First, I'd like to thank you all for being here. After reading a few posts, I'm ready to participate! I have a question for anyone who'se been to Belize via either TX or FL: How long will it take me to clear customs with a Service Dog? He'll have his "Passport" and other required papers, so that isn't an issue. I haven't been down there for about 10 years. I'm just wondering if there will be time for him to take a "break" before the connection to BZE? I'm about to puschase tickets and can't get a human on the phone to ask. Thank you all for your help! Peace ~ B
I'm not sure about a dog, but if it's anything like the human transfer, it will be a pain in Florida. I know of a few people that have missed their connecting flights to South America already based on Florida stopovers. Make sure you have at least 3 hours scheduled layover, or else insurance companies won't cover it either apparently (a friend had 2 hrs 55 mins... ouch!). Of course if the dog doesn't have to clear customs in the US for the transfer, it is probably a lot easier!
I have not been through airports in Texas so can't comment there. I have been through several in Florida and it can be a mess. Which airline are you planning to use and where is their Florida destination? I am assuming you'll be using Miami International. I agree with Sam completely about allowing at least a 3 hour layover if that's the airport. It is very congested and badly laid out which means time wasted trying to get from your gate to outside and back again.
Be sure to tell Immigration and the TSA people that your dog is an assistance animal and not just your pet. I know it should be rather obvious to them depending on his/her harness, etc. But, take nothing for granted. By giving TSA that information immediately, you should be given the opportunity for "head of the line" positioning when going through the screening process. As long as you have your dog's papers in order (proof of vaccination, passport, etc) and in hand with yours, it will ease time a bit.
These 2 sites may offer a bit of information on how to "tackle" Immigration and TSA more efficiently and save you time. Gives your dog more "break" time too.
Transportation Security Administration - Service Animals & Air Travel
International Association of Assistance Dog Partners - Air Travel with an Assistance Dog
Hope that helps and enjoy your trip!