Tesla Dog Mode – What It Does and How It Works

For those of you who have a love for both dogs and Teslas, this post will surely peak your interest. Find out what the new Tesla dog mode does and how it works.

Tesla Dog Mode

Your dog is your best friend, which is why you want to take it everywhere with you. When the weather is mild, this doesn’t pose any problems, but it can be very dangerous during the hot summer months.

In a matter of minutes, the temperature inside the car can reach horrific numbers, putting your precious friend in harm’s way. This is a problem that the Tesla Dog Mode is supposed to mitigate. 

In this guide, we look closer at the purpose of Tesla Dog Mode and how it works. We also answer some of your top questions and give you a step-by-step guide on how to use it. In the end, we briefly touch on another popular feature, Tesla’s Camp Mode. 

What is Tesla Dog Mode?

Tesla dog mode is a feature that allows your Tesla vehicle’s electric air conditioner to run without the car engine running. With Tesla Dog Mode, the temperature can be set so your dog is comfortable while you run errands.

Think of the Dog Mode as similar to your home thermostat. You can set a particular temperature and know the system will do its job while you are away. In a regular car, you would need to leave the engine running to keep the air conditioning on. 

What’s great about Dog Mode is that it’s not just for hot months. You can use it in the winter too, ensuring that your dog is warm and toasty, even on the coldest days. 

Still, people may see your dog in the car on a hot day and get mad at you since they don’t know the air is on. As an electric car, there will be no noise coming from it, indicating that the dog is comfortable. Thankfully, Tesla has thought of this as well. 

When you run Dog Mode, a message is displayed on the screen in the car. If a concerned citizen looks in the vehicle, they will see a note on the screen indicating that the dog is safe. The animated screen is easy to see and gives others peace of mind. Here’s what the message says:

“My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The heater [or A/C] is on and it’s XX degrees.” 

Still, some owners choose to take matters a step further and leave a note on the car window. This is helpful if you don’t want people trying to break in to save a dog. 

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Dog Mode In Tesla

What Tesla Models Have Dog Mode?

You will find Tesla Dog Mode in Tesla Model Y, Model 3, Model S, and Model X. It might be easier to tell you what Tesla models don’t have Dog Mode. However, it’s not available with the Tesla Roadster.

There’s no reason to add the Premium Connectivity feature to use Dog Mode. You don’t need it for notifications or to control the system from your app. 

Can Tesla Dog Mode Be Used with a Low Battery?

Because the Dog Mode is running off of the battery, you can’t expect to use it once the battery is dead. For this reason, it’s only possible to activate the Dog Mode feature if your battery has a charge of 20% or more. This charge should allow you enough time to conduct your business and still ensure that your pet remains comfortable.

What happens if the battery drops down while you are away? If you set the Dog Mode before the capacity drops, Tesla will shoot you a notification once it gets to 20%. Once you receive this warning, you know that you have to limit your time and get back out to your vehicle. Dog Mode will not shut itself off until the battery is drained, so you won’t want to procrastinate. 

How Long Can Tesla Dog Mode Run?

On average, you can estimate that the Tesla dog mode’s climate control system will use a minimum of four miles of range per hour. However, it can go up much more from here, especially in extreme conditions. 

There’s no question that the air conditioner and heater in your Tesla can put a significant drain on the battery. The only thing powering your climate control system is the battery, so it will determine how long Dog Mode can run. 

However, the only way to determine how much power will be used is to look at a few factors. You would need to figure in the outdoor temperature and the amount of air conditioning or heat required. On a mild day, you would use far less battery power than you would on a severely hot day to maintain a comfortable cabin. 

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How to Use Tesla Dog Mode

Tesla Settings

1. Activate From Inside the Car

Up until recently, you had to be inside your Tesla to activate Dog Mode. While that’s not the case anymore, you can still follow the basic steps to get Dog Mode working. 

On your screen, tap on the fan icon. It’s located at the bottom of the navigation bar. Once this is pushed, the HVAC screen should display. Take a peek at the top right corner, where different options will be displayed. Here you can choose the Dog Mode, as well as On or Camp. 

Set the appropriate temperature. Once you leave the car, the Dog Mode setting will automatically go into effect as long as your battery is charged to at least 20%. 

2. Activate From the App

Up until March 2022, there was no way to activate or control Dog Mode from the Tesla App. However, update 4.7 changed all of that.

Now, you can access all of the climate control settings right from your app, including Dog and Camp Mode. If you aren’t in your car when you want to start Dog Mode, just open up the app. From here, you can turn it on and set the temperature. Additionally, you can adjust the temperature as needed. For example, if your battery starts to get low, you may consider altering the temperature slightly to save power. 

3. Turn Off Dog Mode

With most electronic settings in life, you must physically turn it off to get it to stop. That’s not the case with the Tesla Dog Mode. In fact, this system is meant to shut itself off.

Because Dog Mode is used when the car is not running, it will automatically turn off as soon as you are ready to drive. Get in your car and start driving to turn off Dog Mode. Of course, you can still manually turn it off, either in the car or through the app if you prefer.

Additionally, because of this setup, Dog Mode will continue running if you stop back at the car. Let’s say you stop at the car to drop off some groceries and you decide to head into another store. Unless you turn on the vehicle, the Dog Mode will continue running with the same settings. There’s no need to set it back up again. 

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What is Tesla Camp Mode?

Tesla Dog Mode might be a top feature for pet owners, but it’s not the only setting worth boasting about. Tesla also released Camp Mode, which is a highlight that other vehicles don’t have. Instead of benefiting animals, this mode is meant entirely for you.

Let’s say you plan to pull over for a little snooze or you just want to relax in your Tesla, Camp Mode will take care of you. It’s an automated climate control system similar to Dog Mode. You can set the temperature and airflow configuration to your comfort and enjoy the break. However, Camp Mode isn’t solely about climate control as Dog Mode is.

With this feature, you can also maintain an appropriate lighting configuration. It’s even possible to listen to the stereo system during this time. Whether pop rock or classical relaxes you, the choice is all yours. Maybe you want to simply relax and catch up on your podcast. That’s possible too. 

Furthermore, Camp Mode will keep the USB ports and low-voltage outlets powered up at all times. If you need to charge your phone or use an electronic device, you won’t need to start the car. You can find the Camp Mode settings in the same place as the Dog Mode.

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Brian Jones
Written by:

Brian Jones is a writer and owner of a used car dealership in the Dallas, Texas area. While he loves just about everything automotive, he has a special place in his heart for trucks, the bigger the better. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his family and hiking new trails. ASE Certified Master Technician.