What pets are legal in Boise?

Idaho is one of the best states for pet owners in the country; the laws allowing certain pets are a lot more open than other states. For instance, in Idaho, you can own African Pygmy Hedgehogs, sugar gliders, Bearded Dragons, chinchillas, capybaras, and of course pets like dogs and cats. There are also very exotic animals that can be owned with a license in Idaho, but let's focus on the ones that are non-threatening and easy to own in the state (as all animals permitted as pets in Idaho are supposed to be non-threatening anyway).


A super cute pet option that many Idahoans and non-Idahoans alike enjoy having around is the chinchilla. These small puffballs of fur look like a mix between a gray hamster and a really chubby, fluffy mouse. They live significantly longer lives than mice and hamsters though, as their average lifespan is ten years. Also, these tiny critters are much higher maintenance than many other rodents, including the popular African Pygmy Hedgehog and hamsters. They cannot get wet, and if they do they must be dried immediately or their fur will grow fungus. They have to take special baths in a type of dust, and they need regular exercise and dental upkeep. If you are looking for a low-key pet, chinchillas are probably not for you. However, if you are wanting a cute little animal to love and take care of, you may be a good fit as a chinchilla pet owner; just be sure to learn how to properly take care of the little critter so that you can give it a happy, healthy home.

(Information found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinchilla)

African Pygmy Hedgehog

The African Pygmy Hedgehog is probably the kind of hedgehog you think of when the image of the little furry creature pops into your head. There are two types of hedgehogs, and only the African Pygmy Hedgehog is allowed in Idaho. The European Hedgehog is not permitted as a pet in Idaho; it is found primarily in Europe and is often more difficult to have permitted as a pet than its African Pygmy Hedgehog brother.

These cute little critters are pretty high maintenance and require a lot of attention and patience. You can't treat a hedgehog-like a hamster and just watch it run on its wheel, feed it, and occasionally take it out to hold. These hedgehogs need to be handled by humans often or they will start getting scared of you and will ball up in spiky defense. Some hedgehog breeders note that it's like having a dog. You can't just put it in a box and look at it; you have to interact with it throughout the day every day. So, if you want one of these cute rodents, be sure to read up on them first and find a breeder in Idaho near you to find out what you need to know in order to purchase one and take it home.

Sugar Gliders

Another popular animal to own in Idaho - one that looks like a rodent but is actually a marsupial - is the sugar glider. Sugar gliders are adorable little pets that are very unique in their looks and a huge change of pace from having a common household rodent like a hamster. These creatures have specific food needs, personality traits to read up on, and special care that needs to be studied before anyone can take care of one.

Sugar gliders very social creatures; they love humans and need interaction with you, such as being placed in a shirt pocket or pouch around your neck. They also need social interaction with other sugar gliders as well. If they don't get this, they will become depressed and can even die from the depression. So, if you are wanting a sugar glider, you need to be aware that you will need to get multiple if you want them to be healthy and happy. The diet of the sugar glider mainly consists of certain fruits, insects, and even small rodents; this is in the wild, however, so talk to a professional to know what you should feed one.

If you are interested in owning a sugar glider, be sure to learn all you need to know about them beforehand. Decide ahead of time whether or not the work it takes to care for these critters are worth it to you or not because having a sugar glider is a big commitment.

Information found here: https://www.thespruce.com/sugar-gliders-as-pets-1237334

Bearded Dragons

If mammals aren't your thing, how about trying out a reptile as a pet? Special lizards can be bought in Idaho, including iguanas and bearded dragons. The bearded dragon is a lizard that grows spiked along its body and has a "beard" that flares out when threatened or when it's being possessive of its territory. A fun fact about bearded dragons is that in the wild when certain species are threatened they run away on their hind legs! Can you imagine seeing a lizard running around like a person? That would be a sight to see for sure!

Bearded dragons must have a very specific kind of living area. They must have a tank set at a specific temperature (usually heated with a special kind of lamp), rocks, plants, places to hide in (like a small makeshift cave), and a shallow dish of water.

Bearded dragons change color if they are sick, so they will let you know if they need to be seen immediately if they start turning black on their backs and yellow on their legs.

Be sure to study up on how to take care of these scaly friends before making a decision to buy one. They are fairly high maintenance for a lizard and need regular and specific care. Remember that when buying any kind of pet, you need to be ready and have a lot of thoughtful consideration put in the decision beforehand so you can be ready to add a friend to your life permanently.

(information found here: http://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/reptiles-amphibians/bearded-dragon-facts)

As you can see, there are plenty of fun exotic animals to own as pets here in Idaho. We only named a few popular picks, but there are many more. Call around the local pet stores like Zamzows and PetsMart and check out what is available near you.