Maybe you’ve noticed the Authority food while strolling through PetSmart. It’s hard to miss — the range is pretty versatile and includes many products.
Did you know PetSmart owns the Authority dog food?
The sheer size of the offer intrigued us and we decided to look into it.
Authority dog food range has many options for dogs and their needs. But does the selection offer loads of high-quality ingredients? Let’s find out.
About Authority Dog Food Brand
The Authority brand is owned by PetSmart. It is one of the biggest retail chains for pet supplies and pet grooming.
The company is present in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Their pet products are available at 1650 locations, and they also have around 200 pet boarding facilities.
PetSmart acquired Chewy, a well-known website for pet supplies, in 2017 for $3.35 billion. This was one of the biggest e-commerce acquisitions in history.
The Authority dog food brand was founded in 1995. The brand includes pet food products for dogs and cats.
Besides Authority, PetSmart also owns the Great Choice pet brand. This brand covers food, treats, and accessories for dogs, cats, smaller pets, and fish.
Is Authority Dog Food Made in the USA?
Yes, Authority dog food is made in the USA. But, PetSmart does not produce them. Instead, Simmons Foods produces both brands on PetSmart’s behalf.
Simmons Foods is one of the largest privately-owned broiler-processing companies in the USA.
Simmons Foods headquarters are in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. They have various manufacturing locations across the USA and Canada.
Simmons Foods processes chickens for KFC, Walmart, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The pet food division handles PetSmart brands and brands like Rachael Ray Nutrish.
Authority dog food is available only in PetSmart stores and on PetSmart’s website. You can’t order it on Chewy.
Authority Dog Food Review
Authority dog food range is quite versatile. The range includes dry dog foods, wet food, dog treats, and even dog supplements.
Dog food products include three main brand lines. The lines are Authority Everyday Health, Authority Targeted Solutions, and Authority Advanced Wellness.
Out of the three, Everyday Health offers the biggest selection. This line covers various life stages, dog sizes, and special needs.
The remaining two lines are smaller since they provide health-specific solutions. Each brand line is unique in purpose and formulas.
The ingredients are selected and tweaked based on the latest nutritional research. That way, your dog is getting the best possible food.
Let’s look into each of the brand lines more closely and see what they offer.
Authority Everyday Health Dog Food
The Everyday Health line consists of dry food, wet food, and dog treats. The foods provide all the nutrients your dog needs daily. This brand line caters to every dog’s size and life stage.
The brand offers three different types of dry food: Authority Puppy food, Authority Adult, and Authority Mature. Each has a standard option and specific formulas for small breeds and large breeds.
There is also a universal formula for all life stages. Wet food also meets the needs of all life stages.
The line includes formulas for specific dogs’ needs:
- High Performance formula is for active and working adult dogs who need more protein
- Grain-free options are available for dogs sensitive to wheat and gluten
- Small Bites & Tender Blends if your dog is a picky eater
- Weight Management formula is lower in fat and apt for dogs on a diet. The fat comes from chicken fat and vegetable oil
These options come in various flavors: beef, chicken, lamb, duck, and turkey. A natural flavor makes it more likely for the dog to accept the food. Choose the one which your dog likes best.
The most common formula is the Authority Chicken recipe.
Whole deboned chicken is usually the first ingredient in the formulas. Other animal protein sources are chicken meal, lamb meal, turkey meal, and meat by-products. These are good sources of protein that will add to your dog’s muscle mass.
Crude protein content in dry dog food ranges from 22% to 30%. For example, the standard Authority Adult Chicken & Rice formula contains 26% crude protein.
The lowest one is Authority Lamb & Rice dry dog food, with 22%. These percentages meet the AAFCO nutritional guidelines for dogs.
Weight Management formula has the crude fat at 8%. This is good since lower fat means fewer calories. In fact, this percentage is close to special low-fat diets (6%).
Your dog can enjoy the flavor and still get the weight down. Wet dog food in this brand line comes in Cuts in Gravy and Stew in Gravy varieties.
Authority Targeted Solutions Dog Food
Think of Targeted Solutions as everyday dog food with added benefits. The brand line features one dry dog food and two canned dog food options:
- Authority Skin, Coat + Digestive Health Small Breed Dry Adult Dog Food
- Authority Skin, Coat + Digestive Healthy Support Ground Entree Wet Adult Dog Food
- Authority® Digestive Soothing Support Wet Dog Food
There are also two dental sticks products.
Dry and wet food in this brand line promotes skin, coat, and digestive health. To that end, the formulas are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, coming from whitefish, fish meal, fish oil, and flaxseed meal.
Omega-3s are essential for heart health, and they nourish healthy skin and fur. Lack of these fatty acids leads to heart problems, fur depilation, and rashes.
The formulas feature natural fiber and live prebiotics, like inulin. Inulin supports a sensitive stomach by establishing a healthy gut microbiome in dogs.
This powerful antioxidant brings in good bacteria and improves mineral absorption. Some claim it can even help reduce the litterbox odor. Either way, inulin is healthy for dogs throughout their entire life.
The formulas also use the Ora-Shield System to decrease tartar build-up. Ora-Shield is a unique kibble formula with an abrasive texture for dogs’ dental health.
Crude protein content in dry food is 26-28%. This percentage meets the AAFCO nutritional guidelines for adult dogs.
Authority Advanced Wellness Dog Food
Advanced Wellness brand line is for adult dogs with specific health issues. The brand line includes 3 formulas that help with most of the dogs’ problems:
The ingredients vary depending on the formula and the benefit. The formula for weight loss contains extra L-carnitine, which burns fat faster. Formula for digestive health and gut microbiome containx natural fiber and inulin.
That is great because they introduce good gut bacteria and improve digestion. The formula for healthy joints focuses on Omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. These lubricate the joints and preserve cartilage in dogs.
The formulas have chicken broth and real chicken meat as the first ingredients. These provide good animal protein. Crude protein content in these formulas is 9% which is solid for canned food.
The products also contain a host of vitamins and minerals. Formulas include vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, folic acid, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A, riboflavin supplement, potassium chloride, and many others.
The vitamins and minerals support many bodily processes. They are an essential part of complete dog nutrition.
Advanced Wellness formulas have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Most dog foods in the Authority range have deboned chicken as the first ingredient. This is high-quality meat and a good source of protein.
Besides the fresh chicken, formulas also have whole meats like lamb, beef, turkey, duck, and whitefish. It’s great that PetSmart opted for whole meats and not so much meat by-products.
Some formulas also use chicken meal, chicken fat, and dried chicken cartilage. Chicken cartilage is a good source of chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate.
These are especially important for joint and skin health since they add collagen. Collagen lubricates the joints, preserves cartilage, and ensures a lush coat and great skin.
The range offers grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Grain-inclusive options often feature brown rice.
This is a good choice, since brown rice is one of the healthiest grains you can feed your dog. Yet, it is also a more expensive ingredient — so we often find brewers’ rice as well on the ingredients lists. Brewers rice is a lower-quality grain and not the best option.
Speaking of grains, corn gluten meal sometimes makes an appearance on the Authority ingredients lists.
It’s not a problem — many dog products use corn gluten meal as a filler, especially if they are not expensive. Yet, we also saw corn in the Authority Adult dog food for weight management.
This might not be the best option since corn tends to add calories. It seems that some other filler would have been better instead.
The Authority grain-free options are sporting taurine and inulin, which we like. Inulin is a source of healthy bacteria which promote digestion and a healthy immune system. It’s a great thing to add to your furball’s daily nutrition.
Taurine is a commonly added ingredient in grain-free options. This is good as it could prevent dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. FDA suspected that this disease comes from the lack of taurine in grain-free formulas. Taurine is also present in grain-inclusive Authority dog foods.
The range seems invested in heart health in many of its options. It’s common to see various sources of Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil and flaxseed.
These promote heart health, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. It would be good to specify the type of fish, though. Several formulas mention salmon oil as a source of Omega-3s. But most formulas use generic fish oil, so it’s impossible to draw conclusions on its efficacy.
The formulas are rich in vitamin and mineral supplements. Combined with other ingredients, they ensure complete and balanced nutrition. We like that the majority of these are chelated. Chelated minerals are more readily absorbed.
We often find dried plain beet pulp in Authority formulas as well. Many hail beet pulp as an excellent source of fiber. It is great for dog’s intestinal health. Yet, some consider it a cheap filler.
Authority dog food doesn’t use artificial flavors or colors. It’s a good choice, because dogs can be allergic to these. Some formulas use “natural flavor” which is better than artificial — yet, it would be great if the manufacturer specified the exact origin.
The one common ingredient across the range is sodium hexametaphosphate. This ingredient may be a part of the Ora-Shield System in the formulas. Sodium hexametaphosphate is known to bind and hold calcium in dental plaque. Large quantities of it can cause many health problems.
Overall, these are high-quality ingredients compared to the price. The most important ingredients are there: whole meat as the protein source, fish for Omega-3s, brown rice in grain-inclusive formulas, fiber sources, and added taurine.
Grain-free formulas could have used better grain substitutes, though this might affect the price. For better grain-free dog food options, check out this review.
Authority Dog Food Reviews
Overall, the reviews of Authority dog food on PetSmart’s website are positive.
People love the ingredients — and the price. Authority seems like a great budget-friendly option that provides dogs with the nutrition they need.
A minor portion of the reviewers expressed concern about the prices going up recently.
More importantly, it seems that in a few cases dogs (and cats) developed skin problems. This could imply a change in the formula.
This review perfectly sums up what pet parents think about Authority food:
“I have been feeding my animals (dogs and cats) exclusively Authority brand food since I worked at Petsmart when I was going to school to become an RVT (about 6-7 years ago). I always LOVED the food, my animals loved it, and the price was great compared to the quality of the food (not a ton of “fillers” in it). I was able to keep my 100lb GSD on a good quality food without breaking the bank.You can read more Authority dog food reviews on PetSmart.
Unfortunately, over the last few months (6-10ish?) my dogs have started getting skin/ear issues, and have become incredibly itchy, and my cats started getting ear infections.I’m giving 3 stars because I haven’t ruled out 100% for certainty that it isn’t a chicken allergy, but also due to the fact that they did discontinue the 38lb bags, but didn’t lower their prices.”
Authority Dog Food Recalls
Authority dog food has had one recall so far. In March 2007, FDA recalled many brands due to melamine contamination (FDA). Authority was one of them.
Following a minor number of pet deaths in late 2006, Menu Foods alerted the FDA of the potential melamine contamination and recalled 50 pet food brands in March 2007. Subsequent dog food products were recalled throughout April and May.
As for the Authority dog food, it is still a good thing that there has been only one recall in almost 30 years as it has been on the market.
Check out the FDA webpage if you’d like to learn about other dog food recalls.
Legal Issues and Controversies
Several individual and class actions were filed against PetSmart and Simmons Foods. The lawsuits alleged that the companies misled customers about the food quality.
The most recent case is a class-action lawsuit against PetSmart filed in 2020. The claim accused PetSmart of deceiving customers by selling dog hemp oil that was not FDA approved.
Astoria Sassano, the plaintiff, bought a bottle of PetSmart’s Only Natural Pet Hemp Seed Oil with Krill and Cod Liver. PetSmart claimed this oil was “intended to treat, mitigate, or prevent disease.” Yet, it was not considered safe for dogs because it had not received FDA approval.
Another class-action lawsuit was filed against Simply Nourish Pet Food Co. LLC and Petsmart Inc. in 2020 over another part of the advertisement. Alexa Grossman, the lead plaintiff, claimed that PetSmart misled consumers.
PetSmart advertised the goods as “natural.” But they contained synthetic chemicals, according to the lawsuit.
The charges against PetSmart refer to their pet grooming services, too. The most recent example occurred in 2020. Sherillyn Miller from East Bay filed a claim against PetSmart for injuring her emotional support dog.
After a grooming session, a PetSmart groomer attached bows to Sherillyn’s dog, Winter. The stylist wrapped rubber bands around Winter’s ears, which decreased blood circulation.
Miller had to take her dog to the vet, who surgically removed the rubber bands.
Simmons Foods also had its share of legal proceedings. The most recent lawsuit is a 2017 class-action claim. CAAIR (Christian Alcoholics and Addicts in Recovery) and Simmons allegedly exploited drug-court participants.
The participants had agreed to CIAAR’s rehabilitation program rather than going to jail. Simmons and CAAIR forced the participants to work in their chicken plant for no pay, according to the suit. They also had to work overtime — Simmons Foods allegedly threatened they would send them back to jail if they didn’t.
The case above doesn’t concern PetSmart or the quality of the dog food itself. It does, however, involve PetSmart’s food manufacturer and work ethics at Simmons Foods’ company.
PetSmart’s Authority range is a good quality dog food. The products are affordable, so your doggo gets great ingredients and complete nutrition.
We like that whole meats are often the first ingredient. The majority of formulas have extra nutrients — Omega-3s, taurine, and L-carnitine. These are great choices to add to the dog food.
The sheer size of the range makes Authority dog food pretty versatile. It is suitable for any dog breed, life stage, or specific health problems.
There are several things we are careful about. Grain-free formulas contain pea flour and pea protein which raise the protein percentage.
The weight management formula uses corn — and that seems counterproductive. Finally, the source of Omega-3s is unspecified fish oil, so it’s hard to discuss the benefits and disadvantages.
Yet the biggest issue is the extensive use of sodium hexametaphosphate. This ingredient is great for dental health, but we haven’t seen many premium pet food brands use it in dry food. All these might make dog owners reconsider choosing Authority dog food.
Authority is a good value for money. If you wish to explore other premium dog food brands — take a look at the dog food reviews of Purina Pro Plan and Nature’s Recipe.
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