We don't give dogs enough credit - the option of 'gourmet' food has been around for less than 100 years. Before that they were essentially on their own. In other countries they still rely on table scraps. If they can survive on Ol' Roy they can survive on anything.
Meat byproducts aren't the enemy….corn on the other hand....is the devil. I highly doubt that dogs have evolved to process corn (starch) in such a short period of time.... looking at humans the fastest documented genetic adaptation is 6,000 years [Tibetans]. Dog genetics have been sped up considerably but even so…..meat was a fairly abundant supply for most of human history, for example native Alaskans fed their dogs primarily salmon...
It seems that corn and other starches on the other hand were a little more precious - taking time to cultivate. I think it's more likely that ancient dogs thrived primarily on meat leftovers (in addition to refuse) up until recently..... hundreds of years is not enough time to fully adapt to living purely on a primarily starch diet.
My new puppy was on Purina puppy chow when I got her and her skin was in terrible condition, she was a lot thinner than she is now, always acted starved, and had horrible dandruff. She's on a meat byproduct dog food now (not really gourmet) and is a lot healthier looking and acting. I don't think dogs need gourmet food.....they can handle more than we think they can.
My other dog Beo got into a whole bag homemade cookies made primarily with Theobromine containing dark chocolate [6oz] + [2 oz]…...in theory he should have keeled over dead. All he had was a little diarrhea [not even comparable to how sick he got on a rawhide] and managed to absorb some of it into energy….. which tells me that dogs were/are very good at processing dangerous foods ; more so than we give them credit for.
...dogs can live for the rest of their lives on ****ty dog foods with no issue....I agree with the article on that point. Gourmet food isn't necessary.... if you look at it that way. But, it's like milk tolerance in humans......most populations in the world are unable to process milk....even though a small portion is capable of processing it (the US) it just depends on the individual.