Guidelines and policies

SHW dogs at work policy

SHW has developed a policy (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 policy

The procedures outlined in the policy apply to staff based or working in the Clarice Pears building.

Dogs are allowed in all areas of the CP building apart from:

– the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics on Level 5

– rooms in which teaching is taking place

Dogs are allowed in the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Level 4 (excluding meeting rooms and drop in rooms) on Mondays and Fridays only.

Dogs are welcome in most areas of the ground floor including the café area (but, as above, NOT where teaching is taking place). As in all other public or shared spaces (including open plan office areas), please keep them on a short, non-extendable lead at all times.  Do not let them up on the chairs.

Please ensure that, if your dog accompanies you to another level of the Clarice Pears building, you comply with the regulations on that level, which may differ from the area in which you are mainly based.

NB This policy 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.  They must also be kept on a lead.

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 workplace 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 School, as appropriate, it may be permitted to keep dogs in rooms, offices or open plan areas.
  • Dogs must be controlled at all times and can only be kept in offices/working spaces 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 or areas 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, unit administrators, and those sharing the dog owner's room or area.
  • A sign should be in place on office doors or at the front of open plan areas making staff, students or visitors aware that a dog is present in case they have a genuine fear of dogs or allergy, or 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 and shared areas (corridors/stairs/public areas and open plan office 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 who 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. Or you may use the online Suggestion box if you wish to remain anonymous. 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.
  • This policy also applies 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

Since April 2022, 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 unit administrator/CP level manager, and that they agree to follow this policy.

Once your completed form has been received in SHW Admin, we will confirm the details with your unit or level manager.

Complaints procedure

If you have a complaint or concern relating to a dog in the workplace, please contact your unit administrator, or via the Suggestion box.

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, or earlier if required.

Register to bring your dog to work

Approved by SHW executive group
First approved February 2019
Last reviewed/updated April 2024
Next review due April 2025