How Much Does It Cost to Get a Dog Neutered?

neutering a dog

Neutering a dog is a surgical procedure involving removing the testicles in male dogs. Therefore, it prevents the male dogs from breeding. Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations highly recommend the neutering procedure for its many benefits. 

Studies show that neutered dogs have longer lifespans than their unaltered counterparts. The neutered dogs live 13.8% longer, while spayed female dogs can have a life expectancy of 26.3% longer. In addition, neutering reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and can also reduce unwanted behaviors such as roaming and marking. 

The cost of neutering varies depending on several factors, such as the type of veterinary clinic, your dog’s size, and breed. Typically, the cost of neutering a dog ranges between $50 and $500. However, the pre-existing health conditions and your pet’s age may make the procedure more costly. Therefore, consult your veterinarian to determine the best options for your pet.

Here is a comprehensive overview of factors affecting dog neutering costs,  plus ways to lower dog neutering costs.

Key Takeaways

  • The best age to neuter a dog is six to nine months.
  • Recovery time after neutering is usually around two weeks.
  • The cost of neutering a dog ranges between $50 and $500 or more, with an average of $300.

Factors Affecting Dog Neutering Cost

Here are the most important factors that can impact the cost of dog neutering:

  • Size and Weight 

Larger dogs with more weight require more anesthesia, surgical time, sutures, and medication than smaller dogs. Therefore, the cost of neutering a larger dog is usually higher than that of a smaller dog. However, some veterinary clinics offer a flat rate for neutering, regardless of the size of your dog.

  • Age

Younger dogs are usually less expensive to neuter than older dogs because they are generally healthier and require less medication. Older dogs may require more preoperative testing, which increases the overall cost of the procedure.

  • Gender 

Neutering a male dog (castration) is generally less expensive than spaying a female dog. Spaying involves a more complicated procedure that involves removing the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, which can be more expensive than castration.

  • Location of the Veterinary Clinic

Veterinary clinics in more affluent areas or urban centers may charge more than rural or less developed ones. That is due to the cost of living, rent, and other expenses of running a veterinary clinic.

  • Geographical Location

In addition to the location of the clinic, the geographical location of your home can also impact the cost of neutering. Certain areas of the country may have higher costs of living, which can affect veterinary care costs.

  • Preoperative Testing and Postoperative Care

Preoperative testing, such as blood work or an EKG, may be required before the procedure. The cost of these tests adds to the overall cost of neutering. In addition, postoperative care, such as pain medication, antibiotics, and follow-up appointments, increase neutering costs.

Related: A Vet Explains Preventive Care & Medical Costs for a Dog

Dog Neutering Procedure

As mentioned above, dog neutering is a surgical procedure in which the testicles of a male dog are removed to make it sterile. During the neutering procedure, the dog is given general anesthesia, and a small incision is made in front of the scrotum to remove the testicles. It’s a simple surgery, and the dog must receive pain medications before, during, and after the procedure to keep them comfortable.

Risks and complications associated with dog neutering include bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. To minimize these risks, a veterinarian usually examines the dog before the surgery, and pre-anesthetic blood tests are performed.

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Expected Recovery and Postoperative Care

After the neutering procedure, providing postoperative care to the dog is important. Rest and  activity restriction are the main postoperative care routines after the neutering surgery.

The neutered dogs are allowed to resume their everyday activities after five to ten days. During the entire recovery period, the dog should have lots of rest and leash walks. Activities to avoid include climbing stairs, swimming, running, and bathing.

Experts recommend that the dog wear an Elizabethan collar or any other protective devices to prevent them from licking and contaminating the incision site.

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Cost of Dog Neutering

On average, you can pay around $300 for basic neuter surgery. However, the cost of neutering can range from $50 to $500 or more, depending on various factors.

The cost of dog neutering can vary significantly based on factors such as your dog’s breed, age, health condition, size, location, and the type of facility where you go for the procedure. Shelters, humane societies, and clinics offer lower prices than veterinary hospitals, and mobile clinics may also offer low-cost spaying and neutering services.

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Location of Veterinary Clinic

Typically, a basic neuter surgery costs around $300. However, the clinic’s location can significantly affect the cost, with urban areas generally being more expensive than rural areas. For instance, in cities like Houston and Chicago, the starting price for a basic neuter surgery is $325, while it is $390 in New York City.

There are also regional differences in the cost of neutering, and prices can vary widely across different localities. For example, spaying a dog in New York City can cost up to $600, whereas the cost may only be $250 in the Midwest. In some cases, animal welfare organizations, shelters, and clinics can offer more affordable spaying and neutering services than veterinary hospitals.

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Preoperative Testing and Postoperative Care

The cost of dog neutering is influenced by preoperative testing, postoperative care, and the type of surgery. Before the surgery, the veterinarian conducts preoperative testing such as blood work or physical exams to assess the dog’s overall health and check for any underlying conditions that could impact the surgery.

The dog is kept asleep and pain-free during the procedure with a well-balanced anesthetic protocol and maintained on gas anesthesia. Many veterinarians also place an intravenous catheter to give IV fluids. Monitoring equipment evaluates the pet’s vital signs during the procedure. The monitoring equipment tracks heart and respiratory rates, blood pressure, oxygen saturation levels, and electrocardiogram readings of the heart rhythm.

After the surgery, postoperative care is essential for the dog’s recovery. The dog should receive ample pain medication before, during, and after the procedure to make them comfortable. Depending on the dog’s condition, follow-up exams and medications may also be necessary.

Related: TPLO Surgery for Dog Cost

Ways to Lower Dog Neutering Costs

Here are some ways to lower the cost of spaying and to neuter your dog:

  1. Find Low-Cost Clinics

Private practice veterinarians are usually more expensive than public hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and pet rescue centers. Many public hospitals rely on state programs or donations to help cover their costs, making them more affordable than private practices. Some pet stores also offer spay and neuter procedures, but the costs and services may vary. Check with your local pet store to see if this is an option.

  1. Explore Financing Options

Many veterinary clinics offer financing options that can help make dog neutering more affordable. You can pay for the procedure over time with a payment plan or financing options like CareCredit. CareCredit is a credit card designed for healthcare expenses, including veterinary care.

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  1. Use Pet Insurance and CareCredit

Pet insurance only covers neutering procedures if you’ve purchased a wellness plan rider. It might be worth it if you purchase insurance or a wellness rider that will cover a neuter surgery at a lower cost. 

Pet wellness plans are also available separately from pet insurance. Unlike insurance, wellness plans are focused strictly on prevention. It includes services like vaccinations, dental cleanings, and spaying and neutering. CareCredit can also be used for veterinary expenses not covered by insurance.

  1. Discuss Options With the Veterinarian

Always ask what’s included with the quoted cost of a spay or neuter procedure, so there are no surprises. Your veterinarian may also recommend low-cost clinics or financing options that can help you save money.

Related: Should You Get Dog Insurance? 4 Simple Steps to Decide

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Dog Neutered? FAQs

Q: Where Can I Get My Dog Neutered for Free?

A: Some SPCA/Humane Societies offer free spay/neuter services for pets. State voucher programs and Nonprofit veterinary clinics also provide affordable spay/neuter services. 

Q: What Is the Best Age to Neuter a Male Dog?

A: The best age to neuter a male dog is six to nine months. However, it can depend on the dog’s breed, size, and health.  Therefore, consult a veterinarian to determine your dog’s optimal age.

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Q: Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?

A: Yes, male dogs may change after being neutered. Neutering reduces aggressive behaviors and curbs roaming instincts. It may also reduce the risk of developing serious medical conditions like testicular or prostate cancer.

Q: How Long Does a Male Dog Take To Recover From Neutering?

A: The recovery time for a male dog after neutering is usually around two weeks. During this time, the dog should be kept calm and quiet to prevent complications. Pain medication and a protective cone may also be necessary to ensure proper healing.

Q: How Painful Is Neutering a Dog?

A: Neutering a dog is usually not painful, as the dog is under anesthesia during the surgery. However, some discomfort and pain may be present during the recovery period. As a result, a veterinarian can prescribe pain medication.

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Neutering is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. It involves removing a pet’s reproductive organs to prevent unplanned pregnancy, overpopulation, and medical issues like testicular cancer. The neutering procedure also helps with behavioral problems like roaming or running away to find a mate. 

Generally, dog neutering cost range from $50 to over $500, depending on weight, breed, species, and age. Private practice veterinarians are typically more expensive than clinics run by nonprofit organizations or pet rescue centers. To avoid unexpected fees, it is crucial to ask what is included in the quoted cost. Ultimately, speaking with a veterinarian about any concerns regarding the cost of neutering will help you get more prepared.


Johann Chapuis

Johann Chapuis has assembled a fantastic team of licensed veterinarians, animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and walkers to write every article and offer the most accurate content on Being a pet lover and owner himself, Johann is sharing his experiences and his financial aptitude cultivated during his MBA with a specialization in finance and the numerous years he spent working as a business manager and entrepreneur.

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