Why is it important to give antibiotics as instructed? Pet owners often give antibiotics only until the symptoms subside, thinking no more is needed. But this method risks recurrence of a stronger and more resistant infection. The goal is to eliminate the bacteria completely, not to merely reduce the numbers to a minimum. Bacteria have the ability to become resistant to certain antibiotics and the idea is to wipe them out completely, not teach them how to adapt to our antibiotic medications.