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Authority Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

authority dog food review

Our Final Verdict

We give Authority dog food a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.


Authority Dog Food is manufactured by PetSmart. The pet food and accessories giant was founded in 1986, but only threw their hat in the dog food ring in 1995.

The brand was designed to offer affordable foods that were high in protein and fat and made with all-natural ingredients wherever possible. They also make cat food that follows a similar edict, and in addition to dry kibble they offer wet food and treats.

The food claims that it’s made in the USA, but no information is offered beyond that. It’s likely that it’s manufactured in a multitude of facilities, rather than one central location.

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At a Glance: The Best Authority Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Authority Adult Dry Dog Food Authority Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconGood amount of protein inside
  • Feature iconChicken meal is full of glucosamine
  • Feature iconBrown rice is gentle on stomachs
  • Second place
    Authority Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food Authority Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconDried chicken cartilage for joint support
  • Feature iconFew calories per cup
  • Feature iconCheaper than the basic kibble
  • Third place
    Authority Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food Authority Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconMore calories and protein
  • Feature iconHas fish oil to add omega fatty acids
  • Feature iconExtra chicken cartilage for joint health
  • Authority Small Bites Formula Dry Dog Food Authority Small Bites Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconSupports a healthy immune system
  • Feature iconHelps reduce plaque and tartar
  • Feature iconHas omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Authority Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food Authority Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconHas unique antioxidant blend of vitamin E, selenium and zinc
  • Feature iconNatural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
  • Feature iconEncourages healthy digestion
  • Authority Dog Food Reviewed

    Who makes Authority and where is it produced?

    Authority is produced by the pet store chain PetSmart. The label claims that it’s made in the USA, but no specific information is given other than that. The company itself is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Which Types of Dogs is Authority Best Suited For?

    Their foods are intended for all breeds and life stages, but we’ve found that their large breed formulas are some of their best.

    If you have a giant dog, this is a kibble that’s worth considering.

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    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    While the company offers a grain-free line that’s better-suited for sensitive stomachs, their basic kibble is filled with potential allergens like corn, gluten, and eggs.

    If your dog can’t handle those ingredients, consider something like The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients

    Ingredient Breakdown:

    We selected Authority Chicken & Rice Formula to represent the other products reviewed in this line

    Deboned chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, so you know you’re getting plenty of protein right off the bat. The chicken meal also contains glucosamine, which is excellent for joint health.

    Brown rice is the next ingredient, which is easily digestible and filled with B vitamins. It’s a very nutritious starch, but also high in calories.

    After that is corn, which we’d rather not see at all. This is a cheap filler grain, and it offers little beyond empty calories. Many dogs have trouble digesting it as well.

    However, the food also contains chicken fat and dried beet pulp, which are a great source of omega fatty acids and fiber, respectively.

    Authority Has a Good Amount of Protein and Fiber

    Neither value (26% for protein and 14% for fiber) will blow you away, but there are plenty of other foods that are way lower. Unless you have an incredibly active dog, there’s likely enough of both inside each bag to keep your pet healthy and happy.

    Border Collie
    Image credit: Border Collie by spandau77, Pixabay

    The Kibble is Especially Crunchy

    The company has a special Ora-Shield System that they use to make their kibble especially hard and crunchy.

    This is important, as crunchy kibble can help clear away plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth and gums. Since periodontal disease is such a notorious issue for dogs (and can possibly lead to life-threatening illnesses), keeping your pup’s chompers clean is essential.

    However, if you have an older dog with dental problems, this might be too hard for him to eat comfortably.

    Many Authority Formulas Contain Vegetable Oil

    Vegetable oil isn’t completely lacking in nutritional merit, as it can help make your dog’s coat bright and shiny, but it ultimately does more harm than good.

    It’s packed with calories, and so it can contribute to obesity or disorders like pancreatitis. Vegetable oil is always way down on the ingredients list, so hopefully there’s not much in the kibble, but any amount is too much.

    A Quick Look at Authority Dog Food

    • Good amount of protein and fiber
    • Fairly affordable
    • Uses natural ingredients whenever possible
    • Many formulas include cheap filler grains
    • Uses fattening ingredients like vegetable oil
    • Filled with potential allergens
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    Recall History

    The only known recall of Authority we could find came back in 2007. The food was part of the giant melamine recall, in which over 100 dog food brands were feared to include a chemical found in plastics.

    Thousands of animals died as a result of eating tainted food, but it’s not known how many — if any — were affected by Authority foods.

    While that’s undoubtedly scary, the fact that there’s only been one known recall in 25 years is certainly reassuring.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Authority Dog Food Recipes

    The Authority brand isn’t as expansive as many other dog food lines, but there are still several recipes under their banner. Here’s a better look at three of the best:

    1. Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

    Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Adult

    This is their most basic food, but it’s also one of their best. It has 26% protein, which is about normal for most kibbles, and that amount is largely due to the chicken and chicken meal inside. We’re especially fond of the chicken meal, as it includes important nutrients not found in leaner cuts of meat.

    One of those nutrients is glucosamine, which is essential for joint health. Larger dogs will especially benefit from this, but conditions like hip dysplasia don’t discriminate, so all animals should get as much glucosamine as possible in their diets.

    Brown rice is the primary vegetable, and including it is a mixed bag. It’s gentle on stomachs and filled with B vitamins, but it’s also calorie dense, so we’re leery about it being so high up on the ingredients roster.

    There are other potentially problematic ingredients here too, like corn, corn gluten meal, dried egg product, and vegetable oil. All these offer quite a few empty calories while also potentially upsetting sensitive stomachs.

    • Good amount of protein inside
    • Chicken meal is full of glucosamine
    • Brown rice is gentle on stomachs
    • Includes cheap filler grains
    • Lots of potential allergens inside
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    2. Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Adult

    This formula is very similar to their basic kibble, except they add dried chicken cartilage and a few other ingredients.

    The cartilage is important, as it’s full of glucosamine and chondroitin. Bigger pups put a lot of strain on their skeletal systems, so it’s important to give their joints all the support you can, and this formula certainly does that.

    There’s a touch less protein and fat in this than the regular kibble, but not so much that will make a difference. There are fewer calories per cup, too, so your dog can eat his fill without getting too big to fit through the pet door.

    It’s also a little cheaper than the basic food, which is strange, because special recipes usually cost more.

    Our main concerns with this food involve the use of questionable ingredients like corn, corn gluten meal, and dried egg product. All of these could easily be replaced without missing a beat.

    • Dried chicken cartilage for joint support
    • Few calories per cup
    • Cheaper than the basic kibble
    • Includes cheap filler grains
    • Filled with possible allergens
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    3. Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Puppy

    Big dogs stay puppies for longer than smaller breeds do, so it’s important to give them the proper nutrition for as long as you can. This puppy formula does a good job of doing just that.

    This is basically a modified version of their adult large breed food, which will make switching to that formula painless when the time comes. It has a bit more protein and calories per cup, but your active little pet will likely need every bit of that extra fuel.

    They added fish oil to this food as well, which is chock-full of DHA and other important omega fatty acids. These help your dog’s brain and eyes develop, boost his immune system, and give him a shiny coat, so we’re all for adding it to kibble. There’s more dried chicken cartilage in this, too.

    For some reason, though, they also added a lot more salt, which can cause issues down the line. They didn’t remove any of the filler grains or other allergens, either, but the good news is that if your dog tolerates this food well, he probably won’t have digestive issues later.

    • More calories and protein than adult large breed food
    • Has fish oil to add omega fatty acids
    • Extra chicken cartilage for joint health
    • Still uses cheap filler grains and allergens
    • High salt content
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    What Other Users are Saying

      • HerePup – “Every formula contains high-quality proteins as the first ingredient.”
      • Dog Food Guru “This reasonably-priced dog food brand is definitely one of the leading brands in its price range.”
      • Amazon – As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.
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    The Authority brand places an emphasis on natural ingredients and strives to make sure that your dog gets the nutritional support necessary to grow big and strong. Their large breed foods are especially impressive, but they make kibble for all ages and sizes.

    Unfortunately, they use quite a bit of cheap filler ingredients like corn to keep costs down. This isn’t dangerous, but it’s not ideal, either, as it will give your dog lots of empty calories. They’re also prone to using potential allergens like eggs and gluten.

    Authority doesn’t quite have the chops of some premium dog food brands, but it won’t cost nearly as much, either. If you’re looking for an affordable dog food that will give your pup all the nutrition he needs, this may be one of your best bets.

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    Featured image credit: Authority Chicken & Rice Formula Adult, Chewy