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How Much Does It Cost to Spay or Neuter a Dog at PetSmart? 2023 Update

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

dog at vet for spaying procedure


One of the most common surgeries on pets is spaying or neutering them. If you are considering having your dog signed up for the surgery, you may wonder what the price tag on the procedure will be.

The price may vary depending on your region. Nonetheless, there are some generally accepted price ranges for the procedures. We examined the prices, so you can better understand the cost.

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Importance of Professional Spaying or Neutering

As with any semi-expensive procedure, you may wonder why it is necessary. As it turns out, spaying or neutering dogs is an extremely important procedure¹.

The surgery will prevent unintended pregnancies, which helps lessen the number of unwanted or neglected puppies overcrowding dog shelters. It also helps combat some serious health concerns. In female dogs, this includes uterine infections and breast cancer. As for male dogs, neutering helps protect against enlarged prostate glands and testicular cancer.

Undesired behaviors can be stopped with this procedure as well. Spaying stops the heat cycles in female dogs and the behaviors associated with the cycles. Regarding male dogs, neutering makes them disinclined to roam away from home.

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How Much Does Spaying or Neutering Cost?

Although the procedure has a general price range, it can vary depending on your location or the veterinarian you consult. Likewise, the type of dog can influence the price based on their size and weight.

For example, spaying or neutering a Great Dane and a Chihuahua will not cost the same. The Great Dane is much larger than the Chihuahua, meaning more time and tools are required for the surgery.

The same can be said for the weight of the dog. If two Labrador Retrievers receive the same procedure, but one is overweight while the other is an average weight, the price will be higher for the overweight one. Again, this is due to the extra time and tools required to perform the same surgery.

dog wearing cone
Image Credit: Micah, Pexels

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Standard Pricing by Region

Procedure Midwest East Coast West Coast
Office visit $57.95 $51.95 $84.95
Office visit (add additional pet) $44.95 $40.95 $66.95
Neuter package (over 6 months) $448.95 $426.95 $544.95
Neuter package (under 6 months) $384.95 $366.95 $467.95
Spay package (over 6 months / over 50 pounds) $541.95 $515.95 $658.95
Spay package (over 6 months / under 50 pounds) $472.95 $450.95 $574.95
Spay package (under 6 months) $410.95 $390.95 $498.95

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Beyond the standard costs of the procedure, plus any additional charges based on size and weight, what other expenses should you expect?

If your dog is in heat or pregnant during the procedure, the price can spike. This can range from a $50 increase to a $150 increase. If possible, avoid bringing your dog in for surgery during her pregnancy or the times she is in heat—it could save you some money.

Expenses from pain medications should be expected. After your pup’s surgery, there will be some residual pain as they recover.  Pain medication may be prescribed to help soothe your dog’s discomfort. The drug’s price will depend on what is prescribed and how much.

Will My Dog Need to Stay Overnight?

Will your dog need to stay overnight after the surgery? Well, it depends.

Some veterinarian offices require that your pet stays overnight, while others go on a case-by-case basis. Several factors may influence your vet’s decision to keep your dog overnight.

The reasons your vet may choose to keep your dog overnight include:
  • Observing your dog shake off the anesthesia: There are occasions when anesthesia can cause complications. For this reason, your vet will want to watch over your pup to ensure they wake up properly.
  • Ensuring your dog rests: If your dog gets into mischief after the surgery, the stitches could come open and cause severe issues.
  • Watching for post-surgery complications. If your dog stays overnight, it will allow the veterinarian’s office to ensure that there are no difficulties following the operation.
  • Giving pain medication: Your veterinarian would be able to administer medication properly and effectively.

Talk to your vet if you are concerned about your dog staying overnight. It is possible that an agreement can be reached as long as your vet is confident in the well-being of your dog.

shiba inu dog sleeping in his owners lap
Image Credit: Elena Shvetsova, Shutterstock

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Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying or Neutering?

Unfortunately, spaying and neutering are not covered by pet insurance policies. Generally speaking, pet insurance policies cover accidents or illnesses only.

However, if you have a pet wellness plan, some of the costs may be covered. Pet wellness plans cover the costs of routine check-ups, standard tests, scheduled vaccinations, regular dental cleaning, and more.

Pet Wellness is essentially a preventative plan, which is a category spaying and neutering can fall into. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted pregnancy, undesired behaviors, and health complications. Therefore, if you are looking for insurance to help you cover the cost, make sure you have a pet wellness plan.

How To Care for My Dog After Spaying or Neutering

Spaying and neutering can be an invasive surgery. That means your dog will require some extra care as they recover.

To guarantee that your dog has a comfortable and healthy recovery, ensure:
  • Your dog’s activity is limited: After any procedure, your dog needs rest. Rambunctious play or activity could disrupt your dog’s healing and even set the healing process back.
  • The incision remains dry: Your dog should not be bathed during this time, nor should your dog be allowed to lick the incision area. The incision needs to be undisturbed to ensure that it heals properly.

If your dog is displaying any symptoms of pain, reach out to your vet immediately.

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We hope that this article has helped you to be more well-informed on the importance of spaying and neutering as well as the associated costs. If you have any more questions, especially questions related to your specific breed, reach out to your veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: aspen rock, Shutterstock

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