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How Much Will It Cost To Neuter Your Dog?

Deciding to neuter your dog is a big decision that requires careful thought. While there are pros and cons to neutering that need to be weighed, an important practical consideration is the cost. Neutering or spaying your dog in the UK can cost anywhere from £60 to £300 depending on factors like the dog's size, age, breed, and where you get it done.

In this article, we’ll break down the typical costs of neutering a dog in the UK and other key information to help you make the right decision for your pet.

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The factors that contribute to the cost

On average, neutering a dog in the UK costs between £110 and £160. However, costs can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Size of the dog - Smaller dogs tend to cost less, with fees ranging from £60 to £100 for tiny breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies. Medium dogs like Cocker Spaniels and Staffordshire Bull Terriers usually cost between £100 to £150. Large breed dogs like Labradors and German Shepherds are on the higher end, with fees ranging from £130 to £300 or more.
  • Age and health of the dog - Puppies under six months may have an additional fee since it is a more delicate surgery requiring extra care. Older dogs or dogs with pre-existing health issues that require additional monitoring during surgery may also cost more.
  • Breed - Some breeds with flat faces like Pugs and French Bulldogs may be pricier due to increased surgical risk.
  • Location - Prices are generally higher in and around London compared to other parts of the UK. Vets in more rural areas or smaller towns may charge slightly less than big cities.
  • Where you get it done - Fees are usually less at charitable organisations like PDSA or Blue Cross compared to private vet clinics. It’s worth shopping around for the best deal.
Some vets may offer package deals that include neutering surgery along with preoperative blood tests, IV fluids during surgery, pain medication, e-collars, and post-op check-ups for an all-inclusive price. It's worth asking for quotes from a few vets in your area to find the best deal.

Why you should neuter your dog

There are several health and behavioural benefits to neutering your male dog:

  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer - Neutered dogs have no chance of getting this relatively common cancer in intact male dogs.
  • Reduces prostate problems - Non-cancerous prostate disorders, infection, and enlarged prostate are unfortunately frequent in older male dogs. Neutering significantly cuts those risks.
  • Decreases roaming and aggression - After being fixed, male dogs tend to roam less to seek females in heat and are less likely to get into fights with other male dogs.
  • Curbs undesirable sexual behaviours - Neutering reduces mounting and urine marking behaviours in male dogs driven by the urge to mate.
  • Better social interaction - Intact males may view neutered males as rivals and exhibit aggression. Neutering can avoid these negative social scenarios.
  • Population control - Intact male dogs contribute extensively to dog overpopulation. Neutering dogs is socially responsible and essential for controlling stray populations.

There are also some health benefits for female dogs:

  • Reduces the chance of uterine infections and breast tumours common in older females.
  • Stop heat cycles which can be messy and attract unwanted male attention.

The downsides to neutering your dog

While the procedure is low risk, there are some health and behavioural downsides to neutering to consider.

  • Slight increase in the risk of some cancers - Neutered dogs have a slightly higher chance of developing osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumours, and prostate cancer later in life according to some studies.
  • Increased risk of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and hip dysplasia - Removal of sex hormones may affect bone, muscle, and joint development if done before maturity.
  • May contribute to weight gain - Without sex hormones, neutered dogs tend to gain weight more easily. Monitoring food intake and activity is essential.
  • Possibility of personality changes - Some owners report increased timidity, lethargy, or loss of work drive after neutering but research is inconclusive.
  • Coat and skin changes - Coat quality may deteriorate and dogs can become more susceptible to skin issues.
As with any surgery, there are inherent anaesthetic risks as well. For female dogs, the surgery is more invasive than for males. You should discuss your concerns thoroughly with your vet and get all the assurance you need before making any decisions.

Consider what is best for you and your dog

Neutering your dog is a very common procedure that provides health and behavioural benefits for your pet and societal benefits by controlling the dog population. While the cost can vary widely based on breed, age, and location, neutering typically costs between £110 and £160 in the UK.

It's important to consider both the pros and cons of neutering and have an in-depth discussion with your vet to decide what is right for your individual dog. If you have a working dog, for example, neutering may suppress their work drive or natural personality, which could impact their ability to perform. With proper postoperative care and training, your neutered dog can go on to live a long, happy, and healthy life!

The best way to keep your precious pooch — and your bank balance — safe, is to take out pet insurance so you have access to help and advice when you need it, without paying a small fortune. Compare providers today!