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Hi there. Sparky is *I think* 15 mo old and weighs around 15 pounds. He is a shih tzu.

I have read so many different amounts and ways to feed a dog.

Do you leave food out all day and only fill it once or twice? If so, how much at each feeding?

I also read to feed in the morning and after 20 minutes pick the food up and do the same at night.

But then I read that shih tzu's tend to be grazers. So basically right now I am doing 1 cup in the AM and 1 cup in the PM...and I just leave it out. So all day he will get 2 cups.
 

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Well, depending on his weight and age, he should get a certain amount. Splitting it up twice a day is a great idea. I do that with my dog.

2 cups a day, for that size, seems fine. If he starts getting pudgy, cut back to about 1 and 1/2 cup daily.

But this also depends on what food you feed. Your dog food bag should have a chart on the back of it.
 

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I have Shih Tzu x Maltese and I self feed them and have never had a problem with any of them getting too fat. They still only seem to eat once or twice a day, they don't snack all day long. I think unless you notice your dog getting too fat, which you should not feeding a measured amount, you should be fine.
 

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I have Shih Tzu x Maltese and I self feed them and have never had a problem with any of them getting too fat. They still only seem to eat once or twice a day, they don't snack all day long. I think unless you notice your dog getting too fat, which you should not feeding a measured amount, you should be fine.
^^ This. IMO, the major concern with free feeding is when owners provide unrestricted access to an unlimited amount of food, which easily leads to obesity, as a lot of dogs don't self-regulate their food intake.

I will say though, that 2 cups of food seems like a lot for a 15 lb dog. My dog, at 30 lbs gets 2/3rd of a cup (but he is also old, not very active, and prone to weight gain). Both of the foster dogs I've had were on 2 cups of food per day, and they were both ~55 lbs. I mean, it does depend on the type of food and the shape of the kibbles, etc. But 2 cups of food just seems like a lot of volume, compared to the size of his stomach.
 
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