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What Does It Mean When a Bearded Dragon Licks You?

What Does It Mean When a Bearded Dragon Licks You?

Bearded dragons are a popular pet to have, but do you know what it means when they lick you? Lizards communicate with each other via body language. Beardies use their tongues in the same way that humans use facial expressions. If your pet lizard licks your hand or arm, they want to be handled by you and get affection from you!

Reasons Your Beardie Is Licking:

1) Sensing Cages and Surroundings

Beardies may be omnivores. However, their size makes them vulnerable to a variety of predators, particularly in the Australian desert. As a consequence, these pet lizards must be extremely cautious and aware of any predators in their surroundings.

One of the ways beardies sense their surroundings is by using their tongues. By licking objects, they can gain information about what the object is and whether or not it poses a threat.

In the wild, beardies will lick rocks to find out if there are any insects hiding underneath. They will also lick branches and leaves to determine whether there are any spiders or bugs lurking in the foliage.

If your pet bearded dragon is constantly licking you, it’s possible that he is trying to gather information about his environment and assess potential threats.

Licking can help bearded dragons understand things around them better!

Sensing Cages and Surroundings

2) Taste or Smell Preferences

Beardies, just like many reptiles, have the ability to smell things with their long and narrow tongues. They may be licking you to get a better sense of your scent. They may also be tasting you to see if you are something they want to eat!

These pet lizards have strong tongues, which helps them lick up food easily. But it can also make them great lickers! If your bearded dragon is constantly licking you, it’s probably just trying to taste or smell you.

If your beardie interacts with anything, it will most likely lick the item to acquire a better flavor and scent of what it is.

Beardies lick their human companions for different reasons. Some reasons are simply because they like the taste or smell of us, while others could be a sign that something is wrong with our dragon! If you’ve been noticing your pet reptile licking you more than usual, it’s important to figure out why he might be doing this and take action if needed.

Food is frequently licked by beardies since they want to find out whether or not it’s good [1].

3) Mating or Breeding Season

During the breeding season, which commonly lasts a month right after brumation, beardies will lick more frequently and will lick everything they see.

Male reptiles commonly use licking to look for prospective partners. They will also lick other males in order to assert dominance.

Female reptiles may also lick objects as a way of leaving their scent behind. This allows males to track her down if they are interested in mating.

Mating or Breeding Season

If your beardie is constantly licking you during the breeding season, it’s likely because he is trying to mate with you! They can be quite persistent when it comes to mating, so don’t be surprised if your pet tries to get frisky with you every time he sees you!

4) Claiming Their Territory

Pet dragons use licking to claim their territory, just like dogs do with their scent. Male beardies commonly engage in this behavior more frequently than females.

Licking for identification purposes isn’t common in captivity since there is not a lot of competition.

Beardies may be licking you to mark you as their territory. If your dragon is constantly licking you, it’s possible that he is trying to let everyone know that you belong to him! This behavior can get pretty annoying, but thankfully it usually subsides after the dragon has claimed his territory.

It’s not advised to house more than one bearded dragon in a tank at once, and never two males.

5) Hunger

If your pet lizard is hungry, it will begin to look for food. They must go out and search for their food in the wild.

The easiest way to tell if your beardie is hungry is by looking at its stomach. The stomach will be visibly sunken in and the scales will be raised if the dragon is malnourished.

Beardies lick their human companions when they are hungry because they want us to feed them!

If your pet is constantly licking you, it’s possible that he’s trying to tell you that he’s hungry. If this is the case, make sure to give him a meal as soon as possible!


Licking the air is one way they use to sniff out meals. You may observe an increase in licking prior to meals every time if your feeding schedule is regular.

6) Sign Of Their Comfort And Affection

While there isn’t much evidence to support it, your beardy won’t lick things it isn’t comfortable with.

Bearded dragons may lick you to show their affection. If your pet reptile is constantly licking you, it’s possible that he loves you and wants to be close to you! This behavior can be really sweet, and it’s a good way to tell that your bearded dragon trusts you.

If your beardie starts licking other family members or friends, it’s likely because he views them as part of his “pack” and feels comfortable around them.

What Do Bearded Dragons Lick:

Their New Owners

Licking you may assist them in distinguishing you from other family members. Beardies can also determine whether or not you are a dominant member of the family.

Beardies use licking as a way to show dominance, submission, and affection. When your beardie licks you it is his or her way of saying “hello” and trying to bond with you. As long as your beardie isn’t licking compulsively or constantly, there’s no need to worry – this behavior is normal!

In general, when a pet dragon licks someone it means they are trying to figure out who that person is and what kind of relationship they have with them. Beardies can tell a lot about a person from the way they smell, so don’t be surprised if your beardie takes a long whiff of you when he or she first meets you!

Their New Owners

This is especially crucial when your pet is just starting out in your house, and you may observe them performing different gestures such as head bobbing and arm waving depending on how they view you or other family members [2].

Objects In Their New Enclosures and Surroundings

If you have recently acquired your dragons, they will most likely be lapping everything in sight as they become acquainted with the objects in their environment. This is a way for them to become familiar with their surroundings and understand the layout of their new home.

Beardies may also lick rocks, plants, and other objects in their tank as they try to identify what these things are. Again, this is all part of their process of getting to know their new environment!

If they didn’t taste new things in unfamiliar settings, they would undoubtedly become insecure and hesitant about their surroundings.

A pet reptile will proceed to bathe in its new environment for a short amount of time before expressing interest.

Food and Any Food-Related Objects

Most dragons are big eaters. They can consume veggies, fruit, greens, and even insects. In the wild, bearded dragons consume a varied diet of small prey items like lizards, spiders, and crickets.

When your beardie is eating its food, it may also lick the bowl or container in which the food is being served. This is another way for them to become familiar with their new surroundings and understand what is going on around them.

Bearded dragons will also lick any other objects that are related to food such as utensils used to feed them or even your hands if you are helping to give them their meal. Again, they are just trying to learn about their new environment and what is going on around them!

They could then sniff the air, rock, or branch and if they detect a fragrance that is familiar to them and that they recognize as a specific meal, they will go in that direction.

Food and Any Food-Related Objects

Other Bearded Dragons

If you have more than one pet in your home and they interact with each other, you will undoubtedly observe them lapping. This is a way for them to learn about each other and understand the dynamics of their new pack.

Beardies will also lick one another as part of social grooming, which is a way for them to show friendship and affection. So don’t be alarmed if you see your beardies licking each other – it’s just their way of communicating!

When a dominant male licks another reptile, they may be able to sense their own pheromones and will frequently lick others to acquire a sense of the pheromones they produce. Dominant males will frequently lick others to get a feel for their own pheromones before displaying aggressive and domineering conduct.

That is why experts do not recommend housing more than one beardie in the same container, and I’ve included a post that goes through why you should never do so.

Males will also lick females during mating season, and there is an increase in hormones and pheromones.

When females are in the mating season, they can become enraged and vengeful if they detect another female in their territory and will then frantically lick to find out where she has been and whether or not she has mated.

Other Pets in Your Household

If you have dogs and cats, and let them play and socialize with one another, your pet reptile will be seen licking them frequently.

Dogs and cats represent new smells to bearded dragons and they will lick them as a way of trying to identify these new smells.

In the wild, beardies encounter different animals that have their own unique smell. By licking other animals, they are able to learn more about these foreign smells and potentially add them to their repertoire of smells that they are familiar with.

Beardies may also lick your other pets in an attempt to show dominance over them. So if you see your beardie licking another pet, don’t be alarmed – it’s just his or her way of communicating!

It’s critical for your dragons to appreciate as much about your animals as they do about you or the food they consume, and licking is one of their most powerful sensory options.

Other Pets in Your Household

Any Potentially Interesting Object

Your beardie may also decide to lick everything, as well as the usual things we’ve mentioned above. This is because bearded dragons have an amazing sense of smell and they are constantly trying to learn about their new surroundings by sniffing everything.

Beardies will lick any object that is potentially interesting to them in order to learn more about their environment. This includes objects such as bowls and utensils used for feeding, other reptiles, food-related items, and anything else in their tank that looks or smells unfamiliar. In the wild, beardies consume a varied diet of small prey items like lizards, spiders, and crickets.

So when they’re in a new environment – whether it’s your home or their tank – they’ll explore everything with their tongue to get acquainted with what’s going on around them!

You’ll frequently observe a pet dragon lapping at their tank’s glass for no apparent reason, but there must be something they’re interested in or curious about.


1. What does it mean if a bearded dragon licks another bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons are fiercely territorial. The males in their natural settings frequently challenge each other to assert dominance and access to the females, as they do in the wild. In contrast, the ladies engage in a food rivalry.

Your bearded dragon will use licking to claim its territory if it is kept as a pet. This is comparable to a dog lashing his owner’s leg to indicate his ownership. Your pet would not usually lick you to show your dominance because there isn’t much of it.

If you acquire additional bearded dragons, you will notice increased licking behavior. Your pet may be attempting to identify its boundaries and assert dominance over the other beardies. It’s best to keep each pet in its own enclosure, particularly the males [3].

2. Do adults lick as much as babies?

Licking is a typical activity in bearded dragons, as it’s one of their primary methods to explore the world around them. It’s practically continuous in bearded dragons aged under 10 months old due to their intense interest in their surroundings, as everything is new to them [4].

3. Why do bearded dragons lick their lips?

If your bearded dragon is lapping at its lips, it could be thirsty. Offer water droplets to your beardie’s snout with a drop dispenser or something similar. You may even use a reptile water dispenser like this if you’re looking for one [5].

4. Is it unhealthy for a bearded dragon to lick?

Licking surfaces is a natural action for bearded dragons since they lick surfaces in order to collect data and scents around them (which may lead to problems if you give them the incorrect substrate) (which can cause difficulties if you give him the wrong substrate) [6].

5. How does licking help them smell?

When a bearded dragon licks for the flavor, it is flicking its tongue in the air rather than directly touching an object. Each lick captures tiny particles onto the tongue for sensory processing. Because our nose and tongue are linked, we don’t have to stick out our tongues to smell things [7].

6. Why does my bearded dragon frequently lick surfaces?

If you have a bearded dragon, you’ve undoubtedly observed that they lick everything. Nothing seems to escape a beardie’s tongue, from the air to the substrate and food. Although the reason for this behavior may appear mysterious at first, this article will explain why these reptiles use their tongues so often.

Licking in lizards is the result of a special organ located at the top of their mouth known as the Jacobson’s organ (or vomeronasal organ). Bearded dragons to gather information about their surroundings utilize this organ, like that of other reptiles. Snakes and nocturnal lizards utilize their Jacobson organs to find food, whereas bearded dragons employ them mostly for scent and taste.

The Jacobson’s organ then interprets specific organic chemicals from these surfaces to provide a detailed description of their surroundings, such as the temperature, presence of predators, or whether other bearded dragons live there [8].

7. Why do bearded dragons have short sticky tongues?

Lizards secrete a thick mucus that clings to the meal. Experts do not believe they have the capacity to shut it off. However, when your dragon flicked its tongue, he was either smelling the roach or attempting to eat it, and not both [9].



  1. https://oddlycutepets.com/bearded-dragon-licks-you/
  2. https://totalbeardeddragon.com/bearded-dragon-licking/
  3. https://tinyunderwater.com/what-does-it-mean-when-a-bearded-dragon-licks-you/
  4. https://reptileknowhow.com/lizards/bearded-dragons/licking/
  5. https://www.lizards101.com/why-is-my-bearded-dragon-licking-things-reasons/
  6. https://tinyunderwater.com/what-does-it-mean-when-a-bearded-dragon-licks-you/
  7. https://oddlycutepets.com/bearded-dragon-licks-you
  8. https://reptileknowhow.com/lizards/bearded-dragons/licking/
  9. https://www.beardeddragon.org/threads/tongue-stickiness.141991/