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Thread: Squirrel Harness and Leash?

  1. #1
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    Default Squirrel Harness and Leash?



    Where can I buy a good harness and leash for my squirrel? I've looked at tons on the internet, but didn't see one that I thought could work. I am releasing Hammy in the Spring, but I would like to let me out for some exercise. I feel so sorry for him cooped up in his cage. I know he is miserable because he's always trying to escape.

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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?

    Quote Originally Posted by michellel View Post
    Where can I buy a good harness and leash for my squirrel? I've looked at tons on the internet, but didn't see one that I thought could work. I am releasing Hammy in the Spring, but I would like to let me out for some exercise. I feel so sorry for him cooped up in his cage. I know he is miserable because he's always trying to escape.
    I see you've had a few views, no response so I'm going to express my personal feeling on the subject.
    A harness and leash is for domestic animals not a squirrel, don't break his spirit. A squirrel is a wild animal and should be respected as such,
    it does not belong on a harness and leash. And yes, I have seen squirrels on a leash, they have either been non-releasable or so called "pet squirrels" that have been domesticated / wild spirit broken. I only speak for myself when I say I do not approve of restraining a wild squirrel by the use of such.
    Allowing a rehabbing squirrel outside, especially one who is already "trying to escape" is a disaster waiting to happen. If he were to escape it's unlikely he would come back, possibly he would get run off and either scenario would be a threat to his survival especially at this time of year with no food stash, no available food sources, no dry means to build a suitable drey.

    I strongly suggest you wait until spring to do a proper soft release which entails his being in an outside release cage enclosure for a period of 3-4 weeks so he can get accustomed to the sights, and sounds of the environment he will be released in as well as able to observe the hierarchy and interactions of the other wilds in the area he will have to interact around as well as learn their alarms warning of predators in the area. Two things that can best insure the survival of a releasable squirrel is a proper diet and a proper release.
    Last edited by stepnstone; 01-03-2019 at 01:38 AM.
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?



    Step-N-Stone,

    Thank you so much for giving me your advice! Actually, when I posted I was also hoping that those who advised against the leash would tell me so! I will do exactly as you said. I will not put him on a leash. I'm so miserable watching this squirrel. It has been very stressful. I long for the time for him to be released. I do have a huge outdoor release cage for him. I also purchased a wooden squirrel box. I was planning on putting it up into the trees for him. Do you approve of this idea or not? Again, thank you.

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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?

    Itís refreshing to hear someone be so willing to accept advice. Thank you. Stepnstones response captured what I personally have always thought but didnít know why. Thank you SNS.

    Your question about the nest box. If your release cage is large enough, I like to place the nest box inside the release cage and let the squirrels get used to it and get their scent in it. Then when it comes time for release I move it up in a nearby tree. Of course thereís no guarantee that your guy will get to keep the box for himself, but it might help that his scent is already in it. Multiple nest boxes in the trees assures that many can stay warm in the winter, if you can afford to put them up.

    There are lots of other folks that have overwintered a single squirrel and have posted ideas for enrichment toys in their cages and other helpful ideas. I know it canít be easy to keep a singleton entertained all winter long, but as Step said, it would be devastating if he were to get loose in the middle of winter.

    Best of luck.

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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?



    Mel1959, thank you. Yes, I can put multiple squirrel boxes in my yard. I do realize that Hammy may not be able to claim one and that has me worried, too. I will put one in his release cage. Thank you for your advice! I welcome all opinions and advice.

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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?

    a couple of things I do with my singleton overwinters:

    periodically add fresh branches. I live near a public park, and during the winter there are frequently downed branches I can cut smaller and put in my squirrel's cage. the smell alone helps to interest them.

    while temperature allows ground digging, I provide some sod/lawn in a deep bakeware dish they can use to bury whole nuts in the shell that I provide. I also scatter some fall leaves that I bag in November specifically for this purpose. together with the sod, it makes them feel like they can carry out normal behaviors and brings the smells of the outdoors in to their cage.

    yes, these 2 things require more frequent sweeping, thankfully I have hardwood floors and not carpet.
    We can bring a heart of understanding and compassion to a world that needs it so much. ~~ Jack Kornfield

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Squirrel Harness and Leash?



    Ms. Pixy, love the sod idea. I have thought of that several times, but never followed through!
    Thanks!

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