Authority Dog Food (Dry)

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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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
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.

Recommended.

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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

  • A Nonnie Mess

    The dogs don’t have access to the main kitchen, but they know when I’m working away in the smaller food prep area and if I yell “oh, (expletive)” it’s a good idea to rush in to see what I dropped! =D

  • Crazy4cats

    Amen! I really think that corn is getting a bad rap. As long as it is Grade 1 or 2 being used, I think it’s great for our dogs’ skin and coat. There are many benefits to it. I bet your dogs love it!

  • Crazy4cats

    Don’t blame you. Good luck!

  • A Nonnie Mess

    The info on Fromm is upsetting =/
    I’m starting to believe that no matter what we feed or how we feed it, genetics rule. We were the proud owners of a dog reared as naturally as possible (4th generation I believe of this style as the breeder felt this added to longevity). It did add to longevity…for most of their dogs, as ours succumbed to a rare and malignant (and aggressive) cancer at only a few years old. (Not to get off topic but this isn’t saying that this was the breeders fault…far from it. It’s our decision that Mother Nature and genetics rule no matter how hard we try to intervene and if something bad is in the cards, it’s there no matter what we feed or how we rear or what we do and do not vaccinate against.)
    Sorry to get off topic, but I understand your frustration with doing stuff the “best” way not always yielding positive results.
    If it’s any interest to you, I’ve mentioned before that we train with dogs on Pro Plan that look really good…it’s reasonably priced and seems to be palatable.
    Hope this is (somewhat helpful) =)

  • A Nonnie Mess

    Our training group has a handful of folks who feel that anything less than a “rated 5 star” food is crap, but they’re constantly experiencing problems with their dogs (skin, digestion, etc.) I’m glad Mr. Sagman addresses the problems with rating foods.
    We raw feed and have raw fed for a very long time, but our dogs still get leftover scraps of food (grains included except for the one or two that don’t do well with them). Heck when we harvest and preserve sweet corn, it’s a free for all when we’re finishing up and leftover kernels litter the kitchen!
    I feel the same way about our pets diets as I do my own and that of my family–aim for a good diet centered around good food but don’t be obsessive and don’t freak out over every little potential morsel of food that might be “not perfect”. I think (mentally) obsessing over every little bite of food we bring into the house or hand to our pets or children does more harm than the actual food would!
    Do your best and enjoy that “journey!” =)

  • D. Parker

    I will ask the vet about that. Thank you for the suggestion. I took the dog with the worst upset off the Authority and she cleared up after 24 hours off it. I understand stomach upsets from change, just not sure how long either of us should endure it before moving on. Going into 10 days of soft stool accidents in the night and 2 trips outside in the night was enough for me. 🙂

  • Crazy4cats

    Consider contacting your vet about the probiotic FortiFlora. Most sell it at their clinics or you can buy it online. For whatever reason, it seems to work really well for gas and loose stools. Has there been any improvement yet?

  • D. Parker

    Thank you for the reply. Yes to transitioning them slowly. It started from the 3rd day I’d added it to what they were already eating. I’m chalking it up to the change for now. Though I’ve transitioned my 8 month old puppy to Pro Plan from Fromm’s puppy too and other than tummy gurgles now and then, she hasn’t had any issues, other than has had to go out a time or two in the night, again maybe just the change. The others middle age/older dog GI sensitivities. The vet doesn’t think there is anything wrong outside of what’s being fed. It’s hard to know how long to say “enough” and move on if they don’t adjust.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble with this food. My dogs did very well on it. It is the Authority GNC Pets Healthy Weight & Joint formula that I fed. It isn’t rated yet. Did you slowly transition them as they had been eating a different brand for two years and may take some time. Also, sometimes FortiFlora helps with transitioning to a new food.

    There is a group of people on here that swear NutriSource is the best for sensitive stomachs, then there is the group that swear by Purina ProPlan, then recently, a few are suggesting Zignature. I know it gets hard knowing what to do!

    Have you had them to a vet recently? You mentioned that they were throwing up on Fromm before the switch. Maybe there is something going on with them?

    Again, my dogs do very well on this formula, but maybe it’s not for your dogs. I hope you find a solution. Good luck!

  • D. Parker

    Yes – I’d just fed it for years through various dogs, mixes, purebreds, etc. But you know like everyone else, I wanted to do better. The hunt for better quality has left me with sicker dogs off and on – it’s a confusing journey! Thanks for the reply. I’ll look into Zignature.

  • D. Parker

    The reason I started looking to switch was Fromm’s was making them throw up, even the supplier I get it from who has fed it to his dogs for years said all of a sudden earlier this summer of this year, his dog started getting sick too. I’d written to Fromm’s at the time and they said they weren’t interested in my submitting a sample because they test each batch and the batch number I had on my bag tested fine. It’s a little frustrating as I’d not had any across-the-board problems until earlier this summer also, and it went on through various bags until this fall I decided to try something else, the “else” has all been worse though, so I may just go back and deal with the devil I do know. 🙂 I’m thankful to have found this site, but it’s overwhelming the opinions for and against on every single product. And I’m not going through all the GI upsets hoping the next one is the right one, so you may be right in going back to the other as it worked for a couple years anyway. Of course Pedigree never caused a problem over the years on any of the dogs I’ve had – but you know, we want to feed “quality” but it seems those higher end brands have been more of a hassle since I got on that bandwagon. 🙂 I appreciate the reply.

  • anon101

    Some dogs can get away with eating a cheaper food, some can’t.
    Best to pay a little more for the food that you know agrees with them.
    Seniors are vulnerable to all sorts of stuff. If you can avoid vet visits other than routine checkups and such, it may prove to be cost effective.
    My dogs are doing well on Zignature, but in the past I have had seniors that thrived on Mighty Dog canned food.

  • haleycookie

    I would go back to Fromm if it continues. In my opinion Fromm is a better brand anyway.

  • D. Parker

    I didn’t see a place to review the Healthy Weight and Joint Support, so decided to post here. Granted I’m just switching my older dogs over to this within the last couple of weeks but I’m having issues with all the older dogs (there are 3 of them btwn 8 and 11 yrs. of age on this). They are having multiple bowel very soft movements a day and 2 of them are eating grass regularly over the last week. The bowel movements are formed but barely – very soft & very frequent. Input on whether you’d assume this is just due to the transition? I have been having to get up with all of them 2-3 times a night, if not also picking up an accident in the night. I had them on Fromm’s for 2 years prior to the change. A friend was trying to convince me this is a better alternative. My dogs didn’t even poop this much when I had them on Pedigree for many many years before going to Fromm’s.

  • disqus_4IHaTH5Uey

    It is possibly this ingredient that causes the bloody stools: L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate

  • 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.