For the fur babies: Did you know Tesla has a cool built-in ‘Dog Mode’ feature in its EVs?

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Tesla's Dog Mode feature was introduced two years ago.
Tesla's Dog Mode feature was introduced two years ago.
Tesla Motors

 • Tesla introduced the 'Dog Mode' software feature in 2019.
 • The feature uses the vehicle's air conditioning or heater when owners leave their pets in the car to run errands.
 • 'Dog Mode' is activated by tapping a 'fan' icon on the vehicle's touchscreen and displays a message to let passersby know that their pets are safe.
 • For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.

One could very well call Tesla the Jacques Kallis of the motoring world because, well, the automaker is a superb all-rounder.

Besides its range of fully-electric vehicles, Tesla also has a clothing line like most automakers do, such as Porsche, BMW, and Mini, to name a few. There are also power bank charging systems, and it even had a limited run of Tequila. The mere fact that an automaker caters for such a diverse lifestyle and preference is indeed a rarity and separates it from the rest.

Tesla models, in general, already feature a wide range of technological prowess, like their autopilot and sentry anti-theft modes. Still, the latest addition - which is already two years old - is one that will surely be welcomed with open arms by animal owners and dog lovers alike.

Twitter is where it all started

According to Car and Driver motoring site, the idea of the 'Dog Mode' software feature first became a discussion topic when Twitter user Josh Atchley asked CEO Elon Musk 'Can you put a dog mode on the Tesla Model 3. Where the music plays and the ac is on, with a display on the screen saying, "I'm fine, my owner will be right back?'

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Not even a year later, Musk made good on this request by adding the all-new feature to the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles. The company also released an Overheat Cabin Protection feature in 2016, which works similarly to the 'Dog Mode'.

According to the automaker, the feature makes use of the vehicle's air conditioner or heater system. It is activated by tapping a 'fan' icon on the vehicle's touchscreen, displaying a message to let passersby know the interior temperature and that their owners will be there soon. The owner can also monitor the in-car temperature via an app.

The act of people leaving their pets in the car, particularly on warm days with all the windows rolled up, has caused controversy amongst the general public and animal rights activists as it is seen as animal cruelty.

According to a study in the Journal Pediatrics, the heat inside a vehicle can rise within thirty minutes, resulting in animals sustaining brain damage or, worse, dying from heatstroke.

READ | South Africans in for a treat as first all-electric Tesla Model X to arrive in February

Because EV's don't make a sound, the message displayed on the large 17" infotainment screen assures concerned passersby that the furry companion is not at risk and has enough breathable air inside the vehicle's cabin.

This feature is definitely the first of its kind and one that Tesla drivers and animal lovers are already revelling in. While most motorists don't drive with their pets in the car, the feature is one of those things you'll only ever know you'll need when the situation might arise.

Earlier in February, Wheels24 reported Rubicon Technologies was bringing the first Tesla model to South Africa; there's been no word yet of its arrival. But even though a Tesla vehicle might have found its way here, it remains to be seen whether the popular electric vehicle brand would eventually have a home locally.

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