bearded dragon with open mouth

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Have you ever noticed your bearded dragon sticking out its tongue and wondered why? This common behavior in these fascinating reptiles can both delight and puzzle their caretakers.

In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons for this quirky habit, from temperature regulation to disease indication. Ready to unravel the mystery of beardie licks? Keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • Bearded dragons stick their tongue out to regulate their body temperature by keeping cool or warm.
  • They use their tongue to examine their surroundings, find food, and detect potential dangers.
  • Sticking out their tongue is also a way for bearded dragons to catch prey and show affection.
  • Tongue behavior can sometimes indicate respiratory illness or metabolic bone disease.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Stick Their Tongue Out

Regulating body temperature

Bearded dragons use their tongue in a fun way to keep cool or warm. This act helps them set their body heat just right. They stick out their tongues and gape, or leave their mouths open wide. It’s like how dogs pant when hot. But not only for the hot times!

If your pet lizard turns black, it may need more warmth. The dark skin pulls in extra sun rays to get cozy on chilly days. Sticking their tongue out is part of this smart trick they do all by themselves!

Examining their surroundings

Bearded dragons use their tongue to check out the world. They stick out their tongue to find food or spot any dangers around them. By licking the air, a bearded dragon can pick up smells and particles that help it learn about its home.

This behavior is normal even in new places. The beardie will lick everything to get used to its area faster. It collects tiny bits on the tip of its tongue then brings them back into its mouth. This helps it know what’s near, just like when you touch something to feel it.

This way, our pet reptile stays safe and happy by understanding where it lives better!

Catching prey

Bearded dragons use their tongue to snag bugs for food. These lizards can shoot out their thick and gooey tongue fast. The stickiness makes the bugs stay stuck. No bug can escape when a beardie sticks out its tongue.

Bearded dragons often flick or dart their tongues at things around them while hunting. Their long tongues make it easy to reach prey from a far place too!

Sign of respiratory illness

If you notice your bearded dragon sticking its tongue out and open-mouth breathing, it could be a sign of respiratory illness. Respiratory tract infections can weaken bearded dragons, making them more susceptible to illnesses.

Open-mouth breathing is not normal for these reptiles and may indicate that they are having trouble breathing. Environmental factors like poor air quality or improper temperature in their enclosure can contribute to respiratory infections.

It’s important to pay attention to any changes in your pet’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you suspect a respiratory illness.

Sign of metabolic bone disease

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a common illness in bearded dragons. One sign of MBD is swelling in the jaw or hind legs. If not treated, MBD can even cause paralysis and deformities in bearded dragons.

Lack of sunlight and not enough calcium are some reasons why bearded dragons get MBD. They might have trouble eating or holding onto food if they have MBD, which can lead to weight loss.

So it’s important to give them a healthy diet and make sure they get enough calcium and sunshine.

beardie with tongue out

Understanding Bearded Dragon Licking Behavior

Bearded dragons lick to show affection, mark their territory, and communicate with other dragons.

Affectionate behavior

Bearded dragons are known to show affection towards their owners through their licking behavior. When a bearded dragon licks you, it is a sign that they feel close and bonded to you.

This is because they use their tongues as a way to interact with their surroundings, including their owners. Licking behavior in bearded dragons is natural and normal, and it shows that your pet loves and trusts you.

So, if your bearded dragon licks you frequently, take it as a sign of affection and enjoy the special bond you have with your scaly friend!

Marking territory

Bearded dragons have a unique way of marking their territory – by licking everything around them. This behavior is a natural instinct for them and helps them establish boundaries in their environment.

When bearded dragons lick objects or surfaces, they are leaving behind their scent, which lets other dragons know that this area belongs to them. It’s like putting up a sign saying, “This is my space!”

So if you notice your pet lizard constantly licking things, don’t worry – they’re just staking claim to their territory!

Common Concerns with Bearded Dragon Tongue Behavior

Bearded dragon owners often have common concerns regarding their pet’s tongue behavior. These include issues such as tongue discoloration, the tongue sticking out while sleeping, and what is considered a normal color for a bearded dragon’s tongue.

Tongue discoloration

Tongue discoloration in bearded dragons can be a cause for concern. The color of a healthy bearded dragon’s tongue is typically light pink, white, or yellow at the tip. However, if you notice that your pet’s tongue has turned white, black, or grey, it could indicate an issue.

White or grey discoloration may suggest mouth rot, a bacterial infection that needs prompt treatment. Black tips on the tongue can also be a sign of decay or infection. If you see any abnormal color changes in your bearded dragon’s tongue, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for evaluation and proper care as soon as possible.

Tongue sticking out while sleeping

Bearded dragons sometimes stick their tongues out while they’re sleeping. You might wonder why they do this. Well, it turns out that bearded dragons use their tongues to help regulate their body temperature.

When a bearded dragon sleeps, its tongue sticking out helps it cool down or warm up, depending on what its body needs at that time. It’s an interesting way for these reptiles to maintain the right temperature and stay comfortable while they rest.

So if you see your bearded dragon with its tongue sticking out while sleeping, don’t worry! It’s just doing what comes naturally to it in order to keep itself cozy and content.

beardie licking the ground

Final Thoughts: Bearded Dragons Use Their Tongues for Many Reasons

Bearded dragons stick their tongue out for various reasons. They do it to regulate their body temperature, examine their surroundings, and catch prey. It can also be a sign of respiratory illness or metabolic bone disease.

Understanding this behavior helps us better care for these amazing reptiles. Therefore, if you notice your bearded dragon sticking its tongue out, pay attention to the possible reasons behind it and take appropriate action to ensure its well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my bearded dragon stick his tongue out?

Your bearded dragon sticks his tongue out to feel new places and things like most reptiles, including lizards and snakes.

Is it normal for a bearded dragon to lick everything?

Yes, using their tongue is a way for bearded dragons kept as pets to get used to new things around the mouth area.

What does an open mouth mean in beardies?

Beardies or male bearded dragons may often bask with an open mouth when the temperature is between 95 and 110 degrees.

Can I tell if my pet has decayed gums from its white tongue?

If your pet’s tongue looks gooey or different than usual, this could suggest gum and mouth decay. You should take your pet to a vet.

Does my bearded dragon show stress by sticking his tongue out?

No, sticking the tongue out means your beardie is checking things out while exploring its surroundings.

How can I know if my Bearded Dragon is healthy by looking at its teeth?

Healthy beardies have clear jaws and teeth without any signs of dirt or soreness around the mouth.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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Why Do Bearded Dragons Stick Their Tongue Out?

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