Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering? In this article, we explain how pet insurances work and what you can do to get your pet covered for spaying and neutering.
- Spaying and neutering are not just effective for pet population control. They can also help to improve the overall well-being of your pets, prevent roaming and aggressiveness, and limit the risk of sexually transmitted diseases as well as reproductive health cancers.
- The standard pet insurance and the accident-only pet insurance do not cover spaying and neutering.
- The wellness plan is a unique plan that could cover the spaying and neutering of your pet amidst other preventive care.
- The cost of spaying and neutering a pet is lesser compared to the costs of pregnancy care and treating reproductive health issues.
- You cannot insure your pet for spaying and neutering unless you purchase an add-on to your insurance plan.
- You cannot purchase an add-on that covers spaying and neutering or any other type of add-on without purchasing a standard insurance plan.
- However, you may be able to purchase a wellness plan from specific non-insurance companies that provide them.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying and Neutering?
The typical pet insurance has a policy that allows the insurance company to reimburse you for unexpected illnesses and accidents to your pet.
The standard pet insurance will cover any kind of pet health condition that is not congenital and does not exist before the pet was insured. However, accident-only pet insurance will only cover accidents and accident-related health costs such as x-rays, tests, and surgery.
Spaying and neutering are not covered by a standard or accident-only pet insurance, since they are predictable events. That is, they are neither part of the unforeseen circumstances that are usually covered in health insurance. In the same vein, most pet insurance will not cover predictable health costs.
In some cases, you may find pet insurance companies that offer special plans called wellness plans. The wellness plan would be able to cover expenses for predictable health costs like routine health checks, vaccinations, and preventive examinations.
Note, however, that wellness plans are mostly not stand-alone insurance plans; they are rather add-ons or bonuses offered by insurance companies alongside a major policy like the standard pet insurance and the accident-only pet insurance.
It is best to check with the insurance company and be sure of what their policy covers and does not cover before you sign up for it.
While there are some regular inclusions in what is covered by these distinct types of pet insurance across insurance companies, it is also common to find inconsistencies and certain features that may be absent in another company’s pet insurance policy.
Why Should You Get Your Pet Neutered?
If you adopt your pet from a shelter or rescue organization, there is a high chance that it is already spayed or neutered. If not, you will likely be advised to get the pet neutered. But why exactly is neutering a pet important?
In simple terms, neutering is the process of castrating a pet or other animal, whether in part or in whole, so that it becomes sexually inactive. Neutering as a procedure can apply to a male or female pet, since the term itself means getting the pet to become asexual or “neutral” in terms of gender.
However, it is more common to relate the term neutering to male pets, while spaying is used for female pets. Female pets are spayed in a surgical procedure by removing their ovaries and uterus, while males are neutered by removing their testicles.
Neutering and spaying have several benefits for pets and their owners. These benefits include those that are health-related and other that help to improve the overall performance of your loyal companion.
Here are some reasons why you should consider getting your pet neutered:
- Mitigates the Risk of Reproductive Health Conditions: Since the reproductive system of spayed and neutered pets is no longer active and most times, altogether absent, it reduces or eliminates the risk of major reproductive health conditions. These include ovarian cancer, breast tumor, and cysts in females and prostate and testicular cancer in males.
- Improves Overall Health: Neutering reduces the risk of your pet contracting diseases and infections that can be transferred during breeding while also eliminating some health concerns that are related to the breeding season of pets such as agitation and fever.
Besides, spaying and neutering eliminate other sexual hormone-related behaviors that impact the productivity and habits of your pet. These include aggressiveness, messy discharges, and frequent urination.
Here are some more reasons why spaying and neutering are beneficial for pets:
- It reduces spraying and marking in male pets
- It reduces or altogether eliminates roaming
- It prevents overpopulation, unplanned litter, unmonitored reproduction, and unhealthy cross-breeding
- It increases the lifespan of your pet on average by 3 to 5 years.
When is the Best Time to Get Your Pet Neutered?
Pets are best neutered while they are still very young. That said, the best age range for neutering your pet may vary largely depending on the type and breed of pet.
For example, the age of six to nine months makes a good period to neuter a small-breed puppy. However, puppies of larger and giant breeds may not be neutered until they are about 12-18 months of age.
Spaying and neutering your dog while it is still a puppy helps to maximize all the benefits already mentioned above.
Dogs can grow into sexual maturity and start breeding from as early as four months, although a healthy range is between 8 months and 2 years for dogs generally. Cats will also start breeding from as early as four months old and even take lesser time to mature sexually.
In no time, with the right exposure, your pet will become active sexually and this may not be what you want. This explains why neutering early is a great option. Besides, you do not want to wait until your pet develops a health condition of concern before you consider neutering.
Moreso, older pets will take longer to adjust and heal from neutering. They may experience trauma and the sudden hormonal imbalance may be quite hard on them.
Which Pet Insurance Companies Cover Spaying and Neutering?
Earlier, we highlighted how a wellness plan can cover your pet for predictable healthcare costs and routine checks for your pet. It would interest you to also know that a wellness plan may be able to insure your pet and get you coverage for spaying and neutering.
What Does a Wellness Plan Cover?
Wellness plans for pets generally cover preventive care and routine checks. What a wellness plan covers would vary across insurance companies and could also depend on the plan you purchase.
Pet wellness plans typically cover the following:
- Deworming medication
- Fecal tests
- Preventive vaccination
- Preventive medications for fleas and worms
- Prescription diet
- Dental visits
- Blood tests
- Nutritional supplements
- Other routine checks
- Spaying and neutering surgery
What Does a Wellness Plan Not Cover?
Wellness plans do not cover pet-care expenses that are related to accidents and injuries, such as:
- Wound treatment
- Alternative treatment
- Hereditary conditions
- Congenital conditions
Comparing Pet Wellness Plans across Companies
Different insurance companies have unique wellness plans they provide as add-ons to their standard insurance plans, as can be seen below:
|Company||Cost of Monthly Wellness Plan with Spaying and Neutering||Spaying and Neutering Reimbursement|
Source: Forbes Advisor
Some other non-insurance companies such as clinics and vet associations also provide stand-alone wellness plans. While these are rare, they may be able to benefit you for getting your pet neutered.
|Company||Enrollment Fee||Average Premium for Dogs (per month)||Average Premium for Cats (per month)||Multi-Pet Discount|
|Banfield Pet Hospital||$57.95||$44.33||$38.35||Yes|
|Pet Plus||$0||$139.95 (per year)||$139.95 (per year)||Yes|
How Much Should You Expect to Spend for Spaying and Neutering Your Pet?
Spaying and neutering costs can vary from about $50 to about $500 when considering very fair rates. On the high end, spaying or neutering can cost as much as $2000. The costs of spaying and neutering your pet would vary based on factors like:
- Your location
- The breed/size of your pet
- The veterinary clinic you opt for
Spaying and neutering is a procedure that is available in most vet clinics. You may also find specific spay and neuter clinics that are devoted to doing just that and those kinds of clinics may be less expensive.
You can also seek recommendations from your local pet shelter or wherever you got your pet from.
It is worthy of note that the cost of spaying or neutering is far lesser than the costs of pregnancy and delivery care, as well as the cost of treating popular reproductive health issues that are common to non-neutered pets.
Mind you, if you own a female pet that is not neutered. You should expect to spend on pregnancy and delivery care as often as the pet gets pregnant.
You will save a lot of money when you have your pet neutered. Neutering also lets you put your focus more on other aspects of your pet’s health such as nutrition, grooming, and emotional health.
Does a Neutered Pet Reduce the Cost for a Pet Insurance?
From all indications, a neutered pet will reduce the cost spent on healthcare in the long run. However, this may not in any way reduce the cost of pet insurance.
This is because premiums for pet insurance are fixed. It is not relevant whether your pet gets sick or injured or not, you will still have to pay the premium cost.
Only on special occasions, such as when dealing with old pets, do insurance companies charge more for insurance since older pets are more susceptible to accidents and illnesses.
It is best to always consider that neutering your pet saves you huge chunks of money that you’d have spent on pregnancy care and treating cancer, plus it offers you peace of mind. However, spaying and neutering is not one of the factors readily considered for determining the cost of insurance premiums.
This is even more reinforced by the fact that spaying and neutering is not regularly covered in standard insurance plans. Therefore, it bears no significant weight on the cost paid for pet insurance.
Are add-ons Required to Cover Spaying?
Add-ons are non-compulsory coverages you can sign up for that will help you cover the costs of specific pet-related expenses and healthcare costs that are covered by the standard or accident-only pet insurance.
Although there are different add-ons available across different pet insurance companies, the most popular is the wellness plan as most insurance companies offer it.
While all add-ons have their unique benefits, you will usually not be able to purchase an add-on on its own. You can only get an add-on after you have purchased the standard accident and illness plan or the accident-only insurance plan.
Since spaying and neutering costs are mostly only covered in add-ons like the wellness plan, you will rarely ever be able to insure your pet for it unless you purchase an add-on in addition to a major pet insurance plan.
This also implies that unless you have purchased the accident and illness insurance plan or the accident-only pet insurance plan, you will not be able to purchase an add-on or insure your pet for spaying and neutering.
Nevertheless, if you would like to cover spaying and neutering without insuring your pet for accidents and illnesses, you can make do with companies that offer only wellness plans.
Is it Worth it to Get Pet Insurance for Spaying or Neutering?
Pet insurance is always worth it eventually. The sweet thing about insuring your pet for spaying and other preventive care is that you know your pet will always need those healthcare measures. So, it is not a question of whether your pet will fall sick or get injured.
When you insure your pet for spaying and neutering, it helps to reduce how much you will spend in the long run for the surgical procedure.
The insurance will ensure you’re reimbursed a certain amount depending on the policy you opt for. However, your reimbursement for spaying or neutering will always be higher than the amount you pay as premium per month.
Besides, you have other healthcare costs such as vaccination, grooming, and deworming that you will always get reimbursement for in the wellness plan.
In our opinion, the pet wellness plan makes one of the most profitable insurance plans to sign up for.
When you combine it with a major insurance plan from your preferred provider, the plans provide wholesome coverage for your pet and will help you save money on several common or unavoidable pet issues.