I’ve based this post on one that I read some time ago, but now can’t find the original post to link to / reference. If I find it again I’ll update the post.
This might seem counterintuitive, but why would you want to prepare a lost dog poster before you actually lose your dog?
Well simply put, it you are unfortunate enough to lose your dog you’ll have other things to do; phoning / visiting local rescue centres / vets, informing the police and lost dog websites, searching for your missing dog.
If you’ve prepared a poster in advance it’s one less thing to do, plus if you’re away from home and the file is stored in the cloud you should be able to access it more easily.
Keep the details simple; description of the dog, colour, breed, age, sex (incl. neutered if applicable & male), name. Use a couple of pictures, but not too many as they take up space, a couple of reasonable sized pictures are better than lots of small ones that are difficult to see. Include your contact details, preferably mobile phone numbers so that anyone can contact you if you’re out searching. Leave a space for last seen, which can be completed just before printing. Keep the poster to A4 size, as this is the size that nearly every printer uses.
If you also belong to a pet finder website such as Dog Lost, then you can pre-populate your information on there too. Again this will save time in the unfortunate event that you need to use the site.
Finally remember to check and update your posters occasionally to make sure phone numbers, pictures and other details are accurate. This is particularly important for puppies and young dogs as they will change considerably as they grow.
Hopefully the worst thing you have to deal with is preparing posters that you never use.