First, what sex is your dog? Second, how much do they weigh?
The answers to those questions will help us determine how much it costs to get your dog desexed.
In general, female dogs will be slightly more expensive to desex, costing $250 on average for the procedure.
Male dogs on the other hand will cost about $220 to get neutered.
Again, total cost depends heavily on the size of the dog in question as well as where you decide to have the procedure done.
Regardless, desexing your dog comes with many health and behavioral advantages and should definitely be an option to be considered, especially if you have no plans to breed the dog in the future.
Contrary to what some people believe, neutering a dog will not change its personality or create behavioral problems. If anything, it will make them more easier to train and even more sociable than they were before.
Desexing provides numerous health benefits for your dog, allowing them to live longer, healthier lives. These benefits can include:
- Lowered risk of developing cancer (especially testicular cancer in males)
- Prevention of enlarged prostate glands
- Lowered risk of mammary cancers, tumors, and uterine infections in females
- Lowered risk of womb infections in females
There are behavioral benefits too, such as:
- Dogs will be less aggressive and more responsive during training
- They will be less likely to want to wander and as a consequence lowers the risk of road accidents
- Male dogs will be less likely to behave antisocially and prevent them from getting into fights
Desexing will also benefit society and overall dog welfare in general, as it will control overpopulation of canines. Since the drive to reproduce is removed, there will be a smaller amount of unwanted puppies and dogs which might have otherwise been neglected.
Any spaying or neutering surgery is a complex procedure, but if you have a female dog, the operation is even more complicated.
That’s because, as opposed to castration, spaying a female dog means opening the abdominal cavity, which takes longer. If you want your male dog spayed, the situation is a lot less complex.
Starting with size, you can expect to pay around $200-$230 for small dogs that are female. However, this figure can increase pretty significantly the bigger your dog is.
As far as weight goes, the more your dog weighs, the more anesthesia will be needed.
In addition to that, a larger dog needs more time to clean the area and complete the surgery. In that case, the doctor will also need to use more suture materials, and afterward, more pain medication.
So, you might end up paying more than $450 for large dogs. But on average, if your dog weighs around 20-45 pounds, you’ll probably have to pay about $250.
Due to the nature of the surgery, you can expect most male dogs to be spayed for about $170-$200. However, like with female dogs, this price will go up depending on how much your dog weighs.
You could end up paying around $400 if your dog is large and/or weighs more than 130 pounds. But on average, plan to pay about $220 if your dog is about 20-45 pounds.
In addition to your dog’s sex and weight, the cost of desexing your dog will depend on the veterinarian, too. It’s essential to ask for a quote and see what’s included and what’s not, so you won’t have to pay for any hefty surprise fees.
In general, you can expect the surgery costs to include costs from the:
- Physical exam
- General anesthesia and sedation (fluids and IV)
- Monitors used to check heart rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure, and temperature
- Actual surgery (castration or spaying)
- Pain medication
- Nail trimming
Antibiotics, a postoperative checkup, and screening blood work might also be included.
Other factors, like how old your dog is, can play a role in the cost of desexing. Although dogs are usually spayed and neutered at around 6-16 weeks old (early-age desexing), it’ll cost a bit more if your dog is older than that.
If your dog is younger or, better yet, you’re about to adopt a dog, there’s a chance you could save money there. Some animal welfare organizations, nonprofits, and shelters will allow you to “pay what you can” during your pet adoption. Depending on the organization, you can get your new dog spayed and neutered at a reduced cost (or even for free).
Some organizations or shelters will throw in the first round of vaccinations for your pup at a lower rate.
How healthy your dog is can also affect the cost. For example, if your dog is sick, has diabetes, or if your dog is overweight, this can add around $25-$50 to your total cost.
If your dog is pregnant or in heat — the stage where your dog becomes more open to mating with other dogs during the reproductive cycle — that will add to the cost of spaying and neutering, too.
That’s because the blood vessels are more extensive as they help “feed” your dog’s reproductive organs, so your vet will need more time to perform surgery if your dog is pregnant or in heat.
If your dog isn’t up-to-date in terms of vaccinations, that could cost you extra. Some veterinarians require dogs to get these shots before the surgery date, which would add to the cumulative cost.
What breed your dog is actually matters, too. For example, breeds like bulldogs might need more time for a surgical procedure. What country you live in and where the surgery happens can also influence the price of desexing your dog.
Before you schedule your dog’s desexing surgery, you’ll need to schedule a veterinary consultation. Here, any additional costs will be added.
Usually, a vet will do blood work on your dog before surgery to make sure their liver and kidneys are working properly. That might be about $40, but the pain medications your dog will need after surgery could add another $15.
Getting your dog spayed and neutered will be more expensive if you do it at a private veterinary office. To cut on these costs, you can take your dog to the Humane Society, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), or a local animal shelter for the procedure, which will make it a bit cheaper for you.
If your local shelter has its own in-house clinic that offers spaying and neutering services, chances are you’ll be able to get your dog desexed at a lower cost.
If you have pet insurance, that will often cover primary pet care, such as spaying and neutering for dogs. In that case, you’ll be able to pay your deductible, your pet insurance company will pay part of the total vet bill, cutting your own costs.
Depending on where you live, some counties or cities will provide vouchers or discounts for residents who qualify as “low income” and need their dog spayed or neutered. If you’re a senior, there might also be a senior discount offered in your area.
You can also call local shelters or use the Human Society website’s search function to find offices near you that offer discounted spaying and neutering.
The final cost of desexing a dog will depend on many unique factors, such as the sex, size, age, breed, and health of the dog in question.
The procedure could also be more expensive or cheaper depending on where you take your dog to get it done, as well as whether you are part of any pet insurance or neuter discount schemes.
In general, it will cost more to spay a female dog than a male dog. You will need to pay an average of $250 to get a female dog desexed, while a male dog would cost slightly less on average at $220.
Regardless of the cost, desexing your dog is a highly recommended practice and something that a pet owner should seriously consider for the welfare of their dog.
Heather Abraham is a professional blogger who owns two dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a leopard gecko. She has a connection with animals since she was a child. She shares her love for all pet breeds and provides information on pet food, toys, medications, beds, and everything else.
She is committed to learning about the internal workings of animals. Her work permits her to work closely with knowledgeable vets and obtain practical expertise in animal care. When she is not working, her love of animals continues in her writing. Her goal is to educate and uplift readers who also have a passion for animals through her writing.