Dogs in the Workplace

UBC Forestry - Dogs in the Workplace - Tanka with dog tag

The Faculty of Forestry (FF) acknowledges the increasing recognition of the role that dogs play in improving human’s ability to deal with stress in the workplace.

Our Dogs in the Workplace Policy acknowledges the value of bringing dogs to the workplace while recognizing that this is a privilege and a responsibility rather than a right. This policy was developed by a Dog Policy Team (Watts, Coops and El-Kassaby) in the Faculty of Forestry and was approved at the Faculty’s Senior Management Team meeting on Monday, April 4, 2016. It was later updated in August 2019 and in May 2023.

Any faculty, staff or graduate student wishing to bring their dog to work must first agree to abide by this Policy and complete the Dogs in the Workplace Agreement with all required signatures.

Once approved, a “dog-in-office” sign (provided upon sign-off of the form) must be placed on the door of any office with an approved canine visitor. Our updated Policy also requires that dogs registered through this Agreement must wear a “Dogs in the Workplace” numbered ID tag (provided) while in our FF Buildings. Each department will maintain the record-keeping for approved dogs in their departmental workspaces.

Dogs in the Workplace Policy

The Faculty of Forestry (FF) acknowledges the increasing recognition of the role that dogs play in improving human’s ability to deal with stress in the workplace. The Dogs in the Workplace Policy acknowledges the value of bringing dogs to the workplace but views this as a privilege and a responsibility rather than a right. The policy does not apply to service dogs brought to campus for assistance to persons with disabilities and where the dog is certified as a guide animal pursuant to the Guide Animal Act of British Columbia.

Policy Objective

This policy is intended to set parameters whereby FF faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students may bring their dogs to work in an environment that is safe and acceptable for all persons and canines in the Forest Sciences Centre and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (here after the FF Buildings). Our Policy is designed to support:

  • authorized
  • fully housebroken
  • sweet-tempered
  • non-aggressive
  • quiet
  • happy to be confined

dogs who are current with their vaccinations, are licensed and are wearing a FF identification tag.

Official UBC Forestry dog in office sign

Policy Implementation

  1. FF graduate students, staff and faculty wishing to bring their dog to work must fill out the FF Dogs in the Workplace Agreement. This agreement must be signed by the applicant, supervisor and relevant administrative personnel. The agreement also requires that staff, postdoctoral fellows or graduate students who work in a shared space obtain prior permission from their co-workers as well as their supervisors.
  2. Each dog will be confined to its owner’s office or shared workspace and should not be left unattended. A dog must be contained in a secured space when it is unavoidable to leave the dog alone. An official FF “dog in office” sign (provided) must be displayed prominently at the entrance to the owner’s workspace. Only one dog shall be permitted in an office or shared workspace at any one time.
  3. Owners are to ensure that their dog is wearing an up-to-date municipal license, owner identification and, while in the FF Buildings, a FF “Dogs in the Workplace” identification tag (supplied).
  4. When dogs are outside of the owner’s workspace, and within the FF Buildings, they must be leashed.
  5. Standard veterinary care must be maintained, including up-to-date vaccinations, and a flea management program. Documentation regarding vaccinations must be available on request.
  6. Dogs will be kept out of all areas containing hazardous materials or machinery as well as areas utilized heavily in day-to-day FF activities, including: kitchens/lunch rooms, restrooms, mail and photocopy rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, and open work/study spaces.
  7. Dog owners are responsible for any personal or property damage caused by their dog, including: damage from accidents, excessive dog hair or odor.
  8. Owners of dogs must clean up after their dog while on FF or campus property, and dispose of the waste appropriately. Remove clumps of feces and flush down the toilet (without bags) or place in the garbage (preferably double bagged). Disposing of waste in a sanitary napkin receptacle is prohibited.
  9. Should there be a complaint regarding a dog, the complaint will be forwarded in writing by the complainant to the administrator of the department of the supervisor whose name is on the signed Dogs in the Workplace Agreement. A meeting with representation from the department and the FF Dog Policy Team* will be called to discuss an appropriate mitigation strategy and make recommendations to all parties involved. If this strategy does not resolve the situation, the complaint will be referred to the FF Senior Management Team for resolution.
  10. If a dog causes a significant disturbance (such as barking) or poses a health or safety risk, the dog will be removed from the FF Buildings immediately, and will not return until a Dog Policy Team review of the incident has been completed.
  11. If the owner of a dog moves to a new location in the FF Buildings, or a new individual joins a shared workspace, the agreement must be updated and filed with the appropriate departmental administrator. 
  12. If a supplied FF “Dogs in the Workplace” identification tag is no longer needed for any reason, it must be returned to the departmental office and cannot be transferred to anyone else. A lost tag must be reported to the relevant departmental administrator and replaced promptly. An administration fee will apply.
  13. Dog owners agree to assume sole responsibility for any damage or injury caused by their dogs. Dog owners agree to indemnify and hold harmless UBC for any damage or injury caused by their dogs.

Evaluation and Review

The FF Senior Management Team accepted this Policy on Monday April 4, 2016. It was reviewed and updated June 1, 2019 and May 1, 2023. Further evaluations and reviews will be made every 3 years.

Examples of Photo Images Required for Your Application

When you are ready to submit your printed application form, please provide 2 electronic colour photos of your dog (1 full body shot and 1 headshot, see the examples below). These images must be high resolution and in .jpg or .png format.

Dog headshot example
Dog full body example photo for application form requirement

Dog Policy Team*

Current Dog Policy Team members are:
Sue Watts – Office of the Dean
Sue Grayston – Forest and Conservation Sciences
Dianna Hastings – Wood Science
Caryn Horii – Office of the Dean