Doc McStuffins Pet Vet

App review by
Lisa Caplan, Common Sense Media
Doc McStuffins Pet Vet App Poster Image
Fix animal ouchies, play mini-games, meet great role models.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about animal care, basic counting, and pattern recognition. Healthy eating, getting rest, and brushing teeth are treatments for the toy pets but apply to kids as well. Kids also learn deductive-reasoning skills by helping to choose the implement to treat patients. While helping the vet with tasks such as taking X-rays, kids also pick up some skills such as basic counting and how to follow simple directions. Because the focus is on helping others, kids get the message that we work together to solve problems and assist those in trouble. Though it's not intended for learning, Doc McStuffins Pet Vet is a fun and friendly way to introduce kids to pet care and other life skills.

Ease of Play

Simple directions and exploration; tasks are clear and controls age-appropriate.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

External links and apps for purchase behind parental gate. Doc McStuffins is part of bigger franchise with other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Doc McStuffins Pet Vet is modeled after the Disney Junior television series Doc McStuffins. Kids work with Doc and some of her stuffed pals such as Stuffy and Lambie to help diagnose and cure sick toy animal pets. Simple mini-games teach skills such as counting and following patterns, and kids can earn badges as they cure patients. Other app purchases are behind a parent gate, but there's nothing for kids to purchase as they play.

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What's it about?

Join DOC MCSTUFFINS PET VET in her new venture as a vet for sick toy pets and farm animals. To navigate, kids can explore the different parts of the clinic and jump to specific activities with simple taps from the main screen. When kids start playing, Doc and her pals narrate the basic instructions aloud so nonreaders can jump right in. Kids have to select a sick animal from Doc's clipboard, and then Doc takes it to the examination room. After announcing a silly diagnosis -- a sheep with thorns in its side has "Thick-as-Thorn Syndrome" -- kids either pick the specific tool Doc requests or pick the best tool for the job on their own. Once the pet's ailment is cured, Doc sends the critter to nap with Lambie or run an obstacle course with Stuffy. There's no way to lose or get a wrong answer, and kids earn badges for successfully completed tasks; once they win all the badges, they get a stethoscope.

Is it any good?

Although this popular title may not give your preschooler a head start toward medical or veterinary school, it's likely to foster an interest in animal care and teach some simple skills. Unlike other similar apps, this one doesn't offer in-app purchases or other nickel-and-dime elements, which is refreshing and makes the play experience more fun, though the sticker price might initially put off some parents. However, because the badge book and added incentive of winning a prize adds replay value to an app that could feel repetitive, it's possible to get your money's worth. As on the show, there are positive role models, messages of empathy and friendship, and light learning value. Though some users have reported issues with the sound quality, we encountered no technical issues during testing. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how taking care of real pets differs from caring for the toy pets in the app. What care do real pets need? How is taking care of a bird different from taking care of a dog?

  • Talk about going to the doctor. How does your kid feel about it? What do they like and not like?

  • Discuss why popular characters from kids' TV shows so often appear in games, apps, books, and toys. Why do kids like this? How does it help the product manufacturer?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love virtual pets and animals

Themes & Topics

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