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Average Cost of a Dog C-Section in the UK 2019

Pet owners with a pregnant dog who cannot have a natural delivery spend around £800 for a scheduled C-section, or nearly double that for an out-of-hours emergency procedure. Some vets charge 2X the price of other vets, however, so to help you know if you're paying a reasonable amount, we've gathered data to determine the average cost of a dog cesarean in the UK.

Average Price of Dog Cesarean UK

The average price of a scheduled, non-emergency C-section performed during regular working hours is £799 in the UK. Prices range significantly across vet practices, however, with data ranging from £491 to £1,000 in our study. Emergency C-sections performed out of hours (e.g., on a weekend or during the night) cost £1,450 on average, or 80% more than a scheduled cesarean.

Average Cost of a C-section for a 12 kg DogAverage
Scheduled during regular working hours£799
Out-of-hours emergency£1,450
chart showing the average cost of scheduled and emergency C-sections
Out-of-hours cesareans cost 80% more than scheduled procedures

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cesarean?

Regular pet insurance does not cover costs related to pregnancy, giving birth or cesarean.

The Kennel Club and Agria Pet Insurance both offer specialist breeders risk insurance to cover a dog for complications during pregnancy. These policies are added to the mum's Kennel Club or Agria lifetime policy and need to be purchased early on due to the 12 week exclusion period. Coverage includes up to £1,000 each year for vet's fees related to complications from gestation and whelping including cesarean section and fading puppies.

The cost of cesareans for Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese or any cross of these breeds is typically not covered under breeders insurance. Coverage for cesareans, like all pet insurance, is meant to cover unexpected events. Since it is widely known that these breeds have difficult natural deliveries and often require a C-section, pet owners of these breeds are expected to pay for a cesarean if they decide to breed their dog.

For example, the RSPCA reported that 40% of Pekingese litters are born by cesarean.

Why is a C-Section for a Dog so Expensive?

Dog C-sections are not cheap due to the equipment and manpower involved. A cesarean requires an operating theatre complete with all the necessary surgical equipment, general anesthesia, a surgeon opening up then later closing the mum and multiple nurses to monitor the anesthesia and help get the pups out and revived. All of these cost money and contribute towards the vet fees.

Low Cost Dog C-Section

Pets registered with the Blue Cross can get low-cost, emergency cesareans. Pet owners are asked to contribute as much as they can afford towards the cost of their pet's cesarean, which ranges from £400 to £600 depending on the weight of the dog.

You must meet certain conditions in order to be eligible, however. To register in the first place, you must live in one of the catchment areas and be on certain means-tested benefits. Then, you must agree that your pet will be spayed at the same time.

The Blue Cross charity operates four not-for-profit animal hospitals in the UK, one in Grimsby and three in London: Victoria, Merton and Hammersmith. Pet owners should not plan to use the Blue Cross for their dog's cesarean as the Blue Cross is for emergency C-sections only. Those wanting a scheduled cesarean for their dog (e.g., for a breed that typically cannot deliver naturally such as a French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Pekingese, etc.) will always be referred to a private clinic.

While all four hospitals accept emergency c-sections during regular working hours, only the Victoria and Grimsby hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When is a C-Section Necessary for a Dog?

Dogs typically need a cesarean because a natural delivery isn't progressing as it should (an emergency C section) or isn't expected to progress easily (a planned C section). An emergency C-section might be necessary for any breed of dog in the case of breech births, hemorrhage, fetal death, etc. Dog breeds such as Frenchie, Bulldog or Pekingese will often have a scheduled C-section due to the higher likelihood of a difficult natural delivery due to the breeds' big heads and narrow pelvises.

How to Save Money on a Dog Cesarean

The biggest tip we can give pet owners to save money on a cesarean is plan ahead. If you have a pregnant dog, decide which vet to use ahead of time by calling a number of local vets to get quotes. You'd be surprised how much prices can vary within a small geographic area. If possible, try to get a breakdown of the costs of anaesthetic, pain relief, surgery, etc. Also, enquire about out-of-hours cesareans, because many litters are born at night but not all vets surgeries are open 24 hours.

A pet owner certainly won't be in a position to price shop once faced with a struggling, distressed mum. Doing this research ahead of time is key and can potentially save you hundreds of pounds on your dog's C-section.

Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.