Can You Walk A Chinchilla? [Avoid These Mistakes]

Wondering if you can walk a chinchilla or use a leash or harness for a chinchilla is shockingly more common than you may believe.

Chinchillas require some attention and some exercise, but overall, make fantastic loving pets.

However, when it comes to exercise for a chinchilla, you have some things you can do and some things you cannot do which is what this post is all about.

Can you walk a chinchilla?

I’ve owned a chinchilla for 5+years, and here’s the critical information to know on this topic.

So, can you walk a chinchilla? No, you can’t walk a chinchilla. A chinchilla can’t be walked outdoors, and a chinchilla can’t be walked on a leash, collar, or harness. Placing a harness, leash, or collar on a chinchilla could result in overheating or potentially cause injuries to a chinchilla’s small bones.

A chinchilla simply can’t be walked and doing so is 100% the incorrect way to provide the best care for your chinchilla.

However, instead of just discussing the harness and leash issues for a chinchilla that you would encounter, I also wanted to give you some insight on other dangers you would encounter if you decide to walk your chinchilla.

Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s brief 2-minute post:

Can You Walk A Chinchilla Outdoors?


So, here’s the deal for all the newer chinchilla owners or just curious individuals reading today that want to know about walking a chinchilla.

You can’t walk a chinchilla outdoors.

You can’t walk a chinchilla indoors either.

A chinchilla should not be outdoors in general.

It presents tons of potential dangers (we will cover these later in the post)

It simply doesn’t work, and chinchillas are not mentally programmed to be controlled in this fashion.

While chinchillas are intelligent rodents, this doesn’t make them capable of changing their natural behaviors and instincts.

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 purely something that needs to be avoided and something I would never recommend trying.

Can You Walk A Chinchilla on A Leash?

The same applies to using a leash for a chinchilla.

It can’t be done, unfortunately.

I agree with anyone reading this.

It would be quite entertaining, not to mention fun, if it was possible to walk a chinchilla a leash.

However, 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.

One of the reasons for this is simple.

Chinchillas Hop and Jump, Not Walk

This is another overlooked problem that individuals may not understand when they first adopt a chinchilla.

It is also one of the reasons walking a chinchilla could easily cause injury to your chinchilla.

When you get your chinchilla out of the cage for playtime and let them run around and interact, you will notice something.

Chinchillas don’t walk.

They jump and hop.

Chinchilla’s 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 they 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 all fur for the most part 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, harness, or any other devices is purely due to having no solid attachment for the leash or harness.

It doesn’t work in the same fashion as a dog.

Chinchillas have incredibly dense fur.

If you try to attach a collar to a chinchilla, it’s not going to stay on.

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 they begin hopping around or become overly stimulated.

Now that we have some of the basics out of the way, I want to discuss 4 of the primary dangers you would encounter if you attempted to walk your chinchilla and or use a leash or a harness on a chinchilla.

4 Reasons To Never Try A Leash and Harness With A Chinchilla

1.) Chinchillas Have Fragile Bodies Which Makes Walking Them Even More Dangerous

We touched on this lightly earlier in this post, but it’s essential to understand and a primary reason never to walk a chinchilla or use a leash and harness for a chinchilla.

Chinchillas have fragile ribs and even a vulnerable neck.

A harness once your chinchilla starts hopping, could fracture or cause injury to your chinchillas’ ribs.

The same applies to a leash around the neck.

If your chinchilla attempts to jump or run away from you or away from anything else while outside, it’s possible they injure their necks or potentially even break their necks, causing death.

Not a risk you should take, to say the least.

2.) Chinchillas Are Way 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 a leash, which they 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 they also get some time to socialize with you on a daily basis.

3.) Chinchillas Need 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.

Chinchillas also shouldn’t be attempted to walk 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 keep your chinchilla proper humidity levels as well as appropriate temps.

Outside merely isn’t fitting for this.

It’s more humid in most circumstances, you can’t control when it rains, and it’s just far too dangerous.

In case you weren’t aware, chinchillas also can’t get wet, so the rain potential is a more significant threat than you may have realized initially.

They can’t adequality dry themselves, and wetness to a chinchilla’s fur can lead to infections and other illnesses.

4.) 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 danger for them.

Alright, let’s assume that you ignore the advice or god forbid are reading this when it maybe just a tad too late.

The thing to understand is that chinchillas simply won’t survive in the wild for long.

They are initially from the Andes Mountains, where its much more climate-controlled and doesn’t rain nearly as often.

Don’t Feel Guilty, Just Ensure A Proper Sized Chinchilla Cage

If you are slightly disappointed or feel that your chinchilla doesn’t have the opportunity to explore the world around them, don’t worry about it.

Chinchillas are completely happy relaxing inside of their cage, assuming you meet the other needs such as diet needs, social interaction, and giving them plenty of items inside of the cage to keep them entertained and happy.

You Should Never Use A Chinchilla Leash Or Harness And Should Never Walk A Chinchilla

In case I lost any of you in my ramble, 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 is relatively high.

It’s not worth it, and you have nothing to worry about.

Like state previously, chinchillas are perfectly happy when within their cages and within a loving home.

However, I’ll turn the floor over to all of you to see what insight you can share with the readers!

Have You Ever Successfully Used a Chinchilla Leash and Harness To Walk A Chinchilla?

Have you ever tried taking a chinchilla outside or tried using a chinchilla leash or harness?

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.


Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

Recent Posts