The cost to neuter a dog, you ask? You’re probably asking in terms of money, although we can imagine the emotional cost to spay or neuter a dog is also a relevant question for many. But anyway – let’s snip right through it. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the cost to neuter a dog; what you should expect to find on the final bill, possible ways to pay for neutering and things to consider when deciding to snip or not to snip!

We’ll look over:      

  • The advantages of neutering your dog
  • What neutering or spaying a dog involves
  • How much it costs to neuter/spay a dog
  • If neutering a dog costs the same as spaying a bitch
  • How you can pay for the cost of dog neutering
  • Why puppy insurance doesn’t cover the cost of neutering and spaying
dog lying on bed
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Advantages of neutering your dog

We’ll keep it simple – neutering is a surgical procedure which prevents dogs from reproducing. In female dogs, it’s generally called spaying and in male dogs it’s known as castration…otherwise known as ‘the snip’,’ getting fixed’ or ‘being done’. Terrible names, we know.

Neutering is an important decision to make for your dog since it not only prevents unwanted litters, but it can also protect against a number of health issues. It may be that ‘the snip’ has some behavioural benefits, but you should definitely not rely on neutering to see behavioural changes. Everyone knows the secret really lies in good reward based training for that.

So enough with the fluff. Here is a list of the main advantages of neutering:

  • Reduces the chance of female dogs developing mammary tumors
  • Prevents pyometra in females;  a very dangerous womb infection
  • Stops males from developing testicular cancer
  • Reduces the risk of prostate disease in male dogs
  • Can reduce roaming behaviour, humping and some aggressive behaviours
  • Female dogs are no longer fertile once they have been spayed

And as for you, no need to sit your dog down and have that awkward chat about the birds and the bees.

What Does Neutering or Spaying a Dog Involve?

Scissors. No, just kidding. 

First, your dog will be given a ‘pre-op’ examination to make sure they are fit and well. Once they have the all clear for surgery the operation can go ahead. You will most likely be asked to not feed your dog from the evening before so they’re ready to get high. Sorry – for the anaesthetic. Your dog will be admitted to your vets as a day patient and given a general anaesthetic for the operation. 

So for the nitty gritty. In male dogs the testicles are removed along with the sperm ducts and blood vessels. In female dogs the surgery is more complex and involves complete removal of the ovaries and womb. Recovery time is usually 7 to 10 days, but can be slightly longer in females. 

Spaying a female can also be carried out through keyhole surgery which involves removing the ovaries via a few small incisions. This is much less invasive than the standard spay and the recovery time can be shorter, so you might want to ask your vet about that.

After the operation, your dog will fashionably wear a cone and need a few days rest. Perhaps some light on-lead exercise might suit them just fine.

Your vet may want to see your dog again for a post op check or to remove any stitches if they are not dissolvable. After all of that, they’ll be good to go!

dog sitting looking up at camera
Photo by Overture Creations on Unsplash

How much does it cost to neuter or spay a dog?

In the UK it can cost between £100 and £250 to castrate a male dog and between £150 to £500 to spay a female. In the US, costs vary across states from $50 to $200 for males and $100 to $500 for females. But make sure to double check; the cost to neuter a dog can vary so widely due to the following factors.

  • Breed type: The bigger the dog, the more anaesthetic will be needed, which raises the cost. 
  • Area: If you want to have your dog neutered in a boujee area, you will get a boujee cost to neuter your dog. Simple as that, really.
  • Vet practice: There are cost variations across practices, some of the larger national chain vet practices can be cheaper as they buy the drugs used in bigger quantities than independent practices.
  • Type of procedure: Female spaying can be carried out through keyhole surgery. The recovery time can be faster but it is more of a more specialist thing, which might mean a more expensive procedure.
  • Drugs used: There are many variations of the drugs used during and after surgery which can affect the end cost of neutering your dog. 

Does neutering a male dog cost the same as spaying a female dog?

Nope, it doesn’t. Spaying a female is more costly because it’s a more extensive and intrusive procedure. The keyhole method to spay your dog might be less intrusive, but it will be a more expensive surgical option since it requires specialist equipment and training, and not all vet practices offer it. 

How to pay for the cost to neuter your dog

If the cost to neuter your dog can cause your bank account some panic, you might be happy to hear that most vet practices will assist with the cost by providing payment plans. It is also highly likely that your vet will accept credit cards. Woohoo!

If you receive certain benefits such as the PDSA or the Dogs Trust, some areas in the UK will help cover the cost of neutering through their voucher programmes. In the US, Humane Solution ( provides low cost vouchers to eligible pet owners to assist with the cost to neuter your dog. How’s that for good news?

Why insurance doesn’t cover dog neutering

Puppy health  insurance is good for a lot of things like covering unexpected illness or injury. But it’s often not great at routine procedures such as neutering your dog. If your vet has recommended neutering as a result of a medical condition, then some insurers (the nicer ones) will consider a claim. 

small puppy sitting on fluffy throw on a bed
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Right. We hope we’ve covered just everything you needed to know about the cost to neuter a dog. It’s not the most exciting topic in the world to read about, but it’s good you’re getting to know the basics and off to a good start with your new puppy. Now that you’re on a roll of researching these kinds of topics, you might find our article on puppy vaccinations useful too.

Why not get all the help you will need and download Zigzag? Our team of qualified and experienced puppy training experts are brilliant – they’ll help you through all the tricky times and keep you in the loop for all things puppy related.