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Relief vets are welcome in Idaho

Relief vets in Idaho

Working as a relief vet in the Gem State can have a host of advantages. Wide open spaces let you enjoy nature at its finest. And there’s a nice variety of large and small animal practices to work at. The national shortage of veterinarians is especially acute in Idaho, so any relief vets will be welcomed with open arms.

Becoming a Relief Vet in Idaho

Becoming a relief vet in Idaho is a great idea, but it takes some planning. Idaho licensing is done by mail, with no online option currently. 


The fee for licensing is $275. Endorsement applications are accepted, making it just a little easier to get your license. You do not need to submit your NAVLE scores if you’re going by endorsement, but you do have to send in your licenses from any and all other states you’ve been licensed in. There’s also an open book state jurisprudence test and a fingerprinting requirement.


Veterinarians in Idaho make $109,200 on average. That’s right in the middle of the salary range of neighboring states. Because of the lower tax burden in Idaho, a vet nets out about the same in the Gem State as a veterinarian in Oregon


Taking a deeper dive, the Boise metro area pays around $123,000 on average, as much as in Washington state but with a significantly lower cost of living. Northwestern Idaho is still very competitive. In general, the closer you are to Boise, the higher the pay will be. Coeur d’Alene clocks in with an average salary of $93,000. 

Issues Pertinent To Relief Vets in Idaho

Idaho has a special class of technicians just for euthanasia, which may mean that you as a DVM will have to work less with these final cases.

From a health issue perspective, Idaho relief veterinarians should keep an eye out for:

  • Avian Influenza
  • Plague
  • Rabies
  • Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (found in wild rabbits)
  • Parasites and pests, like heartworms and fleas
  • Hypothermia (seasonally)
  • Antifreeze poisoning

Ticks native to Idaho do not carry Lyme disease, but may carry other infections, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. 

Idaho has a very strong large animal community due to its agricultural base. If you’re interested in working on large animals as well as small, you’ll have your choice of shifts at great pay rates.

Balancing Work and Life In Idaho

With amazing landscapes across the state, it’s easy for nature-lovers to get away from the stress of work. There are also nice small towns for a quick break.

Shoshone Falls Park in Twin Falls allows pets for both humans and animals to enjoy these stunning waterfalls. The park is day use only, so it’s a great way to start or cap off any relief vet work in Twin Falls.

Sun Valley, ID is known for first-rate skiing and being a home away from home for the rich and famous. With miles of rugged nature, even pets can enjoy warm summer days or a romp in the snow.

Is it really a visit to Idaho if we don’t mention potatoes? For something off the beaten track, take a trip to the Craters of the Moon National Park and include a visit to the Idaho Potato Museum!