Dog Neutering and Spaying: What You Need to Know

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Many dog owners have questions about dog neutering and spaying. First, let’s define the words Neuter and Spay. Neuter, from the Latin word neuter, means the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ. The term neuter is often used incorrectly when it is used to refer to only male animals when the term neuter correctly refers to both males and females.

The correct term for the removal of an animal’s reproductive organ in males is “Castration” while the correct term used for females is “Spay” or “Spaying”. Other terms used to refer to neutering is “de-sexing” and “fixing”.

Neutering is used to reduce the risk of unwanted puppies to control the animal population issues, reduce behavior issues with intact pets such as roaming, humping, heat cycles, reduce the incidence of aggressive behavioral issues, and eliminate the risk of diseases such as infections of the uterus, referred to by the medical term pyometra, breast cancer, and/or prostate problems.

The Male Dog Neutering: Castration

Male neutering, known by the more accurate term “Castration”, is used to describe the surgical procedure that involves removal of the testicles. Castration is also known by the medical term “orchiectomy”. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves a surgical incision just cranial to the testicles. Learn more about What Happens When You Neuter a Dog?. Another good article that may be of interest is What to Expect After Neutering a Dog which considers what to expect from your dog’s behavior post neuter as well as post-operative care.

The Female Dog Neutering: Spay

Female neutering, known by the more accurate term “Spaying”, is used to describe the surgical procedure that involves removal of both the ovaries and uterus, which is called an ovariohysterectomy (commonly abbreviated as “OHE”). This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. It involves an incision along the midline of the abdomen near the umbilicus. Learn more about What Happens When a Dog Gets Spayed and about post-op care.

When Do You Neuter Dogs?

Neutering is most commonly recommended around six months of age. However, neutering is done in some situations as early as 6 to 8 weeks and can also be done at any age. Learn more about The Pros and Cons of Early Spays and Neuters In Dogs and Cats. Some studies may suggest that there are benefits of waiting to neuter. Learn more in this interesting article — To Neuter or Not to Neuter – What You Should Know.

However, the best time to neuter is when your dog is young and healthy as opposed to when your dog is older and has life-threatening uterine infections (Pyometra) or prostate problems.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Manage Cost of Dog Neutering

Dog neutering can be costly. It is more expensive to neuter a female dog than a male dog. The female neutering procedure takes longer and involves opening the abdominal cavity. The male dog neutering procedure does not involve opening the abdominal cavity and takes less time.

The cost for dog spays can range from $100 to $500 depending on the size and age of your dog. The cost for dog neuters can range from $45 to $350. Learn more about the costs of Spaying and Neutering with this article: How Much Does Dog Spaying or Dog Neutering Cost?

Many pet owners consider if they should have their pet neutered at their local veterinary hospital that may be more expensive vs. at a low-cost spay neuter clinic. Many shelters offer discounted spay and castration services. They will often also offer lost cost vaccinations and microchipping services that can be done at the time of the surgery. Here is another article that may be useful: Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics vs. Your Local Vet.

Pet insurance plans are another method that can help you pay for medical costs associated with illnesses and injuries as well as wellness costs such as for vaccinations, dental cleaning, blood work, fecal checks, parasite control, and spaying and castration surgery.

For example, Pet’s Best offers a “routine care” option that you can add to your pet insurance plan. One thing that’s nice about this is that the benefits are available from many companies with no waiting period, meaning you can often use the benefits within a day or two of enrollment. The best wellness plan will provide $100 toward your dog spay or neuter. Learn more about Pet’s Best Routine Care Options to see if they will help you pay for your dog’s neutering procedure.

If you are planning your dog’s spay-neuter procedure and need help paying, it is possible to sign up for the routine care options and start using the benefits soon.

Additional Articles that May Be of Interest About Dog Neutering

How Much Does Dog Spaying or Dog Neutering Cost?
What Happens When You Neuter a Dog?
What Happens When a Dog Gets Spayed 
What to Expect After Neutering a Dog 
A Major Investment: The Costs Associated with Dog Ownership
Are Pet Wellness Plans More Affordable than Insurance?
Factors to Consider Before You Compare Pet Insurance Policies
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
How Much Should You Expect For Dog Vet Costs?
Is There Pet Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions?
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics vs. Your Local Vet
Pet Insurance: What It Covers & What It Doesn’t
Preparing Your Dog For Surgery: What You Should Know
Pros and Cons of Spaying and Neutering in Dogs
To Neuter or Not to Neuter – What You Should Know
What Are the Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet?
What’s the Best Pet Insurance in Regards to Cost?

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