Chinchilla Harness and Leash
When we first got our chinchillas, one of the things we asked ourselves was whether we could get a harness and leash that would fit them. Our goal was to be able to take our chinchillas out to the backyard or a field and give them exposure to something outside their regular environment.
But the more research we did, the more it became apparent that harnesses, leashes, and chinchillas don't mix. And while we've never tried using one ourselves, we're inclined to believe the research. Here are reasons to not use a harness with your chinchilla:
- They are skittish to begin with and putting them in a harness will very likely cause them stress.
- Chinchillas “release” chunks of their fur when stressed.
- Their bodies and bones are relatively soft and the strain from a harness is likely to cause them internal injuries.
- A sudden or surprise movement by the chinchilla could result in a “jerking” action on the leash which could easily break their backs or ribs.
- Their soft bodies mean that they could escape from the harness unless you have it really, really tight.
- Chinchillas hop and jump rather than walk like a cat or dog.
If you're still determined to try out a chinchilla harness, check out this information from Rick regarding a harness he's developed.