Do your research! Find out which pet would fit best for your family's life style. Find out the time and expenses required in getting your home and life prepared for this pet and if you are prepared to make the commitment to be home more often to take care of and spend time with your new family member. Once you have established this, are prepared to commit for the lifetime of that animal and have come to an understanding of what the amount of care will be you are ready to proceed towards finding your new family member.
It is not as simple as buying one on a whim. If it is not the right fit for your family things can go from happy to chaos in a matter of days. This can cause severe stress on the animal and you and then no one is happy.
So please, buy a stuffed animal as a gift if you are not 100% sure you are ready to commit for the lifetime of that animal.