Hamsters are active little creatures who enjoy running around, digging, and exploring, but they’re so tiny that they can easily get lost if you let them roam free. Hamsters get most of their exercise from running on a wheel or playing in their cage but would love to have more space to explore. The solution is to make your hamster a leash so that you can take him for a walk while keeping him safe.
You can make a hamster leash by measuring your hamster with a ribbon and then creating a comfortable harness to fit around its body. The harness needs to be made from soft material and fit snugly so that your hamster won’t be able to wiggle out of it while walking outside in a non-controlled area.
In this article, I will explain how to create a hamster harness and leash with a step-by-step guide. I will also discuss which materials you will need to create a hamster harness and leash, whether you can use a collar on a hamster, and how to train your hamster to walk on a leash.
Step by Step Guide To Make the Perfect Hamster Leash
Hamsters are adorable little creatures, and, understandably, you want yours to be as happy as he can be. Watching him play and exercise in his cage can be entertaining, but if you are a loving pet owner, it is normal for you to want your hamster to be able to explore the great outside world.
Hamsters are fast and will get lost if you let them play outside of their enclosure, so what can you do to help your little buddy live his best life?
You can make a hamster harness and leash and take him on walks in your backyard or even in the park if you feel particularly adventurous.
Read How To Make Your Hamster Happy
Materials You Will Need To Make a Hamster Leash
Making your own hamster leash and harness might sound daunting, but it is actually very straightforward.
Here is a list of materials that you will need to create the perfect harness and leash for your hamster:
- 2 x Tiny metal O rings
- 1 x Tiny snap hook
- 4 x Tiny slip lock buckles (optional)
Creating Your Hamster Harness and Leash
Now that you have all the materials you need, you can start making a harness and leash for your furry little friend.
Start by measuring your hamster for the harness. Be careful while measuring him as hamsters are delicate, and you don’t want to hurt him. You want the harness to fit comfortably and snug around your hamster’s body. You don’t want him to be able to wiggle out of it, but you also don’t want to hurt him.
To measure your hamster, take a piece of ribbon and place one end at the back of its neck. Loop the ribbon around your hamster’s neck, across his chest, and behind his right front leg. Bring the ribbon back to the starting point behind your hamster’s neck and cut it off.
Take the size of the O rings into consideration when taking your measurements, as they will form a part of the harness. You also have to have a little extra material to sew the ribbon onto the O ring.
If you want to make an adjustable harness, you will have to measure an inch of extra material before cutting it.
Now follow the same step as above, but loop the ribbon behind your hamster’s left front leg and remember to leave enough material for sewing before cutting it.
You will now have two pieces of ribbon that should be approximately the same size.
Sew the two pieces together in the form of an x shape. This will be the front end of your harness. It should fit snugly across your hamster’s chest.
Step 3 (Optional)
If you want to make an adjustable harness, you should now add your tiny slip lock buckles such as these Swpeet Gun-Black Metal Rings (available on Amazon.com) onto each of the four pieces of your x-shaped ribbon. These particular rings are made of durable metal and aren’t welded, so they’re super strong.
This step is not necessary to create a harness that fits perfectly, but if you enjoy sewing and want a more detailed harness, you can go ahead and create an adjustable harness.
Whether you decide to add slip lock buckles or not, you can continue from here.
Take the two ends of the ribbon on one side of your x shape and sew them separately onto one of your tiny metal O rings. These PH PandaHall Stainless Steel Jump Rings (available on Amazon.com) will work perfectly. Plus, they come in a wide variety of package sizes to fit all of your crafting needs.
Do the same with the other two ends of your x shape.
You should now be left with a tiny little harness that you can easily pull over your hamster’s legs.
Measure out the length of ribbon you want your leash to be and cut it to size. Remember to take into consideration the handheld loop you need as well as a quarter of an inch of extra material on each end for sewing purposes.
The leash needs to be long enough for you to walk with your hamster comfortably. Do not make it too long as you don’t want your hamster to be able to disappear into a hole. You want to ensure that your hamster stays close to you at all times.
Also, don’t make it too short, as you don’t want to struggle with having the walk bent over.
Sew one end of your leash to the tiny snap hook. This will be the side of the leash that you attach to the harness. You can use any snap hook that you have laying around as long as it is small enough, or you can buy snap hooks like these Bytiyar Carabiner Clips (available on Amazon.com). These hold up to 33 pounds (14.96 kg), so you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your hamster attached to the leash.
Form a loop big enough for you to comfortably hold on to on the other end of the ribbon and sew the material together. If you are feeling creative, you can add a bow to the harness to make it look cuter, if that is even possible. Doing so isn’t necessary, though. When in doubt, always go for function over fashion.
Put the harness on your hamster and hook the snap hook onto the two O rings. If your measurements were correct, the harness should fit comfortably but also be tight enough to ensure that your hamster can’t get loose.
If you chose to make an adjustable harness, you can now adjust it to fit your hamster perfectly.
Once you are sure that the harness and leash are secure, you can take your furry little friend for a walk. Of course, if you live somewhere where it’s often very cold, like Alaska or New York City in the winter, you’ll want to take your walks indoors instead of outside.
When taking your hamster for a walk in the park, you should always have a hamster carrier with you. You don’t want to carry a restless hamster home in your hands if he decides he doesn’t feel like walking any further.
Hamster carriers will be available from most pet stores in the United States that sell hamster accessories, or you can get a Kintor Hamster Carrier Bag from Amazon.com, which has eight ventilation holes so you can be sure that your hamster has fresh air while carrying him around.
Read How To Train Your Hamster To Cuddle
Should You Put a Collar on Your Hamster?
Many animals wear collars with name tags on them and sometimes their owner’s telephone numbers. This can be useful if your pet goes missing, but not all animals should wear a collar.
You should never put a collar on your hamster. Hamsters are tiny, and a collar might suffocate them. They also scare easily, and wearing a collar could cause them to feel anxious. If you want to walk your hamster, always use a harness.
How To Train Your Hamster To Walk on a Leash
Before walking your hamster, you need to make sure he is tame. Walking a hamster that you just adopted is not a good idea. A hamster needs time to adjust to his new surroundings before you try to train him.
Once your hamster has adjusted to his new surroundings, you can tame him so that he starts to trust you. Do not walk your hamster if he does not trust you or isn’t comfortable being handled.
If your hamster is tame and trusts you completely, you can start by walking him in the house. Be patient with your hamster if he doesn’t want to walk on a leash at first. Use treats to motivate him to walk and keep on trying until he feels comfortable walking on a leash.
If you think that it is time, try to take your hamster for a walk in your backyard and see what he does. If he enjoys it, you can try taking him for a walk in a safe park.
Here is a YouTube video of an adorable little hamster walking on a leash in the park:
Do Hamsters Get Used to Walking on a Leash?
A hamster walking on a leash looks adorable but might not be the best idea.
Some hamsters will get used to being walked on a leash while others won’t. Wearing a harness and leash can be highly stressful for a hamster, which can lead to him becoming ill or aggressive.
Read How Often Should I Hold My Hamster?
Safety Precautions for Walking Your Hamster on a Leash
Walking a hamster on a leash can be dangerous in more ways than one. Here are some things to take into consideration before taking your hamster for a walk.
- Not all hamsters will be comfortable walking on a leash. Never force your hamster to wear a harness if he is uncomfortable or scared.
- Make sure the hamster harness fits properly. A harness that’s too tight can hurt your hamster. However, your hamster will be able to wiggle out of one that is to lose.
- Never pull your hamster on his leash if he does not want to walk. Pulling him on his leash can cause severe injuries.
- Never lift your hamster into the air with his leash. Hamsters are fragile and can get hurt easily.
- Walk slowly when walking your hamster. Ensure you stay next to him and keep an eye on everything he does.
- Ensure your yard is clean and that nothing is lying around that can hurt your hamster. Also, be careful that there is nothing he can eat. Hamsters will eat anything that seems edible to them, and he could get sick if he eats something he shouldn’t.
- Taking your hamster for a walk outside your yard is extremely dangerous. A walk in the park might sound like fun, but there are many dangers for your hamster. Unlike your yard, you cannot make sure that there are no harmful objects on the ground, and there might be many poisonous things that he can eat. You will have to constantly keep an eye on him to ensure he stays safe.
- Other animals can see your hamster and mistake it for prey when walking outside. Dogs or birds can easily try to catch, eat, or kill him.
- Hamsters are tiny and may go unnoticed when walking in a public area. It is possible that a passerby may not see your hamster and step on him.
- Take the weather into consideration if you live in a state like Texas that gets really hot or in Maine where it is freezing cold. Never take your hamster outside if it is too cold or too hot. Hamsters are very sensitive and can get hypothermia or heat exhaustion.
- Don’t take long walks as your hamster may not be able to keep up. Also, always ensure that you have water for your hamster at hand when walking.
Read What Foods Can Kill a Hamster?
Making a leash for your hamster can be a lot of fun, but you have to make sure that you measure your hamster correctly. You do not want the harness to be too tight or too loose.
Not all hamsters will enjoy walking on a leash, and it may cause some hamsters extreme amounts of stress and anxiety, which can lead to illness.
Always consider outside dangers and make sure your hamster is safe. If your hamster is comfortable walking on a leash and the environment is safe, you can have a lot of fun walking your furry little friend.
You may like the related hamster articles:
- How To Tell If Your Hamster Is Blind
- Why Is My Hamster Lying Flat?
- How Much Water Does a Hamster Drink?
- Why Is My Hamster Not Coming Out at Night?
- How To Bond With Your Hamster
- Why Is My Hamster Fur Sticking Up?
My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more