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Pet Insurance 101

Here’s how much it costs to neuter a dog

And how to take care of your dog after they’re neutered.

Raising a puppy is arguably one of the most exciting parts of pet parenthood — they’re in that phase where they’re little, super cuddly and you get to watch as they adventure the world for the first time. But, there are also some important decisions to consider between all of the fun times, like if it’s best to neuter your male dog (which is when their testicles are surgically removed).

“Dogs get neutered to prevent unwanted puppies,” Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, explains. “Neutering also has health benefits such as preventing testicular cancer and prostate issues, such as enlargement and infection. Neutering also prevents certain types of hernias and tumors of the anus.”

When are puppies neutered?

Usually, puppies will have the neuter procedure around 6 months old, Dr. McCullough says. Although the age has been increasing in recent years as veterinarians think it’s good to wait until a dog has fully developed, she adds.

Does a dog change after being neutered?

After being neutered, Dr. McCullough says there’s a risk of them becoming overweight because the procedure decreases dogs’ metabolism. Talk to your veterinarian to develop a plan to prevent your dog from gaining those extra, unwanted pounds.

Neutering may also decrease (or completely stop) behaviors like inappropriate mounting, marking with pee or fighting, she adds.

How to prepare your pup to be neutered

Before the surgery, make sure to follow all of your veterinarian’s instructions, Dr. McCullough encourages. “For example, some vets recommend an examination and blood work prior to surgery to minimize the risk of unforeseen complications,” she says. “Veterinarians may also recommend withholding food or water for a period prior to surgery.”

 RELATED: Here’s how much it costs to spay a cat

How much does it cost to neuter a dog?

The cost of neutering depends on your dog’s age, size, health status, geographic location and the type of veterinary hospital where the procedure is done, Dr. McCullough explains. For example, if your pup is neutered at a low-cost clinic or rescue shelter, it’ll likely cost less than if it was performed at a private veterinary hospital.

Typically, though, neutering procedures cost anywhere between $100 to $600 based on her professional experience, she says.

Does pet insurance cover neutering?

Neutering isn’t necessarily something to worry about as it’s a common procedure. But, with all surgeries, there are risks of complications, like seroma formation, which is a fluid pocket at the incision site, pain, swelling, bleeding, opening of the incision and infection, Dr. McCullough says.

Here’s how you can make your dog feel comfortable after being neutered

After your pup’s surgery, it’s essential to follow all of your veterinarian’s post-op instructions, including giving them the correct amount of medication, following incision-care tips, limiting exercise and going to follow-up appointments, Dr. McCullough says.

It’s a good idea to have a quiet area for your dog to recover in, too (especially for the first few days after surgery). While your pup is recovering, pay close attention to their incision and behavior — if anything changes, Dr. McCullough recommends contacting your dog’s veterinarian.

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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