The True Cost to Neuter (and Spay) a Dog

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Published: May 27, 2022
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Spaying and neutering are routine surgeries carried out to help keep the pet population under control. Getting your dog spayed or neutered can help them live a healthier and happier life. Spaying or neutering a dog is not compulsory. However, if you’re a pet parent who believes in the benefits of this procedure, you are likely to have questions about how much it costs to neuter a dog. 

The truth is, these are not cheap procedures. Even though they’re routine, they’re still pretty serious surgeries. You’ll need a substantial budget to sort the payment for the surgery. In this article, we answer the question of how much this surgery costs and do a breakdown of the various factors that contribute to the cost of the procedure. 

How Much Does Spaying Cost? 

Spaying is a procedure carried out on a female dog to surgically remove her ovaries or uterus. It is also referred to as ovariohysterectomy. The procedure involves removing the ovaries and uterus of the dog through an incision made in the abdomen. Other forms of this procedure include laparoscopy or hysterectomy. 

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Regardless of how it’s done, spaying is a serious procedure. However, it is quite common, so complications are rare. Usually, the procedure takes 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the size and age of your dog. 

So how much does it cost to spay your female dog? Although there are a lot of variables involved, spaying costs typically cost between $50–$500. The reason for such a disparity in cost range is that several public agencies offer a subsidized rate for this surgery. A traditional vet office will most likely charge you $300 and above for this procedure. While this sounds like a lot of money, the upside is that you won’t have to pay for pregnancy and delivery care for your dog in the future, which sort of makes up for the cost. 

Incision with stitches after spaying a female dog
Spaying a dog is a very common procedure and rarely has serious complications.

iStock.com/akwitps

What’s Included in the Cost of Spaying a Dog?

Wondering why spaying costs so much? You should know that even though it is a fairly common procedure, spaying is still major surgery. A fair amount of care is meant to be administered to your dog before, during, and after this surgery. This explains why it is so expensive. 

In most cases, the procedure begins with an assessment of your dog’s health to determine if it is a healthy candidate for this type of surgery. On the day of the surgery, the dog will be put under anesthesia which further adds to the cost of the surgery. Then there’s the cost of the operation itself and the monitoring that follows to ensure that your dog is in perfect condition. In most cases, a follow-up visit may be necessary to check up on your dog and ensure all is well. 

If you’re getting subsidized service with the help of an agency, you should clarify what the procedure entails before the surgery is carried out. Most low-cost spaying services only charge you for surgery. They may not carry out a pre-exam to ascertain the condition of your pet. You may need to do any required blood work with your regular pet before going in for the procedure. 

Also, if there are any complications due to the procedure, you may have to pay more for care in the long run. Therefore, it makes sense to clarify upfront what the money you will be paying for the procedure will be covering and what services you will be getting. 

How Much Does It Cost to Neuter a Dog?

Neutering a male dog is not as complicated as spaying a female dog, which also means it does not cost as much. Still, neutering is a surgical procedure, and it can be a little expensive as well. Generally, you can expect to spend between $35–$250 on a neutering procedure. The exact cost depends on the veterinary clinic you use and your dog’s condition. 

Like spaying, it is vital to speak to your vet to learn everything about the procedure beforehand. Usually, your regular doctor can perform a castration procedure which is more recommended than using a third-party surgeon. Your dog’s primary healthcare provider will have a better understanding of any preexisting conditions in your dog before performing the surgery. However, you can still seek professional help elsewhere at a reputable low-cost clinic. 

Small dog lying down wearing an Elizabethan collar
Spaying a pet is less costly than paying for future pregnancy and delivery care.

iStock.com/Daniel Besic

What’s Included in the Cost of Neutering a Dog?

To neuter a dog, the doctor typically makes an incision in his scrotum to remove his testicles. Prior to the surgery, the vet would carry out a comprehensive assessment of your dog. This is necessary to determine if it is a good candidate for this surgery. 

If you’re having the surgery at a private vet’s office instead of a low-cost agency, the fee you pay should cover the blood work and pre-exam that will be carried out on your dog. The cost of anesthesia and monitoring is included in the surgery bill as well. Your dog will most likely need monitoring and follow-up after the surgery, which can further increase the cost of surgery. 

It’s difficult to find a unified price for neutering a dog. Many vets provide quotes on a case-by-case basis, considering each dog as a unique patient. You should speak to your vet to discuss what the procedure entails and why you’re paying the amount you’re asked to pay. 

What Determines How Much You Pay To Spay Or Neuter Your Dog?  

The exact cost to neuter or spay your dog depends on a few variables. This includes your location, breed of the dog, and the type of vet you choose. 

Where You Live

The average cost of spaying a dog depends on your location. Generally, you’ll be charged more for the procedure if you live in a big city compared to someone in a small city or town. On the flip side, you’re also more likely to find an agency offering less expensive procedures in a big city. 

Your Dog’s Physical Condition

Spaying or neutering will cost less for a young and healthy dog. However, if your dog is older, overweight, or has an existing health condition, these factors will be considered in calculating the surgery cost. Dogs like this are also at risk of complications, which may further increase the cost. 

Size Of Your Dog 

Surgery is generally cheaper for small dogs like chihuahuas than larger ones like a Great Dane. A small dog is easier to manage and needs less anesthesia compared to a bigger dog. 

The Vet You Choose

Low-cost clinics, rescue groups, and humane agencies typically offer subsidized neutering and spaying services. However, they will most likely not cover the additional costs of the procedure, such as blood work and pre-exam before the surgery. 

Conclusion 

Now that you know the answer to the question “How much does it cost to neuter a dog?” you’ll be better equipped to make the best decision for your vet. You should also speak to your vet about your plan to spay your dog. Even if they cannot perform the procedure, they’ll be able to recommend a low-cost but reliable option and answer any questions you might have. 

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated freelance writer on Upwork. He can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing on health, technology and animals. He is inquisitive and currently aspires to become a software engineer. He loves animals, especially horses and would love to have one someday.

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