ABILENE, Texas -

If you're thinking about getting that special someone a four-legged friend, you may want to rethink.

KTXS reached out to Paul Washburn, the president of Rescue the Animals, SPCA, for tips on giving pets as gifts.

"Just keep in mind that not everybody wants to have a lap full of animals around their house," Washburn said. "You may think they need an animal, but they may not think so, so the first thing to do is be sure that whoever you're going to get the pet for, really is prepared to have a pet and wants a pet."

Washburn said being reasonable about giving an expensive gift like a puppy or kitten is essential.

"I would just sit down and I'd make a list…I'd say, now if I wanted to get this little dog, and he was gonna live in my house, what would I have to have?" Washburn said. "I'd make a list, then I'd work with whoever was receiving the pet and make sure they have all that stuff."

For example, one cost you might want to consider is dog food. On average, a bag of dog food costs about $30. That equates to $360 per year just for food.

"Veterinary and medical expenses these days are extremely high and so you need to if you haven't had a pet, call and ask how much it's gonna cost me to get these yearly shots," Washburn said.

Washburn said they see a lot of pets being returned because the person either didn't want a pet or they didn't like the breed.