According to her Twitter profile, Janet Tobiassen is a ‘vetinarian, wife, Mom, glass beadmaker, knitter, beachcomber and book lover’. On top of all those things though, she has also been one of About.com’s top writers, dealing specifically with veterinary medicine on the site since 1999.

In short, she is a font of knowledge when it comes to pet health which is why we were so pleased when she agreed to answer our questions and share some of her experience. Read on for our exclusive full interview!

Q1. To begin, could you please tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

I am a veterinarian who has been writing pet health care and news articles for about.com Veterinary Medicine (formerly The Mining Company) since 1999. I also write and share photography on my blog, www.AboutVetMed.com.

Q2. How did you originally become interested in working with animals?

Originally by learning what a vet was (sometime in first grade) when we took our pets to our vet. Also living with animals and taking care of every stray cat in my neighborhood.

Q3. As a vet, what are some of the most common problems you see among pets?

Obesity, cancer, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism (cats), diabetes.

Q4. What do you think are some the most important ways that animal lovers can help to keep their pets generally healthy and happy?

Ob style=”color: #e18334;”serving what is “normal” for your pets: their regular routines, how much they eat and drink, how much they urinate and defecate. A keen eye for these normal patterns will alert you when something isn’t normal. Time to check in with your vet. Waiting often adds to the problem, both medically and financially. Coupled with this, regular — annually, or every 6 months, depending on your pet’s health and age — veterinary exams!

Q5. And finally, do you have any pets of your own?

Yes, always. [;)]

Current household: 2 retired Greyhounds, 2 indoor cats, 2 geese, 1 rooster, 2 hens…