Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying or Neutering?

You’ll need pet wellness insurance to cover spaying and neutering procedures for your pet.

Danny Smith
Written byDanny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated May 2, 2024 | Reading time: 4 minutes

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Typical pet insurance coverage doesn’t include expenses for spaying and neutering — very common sterilization procedures. Most veterinarians recommend sterilization to increase your pet’s lifespan, prevent health issues, and avoid surprise litters.[1] Veterinarians complete a spay procedure for female pets, while male dogs and cats have a neuter surgery.

It’s important to understand the numerous costs of owning a pet to determine if you need a pet insurance policy. Most pet insurance plans can save you from having to pay out of pocket for inevitable expenses. You’ll need to add wellness coverage to a standard pet insurance plan to cover spaying or neutering procedures.

Here’s what you need to know about pet insurance for spaying and neutering as a pet owner.

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When pet insurance covers spaying and neutering

The two standard pet insurance policies are accident-only and accident and illness plans. These plans only cover existing medical conditions and unexpected accidents; they don’t include coverage for spaying or neutering.

But most pet insurance companies also offer pet wellness plans or preventative care plans, which can help cover these procedures. You typically can’t purchase a stand-alone pet wellness plan. You’ll need to add it to an existing accident-only or accident and illness plan.

Pet insurance plans that cover spaying and neutering

Almost every pet insurance company offers some kind of wellness or preventive plan with varying coverages, premiums, and limits. You’ll need to consider your pet’s health and your financial situation to determine which option is right for you. It’s also worth getting pet insurance quotes from multiple companies.

The table below highlights the average cost of coverage from some of the best pet insurance companies offering wellness plans that cover spaying and neutering.

CompanyWellness PlanMonthly CostAnnual Limit
SpotPlatinum Preventive Care$24.95$450
EmbraceWellness Rewards Plan$25$250, $450, or $650
CarePlus by ChewyWellness Coverage$20+None
Pets BestEssentialWellness or BestWellness$14–$32.58Flexible
FigoWellness PowerupN/AN/A
LemonadePreventative Care, Preventative+ Care, Puppy/Kitten Preventative CareN/AN/A

What does a pet wellness plan cover?

A typical pet wellness plan covers much more than just spaying and neutering.[2] These plans can cover routine care and services, major surgery, and many other veterinary care costs, including but not limited to:

  • Spaying and neutering

  • Vaccinations

  • Annual checkups

  • Flea and heartworm prevention

  • Physical exams

  • Dental cleanings

  • Lab work

  • Blood tests

  • Deworming

But pet wellness plans don’t cover everything. Some veterinary expenses they often don’t cover include:

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • Elective surgeries

  • Cosmetic procedures

  • Breeding-related costs

  • Emergency surgery

  • Non-preventative treatments

Pet wellness plans vary in cost, but you can typically expect to pay anywhere from $10–$40 per month. If you already have an accident-only or accident and illness plan, the best way to get wellness coverage is to call your pet insurer and ask if it offers pet wellness plans.

Cost of spaying and neutering procedures

Spaying and neutering procedures can cost anywhere from $0–$500 without insurance. What you pay depends on various factors, including your pet’s age, size, and breed, where you live, and whether your pet has a pre-existing condition. If you have a pet wellness plan, it often covers the full cost of the procedure. In some cases, you may have a low-cost copay of $20 or so.

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Reasons to spay or neuter your pet

You should almost always spay or neuter your pet. Though not completely without risk, it’s an incredibly safe and common surgical procedure. Spaying and neutering come with numerous benefits, including:

  • Lowering animal birth rates: It helps prevent strays and pet overpopulation, reducing the number of animals that end up in local animal shelters or face euthanization.

  • Health benefits: The procedures reduce the risk of serious illnesses in both cats and dogs, including uterine infections, breast cancer, testicular cancer, and enlarged prostate glands.

  • Behavioral improvements: Spaying and neutering decrease mating hormones in pets, making them more docile and well-behaved, leading to fewer strays.[3] This can lead to a decrease in aggressive behavior as well.

Pet insurance FAQs

Finding the right pet insurance plan is an important decision for pet owners. Check out the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about pet insurance below.

  • Why doesn’t pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?

    Standard pet insurance doesn’t cover spaying and neutering because they’re elective procedures. A basic pet insurance plan only covers treatment for existing medical conditions or accidents, depending on your coverage level. You’ll need to purchase a pet wellness plan if you want your insurance to cover the cost of spaying or neutering.

  • Can you file a pet insurance claim for spaying or neutering your dog?

    You can file a pet insurance claim for spaying or neutering your dog, but your insurer won’t cover it unless you have a pet wellness plan. Basic plans don’t cover the cost of either procedure.

  • Why should you purchase pet insurance?

    You should purchase pet insurance coverage because it’s relatively cheap, keeps your pet safe, and helps prevent costly out-of-pocket expenses. Veterinary costs can add up more quickly than you might imagine, potentially leaving you with high out-of-pocket costs.

  • How much does pet insurance cost?

    Pet insurance costs vary based on your type of plan, pet, coverage level, add-ons, and location. On average, a standard accident and illness pet insurance plan costs $53 per month for dogs and $32 per month for cats, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.[4]

    Your exact premium will vary based on your specific insurance policy, its annual coverage limits, and your pet’s unique information — including its age, size, breed, and health.

  • When should you spay or neuter a pet?

    You should spay or neuter smaller dog breeds between 6 and 9 months and larger dog breeds between 12 and 18 months of age, according to the American Kennel Club.[5] You should spay or neuter your cat between 5 and 6 months of age, although in some cases, vets may perform the procedures as early as 6 to 8 weeks.[6]

Sources

  1. American Veterinary Medical Association. "Spaying and neutering."
  2. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. "Preventive care coverage."
  3. American Veterinary Medical Association. "Spaying and neutering."
  4. North American Pet Health Insurance Association. "Section #3: Average Premiums."
  5. American Kennel Club. "What Is the Best Age to Neuter or Spay Your Dog?."
  6. PetVet Care Centers. "Getting Your Cat Fixed: What To Expect."
Danny Smith
Danny Smith

Danny is a Brooklyn-based writer with a producer’s license for property and casualty insurance. A former editor at Insurify, he specializes in auto, home, and pet insurance. He works to translate his insurance expertise into digestible, easy-to-understand content for drivers, homeowners, and pet owners alike.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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