Caroline Bloor
By Caroline Bloor
Finance Journalist
Updated 05 April 2024
|Read time: 4 mins

If you are thinking about having your dog or cat neutered, it’s natural that you’ll have questions. We’ll do our best to put your mind at ease with this simple guide.

Neutering has many benefits for you and your pet beyond preventing unwanted litters. It also makes pets less likely to experience behavioural and health issues, like cancers and serious infections. More than 42,200 pets insured under John Lewis Pet insurance are neutered.

John Lewis Pet Insurance is here to help with injury or illness. Neutering is a routine procedure that isn’t generally covered by pet insurance. However, customers can access expert advice on any aspect of neutering through vetfone™. 

You may want to discuss the benefits of neutering your pet. During the all-important post-procedural care, you could need reassurance. In both cases and more, our vetfone™ experts are always available to you.

What is neutering?

It’s important to understand what’s involved in neutering, as well as what the long-term benefits will be for your pet.

It’s a simple procedure involving the surgical removal of the reproductive organs that is carried out under general anaesthetic. Castration is used for male dogs and cats, while spaying is the equivalent for females. It’s important to follow the aftercare advice your vet gives you to ensure your pet’s speedy recovery.

There are plenty of health and wellbeing benefits to having your pet neutered, too:


  • Your pet won’t be at risk of testicular cancer, and the risk of prostate cancer will be lower.

  • It can reduce the likelihood of behaviours like scent-marking and roaming.

  • Neutering can lower the risk of birth defects. If siblings mate, the possibility of offspring with birth defects and deformities increases.

  • Reduces the risk of theft — neutering can help deter theft for breeding purposes.

While neutering will have a positive impact on a dog’s behaviour, it isn’t a cure for all behavioural problems. Consistent, positive training with your pet is also important.

What’s the difference between spay and neuter?

'Neutering' can be applied to both genders, but is most often used when talking about the operation on a male. Spaying is the specific name for the procedure in a female.


Females are spayed  – which means the ovaries and womb are removed.

Males are castrated or snipped  – which means the testicles are removed.

As with snipping, there are benefits to getting your dog or cat spayed. These benefits include:  


  • Preventing the risk of cancers of the ovaries, uterus and mammary glands in females.

  • Avoiding unwanted attention that could lead to pregnancies when females come into season.

  • Less mess — unspayed female animals can be messy when they come into season.

  • Eliminating the need to keep unneutered pets confined when they are in heat.

Does pet insurance cover neutering?

Often, neutering isn't covered under pet insurance as it’s a preventative procedure. John Lewis Pet Insurance customers can access advice and reassurance through vetfone™.

Is neutering safe?

We understand feeling anxious about putting your pet through a medical procedure. However, neutering is very safe and is carried out under general anaesthetic.

  • With spaying, a vet will make an incision in the tummy area and remove the ovaries, and womb.

  • With castration, a vet will make a small incision and remove the testicles.

Your pet will be cared for by the nurse until they are ready to go home, usually a few hours after surgery. Your vet will provide clear instructions about post-procedural care of your pet.

Neutering does not cause unnecessary pain and may prevent diseases in the long term. It won’t change their personality or make female cats and dogs feel ‘empty’ without having a litter.  Find out about other common myths about neutering at Blue Cross.

Through vetfone™, John Lewis Pet Insurance customers can talk to a pet practitioner about their concerns. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year at no extra charge.

Looking for Pet Insurance?

John Lewis Lifetime Pet Insurance can cover your furry friend from your first days together to their senior years.

This article is for promotional or information purposes only. You must not rely on it as advice. Please contact a financial adviser if you need advice before you buy a financial product or service.

Pet insurance guides

It’s important that your pet has a regular vet check to keep them fit and healthy, and to give you peace of mind.

What is pet insurance excess and why do policies for older animals have a co-payment.

Find out how our pet insurance can help with the costs of euthanasia and cremation when the time comes.

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis Insurance are trading names of John Lewis plc. The John Lewis Registered office address is: 171 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales no. 233462. John Lewis plc is an appointed representative (Financial Conduct Authority number 416011) of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323).

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