Puppies under two weeks of age should be fed every 3-4 hours. Puppies two to four weeks of age feed well every 6-8 hours. Newborn puppies will rely on mother's milk or bottle feeding until they wean from solid food around seven or eight weeks of age. Like human babies, puppies start out needing many small meals a day, from a food formulated for their special nutritional needs.
According to the AKC, some orphaned puppies take a while to learn the sucking part of feeding. There are differences between the nutritional needs of small and large breed dogs, and that's especially true for puppies. For the next two weeks, you can increase the level of puppy food to match the growth of the puppies. To get puppies off to the best start possible, feed them high-quality puppy food recommended by the veterinarian.
It may be that the mother cannot produce enough milk, that smaller puppies in a larger litter do not have the access they need, or that the mother has rejected a puppy for some reason. Weaning is stressful for all canine parties involved, but you can help by showing puppies the joys of solid food. In the first month of a puppy's life, while feeding breast milk or formula, puppies need approximately 3.5 to 3.75 calories per ounce of their body weight every 24 hours. As puppies head to their next stage of life, and possibly to new homes in a short time, there is a mother dog who is likely to be relieved to no longer serve as a source of food.
Of course, crying doesn't always sound that different from the sound made by a group of satisfied nursing puppies, so pay close attention. Unless puppies are orphaned, the development of a four-week-old puppy still depends on receiving most of its nutrition from its mother. Newborn orphaned puppies under 2 weeks of age should be fed every three to four hours, while puppies 2 to 4 weeks old should be fed well every six to eight hours. While most adult dogs can get away with proteins that make up about 20% of their diet, puppies need at least 30% protein to boost their growth period.
Until they are 4-5 weeks old, puppies should ideally drink their mother's milk, which provides them with all the essential nutrition they need at this important time of growth. At four weeks of age, most puppies begin the transition from just milk to a combination of milk and food.