Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying and Neutering?
With so many unwanted dogs and cats homeless or being euthanized, it just makes good sense to have the animal spayed or neutered to prevent puppy mills and other types of accidental breeding. The cost of these procedures can be very costly, especially if it’s a large animal. Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering? That’s a question asked by many pet owners. Continue reading to learn more about these procedures.
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What is Spaying?
Also known as ovariohysterectomy, spaying is a surgical process that involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries in order to sterilize a female cat or dog. Some veterinarians choose to only remove the ovaries while others choose to remove both the uterus and ovaries. When only the ovaries are removed, it’s called an ovariectomy.
Spaying is considered major surgery so the dog is put under general anesthesia and is kept at the vet clinic overnight so the vet can monitor the animal. Although deciding to spay your dog may be considered a personal choice, it’s recommended that all female dogs be spayed. Spaying not only helps decrease pet overpopulation but also offers many health benefits.
What is Neutering?
Neutering, which is called castration when referring to the male animal, is the removal of the animal’s reproductive organs (testicles or testes). Although neutering also requires the dog to be put under anesthesia, it’s a much simpler procedure than spaying. The vet makes a small incision, cuts the testicle stalks, and takes out the testicles through the incision.
The male will need a couple of weeks to heal and will then be back to normal. Neutering your dog can help prevent both testicular cancer and prostate disease. Like spaying, neutering also helps keep the pet population down.
There is also an approved product on the market that is injected into the testes to stop sperm production, which makes the cat or dog infertile.
Average Cost of Spaying and Neutering
The cost to have your pet sterilized can vary by many factors, including the type of animal, the size of the animal, and where the procedure is performed. It is less expensive to spay or neuter a cat than it is for a dog. Also, a large dog being spayed will be more expensive than a small dog because the procedure for a small animal is simpler and less time-consuming.
The cost for spaying or neutering can range from $35 to $500 or even more. The low prices can be found in low-cost clinics and humane societies. It’s more expensive to have a female spayed than it is to have a male castrated because spaying the female is more complicated.
The expense of sterilizing your pet can be expensive because it covers more than just the actual surgery. It covers the cost of pre-surgical blood work, the price of anesthesia, pain medications, and a full physical examination. At some vet hospitals, the animal is put on monitoring equipment, and this can add to the cost.
Plans That Cover Spaying and Neutering
If you’re considering spaying or neutering your pet and are wondering, “Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?” the answer varies. Some pet insurances cover spaying and neutering while others consider it as elective surgery, which is generally not covered under illness and accident policies.
However, some pet insurance companies offer wellness and preventive care plans and spaying and neutering may be covered under that policy. It varies from one pet insurance company to another.
Embrace does not offer reimbursement for spaying or neutering your pet through its basic illness and accident plan, but does offer Wellness Rewards, which does cover spay and neuter surgery up to a certain amount. It also covers the prescription medication and office visits associated with sterilization. The Wellness Rewards plan, which offers preventive and routine care, must be purchased as an add-on to your regular pet insurance policy. It cannot be purchased alone.
Pets Best offers a variety of different pet insurance plans. The All Best Benefit Accident and Illness plans do not cover spaying and neutering. However, they do offer a comprehensive Routine Care and Pet Wellness plan that does cover the cost of spaying or neutering. Like with most pet insurance companies, the Wellness plan can only be purchased if you have an accident and illness plan with the company.
SPOT does not offer coverage for sterilization as part of its basic health plan. SPOT does offer a Preventive Pet Insurance plan that comes in two tiers: Gold and Platinum. The Platinum plan, which can be purchased with a basic accident/illness plan, will pay up to $150 towards the cost of the surgery. Some of the prescription medications and exams may be covered under the illness/accident plan.
Nationwide insurance offers four major pet insurance plans: Major Medical, Major Medical with Wellness, Whole Pet, and Whole Pet with Wellness. The cost of spaying and neutering is covered under the Whole Pet with Wellness. There is a $250 deductible on each plan. With Nationwide, you don’t have to buy the Wellness plan as an add-on. You only have to buy one policy.
Lemonade offers a few different types of insurance coverage. However, they are specific in that they won’t cover things that are needed (anesthesia, pain meds, exams, etc.) because of something that is not a covered accident and illness. Because spaying and neutering fall in this category, Lemonade will not pay the cost of these procedures.
Since we recommend getting a pet insurance policy as early as you can for your cat or dog, it makes sense to get a policy that covers spay and neuter (or at least a large portion of it) so you can have a healthy and happy pet and avoid some of the other health issues that can arise from having an intact pet.