It isn't illegal to sell and eat the meat of dogs and other canines, as long as it's been inspected, an Alberta health inspector says.

On Monday, the skinned and gutted carcasses of four canines were found in the freezer of the Panda Garden restaurant.

While it raised some eyebrows, the Capital Health Authority's Nelson Fok said it's legal.

"To be available to serve in a restaurant and for the public, the meat has to be inspected," Fok said.

"That would mean involving Alberta Agriculture or the federal inspectors to be at the site where the animal will be killed and gutted and making sure the animal does not have any disease that can be passed on to humans," he said.

Officials still aren't sure whether the animals were dogs or coyotes.

"For the older generations, especially those coming over from Asia right away, they would be interested. They may still have a habit of eating dog meat," Fok, the associate director of food inspections, said.

"If it is inspected meat, that means the meat product is safe.As long as they cook it properly, we would treat it like any other food product," he said.

Fok said because many Canadians don't accept dog meat as food, the sale of the product may have been driven underground.

He said he isn't aware of any place that canine meat can be properly inspected.