Fear Free, Low Stress Handling= Happy Pets

FEAR FREE vet care- visits full of wags, purrs and smiles

Happiness is one of our core values at Mona Vale Vets. Everything we do is aimed at making your pet’s visit as comfortable, stress free and happy as possible. We do this in many different ways;

  • Treats for all pets all the time!
  • Pheromone diffusers and sprays to help calm anxious pets- FREE bandanas with Pheromone spray on them
  • Staff training in gentle, safe and stress free handling of all pets
  • Happy visits with no treatments (just a pat and a treat) to boost confidence in all pets (especially the worried ones)
  • Soft baby blankets to cover cat cages in the reception area
  • A dedicated feline friendly corner and a separate Dog Depot to keep comfortable distances
  • Anti-anxiety medication that can be dispensed and given beforehand to help ease any anxiety before it ramps up
  • Behavioural advice and support to help the owners of fearful or anxious pets

It may take a little longer and we may not want to push through a whole lot of invasive procedures for your pet if we feel that they are becoming worried

Low Stress Happy Vet Visits for Dogs

Does your dog seem anxious sometimes? Hates coming to the vet? We can help!

Fear Free Happy Vet Visits

All of us at Mona Vale Vets want your dog to have a happy visit when they come to see us. This will make their visit worth while and reduce stress for them (and you!).

Sometimes, as vets and vet nurses, we have to do things to them that are unpleasant (e.g. injections, thermometers etc.) and so we hope to balance this out with some happy visits where we don’t do anything invasive. There are called our fear free happy vet visits. All we do in these visits is to make your dog feel good- have a wander, some treats and a pat and then leave. We often have to work at this a bit to rebuild their trust and so sometimes a few trips are needed. It is best to let us know when you are coming in so that we can make the reception area as welcoming as possible. Bring their favourite things with you (treat or toys) although we do have a range here.

These visits operate on the principles of desensitisation and counterconditioning- fancy behaviour terminology that means getting the dog less “sensitised “ to things and coupling this with something really nice so that they learn to associate the good stuff with the stuff they didn’t used to like!

Natural Supplements to help worried dogs;

The products listed below can help to relieve anxiety at anytime but particularly when anticipating a stressful event such as a vet visit or a trip to the groomer or boarding kennel. These are available without a prescription and are very safe to trial; you may find that one will work better than another for your dog. We stock these at Mona Vale Vets and we can help you decide what might work best for your dog.

  • Zylkene –This is a natural calming aid that contains casein, a milk protein that has been shown to have a relaxing effect in dogs and cats. It comes as a capsule that can either be given whole, or opened and sprinkled in the food. It can be used daily, or “as needed” for thunderstorms, grooming, vet visits, etc.
  • Adaptil (DAP, or dog appeasing pheromone)–– This is a dog-specific pheromone that can be used as a collar or a plug-in diffuser. Essentially, it’s a synthetic version of the pheromone that a mother dog produces when nursing her puppies – obviously a very comfortable, relaxed environment for the pups!  Adult dogs still retain the neurologic “wiring” needed to detect this pheromone and respond to it, so it can be helpful in promoting relaxation and relieving stress.
  • Therabis Calm and Quiet– Calm and quiet contains medicinal grade Hemp oil which is full of Cannabidiol otherwise known as the “bliss” neurochemical without any of the more potent THC effects. It also contains L- theanine- which works as a natural Valium to relieve frayed nerves and Chromium to help alleviate depression. This comes as a tasty chew or a powder that you can mix in food and similarly to Zylkene, can be used daily, or “as needed” for thunderstorms, grooming, vet visits, etc.

Prescription only anti-anxiety premedication

Sometimes, our canine patients are just too fearful despite all the measures described above. In these cases, we will suggest a prescription anti-anxiety premedication that works particularly well to calm canines .

Low Stress Happy Vet Visits for Cats

Does your cat seem anxious sometimes? Hates coming to the vet? We can help!

Preparation is the key !- Fear Free Happy Vet Visits

All of us at Mona Vale Vets want your cat to have a happy visit when they come to see us. This will make their visit worth while and reduce stress for them (and you!).

Cats like familiar things; they like to be in control of their environment. You can help your cat by;

  • Choosing the right carrier to transport your cat. A top opening carrier that comes apart is best so that your cat can rest in the base of the carrier while being examined. We stock a fabulous one that is round and made of soft yet firm materials where the top can be completely zippered off to create a bed.
  • Teach your cat to like the carrier.
    • Feed your cat in the carrier with lovely treats. Leave the carrier lying around and even use it as their regular bed.
    • Use Feliway pheromone spray to mimic the calming cat cheek pheromone and consider having the diffuser plugged in near where your cat is getting familiar with their carrier.

When they come in for their visit;

  • Ensure to take advantage of the cat carrier parking station that we have in our cat waiting area. We want all our feline friends to be able to perch up at least at table height or higher.
  • Bring in some of their favourite treats to see if we can make everything a little more pleasant for them
  • Make sure that your carrier is covered with a light blanket sprayed with Feliway (available in the cat waiting area). This allows them to hide and feel secure until they familiarise themselves.
  • When in the consultation room, allow them to come out of their own accord. If they are reluctant, take the top off the carrier and let them rest in the bottom while the vet or vet nurse performs the exam. We never want to wrench them out of their carrier, it is much too undignified!

Natural Supplements to help worried cats;

The products listed below can help to relieve anxiety at anytime but particularly when anticipating a stressful event such as a vet visit or a trip to the groomer or boarding cattery. These are available without a prescription and are very safe to trial; you may find that one will work better than another for your cat. We stock these at Mona Vale Vets and we can help you decide what might work best for your cat.

  • Zylkene –This is a natural calming aid that contains casein, a milk protein that has been shown to have a relaxing effect in dogs and cats. It comes as a capsule that can either be given whole, or opened and sprinkled in the food. It can be used daily, or “as needed” for cattery stays, moving house, grooming, vet visits, etc.
  • Feliway- is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone. This is the pheromone that cats leave naturally when they feel safe and secure in their environment. FELIWAY helps to reduce signs of stress. It comes as a spray, a diffuser and now as a liquid that can be used to divert scratching behaviour away from furniture.

Prescription only anti-anxiety premedication

Sometimes, our Feline patients are just too worried despite all the measures described above. In these cases, we will suggest a prescription anti-anxiety premedication that works particularly well for fearful felines.

Our Team

Our veterinarians are dedicated to providing the best possible healthcare by getting to know you and your pet.

Meet the Veterinarians & Team of Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital in Mona Vale! We’re pleased to provide exceptional vet care for your pets!

Please call us at 02 9999 2269 to speak to one of our caring veterinary staff members!



Meet Our Team


Puppy Preschool

Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital’s Puppy Preschool course runs for 4 weeks and is run by our Qualified Dog trainer’s Tara Thomas & Josie Stiddard.

During this time the puppies will meet new friends and owners learn new skills to teach when at home, on walks, around at a friends place or just general living with your newest furry friend.



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Pet Services

At Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital our aim is to keep pets healthy!

Part of this is regular veterinary health checks (wellness checks) in which one of our vets performs a full physical examination to ensure that everything is working how it should be and to tailor a plan to ensure that everything stays that way!What happens at my pet’s Wellness Check?



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