If you’re a proud owner of a bearded dragon, you may have noticed that your scaly friend has a peculiar habit of licking you. This behavior can be both intriguing and puzzling. Why does your bearded dragon lick you? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this behavior and delve into the possible meanings behind those gentle licks. Let’s uncover the fascinating world of bearded dragon communication!
Bearded Dragon Communication
Bearded dragons, despite being non-verbal creatures, have their unique ways of communicating with their human companions and their environment. They use a combination of body language, gestures, and even vocalizations to express their emotions and intentions. Understanding their communication cues can help you build a stronger bond with your scaly friend.
Possible Reasons for Licking Behavior
While the exact reason behind a bearded dragon’s licking behavior may vary from dragon to dragon, there are a few common explanations that might shed some light:
Bonding and Affection
Licking can be a sign of affection and bonding. Bearded dragons may lick their owners as a way to show their love and trust. This behavior is similar to how some animals groom each other to strengthen social bonds.
Taste and Exploration
Bearded dragons have a keen sense of smell and taste. Licking can be their way of exploring and tasting new scents or flavors. When they lick you, they are essentially gathering information about you and their surroundings.
Signs of Submission
Licking can also be a submissive behavior. In the wild, subordinate bearded dragons may lick the dominant members of their group as a way to show respect and submission. Your dragon may exhibit this behavior to acknowledge you as the dominant figure in its environment.
Bearded dragons are known to groom themselves regularly. Licking can be a part of their grooming behavior. When they lick you, they might be extending their grooming routine to include you as a part of their “pack.”
Is it safe to let my bearded dragon lick me?
In general, it is safe to let your bearded dragon lick you. Their tongues are not harmful, and the behavior is usually a sign of positive interaction. However, always ensure proper hygiene, wash your hands before and after handling them, and avoid allowing them to lick any open wounds or sensitive areas.
What if my bearded dragon licks excessively?
Excessive licking could be a sign of underlying health issues or stress. If your dragon’s licking behavior becomes obsessive or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s recommended to consult a reptile veterinarian for a thorough check-up.
Can bearded dragons lick to show aggression?
Licking is typically not a behavior associated with aggression in bearded dragons. Aggressive behavior is more commonly displayed through aggressive postures, hissing, biting, or puffing up of the beard. If you notice aggressive behavior in your dragon, it’s important to assess the situation and ensure your safety.
Bearded dragons licking their owners can be a charming and endearing behavior. It can be a way for them to communicate affection, curiosity, submission, or even engage in grooming. While it’s generally safe and harmless, it’s important to observe your dragon’s overall behavior and ensure their well-being. Remember, every bearded dragon is unique, so their licking behavior may vary. Enjoy the special bond you share with your scaly companion and cherish those adorable licks!