Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Most pet owners pay anywhere around $35 – $600 to have their dog neutered
  • If your dog has a wellness plan, there is a chance that pet insurance will reimburse you for the procedure
  • Male dogs that have been neutered live about 18% longer than male dogs that have not

If you’ve added a male dog to your home, you may be considering neutering. How much does it cost to neuter a dog? If you want the best for your dog, but you also want what’s best for your wallet, it’s important to know the costs of veterinary procedures like neutering. 

Continue reading as we answer all of your questions regarding neutering a dog, the average cost of the procedure, and what pet insurance will cover when it comes to neutering.

How much is pet insurance that covers neutering a dog? Enter your ZIP code to get a free pet insurance quote today.

How much does neutering a dog cost?

Dogs come in many different breeds and sizes. The dog’s size and age and the location where the services will be performed all affect the cost of having the dog neutered.

Generally speaking, the average cost of neutering a dog is anywhere between $35 – $600.

Animal shelters like the Humane Society typically provide low-cost neutering options for low-income pet owners, while going to a veterinarian may end up being more costly. This is partly due to the cost of equipment, the veterinarian’s time, and the exams that are needed before neutering.

In order to properly neuter a dog, the following services and procedures are typically part of the cost:

  • A prior exam from a licensed veterinarian
  • Clean, modern surgical equipment 
  • Anesthesia and pain medication for your dog
  • Paying the veterinarian and their assistants

If you don’t think you will be able to afford the cost to have your dog neutered, there are several programs and grants available that may be able to assist you with this. These resources are typically made available to pet owners at animal shelters or low-cost animal clinics.

Will I be charged extra for any complications that occur during the neutering?

Before your dog’s procedure, several exams will take place to make sure there are no conditions that affect the surgery. If your dog has any of the conditions listed below, there is a chance you will be charged extra for neutering:

  • If your dog is 60 lbs or over
  • If your dog is unexpectedly losing weight
  • If your dog is geriatric
  • If your dog needs an umbilical hernia repair
  • If your dog has a condition called cryptorchid
  • If your dog has pyometra

If you are unsure if your dog has any of the conditions above, it would be best to check in with your pet’s veterinarian before scheduling the procedure. 

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How old should my dog be in order to be neutered?

Your dog should be around 6-9 months before the procedure. However, it’s usually safe to neuter a healthy dog as young as eight weeks old.

When it comes to neutering, dogs that are heavier typically have to wait longer, while it is safe for smaller dogs to be neutered earlier. However, dogs that weigh more will typically cost more, as well.

How long does neutering a dog take?

The process of neutering your male dog usually takes 30 minutes or less. After the surgery, your dog will most likely stay overnight and be able to go home the next morning.  The dog’s overnight stay is also a factor that plays into the price of neutering a dog.

Once you pick up your dog, the healing process will take place at home. Healing from neutering usually takes around two weeks. During this time, you’ll need to care for your dog by making sure the stitches remain clean and dry. That means no bathing or swimming until your dog’s stitches have fully healed.

Will my dog feel pain during the surgery? 

No. Due to the anesthesia, your dog’s procedure will be pain-free. The anesthesia and examinations conducted beforehand to assure that your dog is in optimal condition are crucial to your dog’s healing process.

While these products and services do contribute to the cost of having your dog neutered, it’s important to keep your dog comfortable during and after being neutered.

Will pet insurance cover the cost of neutering your dog?

Does pet insurance cover surgery for your dog? Typically, it will not. Most insurance plans for pets will not cover what is considered an elective procedure (one that you chose to have done rather than a medically necessary procedure). However, if your dog is enrolled in a wellness plan, there is a chance that it may cover the costs.

According to Canine Journal, a wellness plan is an optional add-on that can be added to your dog’s pet insurance. It can cover annual exams, routine vaccinations for your dog, teeth cleanings, urinalyses, neutering, and other important procedures that are typically not covered by standard pet insurance.

What are the benefits of having your dog neutered?

When you are faced with the decision to neuter your dog, remember, a happy dog is a healthy dog. Overall, the biggest benefit to having your dog neutered is to give him a long and happy life.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, neutered male dogs live around 18% longer than male dogs that have not been neutered.

While the price for dog neutering may be intimidating, another great benefit to having your dog neutered is that it can prevent testicular cancer and other illnesses from forming.

If you’re wondering what telltale signs you should be looking for to detect cancer early in your dog, there are several to consider, such as:

  • If your dog begins to develop sores that do not heal
  • If you notice your dog is losing its appetite and losing weights
  • If you spot abnormal bleeding from your dog’s body
  • If your dog starts swelling abnormally
  • If your dog has difficulty using the bathroom

Be on the lookout for these red flags to spot an early decline in your dog’s health.

Of course, neutering also means your dog will not be responsible for a new litter of puppies needing homes.

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What does it mean to neuter a dog?

Neutering, also called castration, is the process of having your male dog sterilized. This is a surgical procedure where the testicles of a male dog are removed in order to prevent it from being able to reproduce in the future.

While preventing reproduction is only one of the major reasons a pet owner may decide to neuter their dog, another reason is overly aggressive behavior.

According to the Humane Society of the White Mountains, 80% of dogs that have been hit by a car typically have not been neutered. As a result, many see this procedure as a way to assure their pet’s safety and ensure a higher quality of life as well.

The Cost of Neutering a Dog: The Bottom Line

How much does it cost to get a dog neutered? Costs vary, but at the high end, you can expect it to cost $600. There are many benefits to neutering a dog that make the procedure well worth the cost, and low-cost options are available.

Now that you’ve learned how much it costs to neuter a dog, enter your ZIP code to receive a free pet insurance quote.