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How To Make An Iguana Leash

Do you want to take your pet iguana for a walk, but you don’t want it to get away?

Are your leash and harness broken, but you don’t want to drop the cash for another one?

Interacting and spending time with your iguana is an important aspect of raising it.

But they can’t be left on their own, and they need to be kept under control.

Those of you who are crafty may want to learn how to make an iguana leash.

Homemade iguana leashes are inexpensive to make if you follow these steps:

  • #1 Cut The Cord To Length
  • #2 Feed The Cord Through The Cord Lock
  • #3 Braid Or Attach End Of Paracord
  • #4 Connect Your Leash Material To The Carabiner
  • #5 Put The Cord Over Your Iguana’s Belly
  • #6 Twist The Cord Once
  • #7 Feed The Second Loop Over The Iguana Head And Neck
  • #8 Tighten The Cord Lock
  • #9 Connect The Leash And Harness

Read on for more on what items you’ll need and the step-by-step instructions.

how to make a iguana leash

What You’ll Need

Gather these items ahead of time.

Many of these you may already have around your house.

Paracord – The paracord is the basis for your leash and harness.

We like paracord because it’s tough yet gentle enough not to choke the iguana.

The amount you’ll need depends on what you’re going to do exactly with it.

If you only want the paracord for the harness and then another material for the leash, you’ll need about 4′ – 6′ feet (1.83 meters). 

But if you’re going to make the whole thing out of paracord, 10′ feet (3.05 m) may be more realistic.

Other ropes or cord-like materials will work, but you need to make sure they don’t fray or break, and they won’t irritate the iguana’s skin.

Plastic Cord Lock Spring – While it’s possible to get this project done with knots or pony beads, a plastic cord lock will make it much simpler.

For those of you who don’t know what this is (I had to look it up too), this is little plastic, spring function tightener used with kids shoelaces.

My wife’s family calls them “bow-biters.”

I also have these on some of my light jackets or sweatshirts to hold tight the cord at the bottom.

If you still don’t know what this is, just click the link.

Anyway, this will hold your cord tight around the iguana’s body, so it doesn’t escape.

But it gives you a lot of control and ease in how exactly the harness will fit.

Scissors – Any scissors will do as long as they can cut the paracord.

Rope/More Paracord – Look for a tough rope to make the leash part of the project out of.

It doesn’t have to be only functional. It can have a nice look, too, like the linked colored ropes. 

If you want to just make the whole thing out of paracord too, go for it.

Carabiner – These metal spring clips will be helpful if your leash and harness are made from different materials.

It’ll save you a lot of time if you use the carabiner to clip the two together simply.

But this is ultimately up to you. 

Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Make An Iguana Leash

This section covers the steps in detail, so you know exactly what you need to do to make a safe iguana leash.

Be sure to follow these steps closely, so you don’t cause your iguana accidental pain or let it escape.

#1 Cut The Cord To Length

Take your scissors and cut the cord to the correct length.

This amount depends on your strategy.

If you want to use a paracord for the whole thing (harness and leash), you should cut 8′ – 10′ feet (3.05 m) in length. 

For those who want a separate leash and harness piece (looks nicer and makes things easier), you’ll still need somewhere between 3′ – 4′ feet (1.22 meters) of length.

#2 Feed The Cord Through The Cord Lock

Take one end of the paracord and feed it through your cord lock.

Feed it through enough, so the lock sits halfway down the paracord. 

Take the end you started with (the one through the cord) and feed it back through the lock to create one large loop.

This loop should be able to fit around your iguana twice.

It can always be tightened later.

Adjust the loose ends, so they’re the same length.

What you have at the end of this step is one large loop below the cord lock and two equal-sized loose ends on top.

#3 Braid Or Attach End Of Paracord

Now, take your two loose ends and start to braid them together.

Alternatively, simply twist them around and tie the ends together.

A braid looks nicer and is easier to use in the long run, but a simple knot is also functional.

Whichever way you do this, take your two ends or small loop at the top (not the looped end we created for the iguana’s body) and tie them to one of your carabiners.

Get it as secure as possible.

If you’re not using a separate piece for the leash portion, you just create a loop to hold onto instead.

In this case, you skip to step #5.

Some advice on braiding:

The first time I did this, I just had my wife braid it for me (she’s good at stuff like this).

The second time and beyond, I learned how to tie my own by watching this video.

You don’t have to use this exact knot; use whatever you’re most comfortable with.

But the ideal knot will be tight and provide a loop for the carabiner to attach to.

#4 Connect Your Leash Material To The Carabiner

Cut or measure your leash rope to length.

Depending on how much length you have from the paracord, make sure the rope/leash is long enough to comfortably hold while standing up and not bent over.

Take one end of the rope or other leash material and attach it to a different carabiner. 

Again, secure as tightly as possible.

Tie a loop in the other end of the leash or just be ready to hold it as is.

Having a separate chunk for the leash and harness will make life easier when putting the harness on.

You won’t have as much material to maneuver around.

#5 Put The Cord Over Your Iguana’s Belly

Put your leash part down and pick up the harness part (the paracord we started with).

Approach your iguana from the front and put the closed-loop below the cord lock over the iguana’s head and front arms.

The cord lock will eventually be positioned above its back just behind these front legs.

Some call this the iguana’s chest.

Do NOT tighten the loop yet.

While such a single loop may seem fairly secure, the iguana can escape.

These guys run fast, and you don’t want to need to go chasing them down.

#6 Twist The Cord Once

Underneath the iguana, twist the loop once to create a second loop.

The twist of this new loop should be close to the iguana’s stomach.

#7 Feed The Second Loop Over The Iguana Head And Neck

Take the new loop (you may want to put a hand on the twist part) and thread the second loop over the iguana’s head and neck.

Make sure you get the second loop down the iguana’s back until it’s just in front of the front legs/shoulders.

These loops make a figure 8, which is why this style of harness is called a figure 8 harness.

#8 Tighten The Cord Lock

Adjust the cord lock so it moves closer to the iguana’s body and shortens the figure 8.

Don’t tighten it so much the cords are touching every bit of iguana’s body.

However, it does need to be tight enough the cord and loops don’t move easily.

Don’t press the cord lock to the iguana’s body. Leave it a few inches off.

#9 Connect The Leash And Harness

Take your carabiners for both pieces and clip them together.

Adjust, so the harness and leash are above the iguana’s body, and its legs can move freely.

Congrats! You made your iguana harness and leash!

Now you get to enjoy taking your unique pet for walks around the neighborhood.

If you’re more of a visual learner, this video does a good job of explaining how the 8-figure harness idea works.

Though she does it for smaller animals, it works well with the larger iguanas too.


We hope you found our guide for how to make an iguana leash helpful.

Don’t underestimate the importance of bonding with and stimulating your pet’s curiosity.

Iguanas are normally territorial, but they do naturally love to explore new things.

With a good harness and leash, you made yourself, feel free to enjoy the experience together.

Check out this article on the sound and iguana makes or how big red iguanas get.

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