Animal guides or Totems are and are not a part of the Wiccan or Witchcraft Traditions. I am not trying to be confusing here, some Witches work with them and some don't. Personally I feel that those who do not are truly missing out on a wonderful experience and not meeting their full potential. Most commonly they are deeply ingrained in the history of Native Americans, Shamans, and other tribal organizations and traditions but developing a close relationship with such energy is also of benefit to the Witch.
Remember the old adages: clever as a fox, strong as an ox, etc.? Perhaps you need camouflage, then ask Brother Fox for assistance. If you seek wisdom, ask the Eagle. The Lynx knows the art of keeping secrets and the Swan guides one into dream time. The Panther is a good protective animal, though she does have a sarcastic, laid back nature.
Power animals can guide and protect you in the spirit world and in your dreams. They can also assist you in the waking state as well. Perhaps you are trying to learn something and are having difficulty understanding. Ask wolf for assistance; she is the great teacher.
Animal guides are not limited to mammals. The birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and mythological beasts can be just as helpful.
Children can be taught to work with animal guides and can have a great deal of success with them.
The act of honoring an animal is not an act of worship. It is the acknowledgment of their power and their being as brothers and sisters of the entire universe. It is a sign of our gratitude for their help. The energy of the animals, birds and other creatures that assist us should be honored. For too long, we have subjugated these creatures who are our equals in the system of the Universe. Native Americans often leave tobacco scattered on the ground as a gift. You could also burn incense in honor of the animal. When honoring animal wisdom and energy, always leave a gift of some sort. Remember to say "Thank you." For all the help they give us they deserve our gratitude.