Pork Allergies in Dogs

A dog can develop a pork allergy at any age.
A dog can develop a pork allergy at any age. (Image: dog image by Holtea Silviu from Fotolia.com)

Just like humans, dogs can have allergies. Your dog can develop an allergy at any point in its life, so it can become sensitive to something that never bothered it before. If your dog has a pork allergy, you will need your veterinarian's help to diagnose it.

Dog Allergies

Every day, your dog is exposed to harmless substances called allergens. Most dogs do not react to the allergens. If your dog's immune system is sensitive to the allergens, then it will react to them like they are a threat to your dog's health. The immune system's efforts to expel the allergens from your dog's body are what cause an allergic reaction. Dogs can be allergic to pollen, plastic and to food including pork products, according to the ASPCA.


If your dog has a pork allergy, you will probably find out because it eats food made with pork products. You will notice symptoms of an allergic reaction including small red bumps and patches of raised, red skin on your dog's chin and muzzle. This itchy rash could also spread to your dog's feet, ears and the back of its legs. Your dog could also experience vomiting or diarrhea.


Dogs can develop a pork allergy years after beginning to eat a certain food, so even though a food has worked for your dog in the past, it could cause problems now, according to the "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook." Your veterinarian can recommend a hypoallergenic diet for your dog. Your dog will need to stay on the diet for 12 weeks, after which time you can begin to introduce other foods and see which one causes the allergic reaction.


If your dog has a pork allergy, the best way to handle the allergy is to avoid exposing your dog to pork products. This means any food that contains pork proteins or pork fat is not a good choice for your dog. Some dogs with food allergies require home-cooked meals to avoid contact with pork products. If your dog does come in contact with pork, antihistamines might help block allergy symptoms and make your dog more comfortable.


A dog with pork allergies can be affected by more than just food; some medicines for dogs contain pork products. If your dog has a pork allergy, be sure to let your veterinarian know. Comfortis, a flea medication, contains pork protein and is not suitable for dogs with a pork allergy, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. If your dog has diabetes, you will need to be sure that the insulin it receives is not made from porcine insulin, or else it could cause an adverse reaction in your dog.

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