Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Idaho

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021


Emotional support animals provide assistance to a person with a disability, but unlike service dogs, they do not have the trained to perform tasks. ESAs can accompany a disabled person on flights and even in housing that doesn’t allow pets. Learn more about getting an emotional support animal in Idaho below!

Emotional Support Animal in Idaho: Specific Protections

Emotional support animals are not considered “pets” and have more rights than a typical companion animals in Idaho. Under federal law, service animals are allowed to accompany a disabled person in public places where pets are not normally allowed.

In Idaho, only those with hearing and mobile disabilities are allowed to bring their service dogs in public places. Emotional support animals are only allowed in pet-friendly areas unless the Air Carrier Access Act or the Fair Housing Act is being enforced.

What is an Assistance Animal

emotional support animal in idaho

Idaho defines assistance animals as one that helps a person with a psychical or psychiatric disability; it can be an emotional support or service animal depending on whether or not it is trained. Any animal that uses a human-animal bond to help a person manage their disability can be considered an assistance animal, from dogs and cats to miniature horses.

Idaho defines an emotional support animal as one that provides a therapeutic benefit as opposed to service animals that are trained to perform tasks for a disabled person. A licensed mental health professional can prescribe an emotional support animal to a person with a mental disability like anxiety or depression.

How to get an Emotional Support Animal in Idaho: CertaPet’s simple 5 min process

emotional support dog idaho

Getting an emotional support animal in Idaho is easy if you have a qualifying condition like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, mood disorder, etc. You do not need to “register” or “certify” (not real) your ESA, it is easier than getting a service dog.

  • Start with a Pre-Screening to see you suffer from any of the conditions
  • If you qualify Certapet will find a Licensed Mental Health Professional to start the process of making your pet an ESA.
  • You will have your LMHP letter within 48 hours.
  • The LMHP letter will allow you to bring your ESA on a plane and live as a tenant in no-pet housing.

Emotional Support Animal Laws:

Travel Laws (Air Carrier Access Act)

The Air Carrier Access Act allows service animals and emotional support animals to accompany a disabled person in the air carrier. If you have proper documentation, according to this law, your emotional support animal fly in the cabin with you. Some airlines will even waive the pet travel fee for support and service animals.

Getting an Emotional Support Animal in Idaho and want to know more about taking it with you on flights? Read our article about the Air Carrier Access Act.

Employment Laws

Employment laws protect a disabled person from discrimination.  A workplace must provide reasonable accommodation to a person with a disability.  Service animals are allowed in most workplaces under reasonable accommodation, but emotional support animals are not.  You can ask your employer if you can bring your emotional support animal, but it is a case-by-case basis.

Housing Laws (Fair Housing Act)

The Fair Housing Act prevents housing discrimination against tenants suffering from a disability. If you are getting an emotional support animal in Idaho, you will have access to housing as a tenant.

Your landlord or housing provider can not discriminate against tenants with disabilities, and your no-pet rules and even a tenant pet-deposit can be waved. Emotional support animals are not considered “pets” under this law.

ESA Campus Housing

The Fair Housing Act applies to college university housing if the school receives federal financial support. Under federal law, students are covered under anti-discrimination laws and must have access to full participation in school activities and functions, which includes housing.

Exception to Rules

Therapy animals that are assistive animals, but do not provide assistance to the handler, are not protected under these laws.

Punishment for Misrepresenting an Assistance Animal

Under Idaho Law, misrepresenting a service animal is a misdemeanor.  The charges for a misdemeanor in Idaho are up to 6 months in county jail or a fine of up to $1000. ESAs do not have rights to public accommodations outside of the housing provider laws and travel laws currently in place.

4 Facts You Need to Know Before Receiving Your ESA

1. Emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, comfort animals, and other assistive animals are not considered service animals unless they have been certified and trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability.

2. Psychiatric service dogs can help those with a psychiatric disorder like post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Unlike an emotional support animal, they are trained to help a disabled person and are considered service dogs.  They do more than provide comfort and support.

3. Emotional support animals do not have public accommodations rights, as service dogs do.  Service dogs can go in almost any public place with a person.

4. Misrepresenting an assistance animal as a service animal is illegal. If you are caught mispresenting an assistance dog, you may be fined or face legal action.

Where to Find a Suitable ESA!

You can’t “buy” an emotional support animal like a service dog.  An emotional support letter is for the person, not the dog. You will need to get your pet beforehand.  You can check your local shelter and adoption facilities to find a suitable animal.

Where to Take your Emotional Support Animal

Emotional support animals are only allowed in pet-friendly places, unlike service animals.  Idaho has many dog-friendly activities across the state.

Some pet-friendly ideas in your area:

Dog Parks and Dog Runs

  • Storey Park Park
  • City Creek Trail System
  • Redwood Park

Dog-friendly restaurants and bars

  • 10 Barrel Brewing
  • O’Dunken’s Draught House
  • Westside Drive-In

Resorts, fitness, and spas

  • Dog Vacay Boise
  • Wiggle Butts
  • A Loving Touch Puppy Parlor


  • Pet-A-Pawlooza
  • Annual Pooch Party Stroll & Splash

ESAs in Idaho: How to Get Connected with an LMHP in Your State Today!

If you want to look into getting an emotional animal in Idaho, start with a 5-minute pre-screening to see if you qualify for an ESA.

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