Does pet insurance cover neutering?
As a pet owner, it may become necessary for you to neuter your animal at some point. But does pet insurance cover this type of procedure?
Neutering or spaying your pet is a big decision. While some animals may not need this at all, others can enjoy a wide variety of health and wellbeing benefits as a result of being spayed or neutered.
But what does it involve, and will pet insurance cover the cost?
We take a closer look at neutering and spaying to help you decide whether this type of procedure is financially viable for your pet.
What is neutering?
Neutering is the name given to any surgical procedure carried out to stop a pet from reproducing.
For male pets, this involves a qualified vet removing the testicles, whereas female pets have their uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
As well as helping to prevent reproduction, neutering also reduces testosterone levels in male pets, limiting unwanted breeding behaviours.
What is spaying?
Spaying is a term used to describe neutering female pets.
For males, the term is castration.
Neutering is an umbrella term applied to all surgical procedures that stop pets from reproducing. Vets may also use the term ‘fixing’ when referring to this surgery.
How does neutering work?
Broadly speaking, the neutering procedure usually happens over several stages:
- Firstly, the vet will anaesthetise your pet so they don’t feel anything
- Next, they’ll shave your pet’s fur in the area where they’re operating
- The vet will then surgically remove the testicles or internal reproductive organs
- Finally, your pet receives stitches before being moved to a recovery room for observation
Your vet should update you on your animal’s progress, and providing there aren’t any serious complications, you’ll be able to take them home a few hours after surgery.
Why should you neuter your pets?
Pet parents have their animals neutered for several reasons, such as:
- Preventing unwanted litters
- Helping curb fighting and aggression (usually in male pets)
- Improving behaviour
- Keeping them from straying away
- Reducing the risk posed by serious medical conditions, including uterine infections and testicular cancer
When to get your pets neutered
The age at which you take your furry friend to be neutered depends on the type of pet and their individual health needs. These and the neutering process in general are best discussed with your vet.
As a rule, most dogs can be neutered from about 6 months, and it’s advisable to neuter female dogs after their first season.
For cats, most of the time they can be neutered after about 4 months. Vets usually recommend that you keep them indoors until they are neutered to prevent any unwanted litters.
How much does it cost to get your pets neutered?
Pet neutering costs vary depending on your animal and their veterinary history.
However, castration can cost more if your dog's testicle is retained (when it fails to drop down into the scrotum).
There are a few other things that can affect the cost of neutering your pet, too, namely:
- Their age, gender and breed
- Their size and weight
- Your chosen vet
- Where you live
- Your pet’s veterinary history
- Your pet’s behaviour
According to the animal charity Blue Cross, dog spaying costs anywhere from £130 to £365. For castrations, expect to pay anywhere between £110 and £300.
Cat neutering tends to cost less on account of their size and care needs. According to Cats Protection, the average cost of neutering a male cat is between £40 and £80, while spaying a female cat usually costs around £50 to £100.
For more details on how much it costs to neuter a cat in the UK, check out our guide.
Also, for further information about how much it costs to neuter a dog, read our article.
Does neutering reduce the cost of pet insurance?
Neutering your animal may help to bring the cost of pet insurance down. This is because they’ll be less likely to get into accidents or develop serious health problems as a result of not having the operation done.
Other things you can do to reduce the cost of pet insurance are:
- Make sure your pet is up to date on all their vaccinations
- Feed them a healthy, balanced diet
- Give them plenty of exercise throughout the day
Make sure you check whether the above measures will influence your pet insurance costs before committing to any policy.
Does my pet insurance cover neutering?
A lot of insurers don’t cover the cost of neutering pets (or any complications that arise from this surgery). This is because the procedure is seen as elective and undertaken at the owner’s risk.
However, some providers may cover the cost of any behavioural therapy or follow-up treatment your vet recommends following surgery. Just remember that this probably won’t apply if the behavioural issue could have been prevented with training or neutering sooner.
Compare pet insurance quotes to find the right cover for your pet