Labrador retrievers are constantly interested in food, according to their owners, and recent research suggests that this is biologically true.

The first gene related with canine obesity has been identified in a research that ties a DNA change discovered in Labs to increased food-motivated behavior. The difference is also more common among Labradors selected as assistance dogs, which might explain why these dogs seem to be more trainable with food incentives.

Why Do Labrador retrievers love eat? 

Take heart, frustrated Labrador owners. It’s possible that your Labrador’s excessive hunger has nothing to do with how much or how little he eats, or even the kind of food you’re giving him. Instead, your pet’s failure to feel satisfied might be because of a medical condition.

A 2016 research from the University of Cambridge discovered that the Lab’s ravenous appetite and susceptibility to canine obesity might be due to a unique gene mutation.

The coding sequences of three obesity genes were first investigated in 15 obese and 18 lean Labrador Retrievers. In the lean and obese groups, 14 DNA building blocks from the pro-opiomelanocortin gene (POMC) were found to be organized differently.



1.What have studies shown? 

The POMC gene produces two neuropeptides that regulate food intake (chemical molecules that carry information between the body and the brain).

The first is -MSH, which is involved with weight management. The second, -endorphin, is thought to link food to brain reward circuits. This essentially implies that the afflicted canines are unable to feel satisfied.

 Why do Labrador retrievers love eating?   Dog, Carrot, Labrador, Animal, Cute

When a larger group of 310 Labrador Retrievers, including both pets and help dogs, was examined, the POMC gene was shown to be defective in almost 23% of the dogs. This shows that one out of every four Labradors has a mutation. The Labrador Retriever and the Flat-Coat Retriever were the only dogs with this mutation. Both canines had a common progenitor in the now-extinct St. John’s water dog. This gene is also prevalent in humans, and some fat persons have a deficit in this gene.

2.What Does My Labrador’s POMC Gene Mutation Mean?

Dogs with the POMC gene mutation are often heavier and have a greater body fat percentage. The research also discovered that dogs with more copies of this gene mutation were more overweight and food-motivated. They found the dogs to be 4.2 pounds heavier on average for each copy of the gene they carried.

The POMC gene mutation might explain why the most popular dog breed in the United States is also the most prone to obesity. Because there is no particular therapy for the POMC gene mutation, Labrador owners must be attentive when it comes to keeping track of their dog’s weight. Calorie restriction, portion control, and regular exercise are the most effective strategies to keep your best companion healthy.

If you think your Lab has the POMC gene mutation, work with your veterinarian to develop a diet and activity plan that maintains him at a healthy weight.

3.The Obesity Problem in Labradors and Why Are They Always Hungry

The most frequent dietary issue among companion animals is obesity. According to a 2017 poll by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 56 percent of dogs in the United States were clinically overweight. While research in the United Kingdom revealed Labradors to be the breed most prone to grow fat.

Overweight animals, like people, may have negative consequences for their health and lifespan. Excess weight may cause a variety of issues, including:

  • Orthopedic illness
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiopulmonary disease
  • Urinary problems
  • Problems with reproduction
  • Neoplasia
  • Dermatological conditions
  • And anesthetic side effects

4.Other Reasons Labradors Are Always Hungry

Because the POMC gene mutation does not affect all Labradors, there may be other causes for your dog’s food obsession. Unfortunately, Labs’ constant hunger is caused by an underlying medical condition. A trip to the veterinarian is required if your dog has experienced a sudden increase in hunger. To discover whether there is a medical reason, they will conduct a thorough examination and potentially do diagnostic tests.

 Why do Labrador retrievers love eating?   Dog, Labrador, Animal,

Cushing’s disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, occurs when the adrenal glands of a dog release too much cortisol. Hunger is a side effect, and dogs that are afflicted gain weight and have excessive thirst and urine. Diabetes in dogs may make a dog feel always hungry. The glucose-insulin link isn’t operating correctly in this metabolic condition.

Their food might cause your dog’s excessive eating issue. This might explain why your Labrador is constantly hungry if they aren’t receiving enough protein or has an imbalance of other nutrients. Consult your veterinarian to determine which dog meals will best suit your lab’s nutritional requirements.

5.How to Manage Your Labrador’s Hunger

It’s conceivable that your Lab doesn’t have the POMC gene mutation or any other health issues, but is just overeating. If this is the case, there are a few solutions. Snacks between meals should be the first item you eliminate or replace.

This includes those that are used for training. Commercial snacks are high in calories and typically lack nutritional value. Consider fruits, veggies, and other healthy options.

  • Portion Management

It’s not always as simple as reading the label to figure out how much food to feed your Labrador. However, this should provide you with some recommendations. The amount of food a Lab requires varies from dog to dog and brand to brand.

You may not notice a change in your dog’s weight after reducing treats and table scraps. If this is the case, you may need to limit the quantity of food he consumes at mealtimes.

Begin by feeding him a third less than usual. Start feeding him one cup of food every meal if he’s been receiving one and a half cups twice a day. However, before dramatically altering your Lab’s food, consult your veterinarian.

6.What Are the Signs That My Labrador Is Overweight?

A male Labrador should weigh between 65 and 80 pounds on average. A woman should weigh between 55 and 70 pounds. There are, however, better methods to determine your pet’s weight than using a scale.

This is because dogs, like humans, have various bone structures. They might be overweight or obese while still being at their ideal weight. Keep these in mind and understand how to control the weight of your Labrador. 

Final words 

Now you know why Labrador retrievers love to eat food. It is up to you to support them by providing healthy foods as much as possible. In the meantime, you should also be careful not to make your dog overweight. 


Hope this post help you and if you have any questions comments or anything concerning this topic please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Please use the social buttons to share this post with others. Thankstopic,.




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