Dogs occasionally need to be bathed especially if they have been rolling in something smelly! Some people like to give their dog a bath as often as once a week and this is fine if a gentle pet shampoo is used. Cats do not tend to appreciate water and unless they have been bathed at home from kittenhood I would not recommend trying as they can become very distressed and you may get hurt. Rabbits and other small mammals can also be washed but take great care to keep them very warm as they lose body heat and get dangerously chilled quickly.
Bath your animal using a good quality animal shampoo, use it as you would use shampoo for your own hair. Wet the coat then apply shampoo working up a lather followed by a thorough rinse. Avoid eyes, ears and mouth. The bath is a good place to use but washing can take place outside in warm weather. The water temperature should be kept warm, never too hot or cold; keep checking this throughout. The shower attachment on many bath taps is excellent for the final rinse, or use a container to get rinsing water onto your pet.
Your pet should be towel dried then a hairdryer can be used, or if the weather is warm they can dry off naturally. If you choose to use a hairdryer move it over your animal don't keep it in one place or you could risk burning your pet! Keep the hairdryer on a cool setting. Remember to keep your pet warm following the bath until they are completely dry.