So, your dog is having a litter of puppies, what do you need to be ready? One of the most essential items you’re going to need for your puppies whelping box is a puppy incubator. Puppies are unable to regulate their temperature for the first few weeks of their life and so keeping them warm is essential to their health.
Our article breaks down what an incubator for a puppy is, how you use it, and when and why you should use one. We all want what is best for our furry friends, so you should make sure you’re ready for your dog’s new litter to come.
What is a Puppy Incubator?
Puppies will often snuggle up to their mother for warmth but with certain less maternal breeds, they may not be able to. They may not be able to get to their mother’s warmth because of the rest of the litter. Smaller puppies may end up with a sleeping area that has no heat and they will lose body temperature quickly. Smaller puppies are the most vulnerable to the cold but all dogs are at risk of their body temperatures dropping and them becoming lethargic within an hour or two of becoming cold.
A puppy incubator should be used to regulate the temperatures of the litter and make sure they stay warm during their first few weeks of life. This is especially useful for premature or rejected puppies. The incubator should be kept inside of the whelping box so that the mother dog can monitor her puppies as well as you. Not only is a puppy incubator essential in the first few hours and then the first few weeks of your puppies life, it may be the difference between life and death for your furry friend.
When Does a Puppy Need an Incubator?
When first born, puppies aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures so getting cold can be detrimental for them. Young puppies should be in a clean temperature controlled area for the first few weeks of their lives. Most incubators are easy to clean. You should check on incubators regularly to make sure both the heater and the thermometer are working. You should also make sure your puppies are at a comfortable temperature. Puppy Incubators are usually needed until the puppy is around four weeks and are mobile and have opened their eyes. After this time, a sectioned off area with controlled temperatures should be suitable for the puppies. Make sure this area has no drafts and your puppy can still stay warm.
You should have a puppy incubator for your litter until they are old enough to move around. They should be moving without issue and able to regulate their body temperatures. This happens at about 7-8 weeks old. Your puppies may not need to be kept in a puppy incubator past four weeks. However, the whelping box they live in should be kept temperature controlled until about the 8 week period.
How to Use a Puppy Incubator?
The most important thing about puppy incubators is the temperature they are inside. Your puppy incubator should be at 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit for the first week. During the second week, you should slowly be reducing the temperature to 80 degrees. From then forward lower the temperature gradually until it is about 70 degrees when the puppies reach 6 weeks. You can control the temperature of your puppy incubator by whatever kind of control panel the incubator you’ve purchased has. Most have a monitor or internal thermometer where you can see the internal temperature.
When placing your puppy inside of the incubator, make sure there are no drafts and the heating is working properly. Cold temperatures can be lethal to newborn puppies as they can’t yet regulate their own body temperatures. If your home is cold or you live in a colder climate, you should not be taking the puppies out of the incubator regularly. This will make it more difficult for their bodies to stay warm and the temperature shock may be dangerous for them.
Best Puppy Incubators
We’ve reviewed seven of the best puppy incubators on the market. All of these incubators are high quality and durable. They’re sure to last a long time and keep your dog’s litters healthy and warm.
1. Puppywarmer Incubator
The Puppywarmer Incubator comes in three sizes for different size litters. These incubators feature special infrared heaters with encased isolation. They have an inbuilt controller that slowly reduces the amount of electricity going into the heating as it reaches the set temperature. The Incubator also has a medical-grade fast-acting sensor and a removable stainless steel top for easy cleaning. The glass that the incubator is made out of allows for excellent visibility and it is easy to disinfect and keep clean.
The positive reviews on this incubator were overwhelming. Almost all buyers said that the companies customer service is outstanding as well as the quality of the products. One buyer said that since getting the Puppywarmer Incubator, they haven’t had a single issue with the temperature of one of their litters. There were no negative reviews that we could see about the incubators themselves.
2. Precision Puppy Incubator
The Precision Puppy Incubator is another high-quality puppy incubator that comes in several sizes. This incubator comes with micro-adjustable temperature control that allows you to control the temperature by 1/10 of a degree. It has installed Hi and Low-temperature alarms and a password protected setup. The incubator also has an LED interior light strip with two easy access control switches. A polycarbonate door with hinge and latch hardware is a key part of the incubator.
One of the many positives of this incubator is a safe and easy to use design. This incubator also has many safety features installed in order to make sure that your puppies will be as healthy and as safe as possible while inside of the incubator itself.
3. Vetario S40 Intensive Care Incubator
The next incubator on the list is the Vetario S40 Intensive Care Incubator. This easy to clean and durable incubator is easy to set up with minimal training. The S40 provides a safe and warm chamber for puppies to stay in. This incubator also has a removable water reservoir and evaporating block to increase humidity and reduce the risk of dehydration.
This incubator has digital temperature control, a display choice of Fahrenheit or Celsius, a smooth and easy-clean interior, and much more. The doors on this incubator are clear and made of tough materials that attached by a hinge with latching on the outside.
4. SweetPeaPugs Incubator
The SweetPeaPugs Incubator is a cost-effective way to get a puppy incubator without having to buy one. This UK based company allows you to rent a puppy incubator for up to four weeks and for under 5 pounds a day. The incubator they rent out has an automatically controlled fan heated cabinet, an easy to maintain a hygienic environment, and allows for good visibility of the puppies inside at all times. The SweetPeaPugs Incubator also has a water pan for humidity and an accurate and adjustable digital temperature control. The incubator also features a twin stage filter that removes harmful bacteria and fungi.
This Incubator is a good and cost-effective way to make sure that your puppies’ environment is kept as warm as it needs to be. This incubator is suitable for small and medium breed litters and is suitable for a whole little during the first few weeks of whelp.
5. Vetario S50 Intensive Care Incubator
The Vetario S50 Intensive Care Incubator is a high-quality incubator that is easy to use. This incubator is recommended due to its easy to use digital temperature control and other features. The incubator has a choice of Fahrenheit or Celsius. a water pan for humidity, and an easy-to-clean interior.
This incubator also has no vulnerable edges for animals to hurt themselves or chew on. The S50 has gentle fan ventilation and a nebulizer fitting. Much like the S40 that we also reviewed, it provides a warm and safe area for your puppies to stay in. It also has a three-year guarantee so you can buy with confidence.
6. Leerburg Puppy Incubator
The Leerburg Puppy Incubator is a heat lamp incubator that has precise temperature and humidity controls. This incubator features a digital humidity controller with 110v outlet and a digital humidity pump. The Leerburg Puppy Incubator also has a 110v cooling fan and a LED ‘puck style’ overhead light. Purchasing one of these incubators also comes with a towel and an absorbent mat for the inside of the incubator.
The measurements of this incubator are 22″ x 17.5″ x 15.1 on the exterior and 17″ x 11″ x 14.5 on the interior. This incubator has five different settings and two alarms for high and low temperatures that can be controlled on the incubator itself. The settings include heat or cool, low setting, high setting, and a few others. This incubator is easy to use and a good size for smaller litters. You should make sure that whatever incubator you get is the right size for the litter your dog will be producing.
7. Curadle Pet Brooder
The Curadle Pet Brooder is said to be the most advanced Care unit for sick and new-born animals. It is popular among vet practitioners and puppy breeders. The main functions of this incubator are a calibrated digital temperature display and calibrated humidity display. This incubator also features automatic control and setting for temperature and humidity as well as a built-in pump for humidity. The incubator has a centralized heating system and a built-in anion activation function.
There is a large window on the front of this incubator for clear visibility and a 5 stage dimmer for indoor illumination control. A nebulizer and oxygen tank inlet are also featured on this incubator. The Curadle Pet Brooder is a good option for a puppy incubator for dog breeders due to its positive reviews and high-quality build. This incubator can be shipped internationally from inside of the UK and offers free UK shipping.
DIY Homemade Puppy Incubator
Don’t have the money to buy a puppy incubator? That’s absolutely no problem. You can make a working DIY puppy incubator at home with just a few simple steps.
Grab a box made of wood or cardboard and line it with an insulator such as styrofoam. You can even build your own box out of plywood and nails or wood glue. Make sure to size the box according to the size of the puppies you anticipate. For example, a litter of Pomeranians will need a much smaller box than one for German Shepards.
Place a controllable heat source in the box. The best thing for this is a temperature-controlled heating pad. Wrap this in a towel. Control is the key. The ideal temperature for the heating box is between 85-90 degrees for the first five weeks of life. Make sure to monitor and maintain this temperature.
Place a small dish of water in the box. The puppies won’t be drinking at this time but the water will be used to create humidity that is essential in the box. Because the puppies’ skin isn’t fully developed, they can dehydrate quickly. The ideal humidity will be around 65% a humid gauge should be used to measure and regulate this.
If your dog is getting ready to have a litter of puppies you should make sure you’re prepared and have everything your dog and the puppies will need. Make sure you have a puppy incubator in order to make sure that the newborn puppies stay warm for their first few weeks of life so they can be both healthy and happy. The puppy incubator should be kept in or near the whelping box that their mother is in so that she can check on them as regularly as you do.