We have been manufacturing and repairing wetsuits for over 30 years, and often we come across the same problems in wetsuits which may have been prevented, or might not have occured as early due to taking proper care of your suit.
So, here is some advice on taking care of your wetsuit to help keep it alive and well for longer!
Salt, sand, dirt and urine will cause the neoprene to perish or de-laminate over time. You can have a cold shower at the beach, but don't get into your hot shower at home with your wetsuit still on. Neoprene is not designed for hot water, and the glue that holds the lining to the rubber can dissolve under heat, causing what is called de-lamination. Hosing or washing your wetsuit in a bucket of water is another great way to wash your suit.
Lots of people use wetsuits in the pool to keep them warm. This is ok, but keep in mind your wetsuit will deteriorate faster in chlorine compared to fresh or salt water. Avoid chlorine where possible, or give your wetsuit a really good wash after you have been in a swimming pool.
If your wetsuit has a seam just below the zipper, this is a poor design and is automatically a weak point. Make sure your suit is completely on before you attempt to do the zipper up. And if you hold the base of the zipper while you pull up your zipper, it is less like to tear at the base.
Do not store it in the boot of your car, or in a wet pile on the garage floor. Hang it up, inside out. If you use a wire hanger, it will stretch out the shoulders. Use a thicker plastic or wooden hanger. Even better, hang it over the coat hanger at the waist to lessen the weight of the suit on the shoulders.
If your suit gets damaged, or if a seam tears or unravels, get it fixed. Once the lining delaminates from the rubber it harder and more expensive to repair.
Dog bitten wetsuits are more common than you might think. Keep your dog well fed, and keep your wetsuit away from it's teeth.