Bearded dragons are very social creatures that love their human companions. They will usually greet you at the door when you come home, and even try to follow you around the house! But you may be wondering:
“Why is my bearded dragon sticking its tongue out at me?”
Bearded dragons will often stick their tongues out when they see a potential threat. This can be a sign that your bearded dragon needs to go back into its enclosure, if only for a short while. It doesn’t necessarily want to hurt anything, but it does want to make sure that everything is safe and sound.
How Does a Bearded Dragon’s Tongue Actually Work?
The bearded dragon’s tongue is long and forked, which helps it to lick up insects from all sorts of surfaces. The beard on a bearded dragon’s chin also helps to trap insects, so that the dragon can eat them without having to stop and actually chew them.
Bearded dragons also have a special organ known as Jacobsen’s organ. This organ helps them to detect the movement of prey, as well as changes in air pressure. This is why bearded dragons can often be seen licking the air – they’re trying to sense any potential prey that might be nearby.
Some bearded dragon enthusiasts believe that bearded dragons lick each other as a way of showing affection. While this is certainly possible, it’s not something that has been scientifically proven.
What Are The Reasons Bearded Dragons Lick?
Bearded dragons lick the air for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include:
One reason could be that your bearded dragon is trying to scent mark its territory. It may also be doing this to show dominance over another bearded dragon or even a human! If you have two or more bearded dragons, they may be trying to show each other who is the boss by licking the air rapidly.
Licking may be a sign of illness in some bearded dragons. As with most animals, bearded dragons can get sick. Bearded dragons get sick more often than other reptiles, and may get respiratory infections very easily. A sick bearded dragon will generally stop eating and try to sleep all of the time.
If your bearded dragon is constantly licking everything, he might have a parasite. Bearded dragons can get parasites from the environment, from other animals, or even from their food. Some common parasites that bearded dragons can get are ticks, mites, and lice.
Bearded dragons are active during the breeding season (also known as mating season). If it is the time of year for your bearded dragon to breed, he will be more excited. Licking is part of a pre-mating ritual. Males will lick the female to show interest, and females may lay their chin on top of the male’s head as a sign that she accepts his advances.
Licking can also be a sign of pregnancy. If your bearded dragon is female, she will need to lay eggs sometime between 3–5 weeks after mating (the exact timing is different for every dragon). If your bearded dragon is pregnant, you can find out by feeling under her belly (after she has warmed up). If the eggs are still in there and getting ready to hatch, you will feel a “lump” on either side of her belly.
Bearded dragons like to lick things because they like the taste of whatever is on there! Liking the bearded dragon is licking everything, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. They enjoy licking things because it helps them to taste and smell their environment. Licking can help them to identify predators, food, and other bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon is licking everything, there’s no need to worry as long as the behavior doesn’t last for a very long time or he seems sick. Whatever he’s licking probably tastes good!
Bearded dragons, like all reptiles, need to maintain their body temperature. If they feel too hot or too cold they will often lick the area around them in order to cool it down (or warm it up). You might notice that your bearded dragon is licking a lot more than usual if the temperature in your home is drastically different from the temperature in its enclosure.
They may be trying to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Licking helps them learn about their environment! Bearded dragons will also lick objects because it helps them to get a better idea of what that object looks like. They will explore everything with their tongues, and this includes both the inside and outside of their enclosures.
Bearded dragons actually love to lick their food. This is because their tongues are covered in tiny bumps called papillae. These bumps help them to grip the food and remove as much of it as possible from the surface. This is why you’ll often see bearded dragons licking their food before they eat it – they want to make sure they get as much of it as possible!
Dehydration can also cause a bearded dragon to lick everything. If your bearded dragon isn’t drinking enough water, he may start licking everything in an attempt to find some moisture. You can tell if your bearded dragon is dehydrated by checking the color of his urine. If it’s very light or clear, he’s probably not getting enough water. You can supplement the diet with vitamin and mineral powder if your bearded dragon doesn’t get enough moisture in his diet.
So, is it unhealthy for a bearded dragon to lick?
No, it’s not. In fact, bearded dragons need to lick in order to survive. Licking helps them to learn about their environment, identify predators and food, and maintain their body temperature. As long as your bearded dragon isn’t licking everything excessively or for an extended period of time, there’s no need to worry. He’s just doing what bearded dragons do – licking things!
Adult bearded dragons do not lick as much as their younger counterparts, but they certainly still enjoy the taste of whatever they are licking!
Younger bearded dragons tend to spend more time licking objects, while adults spend more time basking. This is because young beardies are searching for their food and water, while older beardies have this part of their care well under control.
Additionally, all animals that lick objects in order to taste them are only doing so when they don’t know what that object is. Once they become familiar with an object, they will no longer need to taste it as they already know what it tastes like.
How do I stop my bearded dragon from licking everything?
Bearded dragons love the taste of all sorts of objects, so preventing them from licking those things can be a challenge.
So, while you cannot stop your bearded dragon from licking everything all together, you can try to limit the objects he has access to. If you are having trouble getting your bearded dragon to stop licking everything in his environment, try using non-toxic decorations in his enclosure. This will help to keep him entertained and discourage him from licking everything he comes across.
Instead of trying to prevent your bearded dragon from licking everything, consider using non-toxic plants in his enclosure instead. This will help to beautify his home without encouraging him to eat the decorations!
You can also limit access to objects by putting them away when you are not present. Make sure that anything you don’t want him licking is out of his reach or put away when you are gone.
It is also important to clean their environment regularly when you cannot limit their access to certain objects. Make sure you are using safe cleaning supplies so that your bearded dragon will not lick the items. This goes for food bowls, water dishes, and other objects in his environment as well.
If all else fails, try creating a distraction! This may mean taking him out of his enclosure or just playing with him for a few minutes. Once he is distracted, he may forget all about licking.
Necessary disclaimer: The information contained herein is gathered from personal experience and research. This does not substitute for the professional advice of a licensed veterinarian. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.