Echoing my forum-mates, the article doesn't lit a nerve, instead (no offense) it is a bit of a yawn, and very poorly reasoned IMO.
Why poorly reasoned? Let's dissect this fluff:
1) Dana Scott's first point is to compare the dentition of cats and dogs.
Her conclusion? There's both carnivores. <----direct quote.
See those pointy teeth that both dogs and cats have? They’re called canine teeth and they’re meant to tear and rip flesh. In fact all of the teeth of the dog and the cat are pointy, so that, in addition to the pronounced canine teeth, gives us a good idea that they’re both meant to eat meat. They’re both carnivores. <---longer version.
Scott has now established both cats and dogs are carnivores who are meant to eat meat.
2) Then Scott compares dog's( carnivore) teeth with human (omnivore) teeth.
We [humans] don’t have those long sharp canine teeth. And if you look at the back of our mouth, you’ll see the molars are flat. The job of the molars is to crush and grind plant matter. This is why we’re classified as omnivores … our teeth tell us we have a dietary need for plant matter.
Correct so far.
Now let’s look again at the teeth of the dog. You can see they also have molars at the back of their mouth. They’re pointier but they have them. They also have a sharp, interdigitation but they’re clearly there and they look capable of grinding.
And here Ms Scott starts going off the rails. Dog "molars" are sharp and function to chomp and crush meat and bone. The dizzying comment is "they look capable of grinding." That's false. Not only are dog's teeth not fly, which is necessary to "grind," but the way their jaws are constructed makes it impossible for dogs to articulate their jaws in a side to side grinding motion the way that humans and other omnivores can.
Getting this so wrong undermines any authority of "expertise" in this popular article. Dogs can not grind food. Period.
Compare that to the cat, where the molars are very sharp and elongated and much, much less capable of grinding.
This is like saying dogs can't grind their food, and cats are even less capable of grinding. It doesn't make sense.
3) Then Scott entirely misses the point on Amylase (the digestive enzyme necessary to convert starches to sugars).
There’s something we humans have in our mouth that neither dogs or cats have … something called salivary amylase.
This is correct. All omnivores produce amylase in their saliva. Dogs don't. Amylase begins the digestive process of carbohydrates as food is masticated. Dogs are wholly lacking in salivary amylase.
Do you wonder what the teeth of kibble-fed dogs generally look like hell? It is not just due to the cleaning effects of eating soft-edible bone. Starches and sugars in a canine diet sit in dogs mouths (undigested) and form plaque and tartar.
Neither cats or dogs have salivary amylase. That makes a lot of raw feeders think that dogs can’t digest plant matter. This simply isn’t true. Because amylase also lives in your dog’s pancreas.
Well amylase doesn't "live" in a dog's pancreas, it can be produced and secreted by the pancreas. While dogs appear to have gained an increased capacity relative to wolves to produce pancreatic amylase, the distribution of this adaptation is poorly distributed. Meaning some dogs (and breeds) has more difficulty than others. The carbohydrate load in a kibble-fed diet put huge strains on the pancreas. Both in producing unnatural amounts of amylase and in spiking blood-sugar levels (the pancreas produces insulin and other blood sugar regulating hormones.
With a stressed pancreas, dogs are far more prone to pancreatitis, where spilled digestive juices (including amylase) actually dissolve internal pathways.
Having 4 times "more" amylase that cats or wolves is one of those "statistics lie" tricks, as 4 times very little is no a lot.
Yes, dogs (in uneven degrees) can digest some dietary starches. But at what cost? Look at the amount of waste product. Look the the stolen bellies after eating. Look at the rotten teeth. The lackluster coats. The lack of energy. Don't smell the gas.
Compare the condition of kibble-fed dogs to a PMR fed dogs and there is no comparison in condition.
And if cats are less able to produce pancreatic amylase than dogs, why do the same pet-food manufacturers who make dog cereal also market cat cereal?
End of Part I.