Last updated on October 22nd, 2022
A meme of pufferfish eating a carrot has become viral over the Internet. However, what struck me as odd was carrot is not the usual food of pufferfish, but it was eating a carrot.
It also struck me as animal cruelty because the fish did not seem comfortable eating the carrot. So, I decided to do some research and ask a friend who works as a marine biologist. Here is what I learned.
Although pufferfishes can eat carrots, they rarely consume them because their diet mostly consists of snails, clams, algae, and mussels.
Can pufferfish eat carrots?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Pufferfishes can eat carrots, but these do not fall under the usual food consumed by pufferfishes.
Their diet consists of snails, clams, and mussels along with invertebrates and algae. If you give a pufferfish carrot, you will find it can devour the vegetable.
Are carrots healthy for a pufferfish?
Pufferfishes are marine animals that can survive on almost all types of food. There is no record of the fish suffering any harmful effects from consuming carrots.
If you see the video of the pufferfish eating a carrot, you will find that the fish eats the vegetable quite quickly.
Moreover, it does not suffer any harmful effects after eating the vegetable. Hence, carrots can be considered to be healthy for a pufferfish but only when fed in limited quantities.
Should you include carrots as a part of the diet of a pufferfish?
According to my marine biologist friend, you shouldn’t include carrots in the diet of pufferfishes as it is not the usual food of the fishes.
However, if you have a puffer fish as a pet, you must give it proper fish food to get all the necessary nutrition.
The food you give your pet puffer fish can be in the form of shrimp pellets, algae rounds, and other similar fish food.
This will give your pet puffer fish all the nutrition to keep it healthy.
If carrots are not a part of its regular diet, then how does a pufferfish eat them?
If you are wondering how pufferfishes can eat a hard root vegetable like carrot, then the simple answer to the question is with the help of its teeth and powerful jaw muscles.
Although the teeth of a pufferfish are barely visible, these are as powerful as a rodent’s teeth.
These are fused to form a beak-like structure.
The teeth of a puffer fish, along with its powerful jaw muscles, are strong enough to break the shells of a clam or a snail.
Hence, it can easily bite into a carrot and chew it.
Is feeding carrots to a pufferfish animal cruelty?
Several people feel strongly against the video of the pufferfish eating a carrot.
The primary reason for this is that carrots are not a natural part of the diet of a pufferfish, and in the video, it seems as though the fish is being fed forcefully.
Therefore, there is a strong sentiment against the notion of pufferfishes eating carrots, and many people term it as animal cruelty.
Is it true that pufferfishes eat almost anything?
Pufferfishes are predators known to eat different types of crustaceans and shellfish. However, when raising a pufferfish in captivity, you must be careful about its diet.
A hungry pufferfish will indeed eat anything from fish food to vegetables. But it is important to remember that the fish will be what it eats.
If you do not want to have a temperamental or lethargic puffer fish for a pet, you need to be careful about its diet and give it food that keeps it happy and healthy.
Is it true that the teeth of pufferfish never stop growing, and carrots can help trim them?
Despite being a fish, the pufferfish can easily bite through a hard vegetable like a carrot partly because it has teeth that never stop growing.
Like a rodent, the puffer fish has teeth that grow throughout their lives.
Therefore, they need to chew through food and eat hard food to trim their teeth.
Your puffer fish cannot trim their teeth without snails in your aquarium.
There is no record of carrots helping trim the teeth of pufferfishes. Therefore, keeping a few snails in your aquarium is a good idea.
Curious about the animals that can eat carrots? Check out that article we wrote for more information.
Chewy – Pufferfish Teeth Care
The source video of the pufferfish eating carrot contains graphic content, so I saw it fitting to include a short commentary video.