To dog lovers, we consider our furry friends as part of the family. Even going as far as calling them our children, celebrating birthdays, and taking them everywhere. As parents, when we see our animals in discomfort from things like anxiety, muscle pain, or even old age, we tend to do everything we can to make them feel better.
In doing your research you’ve come across this article trying to find the answer to this question: Is kratom safe for dogs? The short answer is not likely. But now your next question is probably, “but why?” In this article we will be going over a high-level overview of kratom, how it can negatively affect your dog, and some studies that have been conducted. Let’s get started.
What is Kratom?
Kratom comes from the mitragyna speciosa tree which is native to Southeast Asia. For the longest time Kratom has been used by locals as an alternative medicine to treat and manage things like mental health and body aches. One thing to keep in mind is kratom is a natural opioid. While there is controversy that surrounds this, kratom has helped many who have suffered from opioid addiction transition to a more natural alternative.
Kratom is made by grounding the mitragyna speciosa tree leaves into a fine powder which can be used as a mix to drinks like tea or packaged into a capsule. Depending on the maturity cycle of the leaf will determine the color which affects the body differently.
White is the earliest in the cycle and provides an energetic and uplifting feeling. Green is next in the cycle, probably the most popular, it’s a balance between mood improvement and body relaxation. Lastly is the red vein, latest in the cycle and used for heavy decompressing and ache management.
Now that we have gone over a high-level overview of kratom, the type of product it is, and what the colors mean, let continue to the “meat” of this article. Is kratom safe for dogs?
Can My Dog Take Kratom?
As I mentioned above, the short answer is “not likely.” So far there is no proof that it is dangerous or poisonous to dogs, however they’re other factors to consider when administering kratom to your pet. The chemical alkaloid makeup of kratom is closely related to that of chocolate and coffee which is absolutely toxic to dogs.
Kratom also typically has a grassy and bitter taste, so if your dog is a picky eater, this may be tough to get them to ingest.
The way kratom affects the body is by hitting your opioid receptors, specifically the delta-, mu-, and kappa-receptors in the brain. Funny enough animals also have these opioid receptors, so in theory kratom should have the same effects on your dog when ingesting the specific color. While it may seem like a no-brainer to aid your furry friend by administering kratom, there isn’t enough research or studies that prove kratom is safe for your dog.
If your dog suffers from any type of aches, pain, and/or anxiety consider using CBD oil as a much better alternative. CBD has been tested and proven safe for pets. Keep in mind, if you have tried CBD in the past and did not see positive results, try the different spectrum of CBD to obtain the desired effect. Some CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC which should be investigated before purchase.
Enough of CBD, let’s move on to some studies that have involved administering kratom to animals.
Kratom and Animal Studies
These studies all revolve around using rodents as tested subjects. Since rodents are mammals, they are used to observe and detect the reactions of substances given to them. In this instance, kratom. These tests are vital to identify if these substances can be potentially beneficial or harmful.
Study 1: Effect of Mitragyna speciosa aqueous extract on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in mice
The department of physiology within Prince of Songkla University in Thailand conducted a study in 2007 that showed “significantly inhibited ethanol withdrawal-induced behaviors that included rearing, displacement and head weaving.” Essentially showing positivity from opioid withdrawal.
Study 2: Inhibitory effects of kratom leaf extract (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) on the rat gastrointestinal tract
This time it was the department of Pharmacology at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand that performed a study in 2008 that concluded while kratom did assist with digestive issues with the first day. However longer-term treatments of 15 and 30 days “did not decrease the intestinal transit time indicating that adaptation had occurred.” From these findings we can determine kratom did help but the body adjusted itself from the dosage and would require a higher dosage.
Study 3: A Review on the Antinociceptive Effects of Mitragyna speciosa and Its Derivatives on Animal Model
In 2017 the department of pharmacology from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre completed a study that concluded “M speciosa derivatives can offer alternatives to morphine in controlling chronic pain. Structural modification of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine can generate compounds with higher potency and lesser side-effects.” Meaning the alkaloid makeup of kratom can be offered as an ache management solution with less side effects when compared to morphine.
From these studies we can determine kratom can have a positive effect in rodents when suffering from withdraws, indigestion, and ache management. But again these tests have been performed on rodents, while yes rats are mammals that doesn’t mean it will work for your furry friend.
Take for example chocolate, to us humans it’s perfectly fine to ingest. However, it is extremely toxic to dogs.
So, Is Kratom Safe for Dogs?
If your dog suffers from pain, aches, or anxiety, they’re better and more proven options out there that are safe for use within dogs. I mentioned CBD as an option earlier, and I’m positive discussing concerns with your veterinarian will grant you the desired results.
Getting further to the point, kratom use isn’t without its side effects. Most common side effects found in humans would be vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, or headache. Obviously since dogs can’t talk or describe pain accurately, it’s difficult to tell what side effects would come from administering kratom.
The reality is there is not a ton of research involving kratom and dogs to make the argument that it is safe for your dog to ingest. Questions like, what color type of kratom has the best effect? How does the alkaloid makeup affect my dog? What is the proper dosage to see results? Can too much kratom cause death?
However, if you were to look online at websites like reddit, they’re users who have shared their personal experiences giving kratom to their dogs. By most accounts it seems to be beneficial for dogs who suffer from chronic aches and anxiety. But keep in mind we still don’t know the long term effects of kratom use in dogs.
Can Kratom Help My Dog?
We have established that kratom has done a great job helping humans deal with opioid addiction and management of chronic aches. But the researcher in dogs is still in its infancy and needs more studies to be conducted. We’ve seen a great start with regards to rodents, but rats aren’t dogs. Until there has been more scientific evidence, we recommend play is safe and not administer kratom to your dog.
Thank you for making it to the end! If you’re a human looking for excellent kratom within the sunshine state of Florida, stop by our shop in Bradenton for some expert advice and a great selection.