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I would say it depends on the animal specie as well as the individual animal. I know of guinie pigs that were together only a few weeks that came close to dying when separated. On the other hand my 3 cats were together for many years and when my one cat died the other two didn't seem to bat an eyelash. And my 2 dogs were together for a couple of years as well and when my male died my female was a bit off for 24-48 hours but was completely fine after 2 days.
Really think it depends not only on the specie but on the individual pair as well.
Think it depends on the individual...our rott was very upset when our westie died. We had to get another dog just for her to act "normal" again. When our rott died the lab who replaced the westie took it very hard and is just now acting right and it's almost been a year. Our rottie was only with the Westie for a few years, but the Rottie was also a puppy. Whereas the lab had been with the rottie for about 10 years.
Agreed, I think it depends on species and then the individual animals. I think birds become bonded faster than other animals (not sure just a personal observation) but dogs and cats it probably just depends. My sister adopted two cats and they are just in love with each other. The male is more adventurous and loves to go outside and while he's gone the female sits at the window and waits for him to come home. It's sweet. And they are always cuddling. I think the female would be totally lost without the male.