pieces of PVC are perpendicular to the top rail -- both PVC feet should be on the same side of the bottom rail. Tap the PVC feet firmly into place with the rubber mallet. Add plastic PVC caps to the feet, and tap them firmly into place.

  9. 9

    Connect pairs of top and bottom rails together using 22-inch pieces of PVC to create a rectangle. Insert the vertical PVC rails into the open ends of the "T" and cross connectors, and tap the connectors firmly onto the vertical rails with the rubber mallet.

  10. 10

    Form the pen into a square using elbow connectors. Attach connectors to the short PVC pieces that extend from the "T" and cross connectors parallel to the top and bottom rails.

  11. 11

    Wrap the pen with hardware cloth. Fold the ends of the cloth outward to ensure that there are no sharp edges that might harm the puppies. Attach the hardware cloth firmly to the PVC pipe using plastic zip ties. Trim the ends of the ties with the utility knife, making sure the cut ends point outward.

Tips and warnings

  • Change the size of the pen to suit the breed of puppies you are rearing. This pen is large enough for most breeds, but extremely large breeds may need more space.
  • When the puppies are nearly full grown, they may be able to tip it over and escape. Consider attaching a weight to two or more corners of the pen to prevent this from happening.

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