Veterinary background provided by Dr. Jennifer Coates DVM
Published September 2022
The cost of spaying or neutering dogs will range based on many factors, including the type of clinic performing the procedure, which procedure is needed, your location and more. Below is a chart outlining a few different types of clinics and their average price range for spaying and neutering.
|Type of Clinic*||Spay (Female) Price Range||Neuter (Male) Price Range|
|Overall||$0 to $550||$0 to $450|
|Nonprofit Veterinary Clinic||$50 to $80||$50 to $80|
|State Voucher Program||$75||$60|
|Spay, Neuter & Vaccine Clinic||$150 to $240||$135 to $200|
|Private Veterinarian or Animal Hospital||$320 to $550||$260 to $450|
Being a pet parent means making decisions about everything for your dog, including what to feed them, where they should sleep and what type of dog insurance coverage they need.
One choice that almost all pet parents make is to choose to spay or neuter their pup. Most dogs who are not part of a breeding program should be spayed or neutered, both to protect their health and to reduce the risk of pet overpopulation. Your veterinarian can help you determine if and when your dog should be spayed or neutered. Though your vet will almost certainly recommend the procedure, you may still be wondering, how much does it cost to neuter a dog? And how much does it cost to spay a dog? Is there a price difference between spaying and neutering?
The cost of spaying or neutering varies greatly based on a variety of factors, including:
- which procedure is performed
- the dog’s size
- the dog’s age
- the dog’s health
- the geographical location of the procedure
- the type of clinic performing the surgery
With so many factors at play, the cost of the procedure you need will land within a wide range. The Synchrony Lifetime of Care Study states that the typical cost of spaying or neutering a dog can range from $85 to $514. We’ll help you make sense of how different variables may affect the price of your dog’s spay or neuter surgery. And to learn more, visit our guide on Pet Insurance That Covers Spaying and Neutering Costs.
|Pet Insurance Wellness Plans for Spaying/Neutering||Monthly Costs & Reimbursements|
|Overall||$18.75 to $50.00 per month|
|Embrace||Embrace Wellness Rewards reimbursement options:
|ASPCA||ASPCA Prime Wellness Plan
|Spot||Spot Platinum Wellness Plan
|Pets Best||Pets Best BestWellness™ Plan
|Lemonade||Lemonade Puppy/Kitten Preventative Package (only for pets under 2 years old)
What is involved in a dog spay or neuter procedure?
Spaying and neutering create a similar outcome—preventing a pet from being able to reproduce—but these two procedures are quite different from one another. How much does it cost to spay a dog? Typically, spaying a female dog costs a bit more than neutering a male dog, since it’s a more invasive surgery. Dog spays are major surgeries that involve entering a female dog’s abdomen. Male dog neuters are simpler surgeries because a male dog’s testicles are usually located just under the skin. Therefore, these surgeries tend to be less expensive.
Costs for both surgeries often include medications to help a dog relax and to relieve their pain, injectable or inhalant anesthesia, monitoring and support during anesthesia and other necessary expenses. Get a free pet insurance quote to find out which wellness plans may cover spay and neuter surgeries for your dog.
At what age should a dog be neutered or spayed?
How much does it cost to neuter a dog when they’re 6 months old or younger? When your dog is young, a neuter or spay procedure will usually cost a bit less than when they’re older. This is one of the reasons it’s often best to get your dog spayed or neutered when they’re a puppy. In general, younger dogs are smaller and their tissues are easier to manipulate, which makes the surgeries proceed quickly and with fewer risks of complication. Younger dogs also typically have fewer underlying health problems, which reduces the need for extensive pre-anesthetic workups and follow-up care.
However, you should always consult your veterinarian about when the correct time to spay or neuter your pup might be, depending on their unique health data. While there are risks associated with waiting too long to spay or neuter a dog, there may also be problems that arise from performing one of these surgeries on a dog that’s too young.
How does dog health affect the cost of spay/neuter surgeries?
Healthy dogs are less expensive to spay or neuter than dogs with underlying health problems. If you find yourself asking, “How much does it cost to spay a dog with health problems or disabilities?” you should know that something as common as being overweight can make a spay surgery riskier and make it take longer—which can affect the price of the procedure. To make anesthesia and surgery as safe as possible for dogs with underlying health issues, a veterinarian will usually recommend running a full blood chemistry panel, complete blood cell count, urinalysis and other appropriate diagnostic testing before surgery. The cost of these tests can add up. Additionally, dogs with health problems usually require more extensive monitoring during surgical procedures and more involved postoperative care. The right pet insurance plan may be able to offset some of these costs.
How does location affect the cost of spay/neuter surgeries?
How much does it cost to neuter a dog in New York City versus a small-town in Oklahoma? You may be surprised to learn that geographical location can be a big factor in the cost of veterinary care. In fact, the 2019 Nationwide/Purdue Veterinary Price Index shows average costs for veterinary care can increase or decrease by as much as 35% simply due to location. Large cities tend to be the most expensive while rural areas not associated with cities are the least expensive. The cost of real estate and rent, insurance, salaries, utilities, property taxes and the overall cost of living can all play a role.
How does clinic type affect the cost of spay/neuter surgeries?
As a community service, some not-for-profit organizations provide spay and neuter surgeries at cost or even at a loss. Most of these clinics provide excellent care. However, they do need to keep costs down for spay/neuter services as they’re likely on a tight budget, so the level of treatment may not be as high in these facilities as it can be at full-service veterinary clinics. For instance, dogs should have an IV catheter in place to receive intravenous fluids during surgery and to provide rapid access to their circulatory systems in case of emergency. But IV placement may sometimes be skipped to save money in a low cost spay or neuter surgery clinic.
Full-service veterinary clinics might not be the cheapest option for spay and neuter procedures, but they will often provide the highest level of care. In other words, while you’re wondering, “How much does it cost to spay a dog?” it’s a good idea to remember that the true cost of insufficient surgical care may go well beyond your original financial considerations. Pet insurance that covers spaying and neutering costs through add-on wellness plans may be a better alternative than simply finding the least expensive surgery available.
The cost of spay and neuter procedures can vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
How much does it cost to neuter a dog? It will usually cost between $100 and $450. It could cost under $100 at a community-supported spay/neuter clinic if the dog is small, young and healthy. On the other hand, it may cost around $350 at a private animal hospital.
How much does it cost to spay a dog? It will usually cost between $150 and $550. To spay a large, overweight, older female dog with health problems at a veterinarian’s office, it might cost $500. Or to spay a young, healthy pup at a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, it could cost $200. Most spay and neuter procedures will probably fall somewhere between these two price extremes. Your veterinarian can provide you with a detailed estimate and explain what’s included in the cost of spaying or neutering your dog.