The thought of walking your chinchilla on a leash around the block makes you smile.
It does me.
But is it actually possible?
Can you walk a chinchilla on a leash like you can a dog?
If you have a chinchilla, or plan to get one, and you are asking this question, you absolutely need to keep reading.
We’ll answer the question and cover everything you need to know about walking your chinchilla. Trust me, this could save your pet’s life.
- 1 Can You Walk A Chinchilla Outdoors?
- 2 Chinchilla On A Leash: Is It Possible?
- 3 Chinchilla Leashes and Harnesses
- 4 4 Reasons Chinchillas Can’t Wear Leashes And Harnesses
- 5 Make Up For No Walks With A Proper Sized Chinchilla Cage
- 6 Walking A Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
Can You Walk A Chinchilla Outdoors?
No, you can’t walk a chinchilla outdoors. Placing a harness, leash, or collar on a chinchilla could result in overheating or potentially cause injuries to a its small bones.
You can’t walk a chinchilla indoors either. You simply can’t walk a chinchilla at all, and doing so is 100% counter to our stated goal of always providing the best care for our chinchilla.
And it’s not just about issues with the harness or collar and leash. We’re also going to discuss some of the other dangers you would encounter if you decided to walk your chinchilla.
Because not only can’t you walk a chinchilla outdoors, but these little rodents should not be outdoors in general.
It presents tons of potential dangers, which we will cover further down in this article.
Apart from the dangers, walking a chinchilla simply doesn’t work. They just aren’t mentally programmed to be controlled in this fashion.
Walking is not a trait or behavior that a chinchilla understands.
While it is a shockingly common question to ask and many new chinchilla owners are curious if a chinchilla can be walked, it is something to avoid completely and something I would never recommend trying.
Chinchilla On A Leash: Is It Possible?
The thought of walking a chinchilla on a leash leaves me smiling. I’m sure we all agree on that. It seems like a fun idea.
But it isn’t.
It could cause serious injury to a chinchilla and simply will not work out in your favor. Don’t attempt to use any leash on a chinchilla in any fashion. That goes for both collars and harnesses.
One of the reasons for this is surprisingly simple.
Chinchillas Hop And Jump
This is a commonly overlooked issue that many new owners do not understand when they first adopt a chinchilla.
It is also one of the reasons walking a chinchilla could easily cause injury to your pet.
When you get your chinchilla out of the cage for playtime and let it run around and interact, you will notice something.
Chinchillas don’t walk. They jump and hop.
Chinchillas spring around and move quickly. They don’t sit still and walk casually like a dog.
They naturally enjoy exploring and jump on everything possible. Depending on the environment, you will likely see your chinchilla trying to climb on just about anything it can find.
Chinchilla Leashes and Harnesses
The next common question that arises on the topic of walking a chinchilla comes down to the use of leashes and harnesses for a chinchilla.
Chinchillas are almost all fur, which is the primary reason a leash and a harness would never work.
It would slip right off.
You can’t walk a chinchilla on a leash with a harness or collar, or any other device, for no other reason than that it is not possible to get a solid attachment for the collar or harness.
It doesn’t work in the same fashion as a dog.
The fur is going to give you a false sense that it’s secure, but once you are outside, it likely won’t remain on your chinchilla for long.
Especially when it begins hopping around or becomes overly stimulated.
Now that we have some of the basics out of the way, I want to discuss four of the primary dangers you would encounter if you attempted to walk your chinchilla and/or used a leash or a harness on it.
4 Reasons Chinchillas Can’t Wear Leashes And Harnesses
These are the 4 biggest reasons putting a leash and harness on a chinchilla is a horrible idea that would never end well.
Chinchillas Have Fragile Bodies Which Makes Walking Them Even More Dangerous
We touched on this earlier in this post, but it’s essential to understand. It is a primary reason never to walk a chinchilla or use a leash and harness on one.
Chinchillas have fragile ribs and a vulnerable neck.
Once your chinchilla starts hopping, a harness could fracture, or otherwise injure, your chinchilla’s ribs. The same applies for a collar around the neck.
If your chinchilla attempts to jump or run away from you, or from anything else that might startle it while outside, it’s possible it could injure its neck, or potentially even break its neck and die.
It’s just not a risk you should take, to say the least.
Chinchillas Are Much Faster Than You Think
Here’s another significant problem you may not be aware of. If your chinchilla did happen to get off the leash, what’s your backup plan?
I can promise you that in a foot race, you are going to lose.
Once your chinchilla finds a way to get off the leash, which it likely will through some form of chewing or jumping, it’s game over.
Why even take the risk?
Enough chinchilla cage accessories will keep your chinchilla stimulated and happy, as long as it also gets some time to socialize with you on a daily basis. There is no need for a dangerous walk outside.
Chinchillas Need A Consistent Climate And Proper Temperatures
I think we all know this rule of general care when it comes to a chinchilla. If not, I’m glad you ended up reading this post.
Another reason you should never attempt to walk your chinchilla is simply because they can’t handle changes in climate.
If you need further information on this topic, you can read my article about how chinchillas need to remain at ideal temperatures here.
It will fill you in on how to maintain proper humidity levels and appropriate temperatures for your pet at all times.
The outside world simply doesn’t have a consistent enough climate. It’s more humid than they need, in most areas. You also can’t control when it rains.
In case you weren’t aware, chinchillas can’t get wet, so the potential for rain is a more significant threat than you may have realized initially.
They can’t adequality dry themselves, and wetness on a chinchilla’s fur can lead to infections and other illnesses.
Chinchillas Won’t Last Long Against The World
A chinchilla should not even be in a room indoors that is not chinchilla proofed. Let alone being outside in a world full of dangers.
But let’s assume that you ignore this advice. Or that you are reading this article when it is already a bit too late.
The thing to understand is that chinchillas simply won’t survive in the wild for long. That has to do with there the come from.
They are initially from the Andes Mountains, where its much more climate-controlled and doesn’t rain nearly as often. Our habitats simply don’t suit them.
Make Up For No Walks With A Proper Sized Chinchilla Cage
If you are disappointed to read all this and learn that your chinchilla can’t have the opportunity to explore the world around it, don’t worry about it.
Chinchillas are completely happy relaxing inside of their cage, assuming you meet their other needs such as dietary needs, social interaction, and giving them plenty of items inside of the cage to keep them entertained and happy.
Walking A Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
If I lost any of you in my rambling, let’s make sure we recap briefly.
Never walk a chinchilla.
Never take a chinchilla outside and never attempt to use a leash, collar, or harness on a chinchilla.
The chances of something terrible happening are just too high.
It’s not worth it, and not getting walks is ok with these pets. As stated previously, chinchillas are perfectly happy when in their cages and in a loving home.
Now I’ll turn the floor over to all of you to see what insights you can share with us!
Have you ever successfully used a leash and harness to walk a chinchilla?
Have you ever tried taking a chinchilla outside, or tried using a leash and harness, and met with disaster?
Share your thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading. Thanks again, and we will see you next time.