Let's start with some definitions:
Spirit Guide: An entity that has been assigned to you at your birth or has chosen you that helps you in decision making and personal growth
Animal Guide: An animal spirit that protects and helps you discover who you are.
Patron/Matron Deity: A God that is there to help you along your path.
All of these these different types of guides can change throughout your life. You need different energies when you're 3 vs. when you're in college vs. when you become a parent vs. when you are retired because you are learning different lessons.
Sometimes a spirit guide can be an ancestor and sometimes animal guides can be your family pet after they have passed over. These guides tend to stick with you for the rest of your life.
I personally work with my deities more than my other guides and they change often. My first Matron deity was Freya and she has declared that I have learned what I needed from her and it is now time for me to move forward and work with some other deities. I'm currently being guided by my Patron deity Loki who has claimed me for life, his wife Sigyn.
One of my spirit guides is the spirit conglomerate of all past Oracles of Delphi, she is helping me learn how to stay open to the messages of the universe and to not be afraid of some of the visions I have.
One of my animal guides is my first familiar Chloe who passed away last summer. It is such a comfort to know that she is always with me.
You can work with your guides in dreams and in meditation. You can also just speak aloud to them. They are always there and they are always listening. It can just be hard sometimes to notice their responses. So be still and listen with an open mind and open heart and you'll start to hear when they speak to you.