Why Do Bearded Dragons Lick? Understanding Their Behavior

Bearded dragons lick primarily to explore and gather information about their surroundings. Licking is an important sensory behavior for these reptiles, allowing them to detect and taste different objects and substances in their environment.

By using their tongue, bearded dragons can gather chemical information about the objects they encounter, such as the presence of potential food sources, predators, or even familiar scents. Licking also helps them maintain hydration by sensing water droplets or moisture on surfaces.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Lick

Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique ways of communicating and exploring their surroundings. Licking is one of the behaviors they exhibit regularly, and it can have several meanings. For example, this section will discuss why bearded dragons lick.

1. Tasting the Surroundings

Bearded dragons have limited tactile receptors on their feet, so they identify the texture of things around them by licking. They use their tongues to gather information about their environment, including the texture and taste of objects. By licking different surfaces, they can differentiate between edible and non-edible items. They also use their tongues to explore new places, which helps them familiarize themselves with their surroundings.

2. Communication and Territory Marking

Bearded dragons use licking to communicate with their environment, including their owners. When a bearded dragon licks you, it could mean a few different things. For one, they may sense their surroundings by tasting your skin. They may also be showing affection or bonding with you. Additionally, they use licking as a way to mark their territory. Beardies are extremely territorial and will use licking to mark their territory.

3. Exploring and Curiosity

Bearded dragons are curious creatures that love to explore their surroundings. Licking is one way that they gather information about their environment. By licking different surfaces, they can determine if they are safe to climb on or need to be avoided. They also use their tongues to identify potential prey or predators in their habitat.

4. Affection and Bonding

Bearded dragons can show affection and bond with their owners through licking. When they lick you, it can signify affection or a way to bond with you. It is also a sign that they feel comfortable around and trust you. However, if your bearded dragon suddenly starts licking excessively, it may cause concern and indicate stress or illness.

Licking Habits to Watch Out For

Bearded dragons are known to lick objects and their owners to explore their surroundings and show affection, but there are some licking habits that owners should watch out for as they may indicate a cause for concern or distress.

Signs of Distress or Illness

A bearded dragon excessively licking or licking abnormally may be a sign of distress or illness. Owners should pay attention to the following signs:

·  Licking the same object repeatedly

·  Licking the air or walls

·  Licking excessively and not stopping

·  Licking objects that are not usually of interest

·  Licking in combination with other symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or diarrhea

If any of these signs are present, taking the bearded dragon to a veterinarian for a check-up is recommended.

Aggressive Licking Behavior

Aggressive licking behavior may also be a cause for concern. This type of behavior can include:

·  Licking aggressively and repeatedly

·  Licking and biting at the same time

·  Licking in combination with other aggressive behaviors such as head bobbing or puffing up

Aggressive licking behavior may be a sign of dominance or territorial behavior, especially in male bearded dragons during breeding season. However, if the behavior is excessive or accompanied by other aggressive behaviors, it may be necessary to seek advice from a veterinarian or a reptile behaviorist.


Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique personalities and behaviors. One of their most interesting behaviors is their tendency to lick things, including their owners. While there are several reasons why bearded dragons lick, the most common reasons include curiosity, exploration, and taste.

Owners of bearded dragons should not be alarmed if their pets lick them, as it is often a sign of affection and trust. However, if the licking becomes excessive or is accompanied by other unusual behaviors, it may indicate an underlying health issue. In such cases, seeking advice from a veterinarian specializing in reptiles is recommended.

To ensure the health and well-being of bearded dragons, owners should provide them with a suitable habitat, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups. They should also take the time to observe their pets’ behavior and learn about their unique personalities and habits. By doing so, they can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of these fascinating creatures.