Authority Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Authority Grain Free product line includes four dry dog foods. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Authority Grain Free Adult Chicken and Potato
- Authority Grain Free Adult Mini Chunk Chicken and Potato
- Authority Grain Free Adult Large Breed Chicken and Potato
- Authority Grain Free Puppy Chicken and Potato (4.5 stars)
Authority Grain Free Adult Chicken and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Authority Grain Free Adult Chicken and Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, dried green peas, potato starch, flaxseed meal, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, dried potatoes, dicalcium phosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, 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, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||16%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||33%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 includes chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient is flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient lists 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 seventh 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 dried potatoes, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. Compared to cornmeal, dried potatoes contain slightly more protein.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, 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.
Authority Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Authority Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas and flaxseed meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Authority Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/08/2014 Last Update