Pet Insurance

Does Pet Insurance Cover C-Sections?


Last Updated: July 15, 2024 | 3 min read | Leave a Comment

This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.

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mother dog deep sleep and puppy new born after c-section

A Cesarean, or C-section, can be a lifesaving procedure for the mother and her litter of pups. Unfortunately, C-sections are expensive, and they have associated risks, including bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, and the surgery itself. These risks can lead to increased medical intervention, leading to inflated vet bills when you’re already expecting more vet visits because the treatment of offspring during the first year of life is frequent.

So what are your options? Do pet insurance companies cover C-sections, and are there any restrictions to the coverage? I read pet insurance policies from over 40 providers and found that most insurers list planned or elective C-sections as exclusions. However, some pet insurers cover emergency C-sections.

When Is A Cesarean Section Necessary For Dogs?

Cesareans are needed during emergency birth situations or due to difficulty giving birth naturally due to the breed or health conditions. Unfortunately, some dogs struggle to give birth naturally as a result of breed-specific breeding practices to achieve more exaggerated traits. This is the case for French Bulldogs.

The veterinarian determines if your dog needs a C-section. Some things the vet takes into consideration is:

  • Discolored vaginal discharge (pus-like, bloody, green, black)
  • Contractions for more than four hours with no puppies born
  • More than two hours have passed between the puppies
  • Signs of illness (fever, pain, vomiting)

What Happens During A Dog’s C-Section?

The following steps may occur to prepare for surgery.

  • Physical exam, including a vaginal exam to check for puppy position and labor signs
  • Imaging, including X-rays and ultrasounds
  • Intravenous (IV) catheter placement and fluids administered
  • Blood work
  • Sedation and anesthesia
  • Shaving and sanitizing of the abdomen

The veterinarian performs the surgery, during which the removal of all puppies is done rather quickly. Staff wakes the puppies up from anesthesia and stimulates them. After all puppies are born and the mother is closed up, all dogs are monitored closely during recovery.

How Much Does A C-Section For Dogs Cost?

A female dog’s C-section will vary in cost based on her size, health status, location, and type of facility where the surgery is performed. But on average, you can expect the expenses to be between $500 to $4,000 for a canine C-section. We know that’s a wide range, but it is realistic. This is why we recommend asking your veterinarian for an estimate beforehand to help you prepare financially. If there’s time, you should get additional opinions from other veterinary clinics.

If you want to avoid dog breeding and potential C-sections, consider spaying/neutering your dogs. Pet insurance doesn’t cover spay and neuter procedures, but some pet wellness plans do.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cesareans?

Most pet insurance companies list pregnancy, breeding (including fertility treatments, artificial insemination, and stud fees), whelping, and nursing costs as exclusions in their policies. However, some companies offer coverage for C-sections that are deemed medically necessary and meet certain criteria.

Pet insurance providers that cover some C-sections include:

  • AKC Pet Insurance – Emergency C-sections are eligible for coverage with its breeding rider. The BreedingCoverage add-on covers breeding, pregnancy, whelping, or nursing complications. Also included are mastitis, gestational diabetes, eclampsia, dystocia, and pyometra. Planned C-sections are not covered.
  • Fetch Pet Insurance – Emergency C-sections are eligible for coverage as long as the breeding/inception date was after the 15-day waiting period ended.
  • Figo – C-sections qualify for coverage if it’s considered medically necessary and the breeding was after the 14-day waiting period. If the pet had pregnancy complications with pre-existing pregnancies noted in medical records for the 12 months prior to the pet insurance policy start date or within the waiting period, pregnancy complications are excluded from coverage, and a C-section is ineligible for coverage and may be deemed a pre-existing condition. If the C-section is being conducted for preventative measures and not due to an emergency, then it’s not a covered condition.
  • Trupanion – Planned C-sections due to medical risk factors are eligible for coverage after enrollment once the waiting period is met.

What’s The Best Pet Insurance For C-Sections?

If you plan to breed your dog and a C-section is a concern, then we recommend considering AKC Pet Insurance, Fetch, Figo, or Trupanion for your pet insurance needs. All four providers offer some limited pet insurance coverage for Cesareans.

Beyond C-section coverage, there are many more items to consider in your pet insurance selection. Our best pet insurance companies comparison includes information about other considerations, including specific policy coverage details, customer service and reputation, claim processing timeline, plan options, and more.

Methodology: How We Rank The Best Pet Insurance Companies

We review each U.S. pet insurance company to provide an unbiased breakdown of providers' performance in real claim situations. We use a 100-point scale for each pet insurance company to rank them. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Coverage & Exclusions (30%) - We scrutinize every policy from top to bottom and read all the fine print, carefully noting each exclusion. We factor in any age restrictions, required add-ons for basic coverage, and whether a company is available nationwide. Insurers with fewer exclusions receive more points in this category than those with less coverage.
  • Pricing (15%) - We evaluate pricing by running thousands of sample quotes for dogs and cats of various breeds, sizes, locations, and ages. We analyze which companies charge extra fees and discounts and consider which companies nick and dime pet owners with add-on coverage. Providers with the lowest premiums, fewest extra fees, most discounts, and fewer add-ons receive more points in this category.
  • Customer Service & Reputation (12%) - We assess hundreds of customer reviews, scope out the sign-up process, speak with representatives, and factor in company history and years in the pet insurance marketplace to determine the points in this category. Companies with an easy sign-up process, highly rated mobile apps, multiple ways to reach customer service, positive consumer feedback, and a seamless claim filing process score high in this category.
  • Financial Strength (10%) - Insurance is only beneficial if you can count on reimbursed claims. Companies with at least five years of nationwide experience and high A.M. Best and Demotech ratings receive high remarks in this category.
  • Customization Options (10%) - We consider customizations available to adjust your coverage to fit your budget. Companies with fewer restrictions based on breed, age, location, etc., multiple plan options, and more reimbursement rates, deductibles, and annual limits earn the highest scores.
  • Waiting Periods (5%) - Providers with the shortest illness and accident waiting periods and fewer additional waiting periods for other conditions merit high remarks.
  • Claim Processing (5%) - We share our firsthand experience submitting claims with companies and examine how long it takes to be reimbursed. Insurers with a vet direct pay option and short claim processing averages earn the most points.
  • Innovation (3%) - We meet with company representatives to discuss changes related to the industry, their company, and their offerings. Providers offering unique, comprehensive coverage and utilizing advanced technology receive more points.

Unlike many other review sites, we refuse to let pet insurance companies pay for the top spot in our rankings. Companies must earn their position in our comparisons by performing well in the marketplace. We also highlight each company’s pros and cons in light of their competitor’s strengths. In doing so for over a decade, we’ve helped pet parents make more educated decisions among the top pet insurance options. Pet insurance providers read our reviews, regularly check them for accuracy, and value our input to help create positive industry changes and better protect your pets. We only recommend the best of the best because it’s what our readers deserve.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Canine Journal has been covering the topic of pet insurance for 12+ years, well before other conglomerates discovered the rising popularity of health care for our pets. Many of our authors have personal experience with pet insurance, including Kimberly Alt, who has been Canine Journal’s go-to author for pet insurance for over a decade, having written about nearly every possible facet related to pet insurance. Kimberly reads every line in all pet insurance plans to help her answer a breadth and depth of pet insurance questions immediately. And on the rare occasion she doesn’t know the answer off the top of her head, she can find it within minutes due to her extensive list of resources.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, availability, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.

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