Q: I recently adopted a two-year-old Singapore Special, and realised that his poop is ridiculously pungent—worse than any of my other dogs’ waste! I think it was because he used to be a stray dog, so he probably ate a lot of junk food. How do you recommend I “reset” his stomach and get it healthy and clean again?

There may be a couple of health issues going on with your new boy.

Primarily, I suspect he is having a serious probiotic imbalance in his gastrointestinal tract, and this is causing poor digestion and absorption in his gut, leading to the foul-smelling faeces. This can be managed by putting him on a course of multi-strain probiotics every day for four to six weeks.

Secondly, he was probably consuming a lot of carbohydrate, and too little meat protein. If that was the case, his stomach acids will be quite diluted. This means that his stomach is unable to efficiently break down food, which is dangerous as this process is the first and a very important step in digestion. The diluted acids may also allow abnormal bacteria to proliferate and survive the passage through the stomach, and reach the bowel. Increasing stinky beyond beliefred meat proteins will quickly increase the acidity of the stomach juices, and correct this problem.

Lastly, you may also find that your dog is not producing enough pancreatic enzymes, which are required to break food down into an easily absorbable and digestible state for the intestines. You can supplement his food with a mix of pancreatic enzymes (in Australia, we have a powder called Enzyplex that you can buy from your vet). Enzyplex will aid digestion and prevent undigested food from reaching the large bowel, which will often result in large, smelly poops

.One of the best ways to get a super healthy digestive tract is to feed a biologically appropriate diet. For a carnivore, like your dog, this means a diet that is based on meat (around 70 percent meat, and 30 percent carbohydrate, vegetable matter, fibre, and natural sources of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants). Unless your dog has learned how to start a fire and cook his food, his meat should be consumed raw, or as close to raw as possible. There are some great new “semi-raw” diets that use freeze-drying or air-drying to preserve the meat and its goodness. Freeze-drying is very good at preserving nutrition, but is a very expensive process, and utilises a lot of energy. Air-drying is a good alternative, but make sure the hot air used in the process is kept at around 72 degree Celsius (pasteurisation temperature). These types of diets are definitely far superior to traditional kibble—even the most expensive brands.

Add some raw bones a few times a week, and you have the perfect canine (or feline) diet.