Can Dogs Eat Orange Chicken?

Nothing could be as savory, tasty, spicy, and flavorful as an orange chicken delicacy. Its crispy and spicy nature makes it a perfect choice for your meal. You love it, but is it healthy and safe for your pet? The following insights into orange chicken will help.

Can Dogs Eat Orange Chicken?

No. Various spices and herbs used to make orange chicken are toxic and harmful to your dog. Harmful ingredients used in making orange chicken include soy sauce, sugar, and salt. In addition, nutritionists recommend against the battered dark chicken meat used to prepare this delicacy.

While a few pieces will not affect your pet significantly, excessive consumption of orange chicken causes various health complications, including obesity, diabetes, salt poisoning, and in extreme cases, acute pancreatitis. You can attribute this to its high fat, sugar, and calorie content.

What Is Orange Chicken?

Orange chicken is a popular delicacy in  Asian restaurants, including Panda Express. This small bite-sized food consists of battered chicken that has been fried until it is crispy. This battered fried chicken is coated with sticky, tangy, sweet orange and chili sauce to give it its savory flavor.

A typical orange chicken recipe includes the following ingredients:

  • Skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 cups of oil
  • 50grams of sugar
  • White pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger, garlic, and chili flakes
  • Sesame oil
  • White distilled vinegar

From the list, you can tell that some ingredients are not suitable for dogs, including garlic, salt, and sugar. Excessive consumption of these elements can adversely affect your dog’s health.

Why You Should Not Feed Orange Chicken to Your Dog

The ingestion of orange chicken threatens the life and health of your dog. Understanding its risks will help protect your pet against these dangers. Here are a few things to expect if your dog eats excess orange chicken.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and it stems from the excessive consumption of fats. The dark meat used in orange chicken preparation increases the dog’s triglyceride levels, increasing the risk of acute pancreatitis.

The clinical symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, and bloating. During an attack, your dog will remain in a praying position because of the extreme abdominal pain suffered.

Unfortunately, pancreatitis has no absolute cure, meaning supportive care is all your dog gets. Mild pancreatitis will often go away after a few days of treatment and rest. Surgery will be necessary for acute situations.

However, your vet will administer antibiotics after diagnosing the condition. The dog will be hospitalized for two to four days and get intravenous fluids and medicines. Food will also be progressively reintroduced.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Butter?

Bowel Obstruction

Orange chicken contains bones that can cause choking, gastrointestinal injuries, and bowel blockage. Cooked bones will likely splinter in the mouth, causing tears and tissue injuries that expose your pet to various bacterial attacks. The sharp ends can also cause wounds and injuries in the mouth, creating a conducive environment for pathogens to thrive.

Splintered bones can also pierce and cause injuries to the gastrointestinal tract. This could make swallowing food and water difficult, exposing your pet to malnutrition.

In some cases, the bones could get to the windpipe, making it difficult for the dog to breathe properly.

Suppose the dog does not chew the bones properly. In that case, the splintered bones can pose a choking hazard if they get stuck in the throat. Yet, if these bones find their way into the stomach, they can cause intestinal blockage, contributing to bowel obstruction.

Bowel obstruction causes a partial or total blockage to the stomach and intestines, meaning no food or water will pass through the tract. This condition reduces blood flow throughout the body, absorbs harmful content, and deteriorates the bowels.

Various signs show bowel obstruction, and they include the following:

  • Dehydration resulting from excessive vomiting and diarrhea
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach irritation and abdominal pain
  • Whining and hunching
  • Bloating
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy

In addition, splintered bones can puncture the intestines and the stomach walls, exposing your dog to severe pain and bacterial infection. A ruptured intestine wall will likely bleed and leak, contributing to stomach ulcers.

A leaking stomach can also cause peritonitis, which is the inflammation of the peritoneum. The symptoms of this condition include fever, nausea and vomiting, abdominal tenderness, and low urine output. Once you notice these signs, reach out for instant medical help.

Multiple surgical and non-surgical procedures can help when treating bowel obstruction. The choice will depend on the location of the bones, the size, shape, and how long they have been there. A vet might use special equipment and an endoscope to remove these bones. However, in extreme cases, a surgical procedure will help.

Sodium Poisoning

Sodium poisoning arises from the high salt content in orange chicken. A typical serving of orange chicken contains approximately 600 mg of salt, which is considered too much for a dog. Your dog should ingest about 0.25 grams to 1.5 grams of salt per 100 gram serving of food.

Sodium intake among dogs should be balanced and adequately regulated. You must monitor how much salt your pet takes, ensuring it does not exceed the recommended amount.

Usually, you’ll avoid feeding orange chicken to the dog if the daily quota has already been achieved. A single serving of orange chicken offers approximately 0.6g of salt, which is not healthy for your pooch.

Sodium poisoning highlights multiple symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fluid buildup
  • High fever and headache
  • Convulsions, respiratory distress, and breathing difficulties
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Incoordination
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Coma and death in extreme cases

You must take immediate action once you suspect sodium poisoning. Sudden bodily sodium changes could cause brain swelling or heart attacks among affected dogs. Taking instant actions will help avert such adverse repercussions.

The vet will perform various diagnostic examinations, including confirming the pulse rate, reflexes, temperature, vision, height, weight, and blood pressure. Blood chemistry, urinalysis, blood gases, blood count, and a cardiac examination might also be necessary.

IV fluid therapy is necessary for a dehydrated dog. This therapy is vital if the dog has consumed a significant amount of salt, forcing it to sweat or pass too much urine.


Excessive sugar consumption causes various metabolic changes, dental issues, and obesity in dogs. This sugar will accumulate in the bloodstream, denying glucose to essential cells. This deprives cells and specific body organs of access to energy to fuel multiple physiological functions. It results in the body breaking down fats and proteins for fuel.

Insulin is necessary for converting blood glucose to fuel. Yet, this becomes impossible if excess sugar is in the bloodstream, resulting in multiple organ damage.

Symptoms of diabetes include the following.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased weight
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss

However, in advanced cases, the dog will experience a loss of appetite, lack of energy, depressed attitude, and vomiting.

Diabetes poses several effects on the dog, including cataracts, urinary tract infections, seizures, enlarged liver, and ketoacidosis.

Your vet can do simple tests to diagnose diabetes, where urine and blood will be used to confirm the amount of blood sugar. Electrolyte imbalances and high liver enzymes prove that the dog suffers from diabetes. Shots of insulin, exercise, and diet changes will help manage this condition.

Dental Health Issues

Orange chicken contains so much sugar that it can cause dental health issues, including cavities. The bacteria in the dog’s mouth can also use the sugar stuck between the teeth for its biological needs. As a result, these bacteria produce acid, destroying the enamel, which is the outer protective coating of the teeth.

You might need to consider regular dental cleaning if your dog consumes lots of sugar. This move will eliminate sugar buildup, reducing the risk of enamel destruction and cavities.

Stomach Issues

Excessive consumption of orange chicken can cause stomach upsets, triggering vomiting and diarrhea. You can attribute this to the high sugar and salt content that causes a bacterial imbalance in the gut, limiting the ability to digest food effortlessly.

Final Thoughts

Orange chicken is not suitable for your pet. It contains multiple ingredients that have proven harmful to dogs, including sugar and salt. While preventive measures are the best to consider, your dog might still find a way to consume this meal, meaning you must be prepared and have a qualified vet on speed dial.

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