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Home > General > Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying & Neutering? 2024 Guide & FAQ

Does Pet Insurance Cover Spaying & Neutering? 2024 Guide & FAQ

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The world of pet insurance is vast and sometimes complicated. With so many companies out there offering different packages covering different conditions and treatments, it makes matters all the more confusing. One of the most common questions those new to pet insurance have is “does it cover spaying and neutering?” In general, no—it’s not common for standard pet insurance packages to cover spaying and neutering.

However, many pet insurance companies offer wellness plans as “add-ons”, if you will, and these give you a portion of the cost of spaying and neutering back. Read on to find out more.


What Are “Wellness” Plans?

First of all, wellness plans are distinct from pet insurance plans. While comprehensive pet insurance plans help to cover treatment costs in the event of your pet having an accident or falling ill, wellness plans are designed for routine and preventative treatments and procedures.

Pet insurance companies distinguish between comprehensive pet insurance and wellness plans because pet insurance is for sudden, unexpected, and often costly treatments or procedures that your pet may require. Routine procedures like spaying and neutering are much less expensive and less urgent in nature.

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What Kind of Treatments Are Wellness Plans For?

Examples of routine procedures include spaying and neutering, dental care, vaccinations, physical exams, microchipping, and deworming. Wellness plans differ in price and which procedures and treatments they offer depending on the insurance company and wellness plan you choose. Some companies offer more than one wellness plan.

For example, Nationwide currently offers two pet wellness plans—Wellness Basic and Wellness Plus. The Wellness Basic plan offers a lower maximum annual benefit and the reimbursement rate is lower for some treatments than that of the Wellness Plus plan.

The type of wellness plan you choose will depend on how many procedures and treatments you plan for your pet to get and how much you expect to be reimbursed.

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How Do Wellness Plans Work?

In short, wellness plans typically work like this—you pay a certain amount each month for the duration of your policy term and can expect to be reimbursed a certain amount for routine treatments, procedures, and checkups.

The terms of wellness plans will differ somewhat depending on the insurance company you choose, so be sure to check the individual company’s policy so you know exactly what you’re going to get.

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Image by: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

Should I Get My Pet Neutered or Spayed?

There are stacks of benefits to getting your pet neutered or spayed. One of the biggest reasons for having your pet undergo this procedure is that it prevents unwanted pregnancies, and some of these puppies or kittens end up in shelters or homeless.

Spaying and neutering also give pets already in shelters a better chance of getting adopted, as the number of pets waiting to be rehomed is already too high. According to the ASPCA, heartbreakingly, around 6.3 million pets in the US go into shelters each year, and around 920,000 of those animals are euthanized. Fortunately, however, pet adoption is on the increase.

Furthermore, living with an unneutered or unspayed pet isn’t the easiest. For example, female cats in heat can be pretty loud and males have a tendency to spray and may even become more aggressive than usual. Unneutered male dogs may become more territorial, aggressive, and disobedient. If your pet gets the snip, it will eliminate or at least reduce unsavory behaviors.

Spaying and neutering also help reduce the urge to roam outside. If you’re raising a house pet, this may minimize your cat’s escape attempts.

It will also make them more likely to stay close to home. Health-wise, the procedure can help prevent some cancers from developing, like ovarian, uterine, and mammary gland tumors in female pets and testicular and prostate cancer in males. This may mean longer lifespans for spayed or neutered pets.

Are There Risks Involved in Spaying and Neutering?

With any medical procedure, especially those requiring general anesthesia, there is the risk of complications or the pet not coming out of the anesthesia. However, the chance of this happening is very low as spaying and neutering procedures are performed in a sterile environment and modern anesthetics are used.

So, though there’s always a very slight chance of complications, it’s highly unlikely that your pet will suffer any consequences of undergoing the surgery. Pets are more likely to be killed in a road accident than they are to die from surgery. The surgery is not painful and pets typically recover at home in a matter of days.

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Image by: Alice Rodnova, Shutterstock


In Conclusion

Though most comprehensive pet plans do not cover spaying and neutering, there is the option of taking out a wellness plan that partially reimburses you for routine procedures. If you’re thinking of taking out a wellness plan with a pet insurance company, we urge you to check the individual policies carefully as treatments, procedures, and reimbursement rates offered may differ by company.

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