Chinchilla Harness by Setco Enterprises

This is a note from Rick of Secto Enterprises about a chinchilla harness he's developed. We haven't used this harness, but if you're determined to use one, Rick might have the best solution for you.

I have developed a Chinchilla Harness that is lightweight, “quick snap” design and has an optional “potty pouch” attachment for the convenience of not having to clean up after your Chinchilla right away.

My harness is Patent Pending, but production will now begin. First production will be of CANVAS MATERIAL ONLY and WILL ONLY BE PRODUCED IN THE COLOR BLACK, but as production increases we will begin to offer various colors as well as leather.

As mentioned in my earlier posts Chinchilla owners must be extremley careful when deciding if they want to harness their Chinchilla. You must remember that NOT ALL CHINCHILLAS WILL ACCEPT BEING HARNESSED. You must also remember that the best way to try and get your Chinchilla to accept the harness is to show extreme love and patience for your pet. Chinchillas have extremely soft bones and can be injured easily if caution is not taken. When a Chinchilla becomes excited, this will in turn cause them to be stressed and they will lose chunks of fur, however this is only a “defense” mechanism and the loss of fur is not a permanent condition.

When I first harnessed my Chin I got her use to a piece at a time (the harness will include two attachable pieces), holding her while each piece was in place. I held her for at least a good half an hour getting her use to the feeling of this new restraint against her body. I then confined her in a very small area (a cage not much bigger than her) that I had padded on the inside, for a short period of time so that she would not be injured if she got excited. At first, she was skittish but I made sure that I was able to monitor her actions to insure there would be no injuries. Eventually, she accepted the harness. Once I got my Chin to accept the harness, I let her wear the harness for several days to allow her to get accustomed to this new feeling while going about her every day routine. Then I removed the harness to insure that she would not chew it up! Chinchillas love to chew and this harness is primarily for the purpose of being able to control where your Chin goes while out of its cage. DO NOT leave the harness on your Chin for long periods if it looks like they are nibbling on it!

Remember, Chinchillas for the most part do not like to be restrained and will get a bit excited when they are first harnessed, but it is up to YOU, the owner, to make sure extreme caution is taken while training your Chin to accept the harness and in doing so, alleviate any possiblity of injury to your pet. Always monitor your Chinchillas behavior during the process! If your Chinchilla does not get use to its new restraint within the day, chances are it wont get use to it, and it would probably be better not to harness your Chin at all.

The cost of our first production of Chinchilla Harnesses will be $65.00 ea.* plus $8.00 for shipping (the optional “potty pouch” is an additional $10.00). Each harness will include harnessing instructions and to insure every harness arrives in perfect condition, each harness will be individually inspected prior to shipping. Please remember, these are custom, hand made harness and are NOT mass produced by machines. The amount of harnesses made, will be for the amount of harness ordered. They will be adjustable one size fits all (NO BABIES, Adults Only). Because these are custom, hand made to each order, there will be NO REFUNDS or RETURNS! *Please note: this is a body harness with a metal “eye” for a leash attachment. This harness DOES NOT include a leash! My recomendation is to purchase a small retractable leash for “toy” or petite dogs.

Temporarily, we will be accepting check or money order only. Soon, we will be accepting credit cards and PayPal. Payments can be payable to: Setco Enterprises and sent to P.O. Box 3003, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Product will NOT be shipped until checks have cleared, so please be patient for your new Chinchilla Harnesses to arrive! For faster shipping, please notify us of your intent to buy PRIOR to sending payment so that production of your NEW Chinchilla Harness can be implemented. Please include the number of harnesses ordered and how many pouches you would like. Your NEW Chinchilla Harness will be sent out as soon as payment has been received. All notifications can be sent to:

Please tell your friends about our NEW harness and keep in touch to find out about our new website!!

Setco Enterprises

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  1. I am wondering too what makes you think your chin wants to run around out side. I put mine down once and she climbed back up my leg and wouldn't leave my arms. Am I missing a sign that shows they want to explore the outside world?

    • Our male chinchilla absolutely hates being outside. Our female lives for it. She hates being in her cage when not sleeping so we started taking her for walkies at night. We hold her in our arms and she goes for walks that way, but now we want to find her a harness and leash so she can explore a little.

  2. 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.

    • I think if your chinchilla is naturally skiddish a harness would not be a good idea. However if your chinchilla is more laid back and harness would be great.

    • All excellent points, glad you posted that here. Harness and chins do not go together. People have tried and failed.

      While some may think it would be 'cute' to walk around with a chin in a harness those people need to think about the safety and comfort of their pet.

  3. Just to add a note: I was wondering what a chinchilla would be doing that would indicate he wants to go outdoors, rather than run around his chinproof, safe, room. If the harness is so your chinchilla can happily and safely be in a room which is not chinproof, that might make sense. But outside seems to be for the owner, not for the chin.

    • I'm baby sitting a little girl who clearly wants to go outside. She nudges the closed door and makes like a thoroughbred for it every time it opens. In fact she has been out with me twice and seems to love it. More over I have seen chins in harnesses on leashes perched on people's shoulders as they browsed through pet stores showing no stress but tons of curiosity.
      If you have a pet that is traveling like they do, or one who may be difficult to catch in an emergency but the two of you enjoy being outside of a familiar room, then some method of securement is prudent.
      A safe method of doing so would seem to be a boon in these cases.

  4. It would seem almost any chinchilla would be scared being outdoors, whether on a leash or not. No place to hide. No protection. I saw a leashed chinchilla once outside in a park in San Francisco. A park with dogs and frisbees. Lots of people. Chinchillas certainly do not recognize that we are ready to protect them from predators. And chinchillas could easily get tangled in a leash and get hurt. Am I missing something?

    If you want a harness, get a dog.

  5. could i see what this harness looks like? my chinchilla gets a bit stunned when he goes outside, and doesn't do much because he doesn't know the outside world very well. (i hold him and walk him around outside, hes a very calm chin) I tried a rabbit harness out on him and he didn't even notice he was wearing it at all. its just that when i tried a leash out on him, he was confused because something was holding him back. he wasn't really scared , just a bit confused and i hope to see what this harness looks like, and possibly try it out on my chin. Thanks!

  6. I just got a regular harness meant for a guinea pig. It seems soft and comfortable, and they're getting used to it. I just need two people to put it on, (My mom and I) since one has to hold and the other has to put it on. We have 2 chinchillas, so it's a little hassle, but do you think it's okay? And I agree with Yvonne, who is either the comment below or on top of me.

  7. Hi:
    Can we see an image of the chinchilla harness? We became aware a leash would really hurt chins. Plus they can slip out of anything!

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