Taking care of furry companions can be a demanding job, considering the extent of care they require. Alongside the medical procedures and treatments every pet might need, there are standardized procedures that might be wise to do as well. One of those procedures is spaying your female cat or dog.
Typically, most health treatments, like surgeries, will fall under a pet insurance plan and thus alleviate pet parents from paying steep sums. However, spaying is not often a regular procedure added to any provider’s pet insurance plan.
Therefore, let’s go over the spaying procedure in general, and elaborate on the providers that have included it in their pet insurance plans or as an extra service.
What is Spaying?
Spaying is a procedure that refers to the sterilization of female pets and it revolves around surgically removing their ovaries and uterus. Generally, spaying aims to terminate a pet’s reproducing process, and additionally prevent any health and behavioral issues.
Nowadays, the majority of pet owners decide to take this step for a variety of reasons. Spaying is very beneficial for your pet’s health, since it greatly reduces the chances of cervical and ovarian cancer, along with other uterine diseases. After spaying your female pet, you can look forward to your pet living a longer and healthier life, free of raging hormones.
Aside from health benefits, spaying helps calm down your pet and prevents it from going into heat. Finally, spaying is also encouraged for all female dogs and cats, not just pets, so as to reduce the number of stray animals on the streets.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying
Most of the best well-known pet health insurance companies don’t have a specific plan that only covers spaying surgery. As an elective surgery that is not mandatory to perform unless the pet parents require it, the majority of insurance companies have decided not to cover it.
Nevertheless, some pet health insurance providers include spaying in their wellness plans, also known as preventative plans. Preventative pet insurance policies concentrate on routine treatments such as spaying and compensate you for any additional expenses.
With any insurance policy, you get to choose which reimbursement rate you want. Here, the higher the rate, the lower your overall spaying costs will be. By providing coverage and partial compensation of the funds intended for spaying, pet insurance companies want to encourage more pet owners to take that step.
Which Pet Insurance Cover Spaying
All insurance policies differ from one another, however, each of the pet insurance companies wants to provide only outstanding coverage benefits that are in your best interest. Among the greatest pet health insurance companies that cover spaying as part of their preventative care plan policy are the following:
Embrace is one of the leading insurance providers across the US and includes spaying coverage. The pet has to be 6 months old or older to enroll in Embrace’s Wellness Reward Plan – their only plan that covers spaying. Alon with the surgery, meds, hospitalization and after-surgery care are also included in the coverage.
It’s quite unlikely that your veterinarian will agree to spay a pet as young as 2 months since, at that age, their reproductive system has not yet developed. However, Embrace strongly advises you to purchase the policy sooner rather than later because the younger the pet is when it enrolls, the bigger the reimbursement will be.
The Wellness Reward plan typically costs from $22-$25 for dogs and $11-$15 for cats, with a reimbursement rate of 90%. But, if you enroll your pet sooner or just in time, the policy may additionally drop its cost.
Another pet health provider known to cover spaying surgery is Figo. Figo’s Wellness Powerup plan covers the spaying surgery and also includes wellness checks after the procedure, and all other treatments related to it.
Their primary aim is to raise awareness among the population about how important spaying your female pet is so that more and more people opt to do it. Concerning this policy, everyone is eligible to choose a Wellness Powerup reimbursement rate of 70%, 80%, and 90% and thus get a considerable refund.
The overall price of the plan is set at around $22 for dogs and less than $24 a month for cats. The price differs based on the pet’s breed and age. For example, the costs are lower for younger pets and higher for special pedigree breeds.
Fetch by Dodo (PetPlan)
Even though Fetch by Dodo has a preventative care plan, unfortunately, spaying isn’t covered by their insurance. Their insurance plans are all designed to pay out, and their primary goal is to keep their client’s pets healthy and safe. Since spaying is an elective, non-obligatory procedure, PetPlan decided that related insurance isn’t necessary.
The expenses of the surgery itself are quite affordable, too. But, as one of the best pet health insurance providers in 2022, they do cover medical expenses and hospitalization in their preventative care plan.
If you come to the conclusion that spaying your pet is the right choice, PetPlan will offer you one of the most affordable preventative plans following the procedure. For less than $20 a month, your pet will be provided with the utmost care and post-spaying treatments.
Another great pet health insurance company that sadly doesn’t provide spaying insurance is Trupanion. As a very straightforward insurance company, they have clearly stated what their policy covers, and what it omits.
Even though Trupanion doesn’t have a wellness care plan that covers spaying as most pet health insurance providers do, they still want to meet their clients halfway. Thus, hospitalization and medication expenses are partially reimbursed, depending on the reimbursement rate you choose.
For the price of $24 a month, your pet will get adequate post-spaying treatments. Trupanion also advises enrolling your pet in their wellness plan months before the spaying surgery – to further reduce the overall cost
Unlike any of the other pet health insurance companies, PetFirst has a variety of available plans that cover spaying. Whether you decide to go for the basic Preventative Care plan or their Routine Rider coverage, your female pet will get the greatest possible care and treatment.
PetFirst’s Routine Rider plan is the most affordable one. It provides reimbursement rates between 70% and 90% that apply to both spaying and post-operative care.
The plan is priced at around $27 per month, with a reimbursement rate of 90%.
You can also opt for their Preventative Care plan which costs a little less but doesn’t offer as much spaying-related coverage as the Routine Rider plan.
Additionally, various factors affect the final cost of the procedure. On one hand, younger pets, with no previous pet illnesses, will be eligible for extra reimbursement.
On the other hand, spaying at PetFirst is costlier for some specific breeds, or bigger cats or dogs.
Healthy Paws doesn’t include spaying in their coverage since they don’t have a preventative care plan. Alongside this, they also do not offer hospitalization related to the procedure itself. This pet health insurance company also doesn’t cover any of the charges and additional fees for spaying, since it is considered elective surgery.
Insurance policies are paid for annually with Healthy Paws, but they believe that it is best for pet parents not to use insurance for spaying since most clinics already do the procedure at a low cost.
However, they highly encourage spaying because it is a procedure that reduces the chances of health issues such as cancer, developing.
How Much to Spay a Dog
So, how much does it cost to spay a dog? Well, the cost can range widely, from free of charge to $500. In the US there are many available options as to where to get your dog spayed.
Private veterinarians are often more expensive when it comes to performing spaying surgeries, even though they offer outstanding care for your beloved pup. Usually, private clinics can cost you somewhere between $350 and $500, or more.
Quite the opposite is the case with SPCA/Humane Society clinics that have full-time licensed professional vets all around the U.S. These clinics perform the procedure for free and will bring back your puppy spayed and in great health – at no cost.
However, to do this, there are some requirements that you must meet beforehand. Namely, only individuals who have financial struggles are eligible for free spaying.
On average, spaying your dog at a standard clinic will cost somewhere between $150 and $250. Expenses for spaying at clinics and vets can be reduced to even 90% with adequate pet insurance at hand. The same service will cost you less than $30 if the insurance is in place. Some of the factors that can affect the price include the dog’s:
- Size and weight
- History of health issues
When to Spay a Dog
It’s preferable to consult a professional on when’s the best time to spay your dog. Aside from the timing, you will also need to consider the pet’s breed, size, and weight.
As a rule of thumb, veterinarians recommend spaying your dog before it turns 1 year of age, meaning before it goes into heat for the first time.
You should not spay your pet if it’s younger than 6 months. If a dog is bigger in size and weighs more, it should not be spayed before it turns 1 year. Bigger dogs are more likely to suffer higher health risks if they are spayed too early, meaning around the 6-month mark.
How Much to Spay a Cat?
How much does it cost to spay a cat? Luckily, cat spaying is typically more affordable than dog spaying. For example, doing the surgery at a private veterinarian clinic might cost around $500 for dogs, but around $300 for cats.
For those who are not keen on overspending or have a limited budget, there’s always the Humane Society option. Taking your cat for spay in some of their clinics, located all around the U.S. won’t cost you anything at all but will get the job done professionally.
Similar to this option, pet owners can participate in pet health insurance voucher programs that are provided by every state. Their intention is to enable financially disadvantaged pet parents to afford the procedure, by using their $50 voucher for cats.
Meanwhile, spaying your cat in a common clinic can cost around $100, but the price can be significantly reduced with suitable pet insurance. Depending on what the plan covers and its reimbursement rate, overall expenses for cat spaying can drop to $20.
The main factors that influence the price of the procedure include the cat’s:
- Size and weight
- Previous health problems
When to Spay a Cat
The age limit for spaying your cat is lower than that for dogs. Ideally, you ought to spay your cat before it reaches 5 months of age. Smaller cats can be spayed as young as 8 weeks, so as to timely avoid the occurrence of reproductive cancer.
So far, no medical issues have been shown with early spaying. As for the benefits, spaying younger cats tends to be quicker and safer, and the procedure is easy to complete and manage thereafter. Additionally, your pet will be in less pain, free of heat episodes, and more balanced temperament-wise.
Following the procedure, your pet will need a maximum of two weeks to recuperate. Following their hospitalization – typically a 24-hour span – the pet is released into home care. Here, some restrictions regarding the pet’s safety must apply.
Typically, vets advise reducing your pet’s activity and playtime, since that can result in post-surgical pains and suture tearing.
Keep a close eye on your pet in the first 10 to 14 days following the procedure. If you notice any side symptoms such as bleeding or swelling, make sure to contact your veterinarian or ask for medical assistance.
Other than that, the clinic and the insurance company will provide all the necessary medication for the upcoming period until your pet fully recovers.