Can I Bring My Pets to Boise?


If you are a pet lover, then moving tends to get a little more complicated. Due to many restrictions and regulations, sometimes it’s hard to keep the pets you love with you when you relocate—which can be heartbreaking. People moving to Boise may wonder what kinds of pets they are allowed to bring to, or buy in, Boise. To ease your concerns we’ve compiled a list of the animals that are banned from being kept as pets in Boise. Laws, however, can change in a few short weeks. So, before you get your Siberian tigers and komodo dragons ready for a road trip, double check the regulations beforehand. The good news is, however, that if you have an animal that is listed below, there are ways that you can get a permit that will allow you to bring it with you.

Prohibited Mammals:

-Any non-domesticated member of the Felidae (Cat) family. Aside from the beloved house cat, you can’t have any other members of the cat family. So, no tigers, leopards, cheetahs, etc.

-Any non-domesticated members of the Canidae (Dog) family. Like with the cats, no dogs unless they are domesticated. This means that wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc. are not allowed.

-Non-human Primates. Unfortunately, you can’t have any gorillas, capuchins, chimpanzees, or orangutans within Boise city limits.

-Insectivora Animals. These include moon rats, gymnures, shrews, moles, etc. Hedgehogs are also on this list, but only European hedgehogs. Pygmy hedgehogs are completely legal and there is even a breeder in Meridian.

-Rodents. Unless they are domesticated rats, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, or squirrels, they are prohibited.

-Marine Mammals. This includes, but is not limited to whales, seals, and dolphins.

-Xenarthra Animals. Giant anteaters, sloths, tamanduas, armadillos, pangolins, etc. are the Xenarthra family.

-Procyonidae Animals Raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, etc. These are all prohibited except for the Raccoons that are native to Idaho.

-Members of the Mustelidae family This means animals like badgers, weasels, minks, wolverines, etc. Ferrets are also on this list, but the domesticated ferret is allowed.

-All Viverridae Animals This includes civets, meerkats, etc.

-Marsupials All marsupials except for sugar gliders, bettongs, and the Virginia opossum.

-Members of the Hyaenidae family Hyaenidae animals are animals like Hyenas and aardwolves.

-Animals of the Tubulidentata order This includes animals like aardvarks and orcyeropus.

-Animals of the Hyracoidea Order This is the order that shrews belong to.

-Any hoofed Animal. This includes all animals with hoofs except for working and farm animals.

Prohibited Birds:


-Cassowaries – like and Australian ostrich





-Herons and other Ciconiiformes

-Birds of Prey from the Falconiformes order – Kestrels (Other birds of prey are permitted, but due to how difficult they are to care for and how endangered they are, you need special licensing.

-All Owls from the order of Strigiformes – Most owls

Prohibited Reptiles:

-Sea turtles

-Aldabra or Galapagos tortoises – These are the two largest species of tortoise, all other species are allowed.

-Komodo dragons

-All animals under the Crocodilia order –

-Wild-caught Gila monsters and beaded lizards

-Venomous snakes Any venomous snake that is not a specific North American species like coral snakes.

-Tuataras- a lizard native to New Zealand


Prohibited Insects:

-Any insect that is considered a pest by the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the USDA

Now, if you have an animal that is on this list or one that should have been included (vicious or wild or exotic animals) then don’t despair. There are ways to get licensing and permits to bring them with you.

On the subject of domesticated animals that you could pick up from any pet shop-- dogs, cats, turtles, fish, reptiles, rodents, and birds—they can legally be owned without a permit. This holds true everywhere in the state unless a landlord specifically says anything different. There are many apartments and rental units that will either only allow pets if tenants pay a pet fee or just ban pets altogether.

As far as taking pets out in public goes, unless it is posted otherwise, you are perfectly within your rights to bring them anywhere you want. The only exception to this is in the case of service animals—service animals can go almost anywhere.

Animals are a large part of Idaho culture. Whether it be with agriculture, hunting and fishing, or just as trusted friends, animals are close to most Idahoan’s hearts. Due to that fact, the laws are in favor of most pets—assuming they are not vicious in any way.

If you enjoy exotic animals, but don’t want to get one yourself, you can always visit the Boise Zoo. Located in the heart of downtown Boise, the Boise Zoo is an amazing place to spend a morning or afternoon. The zoo has elephants, giraffes, lions, and more. It is both educational and fun for everyone of any age group.

If you love animals, Boise is the place for you. In the Treasure Valley, there are plenty of parks, trails, rivers, lakes, and more for animals to enjoy. There are also dozens of community events to celebrate pets and for pet owners to come together, share ideas, and have fun.

Come to Boise and bring your furry or scaly or feathery friends with you. You never know, you all might not want to leave.

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