How to turn on ‘Pet Mode’ on Tesla Model S

4 min read

Tesla pet mode

You should never leave a pet in a car. Everyone knows that. It’s crucial for their well-being and, on hot days, could very quickly lead to death. It also leaves them at risk from dognapping.

Pet Mode is a term some use to describe the Dog Mode feature installed on Teslas. This maintains a safe cabin temperature if a pet has to be left for a couple of minutes.

It’s unsafe to leave a dog in your car for any length of time, but especially for more than a few minutes. You should only use Dog Mode as a last resort in emergency circumstances. In every case, you should take your animal out with you or drop it off at home.

How to turn on 'Pet Mode' on Tesla Model S

This article explains how to turn on Pet Mode. You’ll find everything you need to know in your owner’s manual. Read this before operating Dog Mode! It will give you the system limitations and warn you (repeatedly) about the dangers of leaving your pet in a car.

Warnings about Tesla Pet Mode

woman and god in tesla car
Source: YouTube (Tesla)

This article is full of warnings about leaving your dog (or other pet) in your car. In short, you should never do it!

  • Ensure the battery charge level is at least 20%. Once the level drops below this, the app will repeatedly warn you to check on your vehicle and return to it.
  • Once the high-voltage battery runs flat, Dog Mode will, of course, switch off. Your pet is then susceptible to quickly-rising temperatures and could die.
  • Your dog is still at risk of dognapping, even if Dog Mode is working correctly.
  • If you don’t have a cellular signal or a glitch occurs, you won’t know what’s happening in your car.
  • A dog can die from overheating in a hot car in 15 minutes.
  • You must be nearby so you can rush back to your car.
  • You must never leave your dog for more than a few minutes.
  • Dog Mode is designed for pets and should never be used for children or adults.

Yes, some will accuse this article of being paranoid. But why on earth would you risk your dog’s life for the sake of a minor personal convenience?

What is Tesla Pet Mode?

dog mode on on tesla display setting car
Source: YouTube (Tesla How To)

Tesla Dog Mode, sometimes called Pet Mode, is a last-resort climate control option. The climate control maintains a safe temperature when you leave the vehicle for a couple of minutes (maximum!).

Your dog shouldn’t overheat. This often leads to death, a well-documented and frequent tragedy. Don’t fall into the trap of using Pet Mode for your own convenience!

You can use the Tesla app to check and monitor the temperature. You can also adjust the settings from here.

Dog Mode causes the internal temperature to display on the touchscreen. In theory, this informs passers-by that the environment is safe for your animal. However, it’s always possible that they don’t see this and smash your windows to free your pet.

Remember, a dog can die in 15 minutes in a hot car. 15 minutes. That’s all it takes. Someone smashing your car windows is trying to save your dog’s life.

Of course, Dog Mode (Pet Mode) uses the same functionality as preconditioning, Camp Mode, and Keep Climate On. If Sentry Mode is also activated when you turn on Dog Mode, it’ll operate silently. This protects your animal against loud noises and the resultant stress.

The alarm also won’t sound. This is good for stress but puts your dog at considerable risk from dognappers. You also can’t install software updates when Dog Mode is active.

How to activate Pet Mode on Tesla Model S

display setting my driver will be back soon dog mode tesla
Source: YouTube (Tesla How To)

As yet another warning, Dog Mode should only be used in mitigating circumstances where you won’t be gone for long and will remain close by.

Otherwise, take your dog with you, drop it at home, or leave it with a friend. When it’s necessary to do so, here’s how to activate Dog Mode:

  1. Look at the touchscreen.
  2. Press the fan icon on the bottom bar.
  3. Tap Dog Mode.
    • You’ll find it in the top-right corner of the screen.

The feature activates as soon as you leave the Model S. Dog Mode turns off when you get back in your car and shift out of Park. You can also turn it off on the touchscreen or the app.

Never turn Dog Mode off until you return to your car if there’s an animal present.

Is Tesla Pet Mode safe to use?

The Tesla Pet Mode is reliable, with very few cases of something going wrong. But you shouldn’t depend on it! Batteries can run flat, and glitches can occur with sensors, app communication, cellular data connections, etc.

It’s an emergency last-resort option. It shouldn’t be used on a regular basis for your own convenience. Dogs’ (or other pets’) lives mustn’t be put at risk for no reason in this way.

As well as the risk posed by high (or low!) temperatures, leaving your pet alone in a car puts it at risk of dognapping. Thieves will smash your windows and grab your dog, which could be worth thousands on the black market. It’s more valuable than most jewelry. You wouldn’t leave that on display, would you?

Every year, 2,000,000 dogs are stolen in the United States. 2,000,000. More than 80% of these are never recovered.
Do. Not. Risk. It!

This article has explained how to activate Dog Mode. Still, it strongly recommends never leaving your dog alone in any car.

Read your owner’s manual before operating any features in your Tesla Model S. It walks you through all the risks and means you’ll know that leaving your dog in your car is never a good idea.

You’ll find a copy of the Tesla Model S owner’s manual below.

owners manual


Does Tesla Model S have dog mode?

Yes, the Tesla Model S features a “Dog Mode” or “Pet Mode” designed to ensure your pet’s safety when left in the car for a short period.

What is the difference between camp mode and dog mode?

Dog Mode is intended for brief pet safety, maintaining a safe temperature. In contrast, Camp Mode allows for longer climate control, typically used during camping or extended stops.

How do I view my dog mode camera?

The article doesn’t provide details on accessing the camera feed. To do so, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or Tesla’s official documentation for specific instructions based on your Tesla model.

Is Tesla dog mode safe?

Tesla’s Dog Mode is generally considered safe for its intended purpose. However, users must be aware of its limitations, such as potential battery issues and dognapping risks. It’s important to use Dog Mode responsibly, primarily as an emergency option, and prioritize your pet’s safety by considering alternative arrangements when possible.

By Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

Ben Kitchen Ben is a qualified car mechanic with experience working in the industry. He now works as an automotive author, writing about all things vehicle-related. He’s excited about the potential held by electric cars of all shapes, sizes, and types.

Unveiling the Truth: Do Teslas Have Hydraulic Brakes?

If you’re considering purchasing a Tesla, you may be wondering about its braking system. One common question is whether Teslas have hydraulic brakes. Not all Tesla cars have hydraulic brakes, but some do. Instead, they use an electric braking...
6 min read

How Accurate is Tesla’s Range? The Truth About Electric…

If you’re considering purchasing a Tesla, one of the most important factors to consider is the car’s range. Tesla’s range estimates are often higher than those of other electric vehicles, but how accurate are they really? In this article,...
7 min read

12 Myths About Electric Vehicles: Debunked

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular as people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on fuel costs. However, there are still many myths and misconceptions about EVs that may be preventing...
7 min read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never miss a story from us, get weekly updates in your inbox.