Authority dry dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of three stars.
The Authority product line includes 13 dry dog foods, ten claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and three for growth (Puppy formulas).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Authority Puppy with Real Lamb
- Authority Puppy with Real Chicken
- Authority Senior with Real Chicken
- Authority Adult Chunk with Real Lamb
- Authority Adult Chunk with Real Chicken
- Authority Adult Mini Chunk with Real Lamb
- Authority Adult Mini Chunk with Real Chicken
- Authority Adult Large Breed with Real Chicken
- Authority Puppy Large Breed with Real Chicken
- Authority Senior Large Breed with Real Chicken
- Authority Adult Large Breed Weight Management
- Authority Adult Weight Management with Real Lamb
- Authority Adult Weight Management with Real Chicken
Authority Dog Food Large Breed with Real Chicken was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Authority Adult Large Breed with Real Chicken
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, (source of glucosamine and chondroitin) brown rice, corn, oat groats, corn gluten meal, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, dried egg product, canola oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin and mineral supplements (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of ascorbic acid), copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, d calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), dried chicken cartilage (source of glucosamine and chondroitin)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||13%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||29%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain which — aside from its energy content — is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The fifth item is oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The sixth item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient mentions dried beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The eighth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
After the natural flavor, we find dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
The next ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its raw material source.
Current thinking (ours included) finds the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
And finally, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Authority Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Authority Dog Food looks to be an average kibble.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs as compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Authority Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Those looking for a comparable wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Authority canned dog food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
03/14/2010 Original review
10/14/2010 Review updated
07/15/2012 Last Update