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Getting your male dog neutered is extremely important for his overall health and behavior and to extend his life as long as possible. Fixing your pup isn’t something you want to avoid because you’re on a tight budget. The cost of neutering a dog can vary widely based on several factors, but the major price difference comes down to the type of clinic that performs the procedure.
We explore all of your options, including how to find low-cost services, to help you make the best decision for your financial situation.
Average Cost To Neuter A Dog: A Quick Comparison
|Government Assistance||Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic||ASPCA Or Humane Society||Nonprofit Veterinary Clinic||Your Veterinarian’s Office|
*The price ranges above are averages we found from our research in a few locations around the U.S. Be sure to check on costs in your area. You may qualify for low-income rates in some locations to save even more.
How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A Dog?
The cost of neutering a dog (called castration) can range anywhere from $30 to $500 or more. It depends on a wide range of factors, including your furry friend’s size and weight, overall health, geographic location, where you have the procedure done, and whether you qualify for financial hardship. Why do size, weight, and health matter? Because more anesthesia is required for larger dogs, and dogs with health issues may need additional lab work.
Fortunately, many less-expensive clinics are perfectly safe and involve licensed veterinarians. The key is finding a reputable clinic, which is fairly easy to do in most locations in the U.S.
At Your Vet’s Office
Many pet owners choose to have their regular veterinarian perform their pup’s neutering, but that’s often the most expensive option, ranging from $250 to $500 or more. The main benefits of having your regular vet’s office perform the surgery are that they’re already familiar with your dog’s health history, and you may feel more comfortable having your pup in the hands of someone you know.
Be sure to ask your vet’s office if they offer lower-cost neutering for financial hardship. Or you could see if they’re willing to set up a payment plan.
Large-Chain Veterinary Clinics
A slightly less expensive option for a veterinary clinic may be your local PetSmart’s Banfield Pet Hospital or Petco. However, based on Banfield’s price estimator for locations with a middle-of-the-road cost of living, their neutering package is approximately $400 for dogs under six months of age and $470 for dogs over six months old. You have to contact your area’s Petco for a pricing estimate.
Nonprofit Veterinary Clinics
If you have a nonprofit veterinary clinic in your area, this could be a less expensive option for neutering your dog compared to your regular vet or a chain pet store. These clinics often rely on donations and state programs to offset the cost of some of their services. Again, prices vary widely depending on where you live, but generally, a nonprofit vet clinic can save you anywhere from $100 or more on your overall cost.
ASPCA Or Humane Society
Your local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or humane society is typically a cost-saving alternative to a veterinary clinic. Prices vary depending on where you live and the size of your dog, but you may be able to cut the cost of neutering in half by choosing this option. In addition, many ASPCA locations also have special low-income rates, usually ranging from free to $100. However, you must provide proof of public assistance to qualify.
Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinics
In addition to the ASPCA and humane societies, many areas also have one or more low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The prices can be fairly comparable to your area’s ASPCA, but the average neutering cost nationwide is about $150 for dogs.
Many of these organizations restrict services to city or county residents due to their government funding requirements. As with the ASPCA, you may have to show proof of low income or government assistance. You can find low-cost options in your area by doing a simple search online.
State Or Local Government Assistance Programs
Some states, counties, and cities have voucher programs for pup owners who qualify for assistance. Benefits vary by location but generally range anywhere from $0-$75 for the entire cost of the procedure.
Usually, if you qualify for other government benefits, you can qualify for spay and neuter assistance. Once you’re approved, you must use one of the program’s participating vet clinics. Check to see if your state, county, and city offer these programs.
When Should I Neuter My Dog?
The guidelines recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for puppies and young dogs are as follows:
- Small and medium-sized dogs (under 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at 6 months of age.
- Large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, usually between 9 and 15 months of age. However, several large and giant breeds don’t stop growing until around 2 years of age.
Large and giant breeds take longer to grow than smaller breeds. And research has found that delaying neutering until after growth stops may decrease the risk of certain cancers and bone, ligament, and joint problems in some breeds of male dogs.
What about adult dogs? If you’ve adopted an older dog who hasn’t been sterilized, neutering is generally considered safe as long as he’s in good health. There’s a slightly higher risk of postoperative complications in older or overweight dogs and those with certain health problems.
If you’re reading our article, you may have already decided to get your canine buddy neutered. But in case you’re still pondering if neutering is worth the cost, take a moment to learn how this safe procedure can benefit your pup throughout his lifetime.
- Eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease
- Decreases aggressive behavior in male dogs
- Promotes less of a desire to roam
- Reduces the instinct for spraying and marking
- Helps dogs live longer, healthier lives
- Helps to control the overpopulation of pet dogs
Does Pet Insurance Cover Neutering?
A general pet insurance policy doesn’t cover neutering unless you’ve purchased an add-on wellness plan. If you don’t already have pet insurance, it’s an excellent way to plan for unforeseeable accidents and illnesses by paying a monthly premium to ensure that you’re covered against the unexpected vet bills that may follow when emergencies arise. To learn all about how pet insurance works, be sure to read our guide, is pet insurance worth it?
Do You Need Help For Other Pet Costs?
Owning a dog is expensive, for sure. If you’ve run into a bout of financial hardship, you may be able to find assistance for vet bills or pet supplies until you can get back on your feet. Find out where you may be able to get help in our guide on resources for pet financial assistance. Many organizations in the U.S. are committed to keeping pets healthy and safe when you can’t swing it on your own.