About Houndstooth

Houndstooth was founded in the early 1990s by Dali Shafer whose love of animals and teeth led her to build a company to provide non-anesthetic dental cleanings for dogs and cats. Since that time, Houndstooth has treated tens of thousands of beautiful pets while guiding their owners/guardians to maintain good dental hygiene for healthier, longer-living pets. Read more about our history.

Today, Houndstooth is owned and operated by Dr. Richard Yacowitz, DVM and Eric Ross. Dr. Yacowitz owns and operates a successful animal hospital in Little Silver, New Jersey. After eight years utilizing the Houndstooth NAVDS at his five veterinarian animal hospital, his love of the service led him to buy the company along with Eric. 

Sadly, Dali passed in 2017. Her extraordinary efforts and love of Houndstooth is deep in the soul of the Houndstooth family. We are grateful to her and miss her.

The Houndstooth Method

Each appointment begins with a friendly introduction to our technician who will perform a visual exam of the mouth & head. Any abnormalities will be charted & discussed for appropriate treatment. Your pet will then be comfortably positioned and gently introduced to the scaling procedure. Your technician will then proceed to thoroughly remove the tartar & plaque from all surfaces of the teeth using a selection of appropriate instruments. The cleaning is followed by polishing and home care instruction.

In order to safeguard your pet’s health during our non-anesthetic procedure, gloves are worn with every client. To reduce risk of infection, all instruments are sterilized with medical autoclaves and kept in sterile packaging, whereas other independent practitioners of NAVDS may only use cold sterilants and sanitizing solutions, which are not adequate for thorough infection control.

Every pet’s dental needs are different. Current anesthetic dental procedures offer a one-size-fits-all protocol that does not take into consideration the level of dental care needed or the individual pet’s age & health. We work closely with veterinarians and pet guardians as a team in order to provide an individualized dental program including appropriate follow up and home care instruction.

Houndstooth offers several different levels of care ranging from a routine prophylaxis (the best time to start a non-anesthetic dental program) to our Quality of Life treatments for senior or health-compromised pets.



Thank you for expressing an interest in additional dental care modalities. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the value of adding Houndstooth NAVDS to your practice. Please browse our entire web site.The For Veterinarians  section contains proprietary information specifically addressing the most common topics of concern to a veterinary office including photos, scheduling, benefits to your office, references, and more. If you have any additional questions, please contact our office. We're happy to speak with you. Please log in to access these pages. 


The growing concern over the risks of general anesthetics and the need for them during a routine dental has caused pet owners and veterinarians to seek new solutions to the treatment of pet dental disease. Awareness of the importance of preventative dental care has brought to light the limitations of general anesthetic-based dental procedures when it comes to maintaining oral health.
We understand that non-anesthetic dental service can be controversial to those who have not seen an NAVD cleaning properly performed. Accurate information regarding the benefits and the limits of anesthesia-free dental cleaning is difficult to come by, and as in any profession, the level of proficiency can vary. We have spent many years carefully and meticulously crafting our techniques while earning the trust and confidence of veterinarians and pet guardians nationwide.

As society places more and more value on our pets' health and safety, the demand for alternative treatments has skyrocketed. Concerned pet care professionals are constantly striving to improve their standard of care and recognize that it is always worthwhile to explore unconventional methods and consider the merit of their application.


We want to stress that Houndstooth is not a substitute for full anesthesia based dental cleaning which would include full mouth radiographs , iv catheter, diagnostic monitoring and the expertise needed to interpret dental radiographs and extractions .

The vast majority of pet owners do not brush their pet's teeth twice daily and are reluctant to have their pet undergo an elective anesthesia. We all know that most dental procedures are performed on PD Grade 3 or 4, not 1 or 2 . Houndstooth provides excellent dental maintenance care for these pets .

© 2023 by Houndstooth Pet Dental LLC