The Authority Grain Free product line includes four dry dog foods.
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 Grain Free Adult [U]
- Authority Grain Free Puppy (4.5 stars) [U]
- Authority Grain Free Adult Small Breed [U]
- Authority Grain Free Adult Large Breed [U]
Authority Grain Free Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine), dried peas, potato starch, flaxseed meal, dried beet pulp, dried potatoes, natural flavor, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), salt, dicalcium phosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), inulin, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vegetable oil, lecithin, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items 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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes 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 is 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 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 seventh ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
After the natural flavor, we find 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, 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, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
In addition, we find vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
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.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.
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 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.