Creating a Lost Dog Poster: Expert Tips + Free Template

Key takeaways

At PetRadar, we've designed a very effective lost dog poster. By signing up with us (for free), you can receive your personalized and printable poster. In this article, we’ll break down the exact steps to receive your free poster.

If you prefer to design your own, we've offered our expert advice on how to create an effective poster that will attract the most attention.

Distributing your poster in the correct places is important to make sure you target the right audience and spread the message as far as possible. We detail the top tips to make sure you have a high chance of finding your missing pup.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. How to download PetRadar's free printable posters
  3. How to create a lost dog poster
  4. How to distribute missing pet posters
  5. FAQs
  6. Final thoughts

How to download PetRadar's free printable posters

Before we explore how to create your own missing pet poster, we thought we'd make it slightly easier for you and provide a free, printable, expertly designed lost dog poster.

Why choose PetRadar's poster?

Unfortunately, to make your lost pet poster effective, you need to include contact details. This invites a lot of unwelcome phone calls, like prank calls and harassment. This is the last thing you need during this stressful time.
So, to keep your personal details private, we use unique QR codes. This way, passers-by can simply scan the code, be taken to our site where your lost pet will be listed, and report a sighting from there. No need to share any sensitive information!
Alongside this, we have collaborated with experts who have designed the poster for maximum effect. This means big, bold titles, a large central image, and a color scheme proven to be eye-catching.

To keep your personal details private, we use unique QR codes. This way, passers-by can simply scan the code, be taken to our site where your lost pet will be listed, and report a sighting from there.

PetRadar's free downloadable and printable missing dog poster

5 Simple steps to print

We think every pet owner deserves to have the best chance of finding their pet without money being an issue. This is why we've made our posters completely free and accessible for all.
Follow the five simple steps below to print your poster:


Go through the sign-up flow, adding details and information about your missing dog.


If you'd like to start a digital search, you can select the radius and pay for sponsored posts to be distributed. If you'd just like the poster, you can simply stop the process after filling in all the details.


We will then email you your free search kit, which includes a link to download your poster and list your lost dog on our site.


Once downloaded, print the poster in color.

PetRadar's expert team sat at laptops and surrounded by dogs they have rescued

How to create a lost dog poster

If you'd like to create your own poster, use our expert tips to make sure it's as effective as possible.

Think about design

A blurry image with some small-font text just won't cut it. To increase the chances of being reunited with your pup, you need to make sure the design of your poster is eye-catching.
For color, consider:

Using a simple color scheme of two or three colors

Use colors associated with alerts or emergencies (for example, red and yellow)

Use bright primary colors instead of pastel, very light, or very dark shades.

For fonts, consider:

Increasing the font size of the title so it takes up the first quarter of the page

Use a bold font

Use a sans-serif font

Include images

Images are key in your poster. They'll help the poster stand out, catch people's attention, and encourage passers-by to take photos of the poster to save for later in case they see your lost pup.
For your central image, make sure:

You can see your dog's whole body

It is in color

It is clear and memorable

Expert Insight: It's worth including a few extra images that show specific physical traits. This could include a short tail, white socks, markings, or anything unusual about your pup.
A phone with a picture of a dog on it ready to be shared

Include key descriptions

While images are the most important, sometimes there are some traits that set your dog apart from others that won't be clear in a photo.
For example, if your dog walks with a limp or is very vocal. Describing their appearance, the way they walk, and the way they behave is important for people to recognize your pup.
It's also important to include a description of your dog's personality. You need to let people know if your dog is:








This will help the public know the best way to react if they spot your dog. The last thing you want is someone chasing your shy and timid dog. This will likely set your search back even further.

The last thing you want is someone chasing your shy and timid dog. This will likely set your search back even further.

A puppy chasing a butterfly to show their curious side

Include contact details

So you can manage all the sightings that may be reported, you'll want to provide the most appropriate contact details. Consider the following options:

Email: Providing an email address can prevent prank calls and your phone number from being misused. You can even set up a new email specifically for the poster so you don't have to give out your personal address.

Phone number: Although you risk getting harassed over the phone, it's by far the quickest way to report a sighting. People are more likely to give you a quick call with information rather than writing an email.

Your address: It's important for people to know where your dog belongs. However, providing your full personal address isn't a good idea. Instead, just include the area where your dog went missing and the street where they live.

Top Tip: To avoid sharing any contact details, use PetRadar’s posters with QR codes.

How to distribute missing pet posters

Now you've designed your poster, it's time to distribute them. Be sure to print them in color and try to use waterproof paper. If you don't have access to waterproof paper, you can laminate them or put them in a clear plastic wallet.
When distributing your posters, be careful that you are not violating any laws. Many countries have strict rules about pinning up posters and flyers in public areas. Consider the following options:

Public areas with high footfall: Places like parks, lamposts on busy streets, town halls, and town centers are great places to put your poster because they are almost always busy.

Posting them through letterboxes: Another option that can be effective is posting your posters straight through your neighbors' letterboxes. This will mean they will almost definitely see the flyer and will improve engagement. It also targets the people most likely to spot your dog, as they live close by.

Private buildings (with permission): It's worth asking private buildings like shops and cafes to put your poster up. Local businesses are likely to agree, and they are often full of your neighbors, meaning it could be an effective option.

Bulletin boards: Pinning missing posters on message boards can be very effective. Local people will often check notice boards regularly, meaning spreading the message can be a lot easier.

A lost dog looking at a notice board showing it's a good place to put a lost dog poster


What do you write on a lost dog flyer?

On lost dog flyers, make sure you write an effective and eye-catching title, like 'Missing Dog.' Also, write a description of your dog's physical appearance and a description of your dog's personality.

What is the most effective lost pet poster?

The most effective lost pet poster is one that includes plenty of clear images, lots of detail, relevant contact details, and is distributed in areas with high footfall.

Can you put up lost pet posters?

Yes, you can put up lost pet posters in certain areas, like notice boards and communal areas of apartment buildings. However, different countries have different laws about putting up flyers in public places, so check the rules for your area first.

How do you make a poster for a lost dog?

To make a poster for a lost dog, start by using a template online. This is the easiest way to create a well-designed and effective lost dog poster quickly. Then, all you need to do is print and distribute them.

Do lost dog flyers work?

Yes, lost dog flyers can work and be very effective. The more people that are aware of your missing pup, the more likely you'll be reunited with them.

What goes on a missing poster?

Make sure you include images, detailed descriptions, contact details, location information, and personality descriptions on a missing poster.

How do I post a lost pet on social media?

Posting on Facebook and Instagram can be effective for finding lost animals. You can start a PetRadar search, and we'll take care of all of your social media needs by spreading your posts to over 4,000 neighbors. However, if you want to do it yourself, be sure to join specific groups dedicated to lost animals in your neighborhood.

How far can a lost dog travel?

A lost dog can travel very far. Depending on their age, size, and breed, they can travel anywhere from half a mile to 5 miles. However, most lost dogs are found within a 2 mile radius of their home.

Final thoughts

A missing pet is a devastating thing. We know just how heartbreaking it can be, which is why we've dedicated ourselves to helping owners and offering support during this tricky time.
We've already reunited 8000+ pets with their owners. This is through our sponsored posts on social media that can reach thousands of your neighbors.
While missing pet flyers can be very effective, our digital missing posts will increase your chances of finding your missing pet a lot. By starting a PetRadar search, you can rest assured that you are leaving no stone unturned.

Written by

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Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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