So I know there are uses in training for regular feedings instead of an open bowl, but my fiance would really like our dog to be able to eat open bowl, and she already seems able to self-regulate.
Are there any drawbacks to this?
I would think the main drawback would be the unpredictability of peristalsis. Most dogs defecate about 20-30 minutes after a solid meal, so if you are feeding twice a day at the same time, you can reasonably predict when the dog will need to poop. With free feeding, that could happen at any time, making it more difficult to predict when he'll need to go out.
I don't like it. It can lead to dogs being picky eaters, zero interest in training, much more difficult to housebreak, weight-gain etc.
Ultimately it is your choice, but personally I wouldn't since I love the focus my dogs have when training.
I think if the dog maintains a good weight that way it's a good thing. When I only had Reese she ate whenever she felt like it, and in some ways it was much easier. I've never seen any real drawbacks other than a dog getting fat.
It depends on the dog. Some do not do well, while others do just fine. It's all trial and error. How old is your dog? My partner had a dog that had 24-7 access to food, he self-regulated very well and had absolutely no issues with housetraining as a puppy. The only reason why I don't do it is because I have too many dogs and don't want the cats to eat the dog food.