Ed dragon, with its tongue out, eagerly licking a colorful array of fruits and vegetables

Different Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Lick

Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards which can be found in many households. One peculiar behavior that bearded dragons exhibit is licking.

This behavior has both physical and mental benefits for the lizard, so it is important to understand why they do it and how it can be encouraged.

In this article, we will discuss the behavior of bearded dragons when they lick, the reasons why they lick, potential health benefits of licking, and how to encourage licking in your own dragon.

Key Takeaways

  • Bearded dragon licking is a natural behavior that serves various purposes such as exploration, scent marking, and investigating objects.
  • Licking provides health benefits including improved digestion, hydration, and removal of parasites.
  • Encouraging bearded dragon licking by providing a variety of textures and edible treats promotes their overall well-being.
  • Understanding the reasons and benefits of licking can help improve care and meet the needs of bearded dragons.

What Is Bearded Dragon Licking

Bearded dragon licking is an instinctive behavior that can indicate various physical or emotional states. It is an important part of a bearded dragon’s anatomy, as it helps to maintain proper hydration levels and clear away dirt from the scales.

Bearded dragons typically lick objects, surfaces, their own body parts, and other lizards. Licking behaviors can also be associated with stress reduction or as a sign of affection among mates.

Understanding what prompts bearded dragon licking can help provide better care for these fascinating creatures.

Behavior of Bearded Dragons When They Lick

When engaging in licking behavior, bearded dragons may be attempting to taste their surroundings. Exploring with saliva is a way for them to interact with their environment. It can also be an indication of comfort or curiosity.

The frequency of licking varies from dragon to dragon, and can depend on the situation they are in or how they are feeling. Bearded dragons may also lick each other as a sign of affection or dominance.

Licking is an important part of understanding their behaviors and needs as pets.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Lick

Exploration of the environment through licking may be one of the primary motivations for this behavior in bearded dragons. It is possible that they are:

  • Exploring nutrition – tasting food sources to determine if it is edible or not.
  • Scent marking – communicating with other dragons by leaving behind a distinct scent.
  • Investigating objects – using their tongue as an additional sense organ to discover more information.

Bearded Dragons lick for various reasons, each with its own unique purpose and benefits.

Health Benefits of Bearded Dragon Licking

Studies have suggested that licking can provide numerous health benefits for bearded dragons. Exploring nutrition and environmental enrichment, this behavior is believed to play a role in improving digestion, assisting with hydration, stimulating the senses, and providing psychological stimulation.

Bearded dragons may also gain information about their environment through taste and smell receptors located on their tongues. The process of licking may also be beneficial for the removal of parasites from the skin or other surfaces.

How to Encourage Bearded Dragon Licking

Encouraging bearded dragon licking may provide numerous benefits to the reptile’s health, nutrition, and environment.

  • Techniques:
  • Encouraging: Provide a variety of textures for the dragon to lick on surfaces such as rocks or logs.
  • Licking: Introduce edible treats like fruits and vegetables that can be licked off surfaces.
  • Techniques: Offer other food items like insects that are small enough for the dragon’s tongue to reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Lick?

Bearded dragons typically lick surfaces frequently and regularly, with their licking habits varying depending on the individual. Generally, they will lick each surface once every few minutes or so. To ensure optimal health, it is important to monitor your dragon’s licking frequency and habits.

Is There Any Risk of Infection Associated With Bearded Dragon Licking?

Licking can be a key indicator of hygiene and consistency in bearded dragons. However, there is a risk of bacterial infection associated with licking that could lead to serious health complications if not monitored properly. It is important to practice proper hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria.

What Is the Best Type of Surface for Bearded Dragons to Lick?

When choosing a surface for bearded dragons to lick, it is important to ensure proper hygiene. Non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic, or metal are ideal for best sanitary practices and should be wiped down regularly. Additionally, any porous surfaces should be avoided altogether.

Is Bearded Dragon Licking Harmful to Furniture or Other Surfaces?

Bearded dragon licking can cause skin irritation and furniture damage if done too often. It is important to monitor the frequency of licking to ensure surfaces are not being excessively worn away or scratched. Appropriate control measures should be taken to minimize risks.

Is Bearded Dragon Licking a Sign of Affection or Dominance?

Bearded dragons may lick as a form of social communication, providing cues related to territoriality or affection. By licking, they can indicate dominance or submission to another dragon. Further research is needed to understand the nuances of these behaviors and their implications in nature and captivity.


Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that display a wide range of behaviors, including licking. While the exact reason why they do this is not known, some possible explanations include expressing affection, exploring their environment, or even keeping themselves clean.

In addition to being an interesting behavior to observe in these animals, it may also have health benefits such as providing them with minerals and vitamins from saliva and controlling parasites on their skin. To encourage bearded dragon licking it is important to provide a safe environment with plenty of stimulation and appropriate items for licking.

Ultimately, understanding more about why bearded dragons lick can help us better care for them in captivity.

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