When a beloved pet goes missing, emotions ranging from fear to panic can be overwhelming, but after combing the streets of your neighborhood at some point you will need more eyes looking for your dog if you hope to bring him home again.
When you sit down to make your lost dog poster on the computer or with materials such as cardboard and markers, there are a few must have informational pieces and design approaches that will maximize your poster’s chance of exposure and effectiveness.
Tip #1: A picture really is worth a thousand words
You could write a detailed explanation about what your dog looks like, or you can include an eye-catching photo that will draw a person’s attention to the poster. Even if someone skips over the entire poster’s details, they will usually still catch the words “Lost Dog” and take a mental note of what your dog looks like from the photo. If they find your dog, they may need to return to the poster to get your phone number, but the photo is the most crucial in your dog’s return.
If possible, include a color photo as this is more eye catching. Depending on your dog’s coat color, a black and white photo may be effective or it could be misleading and make the dog look completely different. A picture of your pet should be a dominating factor of your lost dog poster.
Tip #2: The more important the information, the bigger it needs to be
In big bold letters, your poster proclaims “Lost Dog.” However, it also needs to include the dog’s name in a large font. Why is a name so important? When someone sees a dog they think they recognize from a poster they saw, they will usually try calling out to the dog by the name that was on the poster. When the dog recognizes and responds to his name, this makes it easier to safely apprehend the loose canine and also helps to confirm the dog’s identity.
Another important piece of information is how to get in touch with the dog owner. Include your phone number in a large bold type. If you intend to offer a reward, then this might also be more effective if in a larger type size. You should not include your full name and address; a phone number is sufficient. You also do not need to specify a reward amount, and never provide money until you have your dog back
Tip #3: Details
While many people will glance at the headline and photo, there are others who will read every detail of your poster. This is particularly true for posters that are going to be placed in the waiting room of the veterinarian office, or another place that a person may have a longer opportunity to review it. Your “fine print” can range from a list to a heartfelt paragraph, but regardless of format, it should include details about your dog that can help identify, locate and return him to you.
- Identify – Include your dog’s breed and consider highlighting unique features about your dog’s appearance and temperament?
- Locate – When and where was your dog last seen?
- Return – Once located, how does someone contact the owner?
Here are a couple of fine print examples to get you started on your poster.
Our black lab, Max, went missing [insert date] from his home in [insert neighborhood but not an exact address]. He has a white patch of fur on his chest and back left paw. He is very sweet! Max may play hard to catch, but he will come to you for peanut butter. If you think you have seen our dog, please call us at [insert phone number].
Breed: Black Labrador
Please Contact: [phone number]
Dr. Susan Wright DMV is a highly trained and experienced veterinarian. Dr. Wright and her staff enjoy writing articles focused on puppy care to help dog lovers provide the best care to their furry friends.