How Much Does Dog Debarking Surgery Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

Debarking a dog is a surgical procedure that many veterinarians perform, often referred to as a cordectomy.  The “official” veterinary medical term for the procedure is ventriculocordectomy.  During this process, the vet will remove the dog’s vocal cords to permanently reduce the volume of their bark.  This process not only has many risks, but it has also been outlawed in countries such as the United Kingdom since many activists find this procedure to be inhumane.  The cost of this procedure is going to greatly depend on the vet performing the procedure and geographical location.

Dog by Infomastern, on Flickr
Dog” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Infomastern

How much does dog debarking surgery cost?

On average, the surgical procedure is going to cost anywhere from $75 to as much as $300.  Keep in mind that many vet offices may not perform the procedure as they find that is highly unnecessary and unethical.  When talking with a vet, they will recommend many other alternatives such as a bark collar.  The Banfield Vet Clinics, for instance, has banned this procedure across its 750+ locations.

According to, the cost will depend on the technique being used, the geographical location and the veterinarian performing the procedure.  All in all, the costs can be anywhere between $50 to $400.

Dog debarking surgery

This procedure is performed through the dog’s mouth under a general anesthesia. Using a biopsy punch or a type of scissor, the vet will then create an incision through the throat and larynx and will remove a small amount of tissue on the dog’s vocal cords.  When this surgery is performed, a dog will still be able to bark – it will simply be quieter.

There are two common procedures performed:  the oral technique and the laryngotomy technique.  The oral technique will be quick, simple and will be performed through the dog’s open mouth, whereas the laryngotomy technique will create an incision in the dog’s neck.  The ultimate goal is to lower the dog’s bark volume.

After the procedure, the dog won’t completely silence the dog, but instead, the sound will be “softer,” usually about half the sound of what it was before.  The dog will still be able to growl, whine, howl and yip.  A newspaper in the past said the sound would be equivalent to someone who may have had laryngitis.

What are the extra costs?

Medication, as well as follow-up appointments, will be recommended when the procedure has been done.  Due to the complexity of this surgery, the dog will more than likely have to stay in the hospital for up to three days.  The follow-up appointments may or may not be included in the initial quote.

Due to the complexity of the surgery, scar tissue can come back causing blockage in the dog’s throat.  If this were to happen, surgery would have to be performed again.

Depending on the vet office, general anesthesia may be charged in addition to the vet examination fee.

Tips to know:

This procedure still allows the dog to communicate, but the dog won’t bark as loud as before.

While other strategies, such as shock collars and debarking devices can work, many find this procedure can lead to more stress for a dog, especially if there are complications.

With a lot of negative things being said about the procedure online, there are some benefits some people often don’t think of such as the dog retaining its way of barking and it won’t be the subject of disapproval, being reprimanded every time it barks outside; this can eventually lead to less stress for a dog.  Lastly, debarking can often allow the dog to explore the outdoors more since it won’t be restrained inside.  The NAIA, for instance, says it isn’t a cruel and barbaric procedure and is simpler than removing testicles or a uterus.

As with any surgery, risks may be involved such as blood loss, infection or as the result of anesthesia.

How can I save money?

This procedure should be the absolute last resort.  In fact, many experts do not recommend it at all.  There are many various barking devices that can train your dog not to bark when it is not supposed to.  Barking devices can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 or more.  Keep in mind that training your dog too much with one certain procedure may cause more stress than normal.  Talk to your vet for more information, and always consider this as a last resort.

Talk with a local obedience class to see what they can do for your dog.  You will find that these classes can teach your dog tricks that will discourage them from barking in the future.

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  1. Ramona W (Delancey,  NY) paid $0 and said:

    One thing you you are not taking into consideration is how cruel bark collars are. I have used them and they are far more cruel than debarking. They shock the dogs neck and can cause burns, holes in the neck and sores if left on for any length of time so you have to take them off and put them on and if you have a dog outside all the time you cannot leave it on them if they are a nuisance barker. The debarking procedure is very safe, takes less than 15 minutes to perform and while it may grow back, most times it does not. Spaying and neutering are far more dangerous and cruel and may actually shorten the lifespan of the pet

    I have not personally debarked any of my dogs, but have purchased dogs who already were. They were not unhappy. or having any problems because of it. I do think it is only a last resort. You have to take into consideration where you live, how your neighbors will feel if your dogs bark and how much of a nuisance your dog truly is as well as noise ordinances where you live. The dogs I have had that were debarked did not give up barking with training, or bark collars so there was little choice except to debark them. I raise shelties, my trick to control barking is to train the dog to bark on command. They then learn only to bark on command or when there is an intruder or they receive no treat, Works most of the time.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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