Guidelines and policies

IHW dogs at work guideline

IHW has developed guidelines (with reference to College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Dogs at Work Policy) relating to the presence of dogs in our working environment, which will lead to a consistent approach to staff and student wellbeing.

Photo of dog resting its chin on a laptop keyboard

Scope of the guideline

The procedures outlined in the guideline apply to the following sites: 

  • Gartnavel Royal Hospital Administration Building
  • Fleming Pavilion, Acre Road 
  • 1-3 Lilybank Gardens
  • 1 Horselethill Road and 124 Observatory Road

(NB Currently other IHW sites do not allow dogs)

Policy effective from 01 February 2019

To ensure a consistent approach across the university’s campuses, it is generally only acceptable to bring dogs into the work-place if the policy is observed and their presence satisfies specific conditions as described below.


  • There are clear health and safety issues that can arise including allergic reactions, and if the animal is not closely supervised or controlled injuries from tripping or even biting could occur. Moreover, some staff, students and visitors may have a genuine fear of animals and this should be respected.
  • The great benefit animals can bring to physical and emotional wellbeing is also acknowledged. It is appreciated that custom and practice has meant that it would be very difficult for some individuals to make arrangements for the care of these animals when at work, if some flexibility were not permitted.


  • Whilst IHW allows a flexible approach to bringing pets on campus, it is important that staff are aware of the circumstances in which this is permitted.
  • At the discretion of Head of Unit or Director of Institute, as appropriate, it may be permitted to keep animals in rooms or offices.
  • Dogs must be controlled at all times and can only be kept in offices with the permission and the active approval of those sharing that general space, and on the understanding that approval may be withdrawn at any stage.
  • Visitors to rooms where dogs are present should be advised in advance and asked if they would prefer that the dog be removed. The dog owner should be willing to remove the dog temporarily from the shared space whenever requested.
  • The dog owner is responsible for: any damage to furnishings or fabric of the room caused by the animal kept there; keeping the spaces used to accommodate dogs clean (i.e removing dog hair on a regular basis) – this is not a cleaner’s responsibility; responsible for clearing any dog waste from outdoor areas.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the offices 24/7. They may be brought into the office on occasion, and should be agreed in advance with your line manager and those sharing the space.
  • A sign post should be in place on office doors making staff, students or visitors aware that a dog is in the office in case they have a genuine fear of dogs or allergy, or if they would like to visit the dog.
  • The dog owner is responsible for the wellbeing of their animal and should ensure that they have access to fresh water and regular opportunities for exercise.
  • Dogs should be kept on a lead in corridors/stairs/public areas.
  • Dogs are not permitted in any food prep areas or toilets.
  • Any behaviour which staff, students or visitors are uncomfortable with may be reported to your Unit administrator who will monitor the situation, and report to Head of Unit. If there are =>3 reports, by different people, of unsuitable behaviour it’s likely that the dog will no longer be able to attend the workplace.

Audit assessment compliance

This policy has been drafted and audited to comply with the principles of the Human Rights Act. Equality and diversity issues have also been considered to ensure compliance with Equality legislation and policies. In addition, Data Protection, Freedom of Information, Management of College Information and Health and Safety issues have been considered. Adherence to this policy will therefore ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and internal policies.

Review and ownership

Review of the policy will be undertaken every two years. 

Approved by IHW executive group
First approved February 2019
Last updated April 2021
Next review April 2023