Spaying your female cat or dog can have many benefits, including controlling the population of unadopted pets in your community. This surgical procedure can vary in cost, though, so you’ll want to know where and how to make sure you’re getting your pet spayed for a reasonable price. There may be many spay costs and options, depending on what’s offered in your area.
What is Spaying?
Spaying is one of the number one recommendations animal advocates make to new pet owners.
Spaying is the process whereby a veterinarian surgically removes your pet’s ovaries and uterus. It’s best if pets are spayed around 6 months of age, although new research suggests that large breed dogs should be spayed later, around 18-22 months, to help reduce risk for cancer and joint problems. Expect for the procedure to take a few hours and that your pet will need several days for full recovery. Spayed pets are more likely to gain weight, so talk to your vet about adjusting feeding accordingly.
What are the Benefits of Spaying?
Many cats and dogs become more affectionate after the procedure -- they’re often friendlier toward other animals and spayed cats also tend to stop spraying urine around the home.
Because spayed pets have their ovaries and uterus removed, these organs cannot fall subject to cancer or other diseases down the line.
Of course, spayed cats and dogs can’t get pregnant, which means no surprise litters of kittens or puppies. This keeps the population of cats and dogs down, allowing shelter pets a greater chance of being adopted and finding loving homes.
How Much Will It Cost?
Spaying services can cost anywhere from $35 to $300 dollars. Certain factors, including the health or age of your pet, the region of the country you live in, the breed of cat or dog, and where the procedure happens, can all influence the cost.
Obesity or diabetes in a pet can add $25 to $50 to the cost, for example, as can bringing in an animal in heat. Blood work prior to the procedure, to check kidney and liver function, can add about $40. Pain medications might cost an additional $15.
Spaying your pet at a private veterinarian will fall in the upper price range, while heading to the local animal shelter, SPCA, or Humane Society can greatly reduce the cost.
How to Find Discount Spaying
Spaying your cat or dog is an important enough task that it makes sense to pursue an option you can afford, even if at first glance it might seem out of your price range.
Ask Before You Adopt
Some shelters and rescue organizations offer “pay what you can” services when you adopt animals from them. A small donation to the organization can get your pet spayed at a lower cost. Oftentimes a first round of vaccinations is also available at a discounted rate.
Contact your local SPCA or Humane Society
These groups don’t always offer discount spaying in every area, but they’ll likely be able to point you in the right direction. The Humane Society website offers a handy search function to locate discount spaying in your community.
Some Veterinarians Offer Discount Spay Services
Veterinarians may offer these discounts both for the good of the pet community and to attract new long-term patients. Internet searches can help you locate a vet that offers low cost spaying. Many vets will allow you to spread the cost of spaying over several payments.
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