tesla dog mode
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RSPCA and Blue Cross worry the Tesla dog mode technology designed to let dogs remain cool could fail and promotes wrong message

Leading animal charities have expressed ‘serious concerns’ over Tesla’s Dog Mode that’s designed to keep pets cool in unattended cars.

What is the Tesla dog mode?

The software update allows owners to leave the air conditioning on in their cars to keep their pets cool.

However, national animal charities have said they believe that under no circumstances should dogs be left unattended in cars as they could ‘die in minutes’ if the technology failed.

Holly Barber, RSPCA campaign manager, said: “Technology can fail and it isn’t worth the risk of injury to your pet to put them in this situation. We would advise owners to leave them at home if they know they are going to be away for a longer time.

“The RSPCA receives thousands of calls every year about dogs left in hot cars and our inspectors see first-hand the trauma this can cause.

“Many people think it will be fine just to leave their pets for a minute or two. But we know that this is all it takes for temperatures inside a car to soar to dangerous levels. Our advice is never to leave a dog in a car on a warm day.”

How the Tesla dog mode works

It not only cools the car but also informs passers-by via a message on the infotainment screen that the Tesla owner will be returning soon and not to worry.

The mode remains on when occupants leave the vehicle. And they receive a notification via Tesla’s mobile app if the car’s charge drops below 20 per cent while dog mode is in use.

But animal charities aren’t happy. Mark Bossley, chief vet at national pet charity Blue Cross, said: “Blue Cross would have serious concerns that this [Tesla] system could lead to complacency with owners that it is OK to leave their dog alone in a car.

“They could become a target for opportunist thieves. And there are dangers in warmer weather, as dogs can die in minutes if left in a hot car. We would never advise people to leave their dog in a car in any situation.”

The idea of a Dog Mode was first suggested directly to Elon Musk last October by Twitter user John Atchely. He said: “Can you put a dog mode on the Tesla Model 3. Where the music plays and the [air conditioning] is on, with a display on screen saying ‘I’m fine my owner will be right back’?”. Musk simply responded “Yes.”

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  1. Yes, technology can fail, but the owner can also monitor the car temperature in real time with their phone. Would I go into a movie theater for 2 hours and leave the dogs in the car with dog mode? Absolutely not. But used responsibly Tesla dog mode is a great feature. People with gas cars leave them running with the AC on for their dogs all of the time. That is environmentally terrible in comparison (running a 200 hp gas engine to power a 1 hp ac unit), and as you say, technology can fail, the car stalls for some reason, and your older gas car will give you no phone alert that there is a problem.

  2. The RSPCA has NO idea how much testing goes into a Tesla OTA update. If “technology fails” Look out caues there are 300, 000 Teslas lurking on the streets of North America. What rubbish from uneducated sycophants.

  3. This is a step forward by using technology to prevent dogs from over heating and dying. The system even has a screen on that shows the temperature and a message large enough to be read from the outside of the car. Now leaving your dogs in a car unattended for hours is bad idea, but times you can’t take the doggies into wherever you are going but for not too long this is a life saver


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