Does the family have adequate space for a new pet?
A lot of dogs and cats are not suitable for apartment living. They require a decent sized backyard to exercise or run around. If you give an inappropriate pet, they will end up living in cramped spaces and this often results in destructive behavior inside the house.
Do they even want a pet as a gift?
They may have expressed a desire to get a pet, but it does not mean they want one now. A pet is like a child, and comes with just as much financial responsibility. Are they willing to pay for basic pet necessities like food, toys, leashes, collars, bedding, veterinary care, spaying, neutering, medications and emergency care?