Can you take dogs into polling stations?

A couple take photos of their dog next to a polling station sign.
Dogs at polling stations has become a social media staple on Election days. (Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
There’s no denying that in the midst of a fraught General Election while tensions are running high, the prospect of seeing some good old dogs at polling stations when the public goes to vote this week is a warming thought .

Polling day for the General Election is this Thursday 12 December and as with every voting day in recent years, social media will be awash with pictures of people’s dogs, obediently waiting for their owners to vote outside polling stations around the UK.

But with more wet weather and high winds forecast for later this week , will all the good dogs have to wait outside in the rain?

Can you take dogs into polling stations?

When it comes to the dos and don’ts of polling stations , luckily guidelines from the electoral commission have confirmed that dogs are allowed inside most polling stations – as long as certain rules are followed, such as keeping dogs on leads at all times.

Dog owners must also ensure their pet doesn’t disrupt the voting process.

A person votes with her dog in a polling booth.
Good dogs are welcome in polling stations as long as the building’s policy on dogs permits. (Picture: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Use a Food Dispensing Toy for Fast Eaters. If your dog eats too fast use a food dispensing toy (we love the Kong Wobbler & Bob a Lot), or place a few tennis balls in their bowl to slow their eating. Not only does this keep them from eating too quick, it gives them a nice mental workout.

Essentially, if the building being used as your polling station and the voting officers there permit it, then yes, dogs are allowed inside.

However, if the building doesn’t usually permit dogs then voting day is no exception and unfortunately pooches will have to remain outside.

So, if you are the proud owner of a very good boy, be sure to check with the voting officers at your polling station before bringing your dog inside.