Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that have become increasingly popular as pets. These reptiles are known for their unique appearance and quirky behavior, one of which is their tendency to lick things. Many owners have observed their bearded dragons licking various objects and surfaces, but what is the reason behind this behavior?
Scientists and reptile experts have come up with several theories as to why bearded dragons lick things. Some believe that it is a way for the reptiles to explore their environment and gather information about their surroundings. Others speculate that it could be a way for the bearded dragons to get a taste of their surroundings and determine if something is edible or not. Regardless of the reason, this behavior is just one of the many interesting facets of these fascinating creatures.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Lick Things?
Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures, and it is not uncommon for them to exhibit peculiar behaviors. One such behavior is their tendency to lick things. Owners of bearded dragons may observe their pets licking surfaces or objects in their enclosure, and this might raise questions about why they do so. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this behavior.
1. Exploring Their Environment
Bearded dragons are naturally curious creatures and enjoy exploring their surroundings. Licking is a way for them to gather information about their environment and the objects within it. Their tongue has tiny sensory cells that can detect various scents and tastes, allowing them to gather information about objects in their environment. By licking different surfaces and objects, bearded dragons can learn about their surroundings and identify potential food sources.
Licking can also be a way for bearded dragons to recognize objects and locations within their enclosure. By leaving their scent on objects, they can mark their territory and identify familiar locations.
2. Grooming Themselves
Licking is also a way for bearded dragons to groom themselves. They use their tongue to clean their face, removing any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. Additionally, they may lick their limbs to keep them clean and hydrated.
3. Showing Submission
Bearded dragons may also lick other bearded dragons or humans as a sign of submission. This behavior is commonly observed during breeding season or when two dragons are introduced to each other. The submissive dragon will lick the dominant dragon’s chin or head to show that it recognizes the other’s dominance.
4. Seeking Attention or Affection
Bearded dragons also use licking as a way to seek attention or affection from their owners. They may lick their owner’s hand or face as a way to request interaction or show affection. This behavior is more commonly observed in bearded dragons that have been socialized with humans from a young age.
5. Testing for Edible Objects
Another reason why bearded dragons lick objects is to test whether they are edible or not. As opportunistic feeders, bearded dragons are curious about anything that might be food. By licking an object, they can detect any potential food sources and determine whether they are edible or not.
6. Maintaining Hydration Levels
Licking can also be a way for bearded dragons to maintain their hydration levels. They may lick their water bowl or other moist surfaces to obtain water. This behavior is particularly important for bearded dragons that are not drinking enough water or are suffering from dehydration.
7. Territorial Marking
Bearded dragons may also lick objects as a way to mark their territory. By leaving their scent on objects, they can identify familiar locations and establish their dominance in their enclosure. This behavior is more commonly observed in male bearded dragons during breeding season.
8. Coping with Stress
Licking can also be a coping mechanism for bearded dragons that are stressed or anxious. This behavior may be observed in bearded dragons that are new to their enclosure or have recently experienced a change in their environment. Licking can help them feel more secure and calm.
9. Warning Sign
In some cases, bearded dragons may lick as a warning sign. This behavior is commonly observed when they feel threatened or agitated. By licking their lips or the air, they are signaling to their owner or a potential threat that they are feeling uncomfortable or threatened.
10. Medical Issues
Lastly, bearded dragons may lick objects due to medical issues. If a bearded dragon is suffering from a respiratory infection or oral infection, they may lick their lips or mouth excessively. If this behavior is observed, it is important to seek medical attention from a veterinarian.
In conclusion, bearded dragons lick objects for a variety of reasons, including exploring their environment, grooming themselves, showing submission, seeking attention or affection, testing for edible objects, maintaining hydration levels, territorial marking, coping with stress, warning signs, and medical issues. As a responsible owner, it is important to observe your bearded dragon’s behavior and ensure that they are exhibiting normal behaviors. If you notice any abnormal behavior, it is important to consult with a veterinarian.
Freequently Asked Questions
Why Do Bearded Dragons Lick Things?
Bearded dragons are one of the most popular reptile pets around the world. They have some unique behaviors that make them different from other pets. One of the peculiar behaviors is licking things. Bearded dragons lick everything, from their owners to the objects in their enclosure. Here are some reasons why bearded dragons lick things.
The primary reason why bearded dragons lick things is to explore their environment. Bearded dragons have a unique sense of smell, and they use their tongue to collect information about the objects around them. The tongue of a bearded dragon is covered with tiny sensory cells that detect the scent molecules present in the air. When a bearded dragon licks something, they collect information about the object’s texture, temperature, and taste.
Another reason why bearded dragons lick things is to maintain their hygiene. Bearded dragons are clean animals, and they spend a considerable amount of their time grooming themselves. When a bearded dragon licks its body, it removes dirt and sheds from its skin. Licking also helps them to regulate their body temperature by spreading saliva over their skin to cool down. Therefore, licking is a crucial part of a bearded dragon’s hygiene routine.
Is it Normal for Bearded Dragons to Lick their Owners?
Bearded dragons are social animals, and they love to interact with their owners. One of the ways bearded dragons show affection towards their owners is by licking them. If your bearded dragon licks you, it is a sign of trust and affection. However, if your bearded dragon suddenly starts licking you excessively, it might be a sign of stress or illness.
When a bearded dragon licks its owner, it is also a way of marking its territory. Bearded dragons have scent glands in their mouth, and when they lick their owners, they leave their scent on them. This helps them to recognize their owner and establish a bond with them.
If you are concerned about your bearded dragon’s licking behavior, you should observe their other behaviors. If they seem healthy and active, there is usually no reason to worry. However, if they show signs of illness like lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal behavior, you should take them to a veterinarian for a checkup.
What Objects Do Bearded Dragons Like to Lick?
Bearded dragons are known to lick almost everything in their enclosure. They are curious animals and love to explore their surroundings using their tongue. However, some objects are more appealing to them than others. Here are some objects that bearded dragons like to lick.
Bearded dragons love to lick rocks and other hard objects. They use their tongue to collect information about the texture and temperature of the rocks. They also like to lick their food bowls, especially if there is some leftover food in them. Bearded dragons are omnivores, and they have a keen sense of smell that helps them locate food.
Bearded dragons also like to lick their owners’ hands, especially if they have just applied lotion or hand sanitizer. The smell of the lotion or sanitizer can be attractive to them. However, you should avoid letting your bearded dragon lick your hands if you have applied any toxic substances.
What Should I Do if My Bearded Dragon Licks Something Toxic?
Bearded dragons are curious animals and love to explore their surroundings using their tongue. Sometimes they might lick something toxic, which can be dangerous for their health. If your bearded dragon licks something toxic, you should take immediate action.
The first thing you should do is remove the toxic substance from your bearded dragon’s mouth. If the substance is on their skin, you should wash it off with running water. You should also wash their mouth with water to remove any residue of the toxic substance.
If your bearded dragon shows signs of illness after licking something toxic, you should take them to a veterinarian immediately. The symptoms of toxicity can vary depending on the substance, but some common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and seizures.
It is essential to keep your bearded dragon’s enclosure clean and free from any toxic substances. You should also supervise them when they are outside their enclosure to ensure they do not lick anything harmful.
BEARDED DRAGON BEHAVIOURS| What Do They Mean?
In conclusion, understanding why bearded dragons lick things is important for their overall health and well-being. As we have learned, licking is a natural behavior for these fascinating reptiles, and it can serve a variety of purposes. From exploring their environment to gathering information about potential prey, licking is an essential part of a bearded dragon’s daily routine.
Additionally, bearded dragon owners should be aware of the potential dangers associated with excessive licking. By keeping their pet’s environment clean and providing plenty of opportunities for natural behaviors like basking and hunting, owners can help prevent their bearded dragons from developing harmful habits.
Overall, bearded dragons are incredible creatures with unique personalities and behaviors. By taking the time to understand their natural instincts and needs, we can provide them with the best possible care and create a lasting bond with these fascinating reptiles.