If you have a pet dog and you don’t plan on breeding them, it is a common and socially responsible practice to have your dog desexed. One big question that will probably come to mind if you’re planning to have your dog desexed is, what is the cost? As is the case with most surgical procedures, the costs of desexing your dog can vary depending on a number of factors including size, sex, age and can even vary from clinic to clinic. Some states also have differing laws around compulsory desexing and may offer discounts for owners who book their dogs in for the procedure.
Desexing is a permanent procedure that involves the removing of a dog’s reproductive organs to ensure the dog is no longer capable of being able to produce litters. Performed by trained veterinarians while the dog is under anaesthesia, this routine procedure is quite safe for your dog.
Having your dog desexed helps to both ensure the welfare of your pet but also helps control animal populations by reducing the number of unwanted and accidental litters. With thousands of dogs already in shelter homes or rescues groups waiting to find forever homes, or even being abandoned and becoming strays, desexing is an important procedure to consider.
Desexing can also help improve the overall health and behaviour of your dog. For female dogs, it can help reduce the risk of them developing mammary and ovarian cancer, can help prevent infections occurring in their uterus and can help prevent false pregnancies which can have adverse affects on your pet’s health. Female dogs that are desexed will also not go on heat which means they won’t excrete any discharge, which can normally be messy. For male dogs, it can help prevent and reduce the risk of them developing testicular cancer and prostate diseases. It can also make them less likely to go wandering off looking for females which can lead to them either getting into fights with other animals or being injured on our roads.
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When Should a Dog Be Desexed?
While traditionally it was recommended that dogs be desexed when they were between the ages of five and six months, after further scientific research it has more recently become recommended that dogs are desexed before they reach puberty. For some dogs this may be as early as four months.
Provided your dog weighs a minimum of 1kg, it is safe for a dog to be desexed as early as eight weeks old and evidence has shown that the earlier the procedure is done, the safer and easier both the actual procedure and healing is for the dog. Dog owners are recommended to consult with their veterinarian around desexing, as a variety of factors including your dog’s size, vaccination status, breed and overall general health are things that need to be considered before undertaking the procedure.
How Much Does it Cost to Desex A Dog?
Something to be aware of when looking to get your dog desexed is the cost. These costs don’t just cover the actual procedure but can also include an initial consultation with your vet, as well as medication and any extended time your dog may need to spend at the clinic after surgery. Generally, the average pricing for desexing a dog ranges between $200 and $500. The exact costs of the procedure can vary depending on the size, age and gender of your dog, as well as the individual prices set by each clinic. It is also very common for the procedure to cost more for female dogs than males, as the surgery for females tends to be more complicated, takes longer and will generally require medication and hospitalisation afterwards. Some states within Australia do offer concessions and discounts to eligible residents that can help reduce the costs of the procedure.
Costs of Desexing a Male Dog
For male dogs, this procedure is sometimes also called castration or neutering. Desexing of a male dog involves the removal of their testicles, which is the primary source of their testosterone.
When it comes to desexing a male dog, typically the costs associated are lower than with a female dog as the procedure itself is typically shorter, less complicated and doesn’t require the dog to be hospitalised afterwards. As a rough estimate, for male dogs weighing under 10kg, you could expect to pay around $180, while for larger dogs the cost can go up to $500. As mentioned earlier, factors such as the dog’s size and age can affect this, as well as the individual costs from each clinic.
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Costs of Desexing a Female Dog
Generally the cost of desexing a female dog is higher than a male dog. This is typically because the surgery needed on a female is more time consuming, more complex and generally requires more medication and care afterwards. Sometimes also referred to as spaying, the female’s procedure involves the removal of their ovaries and uterus. This is considered a more major surgery than the male surgery and usually means the dog will need to be hospitalised afterwards.
For female dogs, you could be looking at starting costs of around $200, with that number potentially going up to $600 for larger breeds. Again, this number will vary depending on the size and age of your dog and the individual costs of the clinic you visit.
Dog Desexing Costs in Melbourne
According to the City of Melbourne, the average cost of desexing your dog in Victoria is around:
- Female (under 7 months) - $180
- Female (over 7 months) - $225
- Male - $168
The City of Melbourne does offer a desexing voucher scheme that provides owners a 33% discount on the procedure to anyone who holds a pensioner health benefits card, pharmaceutical benefits concession, health benefits card or a health care card.
Dog Desexing Costs in Perth
In Western Australia, the cost of desexing your dog may be between $250 and $510.
Through the RSPCA, the Western Australian Government does offer a grant for desexing your dog, which will cover 75% of the total costs.
Dog Desexing Cost in Sydney
According to the NSW RSPCA, the average costs of getting a dog desexed in New South Wales are between $200 and $500, though you may be looking at costs closer to the $600 range for larger breeds.
Residents who have a pensioner concession or health care card may qualify for a discount and should contact the City of Sydney for more information. If residents don’t qualify for the discount but are struggling to meet the costs of desexing their dog, they are advised to get in touch with the NSW RSPCA.
Dog Desexing Costs in Adelaide
Under South Australian laws, specifically section 42E of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, it is now compulsory for dogs that were born after 1 July 2018 to be desexed, with the procedure to be done by the time they are six months old or within 28 days of you taking possession of the dog. There are some exemptions for racing dogs, working dogs and dogs that are owned by registered breeders.
In terms of the average costs of having your dog desexed in South Australia, the prices may average between $120 and $350.
Dog Desexing Costs in Brisbane
While desexing is not compulsory in Queensland it is highly recommended, with most council areas within the state offering an incentive for dog owners who do have their dogs desexed.
The average cost of having your dog desexed in Queensland may be between $200 and $500, though some lower priced vets may offer prices between $200 and $300.
Caring for Your Dog After Desexing
Your vet will likely run you through things you should do to help care for your dog while they heal after surgery, but there are some general things you can do to make recovery time as comfortable as possible for them.
- Avoid any exercise or overly excited playing, including ensuring they don’t jump around or play fight, for around a week to allow the area to begin to heal.
- When you do start taking them on walks, keep the walks gentle and potentially shorter than usual, keeping them on a short leash during the walk.
- Avoid bathing them until the stitches are removed.
- Having your dog where an Elizabethan collar while they have stitches can be useful to stop them from biting or licking the stitches, which can hinder the healing process.