Authority Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Authority Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Authority Dog Food product line includes 12 dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Authority Puppy (4 stars) [U]
  • Authority Mature Small Breed [U]
  • Authority Mature Adult (3 stars) [U]
  • Authority Adult Chicken and Rice [U]
  • Authority Puppy Large Breed (4 stars) [U]
  • Authority Adult Lamb and Rice (3 stars) [U]
  • Authority Adult Weight Management (3 stars) [U]
  • Authority Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice [U]
  • Authority Adult Small Breed Chicken and Rice [U]
  • Authority Adult Small Breed Lamb and Rice (3 stars) [U]
  • Authority Mature Large Breed Chicken and Rice (3 stars) [U]
  • Authority Adult Large Breed Weight Management (3 stars) [U]

Authority Adult Large Breed was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Authority Adult Large Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, 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, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, dried chicory root, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, niacin supplement, pantothenic acid, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, choline chloride and dried chicken cartilage (source of glucosamine and chondroitin)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%13%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%29%46%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 46%

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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient 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 ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain 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 ingredient includes 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 ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 is 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.

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 five notable exceptions

First, this recipe includes 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.

Next, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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.

In addition, we note the inclusion of sodium hexametaphosphate, a man-made industrial polymer with no known nutritive value.

HMP is used in making soap, detergents, water treatment, metal finishing and most likely here to decrease tartar build-up on the teeth.

Although some might disagree, we’re of the opinion that food is not the place for tartar control chemicals or any other non-nutritive substances.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Authority Dog Food looks like an 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when 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.

Bottom line?

Authority is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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.

Authority Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

12/09/2016 Last Update

  • Crazy4cats

    I have not had this problem, but I haven’t been feeding grain free. I think they both have the same type of packaging though. I’d probably take them back so they know that the bags may be defective and can hopefully fix the issue.

    I wouldn’t like having to pour the food out of the bag either. I like to keep it in the original bag in a plastic garbage can with a lid. Hope the problem gets resolved.

  • Alicia

    Has anyone had problems with dog food bags splitting open? My husband just picked up 3 bags of dog food, two are Authority adult and one was Authority Grain Free. One of the Adult bags split open when he placed it on the floor. I haven’t even opened on top of it yet.The last time I bought the grain free for our other dog, that one too split open. I know in the past the bags were made of thick paper and now they have a plastic coating. Is anyone experiencing this problem?
    I’m getting tired of these bags splitting open and having to fill up containers to save the food. This has happened to us a few times now.

  • Lisa Wells

    Try wellness simple lamb or fish,
    Fromm four star (any formula but the chicken ones) natural balance (any but chicken) or merrick (any but chicken)

  • Crazy4cats

    My dogs are doing fabulous on this food as well. So far I’ve fed turkey, fish, and chicken formulas with great results. Next up is the large breed lamb flavor. Hoping they do as well on it. Their output is as small and firm as it has ever been. Their coats are nice too. And, yes, there is the dreaded corn and rice in this food with no ill effects. They seem to digest it better than any other carb source I’ve fed to date.

  • Karen Van Conant Laitur

    When we tried our Collie and Australian Cattle Dog on the lamb and rice, they had lots of smelly gas, but none with the chicken formula.

  • GT

    Our 10.5 yo Golden Retriever has been on Authority since Day One. I had never used Authority before but chose it after an exhaustive comparison of content labels. At the time, I became convinced that Authority was the best dry food in that $30-35/large bag range. We have migrated to large dog weight management. Throughout, she has been eager to eat the food. Her BMs are formed, firm and less than other foods (better absorption?). We haven’t noticed any formulation changes but do love the new plastic bag with Velcro top (dog food does get stale). In short, not a single problem. My adult daughter just bought a GR pup and wanting to provide “the best” is starting her on Blue Buffalo puppy food. I will be interested to see how she does on this ‘super-premium’ food but it is hard to imagine how it could do better than my results with Authority.

  • Connie Mar

    The most important thing for our pets is good nutrition. Dry food does not provide this. They need wet food. Homemade is great as long as it’s done right. There are a lot of healthy, affordable foods available these days. Many are dehydrated raw and just need added water to re-hydrate – very easy and convenient.
    Dry food is made for the convenience of pet guardians and the profit of the pet food companies, not for the health of our pets.

  • KrisCVTG8r

    Also feeding a homemade diet like you describe can be worse for your pet than a manufactured food. Your dog has nutritional needs that you may not be aware of. You definitely need to consult a veterinary nutritionist. You should also be prepared to do at least annual bloodwork to ensure that your dog is not becoming vitamin/mineral deficient because of the limited diet. THEY are the experts, not you. The manufactured brands are extensively tested and researched for nutritional balance – even the grocery brands. This is mandated by the government and must meet minimal standards – even brands like Ol’Roy. The difference can be in the quality of ingredients (just like people food). But more importantly, it is the way the food is manufactured. The high quality brands like HSD/Royal Canin, etc have many diets – both prescription and non-prescription. In order to ensure purity of ingredients, the equipment is cleaned and sterilized to ensure no ingredient crossover occurs. In other words, your specialized chicken diet will not have other proteins like beef in it. Your kidney diet will not contain traces of ingredients not specific to that diet. Do your research before making irresponsible decisions that could harm your pet

  • KrisCVTG8r

    before you go to such extremes i would consult a veterinarian with a background in nutrition. the food may or may not have had something to do with kidney issues. There are a lot of things, including genetics, that play a part in organ failures. Did you take your JRT to the vet yearly? Had you done annual bloodwork, including a CBC and Chem Panel starting by at least the age of 7? If not, he may have had chronic kidney issues that progressed and you just didn’t know it. And if the failure was acute, it could have been any number of things including people food or medications that are okay for people but not animals.

  • KrisCVTG8r

    crystals in the urine can be caused by a number of things, including food or illness. also some breeds are more prone to kidney issues, so to make such blanket statements is reckless – just because your dog experienced a medical issue that may or MAY NOT be related to the food. And even if it was the food, it may be an issue with how your dog metabolizes the ingredients.

  • KrisCVTG8r

    switching cold turkey is always a bad idea. you’ll always want to do it gradually. and if you run out, mix it with cooked rice and boiled chicken breast. never give 100% new….the rice and chicken is easy on the stomach.