Dogs should only be allowed outside for short bathroom breaks during extreme cold snaps, says the P.E.I. Humane Society.

Pet owners need to take special care of their animals through this extreme cold snap, urges the P.E.I. Humane Society.

Cats that normally go outdoors should be kept inside in this weather, and use an indoor litter box, said Kelly Mullaly, the group's executive director.

"They are so vulnerable and they can go missing so quickly, especially in the deep snow and they are very vulnerable to things like frostbite even on their ears," she said.

Dogs should go out for very brief bathroom breaks and should be monitored at all times by their owners, said Mullaly.

With all the snow the province has experienced, the Humane Society is getting more reports of strays because many dogs can simply walk over fences that would keep them in during other times of the year, said Mullaly.

She adds that small dogs should wear sweaters and booties, if they'll tolerate them.