I purchase the majority of my pet supplies from Tesco during my weekly shop although often find myself having to go elsewhere to purchase my hamster Frank's bedding. The only wood shavings my local Tesco store sell are the value range ones which I've never bothered to try as I just can't see them being all that good. I rarely get the opportunity to visit my local Pets At Home store as it's a pain to get to without a car and I don't drive and I find ordering online works out quite expensive with the added P&P charges when I don't want to buy much.
As I result I normally end up making an additional shopping trip to my local Asda store which, despite being a lot smaller than my local Tesco, has a much wider variety of items for Frank. It's here that I purchase these SmartPet Softwood Shavings. These cost 71p for a pack, how much is in a pack I do not know exactly as there's no weight or anything printed on the packaging. The shavings come tightly packed in long rectangular plastic wrapping though, about 10inches long and 5inches thick and I find a pack lasts about two months with weekly use so these don't break the bank.
The packaging is mostly clear allowing you to easily see these pale brown wood shavings. There's a green strip on the front of the packaging which holds the SmartPet logo with a little animated picture of a rabbit. This strip also tells us these wood shavings are biodegradable and eco friendly, contain a forest fresh pine fragrance, are ideal for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and other small animals and are safe and hygienic. On the side of the packaging is another green strip with the same SmartPet logo which gives directions for use.
The shavings are tightly packed but break away really easily, perhaps a little too easily as I'm always left with quite a lot of unusable dust at the bottom of the packet! They are very soft and have the usual wood shaving scent to them. I'm not overly keen on this smell but it's a lot better than the smell of poo and wee coming from Frank's cage so I can live with that.
Using these is like using any other bedding for small animals. I tend to clean out Frank's cage once a week with regular maintenance inbetween clean days (in other words, getting rid of his poo)! Whilst Frank is running around my room in his little ball I empty his dirty bedding into a bin liner which then goes in my regularly household waste bin, give the cage a clean with warm water and cage cleaner spray and then lay down new bedding in the bottom of his cage, about an inch thick. It's an easy process taking about fifteen to twenty to do.
These wood shavings are quite absorbent and I find they easily allow me to clean Frank's cage once a week without it becoming smelly, dirty and unhygienic. I find when Frank has had a wee these wood shavings don't clump up together like some do which is very handy considering I'm always needing to lay his bedding out evenly again as Frank has a habit of pushing all of his bedding to one side of his cage!
The shavings are very small and fine though meaning using these can be quite messy and I do find I have to use slightly more than usual to fully cover the entire bottom of his cage. As there is no way of resealing the packet once opened I find it best to store these in a separate carrier bag to ensure I don't end up with wood shavings all over my carpet if I ever accidentally knock the pack over.
All in all these are a decent bedding for small animals. Cheap and cheerful and does the job nicely. I would prefer these shavings to a little bulkier but they're still usable regardless of how fine they are.
Being an owner of a hamster (mummy to him lol) I have lots of things to purchase to keep him fit, safe, warm and healthy. One of the things I purchase and change regularly is his wood shavings within his cage. I do like him to have a fresh home every couple of days as not only do I want him to be comfortable of course, I always don't want any nasty niffs, and my hammy, Colin Firth The Second really should be renamed Colin Filth The First!
I usually purchase Colin's woodshavings from Pets At Home as I find them excellent, soft and absorbent and I find that I don't HAVE to change them as regularly as other brands and so they work out a good buy. I have used cheaper woodshavings in the past and have found them to be bitty and flyaway and not very absorbent at all. However late one night in Asda and doing a bit of household shopping I picked these up at about £1.29 a pack as I was running low and thought they were a good price to try out.
Oblong see-through packet in the main with a dark green block of colour to the front of it and on that I am told that they are SmartPet 'Softwood shavings for small pets and animals' and that it is biodegradable and eco friendly, has a forest pine fragrance, is ideal for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamster, mice and other small animals and is safe and hygienic. Other information given on the pack includes being told how to use it and contact details for the manufacturer are stated.
All you do with this of course is line a cage with it, simple. It is light pine wood colour in appearance and not too thin or thick but a bit hard to the touch and this does come in a solidish block so you have to really break it apart to use it.
It has a nice enough woody aroma to it though I find it messy to use and that bits go everywhere and for some reason when this is in Colin's cage it flys away and makes a right royal mess everywhere opposed to what we normally use.
However Colin sees happy enough with it to be perfectly honest with you and its in his cage now. Its reasonably lightweight and he enjoys moving it all about and sleeping in it and when he poops and pees all over it, its absorbent and doesn't get smelly and actually dries out if I leave it before removing it, which I do pick up messes daily.
It isn't a bad bag of shavings, economical and you know that you are not hurting the environment though I do prefer a softer shaving blend for my beloved Colin to walk and bed on. Like I say this is a messy mix with dust too and I am cleaning around his cage alot more often since I have been using this which is quite simply a pain.
Not bad and I wouldn't not use it if I needed to as its better than nothing but I wouldn't go out of my way to use this again type of thing and prefer to pay a little more to get something a bit better!
Available in all good supermarkets and pet shops but if you need a good bag of woodshavings I heartily recommend the Pets At Home one as it means less mess in the home and more comfort for your pet!