WhatsApp will now allow its users to download the linked GIFs before sending them. This new feature is available in both 2.18.306 and 2.18.312 (beta) Versions.
When a link is send to the GIF, the app will download the animated image before sending it. After this, the GIF will open in a new window and you can accordingly tap to remove the link, or either insert your own caption, draw on top and also add emojis or stickers or text. After this is done, you can tap on the send button.