How to Put Your Tesla in Dog Mode. Keep Your Pet Cool While You’re Away

What is Dog Mode?

Tesla’s Dog Mode is a special climate control feature that allows owners to keep the temperature at a comfortable level for pets while they are away from the vehicle. When Dog Mode is activated, the center touchscreen displays a message letting people outside the car know that the pets inside are safe and not in danger from heat or cold.

Specifically, Dog Mode allows the owner to set a target temperature to maintain inside the cabin, even when they take the key and leave the vehicle. The climate control system continues running to preserve the set temperature. According to Tesla documentation, Dog Mode can be used to “maintain a comfortable environment” for pets alone in the car.

tesla screen showing dog mode message

The in-cabin camera shows a live view of the interior on the center touchscreen so owners can check on pets remotely using the mobile app. The screen also displays a message stating the climate control is on and the temperature setpoint so passersby know the pet is safe and not in danger of heat exhaustion.

How Does Dog Mode Work?

Dog Mode utilizes sensors within the Tesla vehicle to detect movement and monitor the interior temperature. It is designed to maintain a comfortable environment for pets left unattended in the car.

When Dog Mode is activated, the owner can set a specified target temperature. The Tesla climate control system will then automatically adjust to reach and sustain this temperature. Sensors monitor to ensure the cabin does not get too hot or too cold. This allows pets to be left in a safe, temperature-controlled environment.

An owner’s message will also display on the center touchscreen when Dog Mode is turned on. This message reassures passersby that the pet is alright and can note the target temperature. The touchscreen will continuously show the interior cabin temperature and indicate that Dog Mode is active.

Enabling Dog Mode

Dog Mode can be enabled through the climate control menu in Tesla vehicles. To access it, tap the fan icon on the bottom navigation bar of the touchscreen display. This will open up the climate control screen. Look for the option that says “Dog” or “Dog Mode” and tap it to turn it on [1].

Once Dog Mode is activated, you can set the target interior temperature you want to maintain for your pet’s comfort. The cabin will be regulated to stay close to this temperature. You can also add a custom message that will be displayed on the vehicle’s center screen while Dog Mode is on. This can notify passersby that your pet is safe and does not need to be rescued. The message can be customized to provide your contact information as well in case of emergency [2].

Setting a Custom Message

One of the best features of Tesla’s Dog Mode is the ability to set a custom message that displays on the center touchscreen. This message lets people looking into the car know that your dogs are safe and the climate control system is keeping them comfortable.

To set a custom message in Dog Mode:

  1. Tap the fan icon at the bottom of the touchscreen to bring up your climate control settings.
  2. Select “Dog” mode. This will activate Dog Mode and display the default dog image and message.
  3. Tap the text box below the default message. This will bring up the keyboard so you can type in a custom message.
  4. Type your desired message, such as “My dogs Rufus and Sadie are nice and cool. I’ll be back soon!”
  5. Tap Save when you are finished typing your message. This will save it and display it on the center screen whenever Dog Mode is active.
  6. owner setting custom dog mode message

Custom messages are limited to 32 characters, so be concise. Use it to let people know your dogs are safe, climate is on, and when you’ll return. A friendly, reassuring message can give Good Samaritans peace of mind.[Source](

Monitoring Dog Mode

One of the key features of Dog Mode is the ability to monitor your pet remotely through the Tesla app. This allows you to check on your furry friend and ensure their comfort and safety while you’re away from the vehicle.

The Tesla app provides notifications straight to your phone if the interior temperature goes above or below set limits while in Dog Mode. You can configure the minimum and maximum temperature thresholds in the app settings. If the interior goes outside these ranges, you’ll receive an alert so you can take action (Tesla).

In addition to temperature notifications, you can view a live camera feed of your Tesla’s interior any time Dog Mode is active. This allows you to periodically check on your pet visually. You’ll be able to see them moving around and assure they are relaxed and comfortable in the climate-controlled environment (Not A Tesla App).

pet visible on tesla dog mode camera

The remote monitoring capabilities of Dog Mode give peace of mind that your pet is safe on the occasions when you need to leave them in the car for short periods.

Safety Features

Tesla’s Dog Mode has several safety features to help ensure pets stay comfortable and safe while owners are away from the vehicle.

One key feature is temperature limits and alerts. Dog Mode allows owners to set a maximum temperature for the cabin. If the interior exceeds that threshold, Tesla’s app will send an alert to the owner so they can immediately check on the vehicle and pets. Dog Mode aims to keep the environment under 85°F at most according to Tesla’s support page (source).

Another safety component is passcode protection. Owners must input a 4-digit PIN to disable Dog Mode from the mobile app or center touchscreen. This prevents strangers from easily turning the system off and compromising the cabin climate.

Additionally, Tesla’s app allows remote climate monitoring in real-time. From their smartphones, owners can view the interior temperature and make sure it remains stable at an appropriate level for pets. If it drifts too far from the set point, owners can manually adjust the climate control remotely.

With these features in place, Tesla’s Dog Mode aims to provide pet owners with safety, security, and peace of mind when leaving animals alone in their vehicles for short periods.

Battery Considerations

Dog Mode requires power to run the climate control system and keep the interior at a comfortable temperature. According to reports, Dog Mode will drain approximately 2-3% of battery per hour under normal conditions (source). However, the drain rate can be higher or lower depending on outside temperature, weather conditions, and cabin settings.

To help preserve battery life when using Dog Mode, it’s recommended to plug in the vehicle when possible, such as at home or public charging stations. Tesla’s Smart Preconditioning can also be used to pre-cool or heat the cabin while still plugged in, before enabling Dog Mode while away from power (source).

Monitoring the battery percentage and drain rate remotely through the mobile app can give peace of mind. With proper battery management, owners can feel comfortable using the convenience of Dog Mode for shorter sessions under an hour, or longer periods when supplemental charging is available.

Dog Mode Requirements

To enable and use Dog Mode in Tesla vehicles, there are a few requirements that must be met:

First, you must have the latest version of the Tesla mobile app installed on your smartphone and connected to your Tesla account and vehicle. The app allows you to remotely monitor the climate control system and interior conditions while using Dog Mode.

Second, your Tesla vehicle must be updated with the latest firmware version that supports Dog Mode. This feature was introduced in 2019.5, so you’ll need at least that version installed.

Finally, your Tesla must have the Cabin Overheat Protection feature enabled. This uses the climate control system to regulate the temperature when Dog Mode is active, preventing the cabin from getting dangerously hot. Cabin Overheat Protection is automatically enabled on all Tesla vehicles produced after May 2018.

As long as you have the Tesla app, proper firmware, and Cabin Overheat Protection, you should be able to use Dog Mode to keep your pets safe and comfortable while they wait in the car.

Tips for Using Dog Mode

Here are some tips to keep your dog safe and comfortable while using Dog Mode in your Tesla:

Avoid extreme temperatures. Do not leave your dog in the car on very hot or cold days. Dog Mode only helps maintain a comfortable temperature if the external temperature is moderate.

Use a sunshade. Adding a sunshade in the windows can further cool the cabin on hot sunny days. This helps prevent the greenhouse effect inside the car.

water bowl inside car for dog

Add a water bowl. Leave a bowl of water for your dog to drink, especially on longer trips. Dehydration is a real risk so ensure your dog stays hydrated.

Keep trips short. In general, only leave your dog alone for short periods of time, even with Dog Mode on. Longer durations increase chances of your dog becoming distressed.

Check laws and regulations. Some states prohibit leaving pets unattended in vehicles. Be aware of any laws in your area regarding this to avoid citations.

Alternatives to Dog Mode

While Dog Mode is a unique feature offered by Tesla, there are some alternatives pet owners can consider to keep their dogs comfortable and safe in hot weather:

Aftermarket Devices

There are some aftermarket devices like Ovlac’s electronic CAN bus devices that can enable a Dog Mode-like function by hacking into a car’s wiring and internal network. However, these may void warranties and require professional installation.

Remote Start Add-Ons

Remote start systems from companies like Viper and Compustar allow users to start their car’s AC from afar. This can pre-cool the car before the owner and pet get in. However, remote start only works within a certain range.

Traditional AC

Many modern cars have automatic climate control systems that will continue cooling the car after it’s turned off. But this only lasts for a short period, unlike Tesla’s Dog Mode. Owners would need to make very brief stops to avoid overheating.

Pet Comfort Products

There are various pet-focused products like cooling mats, window sun shades, temperature monitors, and water bowls that can improve comfort and safety. But these require owner monitoring and don’t offer the same set-it-and-forget it convenience of Dog Mode.

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