Laser Doppler anemometry experiments and finite element simulations of steady flow in a three dimensional model of the carotid bifurcation were performed to investigate the influence of non-Newtonian properties of blood on the velocity distribution. The axial velocity distribution was measured for two fluids: a non-Newtonian blood analog fluid and a Newtonian reference fluid. Striking differences between the measured flow fields were found. The axial velocity field of the non-Newtonian fluid was flattened, had lower velocity gradients at the divider wall, and higher velocity gradients at the non-divider wall. The flow separation, as found with the Newtonian fluid, was absent. In the computations, the shear thinning behavior of the analog blood fluid was incorporated through the Carreau–Yasuda model. The viscoelastic properties of the fluid were not included. A comparison between the experimental and numerical results showed good agreement, both for the Newtonian and the non-Newtonian fluid. Since only shear thinning was included, this seems to be the dominant non-Newtonian property of the blood analog fluid under steady flow conditions.