If you are considering getting your pet neutered or spayed you may be wondering if you can get the costs covered on your pet insurance policy. In this article, we look at how neutering/spaying works, how much it costs and whether it is covered by your pet insurance policy.
What is neutering?
Neutering is the process of castrating or spaying your pet to stop them from reproducing. Castration is when the male's testicles are removed and spaying is the removal of the female's ovaries and uterus. When your pet is neutered it will be operated on under general anaesthetic and your pets are usually given pain medication after the surgery.
Cats and dogs are most commonly neutered but you are also able to get your rabbit neutered to prevent fighting and breeding. Female pets are neutered so that they are unable to become pregnant but male pets can also be neutered to reduce the testosterone levels which can affect a pet's behaviour.
When can you get your pet neutered?
When you can get your pet neutered is best discussed with your vet as it can vary between the type and breed of your pet. However, most dogs can be neutered from 6 months onwards and it is usually advised that female dogs are neutered after their first season. In most cases, cats can be neutered from 4 months onwards and it is recommended that they are kept indoors until they are neutered to prevent any unwanted litters.
Should you get your pet neutered?
There are a variety of reasons as to why you may wish to get your pet neutered and we list some of the most common reasons below:
- To stop unwanted litters
- To prevent roaming/straying
- To prevent fighting and aggression (particularly in male pets)
- To reduce or prevent specific medical conditions such as testicular cancer and infections of the uterus
- To improve your pet's problematic behaviour
Pros and cons of neutering
If you are considering getting your pet neutered it is best to check with your veterinary practice first as while there are health and social benefits to neutering it may not always be the best option for your pet. Below we list some of the pros and cons of neutering your pet.
Pros of neutering your pet
- Neutering can reduce the risk of certain health conditions such as mammary cancer in female dogs
- Neutering reduces the chance of your pet straying/roaming
- Pregnancy and birth can cause risks and complications for your pet
- Neutering can potentially improve problematic behaviour caused by testosterone in your pet
Cons of neutering your pet
- Neutering can potentially cause your pet to gain weight due to changes in the metabolic system
- Spaying your pet could come with a risk of urinary incontinence
- Bone growth could be affected in dogs if neutered under 6 months old
How much does neutering cost?
How much you pay for neutering your pet will vary largely depending on the type and breed of your pet, as well as where you live. According to the dog's charity Blue Cross, the cost of spaying/neutering your dog ranges between £110 - £365 and cat charity Cat's Protection says that the average cost of neutering your cat varies around £40 - £100.
If you are unable to afford for your pet to be neutered, you may be eligible for financial help from charities such as Cat's Protection and PDSA.
Does neutering reduce the cost of pet insurance?
Neutering your pet can mean you see a reduction in the cost of your pet insurance premium as your pet is less likely to stray or develop health conditions related to not neutering your pet.
In the below comparison table, we compare the cost of Bought by Many's Regular policy* for a neutered pet vs the cost of a pet that is not neutered. As the table illustrates, the cost of pet insurance is lower for neutered pets. The quotes are based on a 1-year-old medium-sized mixed breed dog living in a South East postcode.
Is pet insurance cheaper for neutered pets?
|Bought by Many Regular lifetime policy||Neutered||Not neutered|
|1-year-old mixed breed dog (monthly cost)||£26.53||£27.46|
|1-year-old mixed breed cat (monthly cost)||£17.97||£20.31|
Does pet insurance cover neutering?
Pet insurance does not cover the cost of preventative treatment such as vaccinations, worming and neutering as this is considered to be an expense that is inclusive of owning a pet. Pet insurance is designed to cover the cost of unexpected veterinary bills due to illness and injury. It is important to check your policy documents carefully when taking out a pet insurance policy to ensure you understand exactly what you are covered for. For example, Sainsbury's Bank says that it will cover the cost of behavioural treatment or therapy that has been recommended by a vet, however, if the behavioural condition could have been prevented by spaying, neutering or training then the treatment will not be covered.
If you are wanting to protect your pet with a pet insurance policy, take a look at 'The best pet insurance in the UK 2021'.
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