Dog-Car-1Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images

It's one of those things you're always warned about, obsessively, when you first learn to drive: never, ever, leave a pet or, heaven forbid, a child in a car on a hot day. 

According to PETA, leaving a dog in a vehicle on a sultry day can be death sentence for the beast. 

"Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes," the organization says.

"Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads."

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take Fido on errands and not worry about coming back to find that he's a goner? 

With it's just-released 8.0 software update, Tesla has brought an innovation to the auto industry that enables just that. It's called "Cabin Overheat Protection." (Personally, I think they should have called it "Chill Pet Mode" or something like that.)

"In an industry-first safety measure, we're also introducing Cabin Overheat Protect, focused on child (and pet) safety," Tesla said in a statement. "This feature keeps the car at a safe temperature for hours, even when the car is off. This feature is only made possible by an electric vehicle with Tesla's uniquely large battery packs."

The question now, obviously, is can you trust Cabin Overheat Protect to do its job? We'll see.

In the meantime, it's probably best to follow the old wisdom, even if you own a Tesla, and never, ever leave your pet in a hot car.

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