Tesla rolls out ‘Dog Mode’ to protect pets from hot cars while informing passersby of their safety

Tesla Dog Mode protects pets from hot interior cabins

Tesla released a new feature called ‘Dog Mode’ that aims to keep unattended pets inside a vehicle at a comfortable temperature while also informing passersby of their safety.

It can take a matter of minutes for a vehicle’s interior cabin temperature to climb to lethal levels for dogs and other pets that are left without air conditioning turned on. Each year, hundreds of dogs die from heatstroke as a result of their owners leaving them inside a vehicle while running out for a ‘quick errand’.

Tesla’s ‘Dog Mode’ feature looks to alleviate that by keeping a vehicle’s (Model S, Model X, Model 3) climate control on even when the vehicle is turned off. This update appears to be an extension of the Overheat Cabin Protection amenity that the company released in 2016 as part of its Version 8.0 over-the-air update at the time. While Overheat Cabin Protection is designed to intermittently activate a vehicle’s air conditioning and prevent the cabin from exceeding 105 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) when the car is off, Dog Mode will maintain a driver-selected temperature. This includes both cooling and heating.

Dog Mode will also notify passersby of the safety of their pets by displaying a large message on the center touchscreen of a Model S, Model X and Model 3, that reads “My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The A/C is on and it’s [temperature]” and prominently display the temperature setting on screen. It’s worth noting that the message will update depending on whether the vehicle’s climate control calls for heating or cooling. “Don’t worry! The heater is on and it’s [temperature]” reads the message in instances that require cabin heat.

Tesla Dog Mode Release Note 

Keep your dog comfortable in your car while letting people passing by know they don’t need to worry with Dog Mode. In addition to keeping the climate control on, the touchscreen will display the current cabin temperature. To enable Dog Mode, tap the fan icon at the bottom of the touchscreen when your car is parked. Set Keep Climate On to DOG, make adjustments within temperature limits, then leave knowing your pet will stay comfortable. Dog Mode will stay on after you leave your car. If you your battery reaches less than 20% charge, you will receive a notification on your mobile app.

Note: Check local laws for any restrictions on leaving pets unattended in your car. 

How to Activate Tesla Dog Mode

  • Tap the fan icon at the bottom of the touchscreen when the vehicle is parked
  • Toggle Keep Climate On to “DOG”
  • Adjust temperature using the up or down arrow

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