Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying?

Three Minutes Sep 06, 2022

If you have a female pet, odds are she’s already been spayed or soon will be. Spaying is an important procedure recommended by many veterinarians. Not only does it help reduce pet overpopulation, it can also provide numerous health benefits to your furry friend. It’s also relatively cheap. Still, you might be wondering: does pet insurance cover spaying? The simple answer is “no,” but it’s a little more complicated than that. Let’s take a closer look and see if the price is right.

Does Any Pet Insurance Cover Spaying?

Many pet insurance plans on the market will not cover the cost of spaying under an accident or illness policy.4 That’s because those pet insurance plans only reimburse you for, well, accidents or illnesses. Spaying is neither. Instead, it falls under the category of “wellness.”

MetLife Pet Insurance1plans offer optional wellness add-ons.1,2 For an additional fee, our wellness options cover preventive care that can help keep your pet healthy.3 This can include optional but recommended procedures, like spaying, performed by licensed veterinarians or specialists.

While many providers won’t cover spaying under a standard policy, some have what’s called a spay and neuter clause. If you’re interested in that type of limited coverage, be sure to read the fine print carefully and understand when spaying and neutering is covered, and if there are any age requirements or restrictions. Some of these clauses may require pets to be sterilized within a specific timeframe and may limit coverage for related conditions if you exceed that sterilization window. Fortunately, MetLife Pet Insurance allows you to determine the right time to sterilize your pet. You can still open an insurance plan even if your pets have not yet been sterilized, so there’s no rush.

How much does spaying cost?

Most veterinary clinics will offer spaying surgery for anywhere between $40 and $150 per individual pet.5 The cost of spaying your pet depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Animal species –  Both dogs and cats can be spayed, but specific medical requirements will vary between the species.
  • Size and weight – A larger animal will require more anesthesia, which is one way the price can go up.
  • Location – A private spay and neuter specialist in a city is likely to cost more than a rural veterinary practice.

The cost includes preoperative blood tests as well as anesthesia and the surgery itself. Some practices might also include the cost of an Elizabethan collar to prevent your pet from licking the wound during recovery.

Should You Get Your Pet Spayed?

Most vets will recommend spaying female pets, whether they’re cats or dogs. The primary reason is to help control the population of both pets and feral animals. According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals are placed in shelters in America each year.6 Unfortunately, only about 4.1 million are adopted annually.6 Even though the rate of euthanasia in U.S. shelters has declined steadily over the past decade, that gap still leaves millions of unhomed animals in shelters. Sterilizing your pet is one way to help control the population and reduce that number.

There’s a plethora of health benefits that come with spaying, too:7

  • Prevention of “heat”: This will mitigate dangerous behavior.
  • Prevention of uterine infections: This is typically caused by hormonal changes, called pyometra.
  • Prevention of cancer: This includes breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.

When it comes to dogs, spaying has even been found to increase their lifespan, according to VCA Animal Hospital.7 Thus, even if your female pet is never near a fertile male, having her spayed is an easy choice for a healthier, happier life.

Spaying: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Getting your furry companion spayed is an important part of being a responsible pet parent. And, although it’s one of the more affordable veterinary procedures, pet insurance coverage could still help lower the overall cost of your pet.

All things considered, investing in a wellness add-on to pet insurance can pay for itself in the long run. Plus, if you take out an accident and illness policy, you’ll be prepared for any unexpected emergencies.3 Find out how much you could save with a free quote from MetLife Pet Insurance. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Can be purchased at an additional cost.

3 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

4 “What Does Pet Insurance Cover? A Look At Spaying & Neutering, Dental, Vaccines, Pre-Existing Conditions, Surgeries & More,” The Canine Journal, last accessed September, 2022

5 “What Are the Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Dog?,” The Canine Journal

6 “Pet Statistics: Shelter Intake and Surrender,” ASPCA, last accessed September, 2022

7 “Spaying in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

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