My AR Puppy

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
My AR Puppy App Poster Image
Cute virtual canine can teach care but has purchases.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids explore the process of caring for a dog by earning coins to play with, feed, groom and train it. The app can also foster some empathy in the care-giving process.

Ease of Play

It's simple to place the dog using the augmented reality app, through simple tapping and swiping features, kids engage with functions of the app to interact with the puppy. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My AR Puppy is a free app that lets kids design a virtual dog, use augmented reality to place the puppy in their environment, and then engage the puppy by training, feeding, grooming and interacting with it to earn earn coins. The coins unlock additional accessories, and coins are also available in-app purchases. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

MY AR PUPPY is a fun way for young kids to customize a puppy, insert it into their home environment through the use of augmented reality, and engage with it by playing, feeding, grooming and training it. The more interactions with the puppy a kid has, the more coins they can earn and "level up." Kids can use coins to unlock additional fetch toys and dog breeds for use in the app. When grooming the dog, kids can brush, soap and wash the dog. When training the dog, kids can watch it roll over, or take it for a walk on the virtual leash. A total of 1000 coins allows children to choose different breeds, such as a bulldog or a labrador retriever. When playing with the dog, a tennis ball and red barbell toy are included in the free download, but for 200 coins, kids can unlock a rubber duck lots of other fetch toys. Parents can choose to pay for points to unlock items faster, costing about $2 to earn a new fetch toy, or $10 to buy access to another dog breed. 

Is it any good?

This virtual puppy might help introduce caring for a pet, but it's lack of realism and in-app purchases make it more of a game. Children love to nurture and care for animals, especially dogs. But, kids and their families do not always understand the amount of commitments it takes to care for puppies. Using augmented reality, kids can design a puppy and then envision what it's like to care for it in their home environment. Using basic tapping and swiping, interacting with the puppy in the app is simple. However, in order to unlock additional features, kids will need to spend a fair amount of time engaging with the app to unlock coins. Buying the items through in-app purchasing is expensive. Kids love to earn points, and parents might want to monitor their play, since it's possible to be continuously rewarded for feeding the dog repeatedly, which is not realistic in day-to-day life. While this app is primarily a game for kids to play, parents who are looking to teach kids about the realistic requirements of having a puppy might be able to use it as an exercise in promoting responsible pet ownership.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how My AR Puppy is a fun way for kids to explore playing with and taking care of a puppy in preparation for owning a real dog. Dogs don't just need food and water: What else do they need?

  • While it's fun to take care of a puppy spontaneously through the app, taking care of a puppy in real time includes many commitments throughout the day. Consider making a schedule for different family members as part of the routine. When scheduled, family members should log in and complete certain actions, so families can fully understand the commitment required to care for a puppy.

  • Parents should help children exercise caution when taking the dog on a virtual walk, as they will be walking with the device through the living area, and may want to make sure they device is properly secured in a case if it is accidentally dropped.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals and empathy

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