Guidelines and policies

SHW dogs at work guideline

SHW 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 colleague wellbeing.

Photo of dog resting its chin on a laptop keyboard

Scope of the guideline

The procedures outlined in the guideline apply to staff based on the following sites: 

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

and will apply to staff based in the Clarice Pears building. 

(Other SHW sites do not currently allow dogs)

NB This guideline does NOT apply to staff or students with assistance dogs. Assistance dogs are welcome without exception across all areas of UofG and take priority over staff pets.  

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 SHW allows a flexible approach to bringing dogs to 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permission and the active approval of those sharing that general space, and on the understanding that approval may be withdrawn at any stage.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.
  • How often dogs may be brought to work will be at the discretion of line managers or heads of unit. Arrangements MUST be agreed in advance with managers and those sharing the dog owner's room or area. 
  • 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 must be kept on a short lead in all communal areas (corridors/stairs/public areas). No extending leads please as these are a potential trip hazard. 
  • Dogs are not permitted in any food preparation areas or toilets.
  • While dogs of any breed, size or temperament are potentially welcome, we must also consider how a dog’s behaviour may affect staff, students and visitors within the building. If you have a dog that is difficult to control, for example, the office is unfortunately not a suitable environment.
  • 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 three or more legitimate complaints, from different people, of unsuitable behaviour it’s likely that the dog will no longer be able to attend the workplace.
  • These guidelines also apply to any non-SHW colleagues or external visitors attending our offices with their dog. Please make visitors aware of them, if you know they plan to bring their dog to SHW. 

SHW dogs at work registration form 

From April 2022 onwards, we have required any staff member who plans to bring their dog to work to complete a registration form, confirming that arrangements have been formalised with their line manager and that they agree to follow these guidelines. 

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. 

Register to bring your dog to work

Approved by SHW executive group
First approved February 2019
Last reviewed/updated April 2022
Next review due June 2024