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Dog owners, there is no need for you to body shame your Labs anymore. Recent research has revealed that close to 23 percent of the breed’s population has a missing region in the gene that is responsible for controlling hunger. The gene deletion in the POMC region is responsible for signaling your dog’s body when it feels full. Dogs that have this mutation tend to weigh 2 kilograms more on an average and are much more likely to fish for food scraps, according to a survey. This discovery would go a long way in explaining why Labradors tend to be the most overweight dog breeds. Labs are the most popular breed because their motivation for food makes it easy to train them. As a matter of fact, over 75 percent of the service Labradors wee missing regions in their POMC gene. This would explain their motivation to get trained for treats.
The researchers involved in the study started with 18 lean and 15 obese Labrador retrievers. After assembling the sample set, they examined three genes that cause obesity in humans. The first analysis revealed that all of the obese dogs had a scrambled up POMC gene end. This deletion hinders the ability of the dog’s body to churn out the neuropeptides Beta-Endorphin and Beta-MSH, which play a key role in turning off hunger pangs after a satisfying meal.
In human beings, POMC variants have long been linked to unaccountable differences in body weight. In fact, some obese people lack the same portion of the POMC gene as their canine counterparts. To substantiate their initial theory, the researchers expanded the sample set to 310 dogs, only to discover that there are a whole host of behavioral patterns that are associated with the gene deletion in the POMC region. Not all dogs that had a DNA variation were obese, but in general the missing chunk had a correlation to excess weight, and from a survey of pet owners, the affected dogs begged their pack leaders for food much more frequently, were highly attentive at mealtimes and rummaged for leftover scraps more often.
In conclusion, if you want to keep a dog with a POMC mutation slim, you have to be on your guard. You have to be mercilessly rigorous when it comes to portion control, and not to mention, steel yourself better from the big, brown, beseeching eyes. If you manage to keep a Labrador with a gene deletion slim, then you deserve a pat on the back. And in spite of your best efforts, if you are not able to control your dog’s weight gain, you need to understand that it is not entirely your fault. If your friends ask, just tell them that your dog isn’t fat, he is just a little husky.