Why heat with a lamp?
Lamp heating has several advantages over the use of electronic floor pads or cradles.
- Heat lamps are a perfect solution for puppy warmth because they address the need for minor temperature variance at the surface, unlike other surface based solutions. Puppies (and mom) are free to move away from the lamp's center point for gradual temperature reduction.
- When using lamps, electrical cords will not be inside the whelping box.
- No cleaning is required for lamps, whereas pads, cradles, or other "in box" devices require maintenance.
EZwhelp's whelping pads in combination with corrugated plastic flooring provide good insulation from the ground. Corrugated plastic traps air in the fluting, thus maximizing the natural insulation qualities of non-circulating air.
How high should I set the lamp?
The lamp system for EZwhelp's Fab System allows flexible height settings. For Classic Value boxes, the lamps are fixed to approximately 20 inches above the ground.
The proper height will vary depending on a variety of factors, including humidity and ambient room temperature. Typically, our lamps at 20 inches can be expected to create a floor temperature 10 to 15 degrees (F) higher than non-heated areas. Raise or lower the lamp (Fab Systems only) to adjust the temperature.
Breeders will often seek to warm the puppies with a box temperature of about 85 degrees for the first few days and then gradually back off to maintain 75 to 80 degrees. Assume some variation among breeds. See the tips below for ideas on gauging the comfort level of your puppies.
Artificially controlling the temperature for puppies (and the mom) can be dangerous if not done carefully. Whelps can be harmed by too much heat, as well as insufficient heat. We recommend that inexperienced breeders work with a breeding mentor, or consult their vet regarding proper temperatures and puppy comfort. We offer the following tips as suggestions for consideration:
- An indication that the temperature is too warm: puppies scattered and tending away from the heat lamp.
- An indication that the temperature is too cool: puppies cuddling and piling on top of each other.
- Lamp heat should only be applied to a portion of the whelping box -- allowing the mom and puppies (if too warm) to move away.
- Artificial heat should always be closely supervised.
Caution: Do not use heat lamps (or any other artificial heating device) with newspaper or other combustible materials inside the whelping box.